Speaking ahead of the festival, which begins tonight with the world premiere of Idris Elba and Regina King western The Harder They Fall, Ms Tuttle said the release of No Time To Die was a “watershed moment” for the film and cinema industries.
The LFF director suggested that Daniel Craig’s last outing as 007 would play a big part in encouraging people back to the cinema and therefore through festival doors.
No Time To Die had the highest opening weekend UK takings of any Bond movie — £25.9 million between Friday and Sunday — box office trackers Comscore confirmed on Tuesday.
Ms Tuttle said: “It is great that Bond is going before us as I think people will get their sea legs back. It is the beginning of the big studios having confidence in releasing their films. It is an undeniable watershed moment. I have seen a lot on social media of people saying this is the first moment they are going back to the cinema.”
Festival organisers hope it will inspire people to attend the 12-day celebration of cinema, which will screen 159 films at venues across the capital. Highlights include Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog, directed by Jane Campion, and Spencer — the Diana, Princess of Wales film starring Kristen Stewart.
Ms Tuttle said: “It is going to be a fantastic year. I believe there is something for everyone in the programme.”
Last year, the festival was mainly digital due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Ms Tuttle said this year’s event was a way Londoners could celebrate “being back in collective viewing environments”, adding: “I think everyone who loved cinema has missed doing that.”
The 65th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express takes place until October 17. For information and tickets: bfi.org.uk/lff