Leeds International Film Festival

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Leeds International Film Festival
Location Leeds, England
Language International

The Leeds International Film Festival (LIFF) is the largest film festival in England outside London. Held in November at various venues throughout Leeds, West Yorkshire it shows over 200 films from around the world, commercial and independent.

The 2013 festival is the 27th annual film festival in Leeds - the first Leeds film festival took place in 1987.

The festival is supported by Leeds City Council. The festival office is in Leeds Town Hall, and the director of the festival is Chris Fell. Debbie Maturi is the director of the Leeds Young People's Film Festival (LYPFF) (formerly Leeds Children & Young People's Film Festival (LCYPFF)), another successful event which had its 14th year in April 2013.

Each year, beginning in 2001, the festival has played host to the Night of the Dead, an all-night horror-thon. The most recent festival introduced a single day of back to back anime films at Leeds Town Hall, to be repeated in 2013.


The festival normally gives out both an Audience Award and the jury-chosen Golden Owl award for a film in the Official Selection, the Silver Méliès award in the Fanomenon category, a Cinema Versa Audience Award, and the "Augustin Awards" for short films in the categories of Animation, International, British and Yorkshire Shorts.[1] The festival traditionally features 5 sections:

  • Official selection – feature length fiction films
  • Cinema Versa – documentaries
  • Fanomenon – cult cinema (including horror, anime, sci-fi and other genre films)
  • Short Film City – international short films (less than 45 minutes in length)
  • Cherry Kino – experimental cinema / Retrospectives – archive films from acclaimed directors and classic cinema

Festivals by year[edit]

2013 festival[edit]

The 27th festival has been announced for 6-21 November 2013.[2] The opening Gala is a 3D screening of Alfonso Cuarón's new film Gravity, two days ahead of its official release. The programme also features a major Masaki Kobayashi retrospective on 35mm including the 9 1/2 hour long film 'The Human Condition' at the Hyde Park Picture House.

2012 festival[edit]

The 26th Leeds International Film Festival took place from 1–18 November 2012, with a screening of Argo for the Opening Gala.[3]

2011 festival[edit]

The 25th Leeds International Film Festival, styled "LIF25", took place from 3–20 November 2011, with a screening of Shame for the Official Selection Closing Gala on 18 November, and a screening of The Artist on its closing night.[4][5][6]


Award Film Director
Official Selection Audience Award[1] The Artist (2011) Michel Hazanavicius (France)
Fanomenon Audience Award[1] Juan of the Dead (2011) Alejandro Brugués (Cuba)
Cinema Versa Audience Award[1] Sound It Out (2010) Jeanie Finlay (UK)
Golden Owl Award[1] 22nd of May (2010) Koen Mortier (Belgium)
Méliès d'Argent Feature Winner[1] The Divide (2011) Xavier Gens (Germany/USA/Canada)
Méliès d'Argent Feature Special Mention[1] Masks (2011) Andreas Marschall (Germany)
Méliès d'Argent Short Winner[1] Decapoda Shock Javier Chillón (Spain)
Méliès d'Argent Short Special Mention[1] Tommy (2011) Arnold du Parscau (France)
Short Film World Animation Award[1] The Gloaming (2010) NoBrain (France)
Louis le Prince International Short Film Winner[1] Bear (2011) Nash Edgerton (Australia)
Yorkshire Short Film Competition Winner[1] (We are Poets) ‘I Come From…’ (2011) Alex Ramseyer-Bache, Daniel Lucchesi
Best of British Short Film Competition Winner[1] Grandmothers (2011) Afarin Eghbal

2010 festival[edit]

The 24th Leeds International Film Festival took place from the 4–21 November 2010, with some tickets on sale from April.


Award Film Director
Audience Award[7] High on Hope Piers Sanderson
Audience Award for Feature Film[7] The King's Speech Tom Hooper
Audience Award for Archive Film[7] Elling (2002) Petter Næss
Golden Owl Award[8] Tuesday, After Christmas Radu Muntean
Golden Owl Special Mention[8] Sweet Little Lies (Suto ritoru raizu) Hitoshi Yazaki
Méliès d'Argent Feature Winner[9] The Last Employee (Der Letzte Angestellte) (Germany) Alexander Adolph
Méliès d'Or Short Nomination[9] Yuri Lennon's Landing on Alpha 46 (Germany/Switzerland) Anthony Vouardoux
Short Film World Animation Award[10] Angry Man Anita Killi
International Short Film Competition Winner[10] Deeper Than Yesterday Ariel Kleiman
Yorkshire Short Film Competition Winner[10] The Astronomer's Son Simon Cartwright, Jessica Cope
Best of British Short Film Competition Winner[10] The Birdman of Tamworth Alastair Uhlig

2009 festival[edit]

The 23rd festival took place from the 4 November 2009 – 22 November 2009, showing a range of films from all over the world, including Men Who Stare at Goats, the Coen Brother's A Serious Man, Bright Star and Bunny and the Bull.

