Leeds Film Festival

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor

Leeds Film Festival at Vue Leeds The Light, 3 — 18 November 2021 Tickets from £7.50 — Book now

Leeds Film Festival returns this year for 2021 with screenings across the city and, for the first time, at the National Science & Media Museum in Bradford. The 35th edition is as strong as ever, including an official selection of new fiction features that includes the likes of Céline Sciamma’s much-anticipated Petite Maman, Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir: Part II and Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s seductive Haruki Murakami adaptation, Drive My Car.

With Leeds Town Hall and Hyde Park Picture House closed for redevelopment, this year the festival expands into Vue in The Light, as well as Leed’s plush Everyman, Belgrave Music Hall and the Howard Assembly Rooms, in addition to the brand new Leeds School of Art.

The wide range of venues is matched by the range of films on offer, with a diverse catalogue of titles sure to appeal to filmgoers of all stripes. Documentary lovers can head over to the Cinema Versa selection, where Andrea Arnold’s Cow offers a daring, experimental look at the dairy industry. While the Leeds Short Film Awards provides an opportunity to dive into short form filmmaking from around the world.

the full Leeds Film Festival line-up runs to well over one hundred events

For film fans whose tastes lean towards genre fare, Leeds Film Festival presents Fanomenon, a section dedicated to action, anime, horror, sci-fi and more. Our pick of the bunch is Fanomenon’s closing film, The Man Who Stole the Sun, an explosive 1979 thriller from Kazuhiko Hasegawa, which screens from a 35mm archive print. We’d also highlight Julia Ducournau’s tenderly transgressive Palme d’Or winner Titane, which needs to be seen to be believed.

Classic film buffs are in luck too, with a selection running under the Rear Window banner that includes Andrei Tarkovsky’s seminal sci-fi Solaris, and a 35mm showing of Senegalese master Ousmane Sembène’s Xala. And of course there’s much much more to discover — the full Leeds Film Festival line-up runs to well over one hundred events available online and in person scheduled between 3 – 18 November.

Where to go near Leeds Film Festival

Leeds Art Gallery

The city centre Leeds Art Gallery is blessed with a fine historic collection and a changing series of contemporary exhibitions.

Gaucho Leeds

High-end Argentine restaurant with a focus on steaks, glamour and wine.

Henry Moore Institute
The Henry Moore Institute in Leeds

The Henry Moore Institute boasts one of Britain’s strongest public collections of sculpture, and ‘makes a significant impact on the future of art history’.

A Nation of Shopkeepers
A Nation Of Shopkeepers

Situated in the heart of Leeds, A Nation of Shopkeepers is a laid back bar, restaurant and events venue boasting a stunning, fully-contained outside courtyard.

The Decanter Leeds
The Decanter

The Decanter is a sophisticated modern bar, specialising in all things wine. It’s outfitted as a premium wood bar, plush, cosy furniture and luxurious wines and spirits

Photo of the restaurant interior with hanging lights
San Carlo Leeds

San Carlo Leeds is an Italian restaurant close to the town hall, which focusses on authentic, filling food.

Carriageworks Theatre Leeds
Carriageworks Theatre

Leeds’ Carriageworks Theatre prides itself on showcasing work by local artists as well as being a family-friendly performance venue in the city centre.

Leeds City Museum
Leeds City Museum

Featuring a man-eating tiger, interactive exhibits spanning 540 million years of discovery, and displays dedicated to telling the story of Leeds from prehistory to the modern day.

Shopping Centre
St John’s Centre, Leeds

With a great mix of retailers over two levels including fashion, gifts and food, plus its own secure car park, St Johns Centre makes shopping in Leeds easy

Jumbo Records
Jumbo Records

Jumbo Records is Leeds’ number one independent record store, with these large premises occasionally featuring in-store events with a bountiful record collection and coffee.

Event venue
The Bookish Type

An independent bookshop specialising in literature across the LGBTIQA+ spectrum
From novels to children’s books, YA to memoirs, non-fiction to graphic novels… there’s a whole range of specialist queer literature to be found at The Bookish Type.

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