South Bank London

London Film Festival 2023

More than 200 films make their cinematic debut in South Bank at the UK's biggest film festival.


This event has ended.

04 Oct - 15 Oct 2023

Ticket Information

Tickets from £10

Location Info

BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, London, UK

The 67th edition of the BFI London Film Festival, in partnership with American Express, brings more than 200 original new films to South Bank to make their cinematic debut on the biggest screens in town. 

Taking place from 4-15 October, this year's festival spreads out across the South Bank with film events happening at the BFI Southbank, BFI IMAX and the Royal Festival Hallplus new for 2023 is the LFF Expanded exhibition programme at the Bargehouse at Oxo Tower Wharf.

The LFF programme is huge, covering all genres of cinema from across the world. To help you navigate this immense programme, here’s a quick guide to the different programme strands (and highlights!).

LFF Film programme highlights

The Gala programme showcases the very biggest new Hollywood films by world-famous directors, who will be visiting South Bank to join in the red carpet screening festivities. These screenings take place on the festival’s biggest screens at the Royal Festival Hall and at the BFI Southbank NFT 1 screen.

This year’s gala highlights include brand new feature films by award-winning directors including Emerald Fennell (Saltburn), Jeff Nichols (The Bikeriders), David Fincher (The Killer), Martin Scorsese (Killers of the Flower Moon), Bradley Cooper (The Maestro) and Alexander Payne (The Holdovers).

A richly curated selection of film premieres from around the world, again these films can be enjoyed on South Bank’s biggest screens at the BFI and Southbank Centre.

Highly anticipated films on the Special Presentations programme include Sofia Coppola’s new biopic Priscilla, Occupied City - Steve McQueen’s epic documentary about the Holocaust in Amsterdam, Jonathon Glazer’s new film set in Nazi Germany, The Zone of Interest, British dystopian thriller The End We Start From (starring Jodie Comer) and the unsettling sci-fi thriller Foe (starring Saoirse Ronan and Paul Mescal).

The official competition is divided into Feature Film, First Feature Film (for directorial debuts), Documentary and Short Film competitions. Audiences can also vote for their favourite films of the festival online in the Audience Awards.

With a wealth of fresh and original feature films and documentaries from around the world taking part in this year’s festival, the programme has handily been ordered into thematic strands. This year’s programme strands are divided under the categories: Love, Laugh, Debate, Dare, Thrill, Cult, Journey and Create.

Again, there is plenty of exciting acting talent to look out for including new films starring Jessie Buckley, Riz Ahmed, Anne Hathaway and Cate Blanchett. Acclaimed international filmmakers presenting new films at the festival include Studio Ghibli's newest animated feature The Boy and The Heron and The Book of Solutions, Michel Gondry’s first new feature film in 8 years.

The documentary film selection is also brilliant in scope, covering a huge array of interests and topics including the rise and fall of John Galliano, life under Boko Haram, the first women’s football World Cup final, pop-culture icon William Shatner, London’s infamous La Scala cinema and what goes on behind the scenes inside a French Michelin-starred kitchen.

The LFF Expanded Exhibition

The LFF Expanded exhibition invites audience to explore and experience powerful new ways of telling stories on screen, through XR and immersive projects created by some of the world’s leading mixed-reality artists. This year the three-storey Bargehouse at Oxo Tower Wharf is the venue for the extraordinary LFF Expanded exhibition, hosting nine original projects. As this is a full immersive experience, booking is essential to secure a timeslot. The exhibition opens 11am-9pm.

Visitors to South Bank can also enjoy Fleeting Figures, a free interactive smartphone-led walk along the Queen’s Walk that brings South Bank’s public spaces to life in new ways.

Tickets, booking and free events

The London Film Festival also has a rich programme of free events taking place at the Festival Café at BFI Southbank, including talks and debates, short film screenings, DJ nights and more.

Ticket sales open in September and are staggered with BFI members getting early bird priority booking access. General public ticket sales open on 12 September. Keep your eye on the official festival website for the latest ticket announcements. Take note that this is Britain’s biggest film event and tickets are likely to sell out fast for the most anticipated features.

As this is a festival all films start promptly with no trailers, so make sure to be at your seats at the advertised time!

Explore the full London Film Festival programme online here. Festival programmes can also be collected from the BFI Southbank.

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