Length has always been something of a sore point, particularly if it is too small, too short or altogether just forgettable in its brevity, but there are some art forms where size doesn’t matter. With your mind firmly out of the gutter, I am of course referring to films, short films to be precise. Often overlooked in favour of its 90 minute plus counterparts, the short film is rightfully given a celebratory platform in the London Short Film Festival. Now in its ninth edition, the LSFF (see, brevity works), is widely recognised as the premiere UK showcase for cutting edge, home grown independent film. Screw you, Sundance. (Only joking, please let us come in April).
With screenings, industry events and late night shenanigans going on around London until Sunday 15 January, LSFF is swiftly concreting its reputation not only as a laudable date in any film fans calendar, but also for the party-seeking crowd as film, music and drinking merge themselves into a worthy threesome. It’s a hefty programme, but here are some suitably bite-sized highlights for this week.
Film meets Music, meets You at Screen Social in the ICA Bar on Thursday 12 January. Screen Social is a film and music mash-up aimed at those of us simply who like both, with a bold and inspiring mission statement to bring together a whole load of people who love film, but also music videos, animation and motion design.
LSFF teams up with Midnight Movies, this is a late-night Nightcap of surrealist dreams and nightmares – basically a terrifying night of cinema and cracked out japes to the tune of Jake & Dinos Chapman’s disturbing The Organ Grinder’s Monkey, featuring Rhys Ifans (pictured). Kicking off at 11.30pm, things are going to get dark.
Winners from the Underwire Film Festival 2011, a short film festival dedicated to reflecting the top British female talent working across the film industry, will be screened at Shortwave Cinema on Saturday 14 January, for free, from 2pm. Films include Best Director Chritsine Entwisle, Our Ordered Lives, Best Cinematographer Annika Summerson, House and Best Screenwriter Hope Dickson Leach with Morning Echo. A perfect way to while away a Saturday afternoon.
On Saturday 14 January, the Horse Hospital hosts OHMMM (Orchestra of Home Made Musical Machines), an art noise band made up of, you guessed it, home made musical machines. They’ll be performing a live improvised score to a specially commissioned ‘Noise-Umentary’ about the band Jazz Kunst. If you prefer your noise less arty, head to Rich Mix for Whirlygig Cinema & The Cabinet of Living Cinema as they present Making Tracks, a programme of short films alongside brand new live scores in a marriage of music videos, experimental film and animations.
On Sunday, the Closing Night Awards Ceremony at ICA will tie up the festival with a screening event during which the winners will be announced and screened, including Shooting People Film of the Month, British Council Award for Best New Short, Animate Projects Award for Best Experimental Short, Little White Lies Award for Best Lo-Budget Short and LoCo Award for Best Comedy Short.
There will also be a series of New Shorts screenings scattered throughout various venues in London so make sure you visit the website for full listings. Judging from previous years, expect everything from the heinous to the hilarious, disturbing to the downright sexy.
Full programme, times and locations are all available on the London Short Film Festival’s website.
Also, make sure you check out the official Festival trailer, produced on one reel of super-8 film by Straight 8.
London Short Film Festival runs until Sunday 15 January at various venues around London.
Image: Rhys Ifans in The Organ Grinder’s Monkey