The ad, commissioned by The Times' parent company, News International, is designed to reflect the London-centric nature of the festival and the public's passion for film.
A 60-second execution features an obsessive director who spends his time dashing around London pretending to make a film.
He offers direction to members of the public including children in a playground, elderly people sat at a bus stop, pigeons and tourists.
The director is the only actor, with the various passers-by all unwitting participants.
In the closing scene, the director attempts to inspire a small timid dog to act for his imaginary cameras.
He says: "You are the hound of hell. OK. Action."
The endline states: "The Times BFI London Film Festival. Bringing film to the public."
Media planning and buying for the campaign was through Carat.
The ad breaks in cinemas nationwide this week and will run for three weeks before the festival's launch on 22 October.
The copywriter was Andy Clough with art direction by Richard McGrann. The dir-ector was Chris Palmer through the production company Gorgeous.