The London Film Society

Your membership of The London Film Society will directly support the campaign for the new London Film School

Britain’s first film society was founded in 1925 at the New Gallery Kinema in Regents Street, London. Its original members included George Bernard Shaw, H.G. Wells, Maynard Keynes, Anthony Asquith, Sidney Bernstein, Ivor Montagu and Augustus John.

The primary objective of the Film Society was to screen film that had either been banned by the censors or could not be seen anywhere else in Britain, alongside more mainstream films. Some of the first programs included screenings of Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin (1928) and the Charlie Chaplin short The Champion (1915). As the Film Society developed and gained more members, screenings evolved into events in which art exhibitions, lectures and group discussions situated the films shown within an historical and critical framework.

The last screening in its original format occurred on 23rd April, 1939 and now The London Film School brings this organisation back to life in a contemporary context, offering an exclusive vehicle to support the school.

Since opening, LFS has played host to screenings and presentations of new work, open to its industry subscribers. Contributors in its early years included Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, Jean Renoir and Jean-Luc Godard, who became LFS Associates. Recent participants in Q & As include Mike Leigh, Lasse Hallstrom, Bruno Dumont, Stephen Frears, Paul Greengrass, Roger Michell, Jeremy Thomas, Tessa Ross, Samantha Morton and Danny Boyle.

In 2012 London Film Society events included a series of events in partnership with Time Out - ‘On Screen Acting’ with Mike Leigh and Lesley Manville, 'London on Film' with writers Will Self and Iain Sinclair (an LFS Associate), and the filmmaker Julien Temple, ‘Why We make Documentaries’ with Nick Broomfield and Carol Morley, and an intimate evening with legendary director William Friedkin.  

 As a member of The London Film Society, you’ll meet the leaders of today’s film industry and the key talent of tomorrow, whilst exploring the filmmaking process in a fun and social environment. LFS is building a new kind of film school in the heart of the capital – a graduate conservatoire with state-of-the-art facilities, professional training workshops, public and film industry events, regular screenings, collaborative and cross-platform work and educational outreach programmes. Your support is essential as it ensures that London Film School maintains its position as a hub for independent filmmaking talent for years to come. Your membership of The London Film Society will directly support the campaign for the new London Film School, opening 2015 in the Barbican Arts Centre.

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