Photo-polymerisation of liquid crystalline di-acrylates is a very versatile method to produce homogeneously aligned polymer films. The orientation of the liquid crystals and hence the anisotropic optical properties of the films are frozen in by the photo-polymerisation process. Homogeneously aligned nematic liquid crystals form birefringent films that find application as retarders, while splayed nematic liquid crystalline mixtures form, angle dependent birefringent films that find application as wide viewing angle foils. In addition, cholesteric liquid crystals form reflecting films that can be used as colour filters or polarisers and smectic liquid crystals form highly ordered films that find application as polarisers. Moreover, modulating the light during the manufacturing process either in lateral or in-depth direction of the film can create complex structures not attainable with liquid crystalline polymers. All these films are mechanically, thermally and chemically stable and therefore very suitable to be processed in liquid crystal display manufacturing as additional films or as in-cell optical components.