The London Short Film Festival (LSFF) has just announced its full 2019 programme.
Screening hundreds of UK and international short films, the ten-day London Short Film Festival (LSFF) event will see films spanning across a number of themes and interests, including music, culture, and politics, as well as strands specifically focusing on LGBTQ+ and BAME voices.
The event, now in its sixteenth year, will run from 11th-20th January. Notable names on the programme’s LGBTQ+ strand include Mykki Blanco, Pratibha Parmar, and Derek Jarman.
As a beacon of inclusive and groundbreaking filmmaking, this year’s programme features a diverse range of backgrounds. This year, the festival will see a focus on alternative ’80s culture, a moment bringing outsider art across to the mainstream.
New programming partnerships include Africa Is A Country, the Stuart Hall Foundation and London Migration Festival looking to the self-authored black British presence on screen and taking stock of academic Stuart Hall’s televisual legacy with the event ‘It (still) Ain’t Half Racist Mum’.
The screening and roundtable event will include artist Hetain Patel’s ‘Don’t Look at the Finger’, which uses choreography and sign to show how historical cultural traditions and languages can become blurred and entangled.
‘Now! That’s What I Call ’80s Short Film’ screens the formative calling cards of the decade’s graduating class, now established prolific British directors among the industry’s greats, including Clio Barnard, Andrew Kötting, Sally Potter, and Harry Potter’s David Yates. Meanwhile, ‘Nasty Stuff: Basket Case’ curated by Prano Bailey-Bond in association with Cigarette Burns Cinema screens the 1982 low-budget horror, which was caught up in the UK’s Video Nasty scare, shown on 35mm for extra scares.
‘Club des Femmes’ will screen queer films in a bid to spread a message to #FuckTrump. These short works, new and old, remind us another radical world is possible and that queer filmmakers and artists have always been at the forefront of the struggle.
The screening will include Pratibha Parmar‘s visionary document of queer feminist Black Power, ‘A Place of Rage’ (accompanied by its rarely screened experimental short sister ‘A Poem About My Rights’ featuring June Jordan) here meets Adinah Dancyger’s anti-Trump re-up of Zoe Leonard’s poem ‘I Want A Dyke For President’ performed by Mykki Blanco. To be followed by CDF’s So Mayer and speaker Nazmia Jamal bringing the legacy of ‘A Place Of Rage’ into the urgent present.
‘Behind the Wall: Short Films from the GDR’ will open the event, commemorating 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Closing night will celebrate the black women redefining Afrofuturism through their electronic experimentation in ‘No Woman Is An Island’ where Nkisi (UIQ) will be performing an exclusive live performance.
Looking to the kaleidoscopic music videos, ‘Derek Jarman: The Music Videos’ will explore the queer iconoclast’s vast videography featuring the likes of The Smiths, Pet Shop Boys and Marianne Faithful. Music videos from the likes of Underworld, Years & Years, and Chloe X Halle will also take centre stage as part of the ‘Music & Video’ screening session exploring some of the most innovative of music visuals.
Elsewhere, ‘Sideshow Grotesquerie’ will explore the body’s beauty at its most grotesque and manipulated across a series of live performance and film. Here, performer and provocateur Natalie Sharp (Lone Taxidermist) will curate cake-sitting with short film. Work by Rachel MacLean, Ross Blake, David Lewandowski, Jasmine de Silva, Bart Hess, Nadia Lee Cohen, Monica Menez, Harriet Fleuriot, and Sarah Cockings will also be screened.
Of the programme, LSFF Artistic Director Philip Ilson said: “The democratisation of short filmmaking hit its peak in the 1980s with DIY ethics sweeping living rooms and the art world, film stock usurped by inexpensive tape and affordable camcorders.”
This novel cheapness of making art opened space for experimentation – whether recycling daytime television into politicised Scratch Video as showcased in our opening night or the gentler subversions of documenting an East Germany anticipating the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Now in its sixteenth year, LSFF is a vital moment in the UK film calendar and retains its status as the premier destination for the best in UK and international independent short film.