Special Feature: LSFF8 presents Leftfield & Luscious

Last Sunday, CineVue were lucky enough to be invited along to the final day of the 2011 London Short Film Festival at London’s ICA. The ten-day annual event which took place from the 7 to 16 January has been responsible for championing some of the finest, most innovative shorts from some truly talented upcoming filmmakers. Formed in 2003 by Philip Ilson and Kate Taylor and initially under the guise of the first Halloween Short Film Festival, the London Short Film Festival reached the form we see today in 2008. The final day of this year’s festival – entitled ‘Leftfield & Luscious’ – gave audience members the opportunity to see some of the most ground breaking, critically acclaimed shorts from the last 12 months.

This Chair is Not Me (dir. Andy Taylor Smith): A multi-award winner on last year’s festival circuit -including the ‘Digital Revolutions Prize’ at the 2010 Sheffield Doc/FestAndy Taylor Smith’s superb directorial debut documents the challenging life Alan Martin, an individual born with a severe of form cerebral palsy, which lead to him being essentially wheelchair-bound since birth. Smith’s uplifting, formatively challenging piece documents two pivotal moments in Alan’s life: his escape from the confines of his home leading to an impromptu trip to London, and the introduction of speech synthesising technology that allowed Alan to finally find a voice. Also features original music from upcoming composer Samuel Karl Bohn.

Until the River Runs Red (dir. Paul Wright): Proof, if proof be needed, of the vital role that the NFTS (National Film & Television School) plays in developing new talent in the UK and beyond. The recent announcement that the film has been nominated for Best Short at this year’s Baftas will only surprise those who have yet to see Wright’s superb 38-minute concoction of mystery, child abduction and religious rhetoric. One of the finest calling cards from a new director in recent years and a worthy addition to an already impressive roster of shorts.

Slick Horsing (dir. Kiron Hussain): Awarded the ‘Animate Projects Award’ for Best Experimental Film, a bemused yet modest Hussain went on to explain how his visually distinct, noirish animation Slick Horsing was created in the confines of his own bedroom over a relatively short period. A worthy winner, despite strong competition.
Little Deaths (dir. Ruth Lingford): Coming in as the final film of LSFF 2011, Lingford’s short explores the concept of ‘orgasm as death’, combining real life accounts and testimonies from interviewees with some spectacular, Enter the Void-esque visuals.

Spin (dir. Max Hattler): Which brings us to Max Hattler’s fantastically bizarre, deliciously satirical Spin, a madcap cross between Singin’ in the Rain (1952)Full Metal Jacket (1987) and A Town Called Panic (2009) the film portrays a synchronized group of dancing toy soldiers as the melt, maim and gun each other down.

Daniel Green