BFI Jazz and Film Weekend 12th-14th June

Here’s the short version: The British Film Institute and Ronnie Scott’s , also involving City Hall are planning an amazing weekend in June. Full details/ timings of it are on the BFI’s website

LondonJazz also has a long version, courtesy of Erica from New Zealand the most industrious press officer in London ….read on…. it’s amazing….. you know you want to!

BFI Jazz and Film Weekender: Celebrating Ronnie Scott’s at 50

The BFI Southbank is to be transformed into a hub of jazz music, film, and extraordinary archive images of London. From 12-14 June, the BFI will partner with legendary jazz club Ronnie Scott’s to celebrate its 50 years of jazz excellence, at the BFI Jazz and Film Weekender: Celebrating Ronnie Scott’s at 50.

This event also forms part of the BFI contribution to the Mayor of London’s new cultural initiative Story of London – an exciting month of events that celebrates the history and identity of our wonderful capital city.

The Weekender will see activities for all ages, observing London’s rich musical heritage and its representation in film and television. This programme of free and ticketed events will feature legends past and present, in person and on screen.

Aspiring young film-makers from all around Britain, aged between 11 and 18, are invited to enter the London in Motion film competition. The films will be judged by a celebrity panel including Sally Greene, OBE, Ronnie Scott’s jazz club proprietor and Chief Executive of London’s Old Vic Theatre; legendary jazz musician and composer Sir John Dankworth, CBE; actor Nick Hoult (Tony Stonem in E4 teen drama Skins and recently made his West End debut in the stage adaptation of William Sutcliffe’s novel New Boy); and young actor/writer Daniel Kaluuya (Kenneth and episode writer in Skins, and Barclay in the Easter Doctor Who special Planet of the Dead). Prizes will be awarded and winning films shown during the Weekender.

Throughout the Weekender, there will be live performances by Ronnie Scott’s musicians and budding performers will have a unique opportunity to take part in a two-day Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Youth Workshop culminating in a live set, or in the Friday night Open Jazz Jam that will be led by Ronnie Scott’s musicians. Party-goers can dress up and swing late into the night as we recreate the beat heyday at our 60s Jazz Scene party.

Jazz great Sir John Dankworth, CBE will join us on the Friday night for a Q&A after a screening of Joseph Losey’s Accident (1967), for which Dankworth composed the score. Dankworth will also be appearing onstage in the British Jazz Greats 1 programme in NFT1 to introduce a screening of Jazz on Four: 4 Up 2 Down (1983), which features Dankworth performing live with his Quintet. Dankworth’s talents as a composer can also be heard on the lush be-bop influenced soundtracks of two other classic Losey movies that screen over the Weekender – The Criminal (1960) and The Servant (1963). We will also be screening rare archive television footage of old jazz friends Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone (both filmed live at Ronnie’s), Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, as well as home-grown talent like Stan Tracey, Courtney Pine, Humphrey Lyttleton and John Dankworth.

There will be free screenings of London archive film in our plush Studio cinema; and visitors will also have the opportunity to be the first to experience our brand new Big Smoke touring archive programme, which will be accompanied by an exciting new jazz score performed live. Visitors can also create their own original film, using footage from the BFI National Archive, as we introduce our new online editing resource, Cutting Room. Cutting Room will soon be available to all internet users through the BFI’s unique online education resource, Screenonline: http://www.screenonline.org.uk. At BFI IMAX, film aficionados can put their knowledge to the test in our friendly London Film Quiz.

Throughout the Weekender, there will be live jazz performances over leisurely brunches and during warm summer evenings, as diners are offered meals and drinks deals to cater for all tastes.

There is a wealth of activities for families – children will be able to take part in film-making workshops, learn and perform song and dance routines, and enjoy lively London dress-ups and other free activities. Also on offer is the Film Funday, a monthly BFI event offering a Sunday of film fun for all of the family. The Film Funday screening is Carol Reed’s Oliver! (1968), the Oscar-winning take on the classic Dickens novel. For more, see Notes to Editors.
There are also many London-themed activities for children – they can write their own London storyboard for a film and enter it into our I Love London competition; and, taking inspiration from London’s famous landscapes, they can create a brand new building or transport system for Londoners, then bring them to life in our animation workshops.

Throughout BFI Southbank, there will be rare archive film and television footage of jazz greats, and of our capital city, in the Mediatheque, on the big screen, and in events across the venue.


About London in Motion film competition
Aspiring young film-makers from all around Britain, aged between 11 and 18 years, are invited to submit a short film (under three minutes) depicting London as a vibrant city in perpetual movement; a film that captures the sights, sounds and spirit of London.

The film could take inspiration from any of London’s sights – tubes, trains, shoppers, skaters, bikers, drivers, hoppers, joggers, jumpers, dancers, jugglers – anything that shows the pace, vitality and character of an extraordinary city on the move.

The films will be judged by a celebrity panel including Sally Greene, OBE, Ronnie Scott’s jazz club proprietor and Chief Executive of London’s Old Vic Theatre; legendary jazz musician and composer Sir John Dankworth, CBE; actor Nick Hoult (Tony Stonem in E4 teen drama Skins and recently made his West End debut in the stage adaptation of William Sutcliffe’s novel New Boy); and young actor/writer Daniel Kaluuya (Kenneth and episode writer in Skins, and Barclay in the Easter Doctor Who special Planet of the Dead).

