Leeds is celebrating its Year of Culture during 2023, and that makes the annual Leeds International Film Festival (LIFF) even more exciting than ever. This event is celebrating its 37th anniversary, and it will be showcasing the work of some of the most exciting filmmakers in the local area, as well as from across the world.
For drama students or anyone taking acting classes in Leeds, it’s an ideal opportunity to mix with writers, directors, and fellow actors at a manageable scale. This could help you to make valuable connections if you are looking for your first big break in the film scene, or just give you a better insight into the workings of the industry.
The LIFF takes place at various venues throughout the city, including Hyde Park Picture House, Howard Assembly Room, Vue in The Light and Everyman Cinema. The quality of the films on offer is second to none, and the event acts as a qualifying festival for prestigious awards such as the BAFTAs and the Academy Awards.
The Official Selection brings together the most anticipated films of the year and features some exciting new filmmakers. Highlights this year include Andrew Haigh’s All of Us Strangers starring Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal, and Justine Trier’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner Anatomy of a Fall.
For students of drama, it’s an excellent opportunity to study some of the country’s finest actors as they put in world-class performances. If you have an interest in specific genres of film, there’s bound to be something for you in the Fanomenon offerings, which include films from the fantasy, sci-fi, horror, dark comedy, and animation genres.
Fans of horror are particularly well catered for with the legendary Night of the Dead, an all night session of classic and contemporary horror films. A highlight this year is the Spanish horror/comedy The Coffee Table, which has already won the accolade of Best Film at Manchester’s Grimmfest film festival.
The LIFF is an important contribution to the UK arts scene, and all the more special because it’s a scene that does tend to be dominated by London, especially when it comes to art house cinema. Leeds is easily accessible to anyone who lives in northern cities such as Manchester, Sheffield, and York.
It’s an ideal opportunity to see some of the most interesting and cutting-edge work in the world of film, often months before the official opening. There are also curated retrospective showings, helping to bring some of the finest work of the past to a new audience.
LIFF is an event not to be missed by any student of drama, for the sheer variety and versatility of the work on offer. The website also contains links to useful guides and educational resources for anyone keen to learn more about the creative process of filmmaking.