London Action Festival Returns for Second Edition: ‘Art Movies Are Often Just Plays. Action Movies Are Movies’ (EXCLUSIVE)

After a blockbuster debut in 2022, the London Action Festival is set to return this summer for its second edition.

The festival is timed to be squarely in the middle of the summer action movie season. This summer will see the release of “Fast X,” “Kandahar,” “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts,” “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” and “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part One” in the May-July time frame and the festival will unspool June 21-25.

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Highlights of the inaugural edition included The World’s Greatest Screening Ever… Probably! – an enhanced screening experience of “Die Hard” with director John McTiernan; a making of “Jurassic World Dominion” with an Academy Award-winning VFX panel presented by Proof Inc. and director Colin Trevorrow participating; exclusive previews of season 2 of Sky original “Gangs of London” with director Corin Hardy and MARV’s “School Fight” from stunt coordinator turned director Damien Walters; and screenings of “Predator” and “Con Air” followed by panels with directors McTiernan and Simon West.

One of the most popular events at the festival was Friday Night Showdown, a variety show featuring McTiernan, Hardy and Edgar Wright with live music from James Bond composer David Arnold. The night was built around the annual Moving Target awards given out in recognition of outstanding contributions to the world of action films & TV. The event will return this year.

McTiernan was one of the Moving Target Award recipients in 2022. On the festival returning, McTiernan said: “‘Art’ movies are often just plays. Action movies are movies!”

Zygi Kamasa, group CEO of MARV, added: “We were delighted to support the Action Festival last year with our low budget action film ‘School Fight.’ The event brought industry, talent and audiences together in a unique way; and recognized the craftsmanship of all those who work in genre filmmaking that seldom get a look in when it comes to the awards season.”

Stuntman Vic Armstrong (the Indiana Jones, James Bond and Star Wars franchises) was also accorded a Moving Target award in 2022. Armstrong said: “I’m very proud that the action genre is being recognized with the London Action Festival. In the last 10 years or so, respect for our work has really come to the forefront and the Moving Target awards and attention given by this festival really highlights the importance of the work we do.”

Hardy added: “It was a joy to be a part of and to watch legends like Vic Armstrong get awarded with a Moving Target award and to celebrate this unique and important cinematic genre, which largely gets overlooked in the bigger festivals.”

The festival is co-founded by Julian Alcantara and Ron Fogelman along with financiers Lee Vandermolen – who serves as chair – and Stewart Peter. Broadcaster, critic and programmer Ashanti Omkar returns as the festival’s cultural curator. Information news service Den of Geek is returns as senior media sponsor for the event, with design services from Secret Origin Studios, a Den of Geek company. The advisory board includes Colin Burrows, Maria Giacchino, Ian Nathan and Den of Geek’s Mike Cecchini and Chris Longo.

Alcantara and Fogelman said: “There’s so much to look forward to this year and we’re excited to welcome new and returning fans to celebrate and immerse themselves in all things action again. Stay tuned for a world class line up.”

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