The awards ceremony will take place during the BFI Jazz and Film Weekender and will be hosted by Iyare Igiehon, popular breakfast DJ with BBC black music digital radio station, 1Xtra.

The winning film will have a fantastic opportunity to have a new soundtrack scored and recorded by Ronnie Scott’s Artistic Director, James Pearson. This soundtrack will be performed live by the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Band at the BFI Jazz and Film Weekender, accompanying a showing of the winning film. This film will also receive BFI support to enter into short film and young people’s film festivals, and a copy of the film will also be placed for posterity in the BFI National Archive, joining hundreds of thousands of other titles that make up Britain’s rich screen heritage.

The top five competition winners will have their films shown during the BFI Jazz and Film Weekender. These films will also feature on digital screens across London and will have stills from their film on display at City Hall – all supported by the Mayor of London.

The competition closes on 29 May. Entrants can find more information and download an entry form at http://www.bfi.org.uk/futurefilm.


BFI Jazz and Film Weekender – film screenings

Screenings include

Jazz 625: The Dizzy Gillespie Quintet (1966), introduced by Humphrey Lyttleton

Chet Baker at Ronnie Scott’s (1988), the last film of Chet Baker playing before his untimely death, where he is interviewed by Elvis Costello

Ella Fitzgerald Swings (BBC 1965), featuring the grande dame herself in concert with the Oscar Peterson Trio and the Tommy Flanagan Trio

Oscar Peterson: Words and Music with Ella Fitzgerald (1980) showcases the old standards, with the perfect combination of Ella and Oscar

The Late Shift: Nina Simone Live at Ronnie Scott’s (1988) sees Charlie Gillett and Viviene Goldman discussing the place of Nina Simone in the jazz lexicon

Show of the Week: Louis Armstrong and His All Stars (1968) is a fantastically preserved colour recording with Armstrong performing as bandleader, trumpeter and singer.

Several films directed by Joseph Losey

Films with a jazz theme or soundtrack: The Intimate Stranger (1956), The Sleeping Tiger (1954), and Blind Date (1959) (with a score composed by Richard Rodney Bennett).

Scenes set in the capital abound in these movies (with even the Oxford-set Accident boasting a memorable trip to the capital involving the BBC and a night of adultery), with locations ranging from Chelsea and Kensington, King’s Cross and Heathrow, to Merton Park Studios and Wandsworth Prison.

Mediatheque programmes throughout the Weekender

Visitors will be able to come to the Mediatheque at BFI Southbank and watch, completely for free, hundreds of archive films about London. The London Calling collection has over 300 films featuring the city, with new titles being added all the time. Titles range from pioneer film-maker R.W. Paul’s Blackfriars Bridge (1896) to What Have You Done Today, Mervyn Day (2006), co-produced by band Saint Etienne and featuring the Olympic site before the bulldozers moved in.
In June, we are augmenting this city-wide collection with 50 titles from across last century, presenting a fascinating window on life in Lambeth and Southwark. Highlights will include Alexandra Day in Peckham (1913) and The Spirit of Lambeth (1962).

The BFI Southbank Mediatheque is open daily Tuesday 13.00 – 20.00; Wednesday – Sunday 11.00 – 20.00. Book in advance for a viewing station which can seat between one to four people, or simply turn up. Book for as little as 15 minutes or as much as two hours. Tel: 020 7928 3535 or simply turn up. Visitors can research what they would like to view in advance at: http://www.bfi.org.uk/mediatheque

Jazz in June season at the BFI

In the 50th anniversary year of Ronnie Scott’s , the BFI throughout the month of June presents a tribute to jazz, and to the extraordinary range of talents who have performed within the club’s walls. This season of jazz from the television archives showcases an eclectic mix of the best jazz performances, as well as seminal documentaries to place those performers in context. Many of the performances, such as those by Nina Simone and Chet Baker, were filmed at Ronnie Scott’s, while other programmes feature artists who had a strong connection with the club – such as Tubby Hayes, who was on the opening night bill back in 1959. Some have been chosen to represent the preferences of Ronnie Scott himself, as well as the tradition the club maintains for offering as wide a spectrum of jazz as possible.

Documentaries include a newly restored Bernard Braden interview with Ronnie Scott from 1968, as well as the whole of the acclaimed series Jazz Britannia (BBC 2005) which examines the roots of the movement in Soho and tracks the form through to its present-day resurgence. From classic 60s performances by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald to more contemporary performances by Chico Freeman and Courtney Pine, there is something for everyone at our Jazz Wednesdays throughout June, and during the Jazz and Film Weekender.

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1 reply »

  1. Seb:

    you missed one of Ronnie’s choice stories.

    “We get some great jazz fans in the club. Like Erwin Rommel. Did you know that Rommel was a great jazz fan? He used wander around the western desert shouting ‘Wes Montgomery? Wes Montgomery?'”

    Made me laugh.


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