London Short Film Festival

(10 - 19 January 2014)

"Art revolves around creating something that isn't there", says Kathleen Hanna (ex of groundbreaking bands Bikini Kill and Le Tigre); Hanna is a figure close to London Short Film Festival's heart, with an unflinching dedication to an independent cause with her music and art, and because of this we open the 11th Festival with The Punk Singer, a documentary feature film about her.

At a time when supposedly everything has been done, with nothing new out there, Hanna's quote is a contradiction, as filmmakers can raid a whole history of over a hundred years of images and pictures to create new work. Stealing is essential to create something where there is nothing, and that empty space is there to be filled with images and stories by any means necessary. Nothing is sacred anymore. With a record 32 programmes in this year's LSFF of new short films selected from 1200 open submission entries, we hope to put even more images up there for future filmmakers to steal. LSFF is also filling spaces all over London with images, creating a community of filmmakers and film lovers; as well as our regular cinemas such as ICA, Curzon Soho, Hackney Picturehouse, Riverside Studios and others, we've spread out south to the Victorian environs of Horniman Museum and east into the bars of Dalston and Hackney. We're also filling the spaces with debate with a new series of panel lectures 'Discussion @ LSFF'. Maybe audiences will be inspired to start up their own screening nights or festivals, to steal from LSFF as the next generation of film exhibitors.

We hope that visitors to the Festival are inspired to steal for their art; perhaps an image seen will inspire a new film, or an event will spark an idea to start something up. After all, a film isn't just for LSFF, it's for life!

New Shorts:

We see the return of our regular programmes curated from open submission, such as our Opening Night screening FUNNY SH*T, and perenial faves FEMMES FANTASTIQUE, LEFTFIED & LUSCIOUS, LO-BUDGET MAYHEM, TEENAGE GIRLS GO CRAZY!, GOD'S LONELY MEN, GLOBAL STORIES, MUSIC & VIDEO and F*CKED UP LOVE, plus some new selections. Watch out for CELLULOID TRACES bringing together filmmakers working with film stock in a series of experimental and documentary films, and NORTH AMERICAN with filmmakers looking for stories across the pond. THE GOTHIC & THE GROTESQUE is a programme collaboration with the BFI Gothic season, and a late-night THRILLER! selection is adrenaline fuelled mayhem. Many well known faces crop up in some of our shorts, so watch out for Sally Hawkins, Ben Whishaw, Josie Long, Stephen Mangan, Maxine Peake, Alice Lowe, Michael Smiley, Hugh Bonneville, George MacKay, Ewan Bremner, Miranda Hart, Rutger Hauer, Jack Whitehall, MacKenzie Crook, and Jessica Bardem.

Documentary is also important to LSFF and we see the return of our essential epic NIGHT OF THE LIVING DOCS and our afternoon of LONG[ER] DOCS, both in the relaxed environs of the Roxy Bar & Screen. Plus international portraits in A WINDOW ON THE WORLD and a new programme of more experimental documentary filmmaking in HINTERLANDS & FRONTIERS. In fact, we screen more documentary short film than any other UK film festival.


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A big thank you to all of our awards sponsors this year, winners will be announced throughout the festival.

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We join forces with Lighthouse / BFI to present the work of award winning documentary filmmaker Eva Weber and filmmaker Jane Linfoot on the cusp of her first feature; both filmmakers will be in attendance for a Q&A.

We also focus on the filmmaking of Tony Grisoni, best known for his scripts for Terry Gilliam, Michael Winterbottom, and TV's Red Riding and Southcliffe.

Animator Chris Shepherd presents a selection of his work, and his move into live action filmmaking.


We present a spectacular live visual and aural remix of A Field In England by Teeth of the Sea (in association with the Cork Film Festival), for a chance to see Ben Wheatley's groundbreaking 2013 cult film in an original psychedelic experience.

Harpist and songwriter Serafina Steer performs in the Victorian splendour of Horniman Museum, alongside the work of animator Sam Steer.

