London Film School to host masterclasses and workshops for society dormant since 1939.

The London Film School is relaunching The London Film Society, which originally hosted screenings of controversial or banned work and held art exhibitions, lectures and group discussions.

The film training school will “bring the organisation back to life in a contemporary context,” with a number of upcoming workshops and masterclasses from Josh Appignanesi, Eve Stewart and Howard Atherton among others. The Society will also host screenings of local and international films.

With the school’s necessary re-location by 2014, the school is hoping to raise money for the move through fostering relationships with new Film Society members and developing popular film events.

Director Mike Leigh and school chair Ben Gibson will host the London Film Society inaugural event on Oct 18, when they will lead a tour of the school and present a selection of student screenings.

Gibson said of the relaunch: “This is very exciting. It has been a long-time ambition to develop the school’s public activities. We are now starting a major appeal to help with our move to a new building in the coming years and we thought it would be a good thing for people who want to be involved with the school and who were already going to our screenings to be the founder members of our subsidiary charity, the London Film Society. It will act as a forum for people who care about developing independent film. At some point when we are in the new building the Society will become a name for our public activities.”

The Film Society was originally founded in 1925 at the New Gallery Kinema in Regent Street, with members including George Bernard Shaw, H.G. Wells, Ivor Montagu, Anthony Asquith and Sidney Bernstein, with an aim to screen works that had either been banned by the censors or could not be seen anywhere else in the UK, 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).

The last screening in its original format was in April, 1939.