How the London Film Festival can improve its opening-night soiree.
Dear London Film Festival,
I love you. Everybody I talk to in the film industry loves you. We particularly love Sandra, so please don’t take this personally.
Your opening night party doesn’t work. It was the same situation last year and we all hoped it was a one-off. It wasn’t.
I speak for millions (ok, well, a few dozen industry folks that I spoke to) when I offer the following advice:
1) Host your party within walking distance of your screening, not across town at the Saatchi Gallery which has nothing to do with the rest of the festival, and requires coaches and taxis to reach.
2) Have your party in a space where people can find each other. There’s too many rooms at the Saatchi and it’s impossible to see everyone you want to see.
3) If people arrive to your event at 9:45, kicking them out starting at 11:15 isn’t polite. 90 minutes isn’t a party, a reception maybe, but not a party. And those bouncers are rude when hoarding us outside.
Honestly, cut your budget, ditch the papier mache art and quails-eggs canapes, hire the anti-glamorous All Bar One in Leicester Square for three hours and we won’t complain.
Because if there’s anything the UK film industry wants to do its toast the success of your great festival in style, not in a hurry.