Jonathan Demme film director, producer and screen writer

Jonathan Demme was one of the most eclectic, delightful and original film makers in Hollywood. He also happened to be one of the nicest: the compassionate sensibility that lent his work his warmth and musicality was no put-on. Plainly put, he loved people. 

He rose to prominence in the 1980's with his comedy films Melvin and Howard (1980), Swing Shift (1984), Something Wild (1986) and Married to the Mob (1988). He became best known for directing The Silence of the Lambs (1991), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director. He later directed the acclaimed films Philadelphia (1993) and Rachel Getting Married (2008).

Throughout 1986-2004, Demme was known for his dramatic close-ups in films. This style of close-ups involves the actor looking directly into the camera during crucial moments, particularly in the 'Quid pro quo' scene in The Silence of the Lambs. According to Demme, this was done to put the audience into the character's shoes. Beginning with Rachel getting married, Demme then adopted a documentary style of filmmaking.

Jonathan Demme died on Wednesday 26 April aged 73. In 2008 Ryan Gilbey asked him whether he had anything to add to the formula he gave in 1986 for making a decent movie 'you get a good script, good actors and try not to screw it up'. He let out a joyful laugh 'That's the formula, baby!'.



Regent Street Cinema London for Actors, Film Students & Fans

Build in 1848 and housed within the Polytechnic Institution on London's Regent Street, the cinema was the first in the UK to show moving pictures. In 1896, the cinema showcased the Lumber Brothers' Cinématographe to a paying audience and, as the curtain fell, British cinema was born.

After being used a student lecture hall by the university since 1980, it was restored into a working cinema featuring a state-of-the art auditorium as well as inclusive space for learning, cultural exchange and exhibitions. It is a truly landmark venue for the British film industry in the heart of London's West End.

The cinema is one of the few in the country to show 16mm and 35mm films, as well as the latest in 4K digital films. It offers premieres, repertory screenings, retrospectives, documentaries, animation and experimental cinema. You can also experience double-bills showcasing the best of home-grown British talent, world cinema and classic movies in a classic environment.

The university of Westminster has always been at the centre of innovation in film production and cinematography. Many of the university's alumni occupy prominent roles within the industry. The Regent Street cinema will provide a platform for film students and professionals to come together and showcase their outstanding work.

The cinema will also play a key role at the center of our community: school programs, hands-on learning, debates and discussions will connect what we do with those around us. For all information https://www.regentstreetcinema.com

BFI London Film Festival

Here it comes again, the British Film Institute Festival is starting soon 5-16 October 2016. This year, the BFI London Film Festival celebrates its 60th anniversary.

Every film selected is chosen on the basis that the programme team believes in it, recognizes something exceptional about it. The Institute want to champion these filmmakers, to inspire, challenge and entertain audiences. It looks for cinema that reaches beyond our own experience, into new worlds and invented narratives. It actively seek out diversity, believing that all people have a desire, indeed a right, to see their stories on screen.

Immediately following the Festival, the BFI will launch the UK's biggest ever season of film and television dedicated to celebrating the range, versatility and power of black actors - Black Star. They want to amplify the ambitions and the purpose of the Black Star programme at the Festival.

Not only to celebrate black acting achievement, but to ask the searching questions that underpin this season. Questions about opportunity and aspiration, about the power to decide. Questions that have become increasingly urgent over the course of this year, intensified by the Black Lives Matter movement and by world events, including those close to home.