Cannes 2011: Empire Magazine Announces Big Screen Fest Details

Make no bones about it, the UK has been screaming out for a local equivalent to the sprawling and genius beast that is the San Diego Comic-Con, as well as something that offers “regular movie fans” the opportunity to enjoy a similar festival that takes into account their various levels of nerdery, without feeling like they are second-class behind hacks and those attendees who turn up in full Klingon gear every year without fail.

And now, thanks to Empire Magazine, British film-fest-fans are set to get their wish, with August seeing the inaugural Big Screen festival opening at the O2 and offering a so far unrivaled opportunity to get up close and personal with the movie world. I had the opportunity to meet the Empire team at a swanky, on-the-beach restaurant yesterday to find out some more details, and to be punched in the soul by the very best steak I have ever eaten. And I’ve eaten a lot of steak in my time.

The event is already backed by all the major studies, and with the promise of hot previews and premieres, it seems that we of Her Majesty’s Green and Pleasant Land might be bragging about seeing some new movie content before the rest of the world for once. And while it might seem a bloody long trek for Stateside festival goers, that has to be enough of a draw to pull some of you across the Atlantic come August 12th.

The event will have something for movie fans young and old, whether they be hard core film fans, the occasional cinema goer, those looking for something to do at a weekend and entire families – with a vast array of activities catering for all tastes and interests.

I’ve seen a map, and some early details and it all looks devilishly exciting – along with Big Screen theaters, which will show the preview material, Big Screen will be extended with ten Cineworld screens, a Special FX Arena (with shows), a Hollywood Boulevard (featuring props and costumes) and Studio City (where the studios get to show off). Unfortunately, the plan to have a Millennium Falcon land on the O2 arena never came to pass though.

So if you’re in the UK during the summer, or if you have deep enough pockets to allow a trip, I’d suggest looking in on the O2 Arena between the 12th and the 14th of August. It’s going to be big.

Remember to follow me on Twitter for more on-site observations. You can also check out my other filmic writings at

Cannes coverage continues…

Born to the mean streets of Newcastle, England the same year that BMX Bandits was cruelly over-looked for the Best Film Oscar, Simon Gallagher's obsessive love of all things cinema blossomed during that one summer in which he watched Clueless every day for six weeks. This is not a joke. Eventually able to wean himself off that particular dirty habit, and encouraged by the revelation that was One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, he then spent many years reviewing films on the underground scene, throwing away thousands of pounds on a Masters Degree in English in the process, before landing feet-first at the doors of British movie site, where you can catch his blend of rapier wit and morbid sardony on a daily basis. Simon is also a hopeless collector of film paraphenalia, and counts his complete Star Wars Mr. Potato Heads collection among his friends.

Read More from Simon Gallagher
Get Film School Rejects in your email. All the cool kids are doing it:
Previous Article
Next Article
Reject Nation
Leave a comment
Comment Policy: No hate speech allowed. If you must argue, please debate intelligently. Comments containing selected keywords or outbound links will be put into moderation to help prevent spam. Film School Rejects reserves the right to delete comments and ban anyone who doesn't follow the rules. We also reserve the right to modify any curse words in your comments and make you look like an idiot. Thank You!