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Film Events This Autumn

Whatever your taste in cinema, this autumn there are plenty of live events to sink your teeth into. From the glitzy galas of the BFI London Film Festival to the shorts screened at both Encounters and Aesthetica Short Film Festival, there is much to leave you inspired. Here’s our guide to five cine-events to keep you stimulated over the coming months.

Encounters | 27 September – 1 October

Based in Bristol, a UNESCO City of Film, the Encounters Film Festival is back. Now in its 29th edition, this year over 4000 films were submitted and whittled down to just over 80 shorts, which have been divided into 16 eclectic programmes – both out of competition and across National, International and South West competitive strands. As the programme says, “Expect works which explore sincere human connections, complex geographical identities, techno-memory, hyperpolitics and much, much more.”

Widescreen Weekend | 28 September – 2 October

Celluloid lovers rejoice. At the end of the month, at Bradford’s Pictureville Cinema, there’s a chance to enjoy a long weekend of glorious 35mm and 70mm screenings. Among them classic war movie Battle of the Bulge, animated delight The Iron Giant, musical masterpiece Guys and Dolls and Quentin Tarantino’s snowy western The Hateful Eight. With talks and events also programmed, there’s even the perennial favourite, Cineramacana, a show-and-tell where found footage, documentary clips, trailers and much more are screened in a variety of formats.

BFI London Film Festival | 4-15 October

Britain’s biggest film festival has once again drawn in all the big names – with must-see films including Jonathan Glazer’s acclaimed Cannes prize-winner The Zone of Interest, Sofia Coppola’s biopic Priscilla and Yorgos Lanthimos’ Venice-winning Poor Things among the selection. Opening with Emerald Fennell’s Oxford Uni-set Saltburn, other highlights include the world premiere of the latest Aardman animation, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget and the return of Alexander Payne to directing, as he reunites with his Sideways star Paul Giamatti for The Holdovers.

Raindance Film Festival | 25 October – 4 November

The vibrant Raindance Film Festival returns for its annual celebration of the best of independent cinema. This 31st edition opens with black-and-white boxing saga Day of the Fight, which just premiered in Venice, and marks the directorial debut of actor Jack Huston. Also playing is the latest film from Carol Morley, Typist Artist Pirate King, starring Kelly Macdonald as real-life artist Audrey Amiss. With ten shorts programmes also part of the line-up, this is a typically cutting edge selection.  

ASFF 2023| 8-12 November

Taking place across York in November, the Aesthetica Short Film Festival will present its thirteenth edition. Once again, we’ll be offering a variety of ways to join us. In-person, you’ll be able to attend physical screenings, as well as the wide array of masterclasses, panels and talks. Virtual passes will let you access the film programmes remotely (valid between 8-30 November) and the Hybrid option gives you the ultimate festival experience, combining both. With everything from kids’ workshops to pitching sessions, it’s going to be an unforgettable year.

Words: James Mottram


1. After the Bridges (2023), dir. Davide Rizzo, Marzia Toscano
2. Spines (2023), dir. Joseph Inman
3. Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1967), dir. Jacques Demy
4. The Practice (2023), dir. Martín Rejtman
5. Un Amor (2023), dir. Isabel Coixet
6. Expectations and Other Products (2023), dir. Dali Rust