Review: The London Short Film Festival

Last week the London Short Film Festival (LSFF) came to a feisty end after ten days showcasing a selection of captivating short films from Britains finest film-making talent.

From the 12th to the 21st January, the festival screened over 500 UK and international shorts, taking place at various independent cinemas across London, including the history-steeped Rich Mix and the ICA in Piccadilly.

Other screenings took place at iconic London cinemas such as The Regent Street Cinema, Curzon Soho, the Rio Cinema in Dalston and the BFI Southbank.

The LSFF began as The Halloween Short Film Festival in 2003 at the ICA, before morphing into the London Short Film Festival in 2008. It became revered for its eclectic selection of short films, industry parties and live music events. The festival celebrates film-making from a diverse range of backgrounds, focusing on a plethora of genres, including music, culture, sexuality and politics.

Brexit ShortsDramas From A Divided Nation marked the one year anniversary of the UK’s controversial decision to leave the EU, and showcased new short films from renowned scriptwriters and actors in response to the referendum. A panel discussion with Jess Gormley, Amy Hodge and The Guardian’s Noah Payne-Frank was followed by a special performance from one of the actors in the films.

Such is Life, Stuart Elliot

A major champion of diversity, the LSFF continued to see a huge contribution from women and LGBT figures. This included the powerful short film compilation – New queer visions and films by pioneering lesbian filmmaker Barbara Hammer, who also took part in an insightful Q&A post screening session.

There was a gripping retrospective of Dawn Shadforth’s music video back catalogue, focusing on the work of pop gurus Kylie Minogue, Bjork, Sugababes, and Peaches. Other music video events included a group-breaking visual project from Domino, in celebration of their long association with the festival.

Funny Shit – the compilation of humorous shorts, included the moving tale of a black gay teen paying tribute to his music-loving grandfather by partaking in a latex-clad dance at his funeral. As funny as this was, my firm favourite had to be the hilarious short film, The Lion – a hilarious depiction of a corporate recording session imploding when an experienced voice over artist is pushed to his limits with the finicky demands of annoying clients.

Pagey Cakey

The closing party at the ICA had to be the icing on the festival’s quirky cake, for it featured live performances from talented female MCs Lady Lykez and Paigey Cakey, who coaxed the crowd into a feisty frenzy with their powerful grime performances.

We adored Pagey Cakey’s bolshy tune, “I don’t need a boyfriend.”- a female empowering “sod off” to modern day patriarchy, and Lady Lykez stirred up some self love with her punchy rap homage to hair extensions.

Roll on next year’s festival…


Mitra Msaad

Editor in Chief