Red carpet treatment: Tim Burton invites you to his latest premiere


First there were the tuxedos and ballgowns of Hollywood; then came Z-list celebrities. Now, 85 years after a talking film was first shown in a cinema, the institution that is "the premiere" has reached the everyman.

Days after England's most northerly town – Berwick-upon-Tweed – hosted the UK premiere of one of the year's biggest blockbusters, Resident Evil: Retribution, the European debut of director Tim Burton's latest animation will be beamed live into cinemas across Britain, heralding a trend in the democratisation of gala screenings.

Where, in bygone years, the first showing of Burton's 3D film Frankenweenie would have been seen by only a privileged few on one of the capital's biggest screens, film fans all over the country will be able to watch a live stream of the premiere. Ticketholders to the more than 200 regional screenings will see Burton and actors who voiced the film, including Winona Ryder, walk the red carpet when Frankenweenie 3D opens the British Film Institute's 56th London Film Festival on 10 October. The movie is a remake of Burton's 1984 short film of the same name, in which he parodied 1931 film Frankenstein. In Burton's homage, a boy named Victor loses his dog and uses the power of science to bring it back to life. Clare Stewart, the BFI festival director, said: "It's really great to be able to take the festival out more broadly and to engage audiences across the country." The festival also features the first showing of the Rolling Stones documentary Crossfire Hurricane, attended by the band and streamed to 150 cinemas in the UK, Ireland Denmark, Malta and the Netherlands.

The BFI festival follows the lesser-known Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, which last week premiered Resident Evil: Retribution on a 35mm projector 345 miles north of London.

The much-anticipated The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, starring the British actors Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf, will have its world premiere in New Zealand, where shooting took place.