Daniel Green

Special Feature: LSFF10 returns to the nation’s capital

London’s finest short film festival, the LSFF, returns once again this year for its 10th incarnation (4-13 January), a decade on from its inaugural outing back in 2003. Widely recognised as the UK’s premiere showcase for short form fanatics – so often neglected in favour of its feature-length cousin – festival producer Cassandra Neal and director Philip Ilson have put together yet another stellar programme of works, from genre-riffing narratives to experimental think-pieces.With so few platforms left for aspiring directors, DoPs, editors and actors to hone their art within short filmmaking (gone are the days of significant TV and/or cinema exposure), the LSFF has never been more vital.

This year’s London Short Film Festival kicks off proper tomorrow evening (4 Jan, 6pm) with a stylish opening night launch party at London’s ICA, accompanied by several eclectic guest DJs and premium beer courtesy of LSFF sponsor Vedett. The first initial film screenings will then follow at 9pm, with big name contributions from Grabbers (2012) star Russell Tovey and Kiwi comic Jarred Christmas, who star together in Tom Edmunds’ Is This a Joke? – set within a world populated entirely by characters from classic jokes. Mixing funny ha-ha with funny peculiar, Edmunds is certainly one to watch.

Other highlights of this first night foray include Jake Lushington’s Will Self adaptation The North London Book of the Dead and Anthony James’ innovative The End has no End – made as part of ‘Five by One’ (5×1.co.uk), a new movement in filmmaking that challenges filmmakers to shoot one film, in one day, with one actor, in one location, all for less than £100. Both efforts show that great originality and passion lies within the short form, all the more refreshing in a cinematic climate so often blighted by lazy mega-money sequels and tired, samey Hollywood franchises.

The rest of the LSFF 2013 programme offers something for everyone; from ‘Funny Shit’ to ‘Fucked Up Love’, ‘Midnight Movies’ to ‘Youth of Today’. Hardly any style, genre or continent is left untouched, whilst those eager to find their own creative voice in the industry will be well-served by a series of incredibly informative talks and workshops. Comic actor/writer Alice Lowe, star of Ben Wheatley’s recent black British comedy Sightseers (2012), will be on-hand on 5 January to discuss her career to-date, as well as her rich collaboration with director Jacqueline Wright. Meanwhile, documentary specialists BritDoc will be in attendance on 8 January to discuss the contemporary climate of short documentary funding, exhibition and DIY distribution.

For LSFF veterans and newcomers alike, 2013’s lineup certainly shows the British and global short filmmaking community in rude, defiant health. This year, CineVue are proud to be among a fine host of the festival’s media partners, and will be bringing you as much content from the ten-day festivities as is possible, including reviews and interviews with those involved. We hope to see you there.

The 2013 London Short Film Festival runs from 4-13 January, 2013. For more info and and to book your tickets, visit shortfilms.org.uk.

Daniel Green

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