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Mayor, film industry urge Londoners ‘Back to the Big Screen’

Each feature will be preceded by a short film showcasing a diverse range of emerging film talent, curated by the Barbican, Film London, BAFTA and BFI…reports Asian Lite News.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has joined with Richard Curtis, Simon Pegg, Mark Hamill, the team behind Rocks and leaders of the film industry to encourage Londoners and visitors to rediscover the joy of the big screen and help support the capital’s economy.

As part of the Mayor’s Let’s Do London campaign, Sadiq is working with BFI, BAFTA and Film London to promote cinemas and outdoor screenings and also encourage filmgoers to take advantage of the capital’s world class food and hospitality.

To celebrate the magic of film, the Mayor will be hosting six free screenings in Trafalgar Square later this month to bring 1,500 Londoners and visitors together in the heart of the capital for each film, with 150 tickets reserved especially for key workers at four screenings in recognition of their work throughout the pandemic.

From August 26-29, audiences will be able to enjoy a red carpet experience with a selection of matinee and evening screenings in the Square in partnership with Luna Cinema. The screenings will celebrate London’s importance in the film industry, with all the films either made or set in the capital. It includes screenings of Rocks, Skyfall, a Mary Poppins sing-along, Star Wars: A New Hope (Episode IV), Paddington 2 and Bend It Like Beckham.

Each feature will be preceded by a short film showcasing a diverse range of emerging film talent, curated by the Barbican, Film London, BAFTA and BFI.

A new trailer celebrating the talent and diversity of London’s film industry and joy of going to watch a film on the big screen has also been created to encourage people back to the big screen.

Over the last five years, film and TV productions made in and around London generated more than £10bn for the UK economy, and the industry also supports the capital’s hospitality industry with cinemagoers able to enjoy the capital’s world-leading restaurants and hospitality businesses.

These industries have been hit hard by the impact of the pandemic, and that is why the Mayor launched his Let’s Do London campaign to remind Londoners and visitors of the amazing venues our capital has to offer.

“London is a global capital for film production and our cinemas are a huge draw for Londoners and tourists alike, but the last 17 months have been incredibly challenging for the whole industry,” Sadiq said.

“TV and boxsets helped so many of us through lockdown, but with cinemas opening their doors again and big screens installed in public spaces, I’m joining with industry leaders to encourage everyone to get Back to the Big Screen to rediscover the magic of film and also support our central London hospitality businesses.

Simon Pegg, actor, writer and producer, said: “I’m supporting the Mayor of London’s initiative to get people back into the capital’s world class cinemas. The pandemic has hit this integral part of London’s cultural heart, hard. It’s time to fill these spaces again and feel the thrill and magic of theatrical cinema.”

Richard Curtis, screenwriter, producer and director, said: “I’m really delighted to hear about this movie plan by the Mayor of London. Many of my happiest memories in London are to do with going to the cinema and then going on to enjoy all the other wonders of the city.”

Mark Hamill, actor, said:“The ultimate cinematic experience is seeing a film projected on a big screen in the presence of a live audience as they were meant to be. For movie lovers around the world there is no greater goal at this moment in time than getting back to the big screen.”

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