We present a night of video retrospective and visuals with Ghost Box Records and their hauntological sounds and images, including a DJ set from St Etienne's Bob Stanley.

Lisa Gunning will discuss her new Goldfrapp video project Tales of Us (in association with I Am Dora).

There's another chance to see Streetwise Opera present their new music and filmic spectacle The Answer To Everything.

Making Tracks return to the Festival to present live music by The Cabinet of Living Cinema alongside a programme of short films, in association with Whirlygig Cinema.

We are excited to open this year's Festival with a new feature documentary The Punk Singer, following the career of Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, followed by a 2 Hot 2 Handle party in the bar. Drinks sponsored by Lagunitas Brewing Company.

We also present some live music in the ICA bar on our second Friday, with performances from singer songwriter Mat Motte and electronic outfit Astrothrone.

Partner programmes:

Club des Femmes and Open City Docs join forces to present the recent work of veteran experimental filmmaker Vivienne Dick, including the UK premiere of Vivienne's latest film, The Irreduicible Difference of the Other. Dick in conversation afterwards.

Peccadillo and Fringe! present Pseudofruit: Spoils shorts and visuals in Dalston's Power Lunches, all for free!

One For Ten present their groundbreaking series of short documentaries looking at the America death penalty system.

We join Bristol Encounters Short Film Festival and Soho Shorts to present a Music Video Showcase playing for free in pop-up East London bars including Dream Bags & Jaguar Shoes, Power Lunches and Bar Kino.

Collabor8te return to LSFF to present their latest work with Rankin Films.

Chocolate Films present their 1000 Londoners filmmaking scheme to celebrate London's diversity.

We're excited to launch the new straight 8 app with a filmmaking challenge across the 10 days of the Festival.

We'll also be screening competition films created earlier in 2013 in association with Bestival music festival and Tatty Devine jewellery.

Discussion @ LSFF:

For the first time, the Festival presents a series of debates and discussions about topics and issues relating to film theory and practise, illustrated by films and clips:

Film Critic to Film Maker (in association with Lighthouse) looks at historical and recent movements in film critics turning their hand to directing.

Film Will Eat Itself (in association with Charlie Lyne of Ultraculture) looks at collage films - the art of making films out of other films.

I Want to be a Cinema (in association with Scalarama and Kino Bingo) will be a mix of interactive workshop and discussion for people that want to show films to other people.

Industry @ LSFF:

The London Short Film Festival is proud of its extensive free film industry events, workshops and panels, with our many Festival partners such as Film London, Sheffield Doc/Fest, The British Council, BFI Future Film, LoCo London Comedy Film Festival and others. Plus a series of Festival networking opportunities with organisations such as Mosaic Films, Cinema Jam, and our own popular Afternoon Tea

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The British Council:

We're thrilled to be working with the British Council Film team for a second year running to bring over a delegation of programmers from festivals across Europe. Representatives from Brest, Oberhausen, Milano , Wiz Art Ukraine, Hamburg, Ad Arte, Interfilm Berlin, Kinemastic Malta, Emden, Sundance and Torino Film Lab will be in attendance from 10th - 14th to soak up the best new UK work. They will take part in a Future of Festivals panel, and UK filmmakers will have an opportunity to hear all about the Torino Film Lab and how best to engage with the event.

The British Council continues to support the Best New UK Short Film Award, with £1000 going to the winning film.

LSFF Highlights:
Film Will Eat Itself Retrospective and Q&A: Tony Grisoni - Screenwriter & Filmmaker Teeth of the Sea: A Field in England Remix (in association with Cork Film Festival)
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An evening with Serafina Steer Club des Femmes & Open City presents Vivienne Dick Retrospective and Q&A: Eva Weber - Documents (in association with Lighthouse)
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One For Ten: A Tall Order For Short Docs Retrospective and Q&A: Ghost Box Records I am Dora: Lisa Gunning explores Tales Of Us
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