Today we spoke to Alexander King, Program Manager of the
DEADLINE • 30 August 2013
Leeds is a large, general, audience-driven film festival and we show all sorts of films across the spectrum. We have many different sections in which we try to represent films on an equal footing. There are sections where we promote big, established names alongside premieres of small, independent films by new filmmakers which includes the films we receive through submission. We have had a UK premiere of a Swedish film by a first-feature Swedish filmmaker which is screened alongside a new Michael Haneke film for example. The way we program is trying to get audiences to see something that they haven’t seen before. That is what we are about really.
If you were to compare the types of films you see at our festival with what you would see at the larger festivals in the UK, you would find we have a significantly higher proportion of non-distributed smaller, independent films in our program than you would elsewhere. We are one of the bigger festivals in the UK and in terms of number of films programmed, we are the biggest festival outside London. As a general and international film festival, we also have a large amount of shorts. Because of this there is the opportunity take films into our festival that might be passed at other places. We are generally on the lookout for new fresh approaches to filmmaking which isn’t really affected by the budget or the level of production.
In terms of comparison with other European festivals, Rotterdam is a festival which gives a lot of inspiration for me because it is a general, audience-led festival, which gets lots of people in to see some small productions from the other side of the world that they don’t know anything about. I also like the idea of being compared to great specialist festivals because the way we do things is to have each section as a celebration of its own film genre within the whole umbrella of the festival.
Alexander King, Leeds International Film Festival to FilmFestivalLife, 1 August 2013
8-24 November 2013, Leeds, United Kingdom
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