For the 12th year, London Short Film Festival returns with an outstanding programme of events and short films. Running 9 – 18 January at ICA, Hackney Picturehouse and Oval Space, the festival aims to be as confrontational as ever and prove that the UK is truly a hotbed of film creativity. This year, LSFF received an 1,500 submissions in total, including international submissions for the first time, as such the event is sure to showcase the innovation of short filmmakers today.
The festival hosts 34 programmes of predominantly new UK work. The selected shorts offer a snapshot of 21st century Britain: love stories, horror stories, comedy, documentary, music and lo-budget gems. In addition, the themed programmes include perennial favourites such as Fucked Up Love, Lo-Budget Mayhem, Night of the Living Docs, Surreal Worlds, Teenage Girls Go Crazy! and Funny Shit, to newer selections, such as Tales of the Unexpected, WTF: Outside the Box, Gothic! and A Musical Box. Plus a chance to see longer work in Long[er] Docs and Short Longes.
Aside from the themed strands, Hackney Picturehouse will present LSFF Industry Programme, running 10 – 17 January. This special series of events will include workshops from Mofilm, Britdoc and British Council Film. LSFF also runs Happy Hour Drinks for filmmakers on Monday 12 – 15 January, 6-7pm. Meanwhile, the ICA will play host to LSFF’s experimental new short film programmes, including the regular Leftfield & Luscious alongside Celluloid Traces and a showcase of the best of UK animation, plus special events.
Uniting music and film, Arts Council England have funded a commission for electronica artiste Gazelle Twin to collaborate with experimental animator Carla Mackinnon to create a new live show. Audiences can see the performance at the ICA on 15 January (before touring to Watershed, Bristol and FACT, Liverpool in Spring ‘15). Gazelle Twin currently appears in the Music Feature of Aesthetica Issue 62. LSFF has also teamed up with Branchage Festival to present its commission of Jersey-based band SEMU CA’s new score to the bizarre classic silent documentary Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages.
A number of special screenings include, Is it peculiar that she twerks in the mirror?, a panel about female representation in music video; Andrew Kotting and Iain Sinclair in conversation, discussing their new project By Our Selves; short film screenings in association with Short Sighted Cinema, particularly Sketch Night, mixing funny shorts with live comedy; a night of queer short film and music in New Queer Visions; a retrospective of award winning short films by BAFTA nominated Simon Ellisfollowed by a Q&A and much more.
Housing in the capital is discussed in FOURWALLS, an exciting new short film project which aims to give Londoners an opportunity to express their views about issues with residing in the capital. A jury of housing, ﬁlm and design industry experts, chaired by David Lammy MP, will shortlist the most compelling and thought-provoking short ﬁlms to premiere at LSFF. The top prize is £1,000.
The nine day film festival is set to celebrate short film in all its forms; crossing artistic genres into performance and music, and showcasing international talent. The best films of the festival are highlighted at the awards night party on 17 January, where LSFF will join forces with Domino Publishing to host a party where specially invited Domino bands will perform and LSFF Award Winners will be announced.
London Short Film Festival, 9 – 18 January, at ICA, Hackney Picturehouse and Oval Space.
1. Celluloid Traces, courtesy of London Short Film Festival.