The magic of Hollywood will soon be sprinkled with a touch of Leeds after the Leeds International Film Festival was given the ultimate honour of being accepted as a qualifying event for the Oscars®.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organises the world’s most famous awards ceremony celebrating excellence in cinema, contacted the organisers of the Leeds International Film Festival this week to confirm it has been approved to become part of the Academy Awards® process.
This means that the winners of the annual World Animation and Louis Le Prince International Short Film awards at the Leeds International Film Festival, which is on now and runs until Sunday 20 November, can be nominated to win the Short Film category of the Oscars® from the 2013 ceremony onwards.
The announcement adds to the phenomenal success of this year’s Leeds International Film Festival, which has seen audiences rise by 20 per cent as UK’s biggest film festival held outside London celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Organisers Leeds City Council had already revealed the opening gala screening of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights had been the biggest and fastest-selling film in the history of the event, and now the festival is on course to reach its target attendance of 35,000 over its 18 days which began on 3 November and will see over 300 films being screened in total.
Leeds City Council executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:
“We are all absolutely thrilled that the Leeds International Film Festival has been approved as a qualifying event for the Oscars®. It is the ultimate accolade for anyone connected with cinema to be part of the Academy Awards® so as a city Leeds can feel very very proud. Everyone who has worked so hard to make the Leeds International Film Festival the fantastic event it is can take great credit for this amazing achievement.”