Leeds, part of film history since 1888

The world’s first films were made in Leeds in 1888 by Louis le Prince and today the city is a leading national centre for film culture. Leeds film culture includes fantastic new and historic cinemas, exciting film festivals throughout the year, special film events in landmark locations, four universities and colleges with dedicated film departments, a dynamic movement of societies and individuals organising their own film activities, and much more. Home to Channel 4 and Screen Yorkshire, Leeds is a major hub for film and television production and for talent development.

In a new series of blogs written especially for leedsfilm.com, Leeds-based researcher and film programmer Alice Miller explores the history of independent film exhibition in Leeds.

Leeds Film delivers and supports film culture through festivals and year-round activities

Supported by the British Film Institute, Leeds Film is part of Arts, Events and Venues (AEV) at Leeds City Council and based at Leeds Town Hall. Leeds Film organises three leading annual film festivals and year-round programmes and special projects in film exhibition and education.

Leeds Film's three annual film festivals are:

  • the Academy Award, BAFTA and BIFA-qualifying Leeds International Film Festival - LIFF (November);
  • the UK's largest family film event, Leeds Young Film Festival - LYFF (Easter);
  • and the North's leading film event for ages 16 to 25, the Independent Directions Film Festival - the INDIs (February).

Leeds Film's special projects and year-round programmes include:

  • Leeds Short Film Awards with eight competitions for new filmmaking talent including the Oscar-qualifying Leeds International Short Film Competition and World Animation Award;
  • Leeds Film Player - streaming platform including online versions of film festival programmes, LIFF Selects and Leeds Film Library;
  • LIFF Presents at Vue in The Light - year-round programme;
  • LIFF Supports, year-round audience development and sector support initiative for film culture in Leeds and Yorkshire;
  • INDIs Movie Nights at Carriageworks - year-round programme for ages 16 to 25;
  • INDIs Network and Young Programmers Group for ages 16 to 25;
  • BFI Leeds Film Academy – filmmaking course to help train and inspire the next generation of UK filmmakers;
  • Burberry Inspire – a multi-arts programme celebrating the impact of arts and culture on young people’s lives;
  • Disability Futures – a special project for LIFF 2022 about use of new technologies to increase access, film strand organised by Leeds Film in partnership with the University of Leeds and funded by the Wellcome Trust;
  • Films Femmes Afriques – a special project for LIFF 2022 featuring films by or about women from African countries in partnership with British Council, Leeds Migration Project, and the Film Femmes Afrique festival in Senegal;
  • Film Club at Cooperative Academy Leeds;
  • CPD training courses at Leeds Beckett University in partnership with Into Film.

Also part of Arts, Events & Venues at Leeds City Council are Leeds Town HallCarriageworks TheatreMillennium SquareLight Night LeedsLeeds International Concert SeasonLeeds International Beer Festival, and Leeds Ticket Hub.

Leeds Film Team

The Leeds Film Team is based at Leeds Town Hall and you can contact us by emailing leeds.film@leeds.gov.uk or calling (44) 0113 378 5999.

  • Chris Fell - Leeds Film Manager / Director, Leeds International Film Festival
  • Debbie Maturi - Leeds Young Film Manager / Director, Leeds Young Film Festival & INDIs
  • Alex King - Film Programme Manager
  • Jamie Cross - Production Manager
  • Lee Bentham - Development and Communications Officer
  • Molly Cowderoy - Senior Film Programmer
  • Alice Duggan - Programme and Production Coordinator
  • Eleanor Hodson - Youth Programme and Engagement Coordinator 
  • Ellie Hales - Volunteer Coordinator 

How to keep updated about Leeds Film activities

This website features information and listings for all Leeds Film activities. To make sure you receive the latest announcements and updates, sign up for our monthly newsletter using the form below and follow us on social media using the icons at the top of the page.