41 French films and co-productions among the 235 titles selected for the 57th BFI London Film Festival (October 12-20, 2013) is an impressive number. Ida by Pawel Pawlikowski (ポーランド, デンマーク) was awarded Best Film.
Three French films shared top honors in the Official Competition: Abuse of Weakness by Catherine Breillat, The Lunchbox by Ritesh Batra (a first French-Indian co-production), and Tom à la ferme, a French-Canadian co-production directed by Xavier Dolan. Stranger by the Lake and Blue is the Warmest Color were given gala screenings, while The Missing Picture and La Maison de la radio featured in the Documentary Competition.
The remaining films, from Stopover to 2 Autumns 3 Winters, and not forgetting The Notebook and 11.6, along with thirty or so others, were presented in non-competitive sections.
A delegation of 20 artists, mainly supported by uniFrance films, crossed the Channel to present their films, among whom Bruno Dumontt and Juliette Binoche for ブリュノ・デュモン, Catherine Breillat and Isabelle Huppert for Abuse of Weakness, Robin Campillo for イースタン・ボーイズ, Alain Guiraudie, Patrick d'Assumçao, Pierre Deladonchamps and Christophe Paou for Stranger by the Lake, Cédric Klapisch for ニューヨークの巴里夫(パリジャン), Martin Provost for Violette, Katell Quillévéré for Suzanne, and Rebecca Zlotowski, Tahar Rahim , and Léa Seydoux for Grand Central.
The many industry events organized during the festival confirm the BFI's determination to make the festival a springboard for the film industry. During a Meet the Buyers Event, which was held on October 15 at the Café Royal Hotel London, the twenty French buyers present in London had the opportunity of meeting 29 British buyers from 20 different distribution companies. This networking day, much appreciated by the buyers attending, took a "speed dating" format, with each session lasting 15 minutes.
At the end of Meet the Buyers, Unifrance invited British film industry professionals (buyers, producers, journalists) and French buyers to a reception at the Century, which was attended by 100 industry professionals.