Event profs create one-off BFI venue

Arena Group designed and built London’s largest temporary cinema venue as part of the 60th anniversary celebrations of BFI’s London Film Festival.

The festival, which took place on 5-16 October, featured interviews with Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker and appearances from Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman promoting their film Lion.

Throughout the 11-day festival, a total of 144 short films, 193 fiction and 52 documentary features were screened, including 18 world premieres, eight international premieres and 39 European premieres.

People Creative’s Tim Elliot was project director on behalf of BFI, and he worked with Arena Group to complete the installation, which was located in Victoria Embankment Gardens.

Phil Bish, Arena Group project director, said: “The temporary cinema installation was a unique project for Arena Group, and it was a pleasure to deliver such a unique structure.”

Drapes and rigging specialists Blackout also worked on the event, supplying a ground support structure for the cinema screen to be attached to.

Alex Duke, project manager for Blackout, commented: “People did a fantastic job at sorting out the transport logistics for the project, on a small site with a number of suppliers trying to complete complex elements of the job, it is imperative that the load-in schedule runs like clockwork.

“On an event site like a Royal Park, suppliers have to be mindful of their environments. It was testament to the skill and flexibility of the crew that they were able to adapt quickly to tight site restrictions, helping to create London’s largest temporary cinema.”