Audience Award[edit]

Miyazaki's latest anime, Ponyo, won the audience award for the Leeds International Film Festival '09. Ponyo was chosen among a range of other animation films including Summer Wars, and haunting Angel's Egg, as part of the Fanomenon section.

Golden Owl Competition[edit]

The jury awarded the Golden Owl Award to La Pivellina, directed by Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel. They were moved by the honesty, humanity and detail of the film. It is a delicate lesson in the fundamentals of life. The jury was also impressed by its organic and assured qualities which manage to mix documentary and fiction in a seamless, fluid style. A special mention went to Puccini and the Girl for being a beautiful piece of cinema.

Silver Méliès winning feature[edit]

Philip Ridley's Heartless was chosen for its blending of fantasy and reality, its assured handling of a great many disparate genre elements – horror, urban drama, comedy and more besides – and the way it presented these familiar elements in a way that seemed both new and vital.

Silver Méliès special mention[edit]

The Decaillon Brothers' Sodium Babies stood out for its visual invention and daring appropriation of a huge variety of influences, taking what was on some level familiar about the vampire mythos and turning it into something genuinely distinctive, eye-catching, spirited and fresh.

Short Film Prizes[edit]

International Award Winners 2009[edit]

The 2009 International Jury consisted of:

  • Philip Ilson, UK, Media event programmer and Director of London Short Film Festival (Chair)
  • Lina Paulsen, Germany, Programme Manager for the Hamburg International Short Film Festival
  • Ciprian Alexandrescu, Romania, Filmmaker, Producer and Director of the Iasi International Film Festival

Grand Jury Prize, Best International Short

  • Winning film: 10 min, directed by Jorge Léon, Belgium

Best International Fiction Short Winning film: Nunta Lui Oli ("Oli’s wedding"), directed by Tudor Jurgiu, Romania

  • Awarded for the director’s sensitive approach to the story, built with minimal resources.

Best International Animation Short

  • Winning film: Slavar (Slaves), directed by Hannah Hellborn & David Aronowitsch, Sweden
  • Special mention: Le Petit Dragon (The Little Dragon), directed by Bruno Collet, France / Sweden
    • This short film draws on kitsch culture to give a highly individual take on the seventies icon Bruce Lee.

Best International Experimental Short

  • Winning film: Muto, directed by the Blu Collective, Italy
  • Special mention: Laitue, directed by Nicholas Brooks, UK
    • A hand-drawn film experiment that uses the blank spaces on the screen as well as simple line drawings to create a loose narrative.

Best International Documentary Short

  • Winning film: Farseh Chob ("The wooden carpet"), directed by Abdolraman Mirani, Iran
    • A documentary which with humour portrays the hard and painful aspects of tough physical work.
  • Special mention: Red Sands, directed by David Proctor, UK
    • A documentary that portrays the problematic tradition of bullfighting.
National Augustin Awards 2009[edit]

The 2009 National Jury consisted of: Jim Foulger, Journalist, Documentary Filmmaker and critic Espen Jensen, Filmmaker and programmer coordinator for Hull International Short Film Festival Hilary Radman, Lecturer in Media at Leeds City College

Best British Short

  • Winning film: Believe, directed by Paul Wright
  • Special Mention: Curtains, directed by Julian Barratt & Dan Jemmett
  • Special Mention: Photograph of Jesus, directed by Laurie Hill

Best Yorkshire Short

  • Winning film: Five Miles Out, directed by Andrew Haigh
  • Special Mention: Fanatic, directed by Paul Robinson

2008 festival[edit]

The 22nd festival was held from 4 November 2008 to 16 November 2008. It incorporated venues across the city, including The Hyde Park Picture House and Leeds Town Hall.

2007 festival[edit]

The 21st festival, held 7 November 2007 – 18 November 2007, had five sections: Official Selection, Fanomenon, Cinema Versa, Nexus and a Kazuo Hara Retrospective. Persepolis was shown at the Opening Gala.

Leeds Young People's Film Festival[edit]

Leeds also hosts the Leeds Young People's Film Festival. The LYFF is one of the UK’s biggest film events for young people, with annual audiences of 5,000. It screens films from around the world made both for and by young people, alongside moving-image related workshops and masterclasses.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "LIFF25 Award Winners". Leeds International Film Festival. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "27th Leeds International Film Festival". Leeds International Film Festival. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Robinson, Paul (5 October 2012). "Opening titles ready to roll on 2012 Leeds International Film Festival". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "Film Festival kicks off this evening". Leeds International Film Festival. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Steve McQueen’s Shame to close LIFF25’s Official Selection". Leeds International Film Festival. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "The Artist confirmed for Film Festival finale screening". Leeds International Film Festival. 19 October 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c "High on Hope Wins Audience Award". Leeds International Film Festival. 2010-11-22. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  8. ^ a b "Winner of the Golden Owl Award 2010 Announced". Leeds International Film Festival. 2010-11-15. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  9. ^ a b "2010 Melies Competition Winners Announced". Leeds International Film Festival. 2010-11-16. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  10. ^ a b c d "2010 Melies Competition Winners Announced". Leeds International Film Festival. 2010-11-18. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 

External links[edit]