Here we go! The 35th Leeds International Film Festival launches its programme this week, ahead of the first screening in November. I think its fair to say I’m a bit excited.

Last year’s last-minute scrapping of the whole festival was such a cruel blow. Mid-October we had a 3 tier system of lockdown (remember that?) and, as the film festival proudly announced, every one of the tiers allowed in-person cinema screenings, the festival was safe! Of course, at the very end of October the government announced Leeds would move into the (previously non-existent) tier 4. And all the screenings had to be scrapped. (And then actually they put the whole country on lockdown just as few days later).

They made the best of it, and we watched a lot of stuff on the online player but it wasn’t really the same. So this year it’s so exciting to be heading back into the cinema for it. Opening film is Spencer, which I’d struggle to care less about, but much like a music festival is never really about the headline acts, the film festival is all about the hidden gems. Fingers crossed for a good year.