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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 March 2007, 17:41 GMT
6m London film venue is unveiled
Photo by Nick Wall
The redevelopment cost 6m
The British Film Institute (BFI) has given a sneak preview of its new 6m venue on London's South Bank.

The redeveloped BFI Southbank complex - on the site of the former Museum of the Moving Image - will open to the public on 14 March.

BFI director Amanda Nevill described it as a "stepping-stone" to its long-term plan for a major new Film Centre.

The BFI stresses the current building has a "shelf life" and intends to move to a new site by 2012.

"The building is so worn out that we knew it wouldn't be able to function without a significant investment," said Ms Nevill.

In addition to the existing three cinemas, the venue will include the Mediatheque, offering free access to over 300 film and TV titles from the BFI archive.

Mediatheque at BFI Southbank. Photo by Matt Antrobus.
Mediatheque visitors can watch full-length films and short clips

The "digital jukebox" contains clips from the last 100 years, including feature length films such as Brief Encounter and The 39 Steps, an episode of Coronation Street, Jude Law's film debut and a dead elephant being cremated.

BFI Southbank has also revealed its film seasons this year, which include a retrospective dedicated to Italian film-maker Roberto Rossellini, which will include a visit by his daughter, actress Isabella Rossellini.

There will also be a tribute to US acting legend Marlon Brando, an 80th birthday tribute to film director Ken Russell and a major celebration of Laurence Olivier.

There will also be a major retrospective of Andy Warhol in September, as well as special screenings, talks and workshops.

BFI Southbank also features a new gallery to showcase work by film and video artists, and an education centre for schoolchildren and adult learners.

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