No Time To Die has smashed box office records (Picture: Nicole Dove)
The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the film industry over the past year and a half, with productions being forced to shut down and cinemas closing.
However, things finally seem on the up, and the release of the iconic blockbuster and the return of in-person events like premieres and film festivals seem to signal a return to a semblance of normality.
‘It’s been really, really tough,’ she pointed out. ‘My biggest takeaway – and this is possibly my optimism – is around the resiliency of the industry.
‘Cinemas had to go down to 35% [capacity] at times, but they love their business so much that they stayed open for business even when there weren’t always loads of films to release at times.
‘Seeing audiences go back in those conditions has been inspiring and our ticket sales look fabulous, and Bond has really surpassed all expectations. That resilience feels very positive.’
Tricia Tuttle is the director of London Film Festival (Picture: Getty Images for BFI)
Tuttle added of releases at the moment: ‘It’s a really great confidence moment, it shows that if you put the work out there, audiences will go back.
‘In general, I’d love to think this is a moment of distributors having real confidence and putting their films out there so that cinemas do have the work to screen that’s going to keep audiences coming back.’
Meanwhile, although some filmmakers have spoken out against streaming releases, Tuttle doesn’t quite agree.
‘I think the way that we’ve modelled the festival this year feels like a really great one, where cinema experience is very central to what we’re trying to achieve but there are still ways to engage with the festival – I’ve always felt very positive about what it means for audiences to move back and forth and view work in different ways.
Christopher Nolan is one of the filmmakers to have spoken out against streaming releases (Picture: Getty Images)
‘That’s the future, that’s been happening for four decades, it’s not new to the pandemic. It’s not something we will ever be able to stop and this year has shown us different ways of working.’
Despite that, this year’s festival was always going to be in-person, although Tuttle knew the ‘risks’ with working to that plan.
‘We were lucky to be doing the heavy planning in the third lockdown early in the New Year and then seeing everything open up,’ she recalled. ‘When we had to lock in decisions about the type of festival we’d run, we were getting the reassurances from the government that they were trying to open slowly so that we wouldn’t have to have another lockdown.
‘There was a point when we opened up again when we had to say, “This is the festival we’re doing”. Another virtual-only festival, if we had to do that, we would have had to start planning that and decide that back in May or June.
‘While of course there are risks to deciding to do it, or deciding not to do it, the board really backed us on going back to a large-scale festival, for the main reason that this is how we serve audiences best.
‘Of course there’s uncertainty, of course there are risks, but it really felt like the right thing to do.’