London Film School

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London Film School
24-26 Shelton Street (geograph 5367400).jpg
Former names

London School of Film Tecnique (1956-1966)

London International Film School (1971-2000)
Type Educational Charity
Established 1956
Director Gísli Snær Erlingsson
Location London, United Kingdom
Campus Covent Garden
Affiliations CILECT [Creative Skillset] [GEECT] [NAHEMI]
London Film School logo.png

London Film School (LFS) is a not-for-profit film school in London and is situated in a converted brewery in Covent Garden, London, close to a hub of the UK film industry based in Soho.

LFS was founded in 1956 by Gilmore Roberts as the London School of Film Technique. Originally based on Electric Avenue in Brixton, the school moved to the West End in 1963, first into a building in Charlotte Street and later, in 1966, in its current premises on Shelton Street. Around that time, it became known as The London Film School. From 1971 to 2000 it was known as The London International Film School, and reverted to the name London Film School in 2001.

The LFS offers various degrees at postgraduate level: an MA in Filmmaking, an MA in Screenwriting, and, in partnership with the University of Exeter, an MA in International Film Business and a PhD in Film by Practice. It also offers an expanding range of short and part-time professional development courses under the LFS Workshops banner.

LFS recruites students from all over the world and is the only graduate-only film conservatoire specifically constituted as an international community; around 60% of its students are from outside the UK. LFS is one of three UK Creative Skillset "Film Academy Centres of Excellence".[1]

The school's current Director is Gísli Snær Erlingsson and its current chairman is Greg Dyke.


60 years on[edit]

Filmmaking is taught on stages, and in workshops rather than in classrooms so the building functions like a studio. On the MA Filmmaking programme, students work on a minimum of ten films, at least two as director, with all costs included in fees. With around 200 full-time students at any one time on the Masters courses, it generates over 180 films a year.

LFS is a living creative community and not a short-term "immersion experience" or a commercial training product. It is an independent non-profit school run by passionate and experienced filmmakers with full-time faculty and a varied and hugely talented group of visiting lecturers, technicians and artists. LFS hosts a masterclass programme that reflects the school's status: Abbas Kiarostami, Hanif Kureshi, Franc Roddam, Dick Pope, Seamus McGarvey and Stephen Frears have all been visitors and lecturers. Such is the School’s global reputation that Al Gore chose to launch Current TV in Europe at LFS.

LFS attracted a group of leading figures from the cultural world to support its vision to create a new building. LFS patrons are Chris Auty, Tony Elliott, Roger Graef, Christopher Hird, John Hurt, Hanif Kureishi, Charlie Parsons, Franc Roddam, Anthony Smith, Iain Smith, Tilda Swinton, Jeremy Thomas and Alan Yentob.

In 2014 The school celebrated a year of graduate achievements around the globe, a particular highlight the unprecedented success for LFS filmmakers at the Cannes Film Festival, where Leidi, the 2014 graduation film of Simón Mesa Soto, was awarded the highest honour, the Palme d'Or for Best Short Film in Competition. It is the first time a British film school has won this prize. Six LFS graduates were in official selection in Cannes, including Mike Leigh with Mr Turner, which won two prizes and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado with The Salt of the Earth, co-directed with Wim Wenders, winner of the Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize.

The submission list for the 2015 Foreign-Language Oscars included three LFS graduates: Ann Hui represented Hong Kong for the fourth time, For the second time Mohamed Khan represented Egypt (Factory Girl) and Leticia Tonos represented The Dominican Republic (Cristo Rey) — a clear testament to the School's impact on world cinema.

Credit rolls featured scores of LFS graduates in all the craft areas. Cinematographers have been particularly prolific, with more established names such as Jo Willems (The Hunger Games), Erik Wilson (Paddington and 20,000 Days on Earth) and Ole Bratt Birkeland (The Missing) joined by recent graduates shooting their first features.

During 2014, films made at the school had around 200 festival entries, winning more than 30 prizes. The list spanned Venice, Tribeca, Clermont Ferrand, the BFI London Film Festival, Edinburgh, Encounters and Sundance; 12 LFS graduates were selected for Palm Springs, 10 for Aesthetica and 14 for The London Short Film Festival.

In 2014 the School also launched the MA International Film Business, in partnership with University of Exeter, and welcomed the first cohort of 29 students.

Notable graduates (a selection)[edit]

The school's alumni include:

Honorary Associates[edit]

Sponsors and funders[edit]


  1. ^ Official Website, London Film School. Accessed June 2007.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′49″N 0°07′33″W / 51.5135°N 0.1257°W / 51.5135; -0.1257