When: 12th – 21st January 2018
Where: At various venues in London
£: Ticket prices vary, depending on the event
What is it?
This year’s London Short Film Festival (LSFF) will be screening more than 500 UK and international short films over 10 days, from Friday 12th to Sunday 21st January.
Celebrating its 15th year, LSFF aims to be a beacon of inclusive and ground-breaking film-making from a diverse range of backgrounds. The festival will be showing a huge selection of UK and international short films across music, culture, and politics.
The 15th anniversary programme will include We Dare To Fail, a strand that screens the early LSFF entries from uncompromising auteur filmmakers. There will be shorts shown from Francis Lee (God’s Own Country), Hope Dickson-Leach (The Levelling), and Alice Lowe (Prevenge). The celebratory retrospective will also feature shorts from the directors behind The Greasy Strangler, Berberian Sound Studio, Couple in a Hole, Spaceship, Gone Too Far, True West, and Nina Forever. There are also early-career cameos from the likes of Michael Fassbender and Danny Dyer.
Brexit Shorts: Dramas From A Divided Nation will mark the one year anniversary of the divisive decision to leave the EU, with new short films from notable scriptwriters and actors in response to the referendum. A panel discussion with Jess Gormley and Noah Payne-Frank (Guardian), and Amy Hodge (Headlong Theatre) will be followed by a performance from one of the actors in the films. Screenwriting and acting talent involved in the shorts will include Maxine Peake, Abi Morgan, Kristen Scott Thomas and Penelope Wilton.
Other highlights from the programme will include trailblazing films from Iranian poet Forough Farrokhzad (in partnership with MUBI), video artist William E Jones’ reclaiming of police surveillance footage of the gay community in 1960s Ohio, and LSFF’s own With Teeth artists premiering newly commissioned experimental AV work. Ngozi Onwurah is the first Black British woman to have a feature film released in UK cinemas (Welcome II The Terrordome,1995), and there will be a legacy screening of her rare works, for which Onwurah will be in attendance. Plus, pioneering lesbian filmmaker Barbara Hammer will be answering questions following a screening of her films.
There will also be a retrospective of Dawn Shadforth’s music video back catalogue, looking at the work of pop doyennes Kylie Minogue, Bjork, Sugababes, and Peaches. Other music video events will include a new visual project from Domino, in celebration of their long association with LSFF.
A brand new competition strand to celebrate the 15th anniversary, made up of six programmes, will exemplify the festival’s commitment to diversity and continual audience development. The 36 selected films take in migration, prejudice, survival and the darker side of family life, and dissect everything from the entertainment industry to reality itself. The short film jury will include French filmmaker Lucile Hadžihalilović, international short film festival curator Lili Hartwig, and Fish Tank actress Katie Jarvis.
The core of this year’s LSFF is the New Shorts section; a programme of short films selected from 2500 open submissions into the festival, with popular categories including Funny Shit, Leftfield & Luscious and Lo-Budget Mayhem, alongside new themes around identity, visibility and relationships.
LSFF will be screening films at important cultural landmarks in London’s film community, including the ICA, which has hosted LSFF every year since it began, as well as Rich Mix in Shoreditch, Regent Street Cinema Curzon Soho, the Rio Cinema in Dalston, BFI Southbank and the MOTH Club in Hackney.
2018 will also showcase new With Teeth projects. LSFF’s long-term short film commissioning fund aims to become a solid support base for the most exciting emerging cinematic voices and auteurs, supported by Arts Council England National Lottery Funding. Tash Tung, Kim Noce and Zoe Aiano, will premiere newly commissioned experimental work that uses a range of unconventional AV techniques to enhance and communicate beautiful and nuanced stories.
As a champion of diverse and inclusive film, LSFF continues to see a huge contribution from women, LGBT and BAME filmmakers, and in a festival first will introduce a programme led by and for the D/deaf community.
More info: shortfilms.org.uk