Leeds International Film Festival 2010 hailed as blockbusting hit

Leeds International Film Festival is celebrating its own little piece of box office history.

This year's movie extravaganza was today confirmed as the most successful since the annual event was first held in 1987.

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The 18-day festival's 250-plus screenings attracted a record total of 29,000 people - around 20 per cent up on last year's figure.

Organisers believe the increase was partly down to the bold decision to make Leeds Town Hall the focal point of the 2010 event. During the festival the Grade I listed building's stunning Victoria Hall was transformed into a state-of-the-art cinema with seating for 800 people.

And the team behind the celluloid bash has pledged that the Town Hall will again be given a starring role when it is held for the 25th time next year.

Event director Chris Fell said: "These audience figures only go to show how popular and important this festival is.

"For our silver anniversary next year it will be bigger and better than ever before.

"We'd like to thank everyone who attended this year for making it such an incredible event."

The King's Speech and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest were two of the headline-grabbing films shown at the city council-backed festival, which ran from November 4 to 21.

Another highlight was Thought Bubble, a celebration of comic book culture that saw superheroes Wonder Woman and Captain America paying a flying visit to the city.

Venues used alongside the Town Hall included Hyde Park Picture House, the HiFi Club, the University of Leeds and Saviles Hall at the Royal Armouries.

Leeds Brewery, Northern Rail, Bewley's Hotels and film agency Screen Yorkshire were among sponsors and supporters.

* The King's Speech has seven nominations for next month's Golden Globe awards in the US. Partly filmed in Leeds, it tells the story of King George VI's struggle to overcome his stammer.

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