LSFF: A Guide to the London Film Festival

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London Film Festival Shorts Programmer, Philip Ilson discusses this year's shorts programme as well as the LSFF alumni to look out for!

LISA, GO HOME! Oksana Buraja / Lithuania, Estonia / 2012 / 27 min

The 57th BFI London Film Festival (9 – 20 October) launched its programme last week.

London Short Film Festival director Philip Ilson has curated 4 programmes of short films from open submission for the 2014 LFF, each one placed within the Festival’s themed strands:

DARE: You Took a Child and Made Them Old

Mon 14 Oct, 8.45, BFI Southbank / Thurs 17 Oct, 6.15pm, Screen on the Green

Without a moral compass and with their own boundaries outside of adult society, children can sometimes shock by their actions. For example, a child’s outlook on death can seem horrifying, but these filmmakers dare to show us disturbing and uncomfortable situations and tell stories in which children set their own parameters. Includes work from Iraq, Lithuania, Denmark, Canada, Spain, Sweden and from the UK (including animation from the RCA and new work from Rankin Films directed by Deborah Haywood).

JOURNEY: Everything Good is Happening Somewhere Else

Fri 11 Oct, 6pm, BFI Southbank / Sun 13 Oct, 12.45pm, ICA

Escaping from situations we don’t want to be in, or undertaking a journey to experience a new life, are explored in these films. Sometimes those epic journeys can be life changing or – maybe it’s an intimate trip closer to home. Regardless, we all need to leave our comfort zone, even if things don’t quite turn out the way we expect. Includes work from the US, Netherlands, Latvia, Germany, Romania, Turkey and the UK (including the new film from Jane Linfoot). Plus a new short directed by Jonas Cuarón, the son of Alfonso who’s feature GRAVITY is in the main Festival.

DEBATE: Shiny Happy Fits of Rage

Tues 15 Oct, 8.30pm, BFI Southbank / Fri 18 Oct, 1pm, ICA

Religion, sex, politics and borders are all under the 21st-century magnifying glass and the films here ask questions about how we live life today. Religion can create confrontation. Do we know who really rules the world? And what do we have to do to be considered crazy? A thought-provoking selection to take the discussion to the bar afterwards. Includes work, both fiction and documentary, from Iran, Germany, France, Switzerland and the UK (including BEAT starring Ben Whishaw).

CULT: Freaks ‘n’ Geeks

Sun 13 Oct, 8.45pm, BFI Southbank / Sun 20 Oct, 3pm, Rich Mix

Co-curated by Simon Young. A selection of films drawing on cult genres of cinema; stories of outcasts and freaks, of people who don’t quite fit in, or who unexpectedly encounter society’s others. The cult of personality looms, from the religious to the rock star but relationships closer to home can also turn life upside-down. Includes work from Spain, France, Switzerland and the UK (including DRONE starring Ewan Bremner, and new work from UK directors Karan Khandhari, Chris Shepherd, Jonathan Romney, and writer Jesse Armstrong of Peep Show and The Thick of It).

Please also check out the shorts programmes curated by Simon Young: which include new work by LSFF alumni Jamie Stone, Jack Weatherley, Matt Kirkby, Simon Ellis, Stephen Leslie, Michael Pearce, Andrew Brand and Chris Foggin:

LOVE: Love Will Conquer All

LAUGH: The Best Medicine

THRILL: Bizarre Ride

And take a look at the shorts as part of Experimenta, including new work by LSFF alumni Michael Salkeld, Sam Firth and Duncan Reekie:

EXPERMENTA: Contained Movement

We’d also like to big up filmmakers who have screened shorts at previous editions of the London Short Film Festival who have features screening within the Festival:


SIXTEEN (Rob Brown) 

GONE TOO FAR! (Destiny Ekaragha) 

HELLO CARTER (Anthony Wilcox) 

A SPELL TO WARD OFF THE DARKNESS (Ben Rivers, with Ben Russell)