London Short Film Festival 2018: A showcase of innovative and experimental talent
Fashioning a compelling narrative in a feature film is no mean feat, but for a short it is nothing less than extraordinary. Although an often overlooked medium in a world dazzled by the glitzy glam of Hollywood, the short film remains clandestine in its form. With blockbusters relying on big budgets and A-listers to sell tickets, the very nature of the short reminds us that you don’t always need Chris Hemsworth’s polished abs to draw in an audience.
Established in 2003 as London’s first Halloween Short Film Festival, Philip Ilson and Kate Taylor’s brainchild only continues to grow in popularity. In 2008 it became what we know it as today, the London Short Film Festival, which is recognised as the UK’s leading showcase for independent film. With the movie industry under fire for its lack of diversity (BAFTA Best Director nominations again depict an all-male ensemble) LSFF continues to push boundaries with a sundry of talent, giving voices to those who are yet to be heard.
Bestowed the title “Godfather of Short Film” by his fans, artistic director Ilson and his well-accomplished team have organised a festival that appeals to all. Some may say cinema is a mirror of reality, which is why it is vital that new filmmakers have a platform on which to raise concerns and offer fresh perspectives on the trappings of the modern day.
As the international programmer, Tom Grimshaw has selected films that reflect their local cultures, ideals and principles whilst opening our eyes to the various styles of filmmaking that populate the globe. Although this is a categorised niche in major award ceremonies, Grimshaw ensures a richly diverse programme of universal cinema that should not be ignored. Sarah Chorley, alongside her role as Festival Director, challenges our perceptions of animation as an art form with the Animation Variety Show.
2018’s opening gala on Friday 12th January was symbolic of how this festival reaches out to so many. The ICA, LSFF’s home hub, was bustling with cineastes, filmmakers and creatives alike for a night of filmic (and sonic) entertainment. With a myriad of shorts in one room (We Dare to Fail: 15 Years of LSFF) and a Krautrock-inspired musical menagerie in another (Movements of a Nebulous Dawn), the ICA was packed to breaking point.
When asked about how LSFF has grown over the years, festival producer Gerry Maguire is enthusiastic in his response: “We’re now in a place where we’re working with exciting, beautiful venues and are filling them. But we’re now also doing that with bigger programmes, with more international films and with more confidence really.”
LSFF runs from the 12th until 21st January, platforming an incredible range of innovative and experimental talent. In an age of re-runs and remakes taking over our cinemas, LSFF discovers a wealth of filmmakers ready to push those boundaries and deliver something new. You just need to see it for yourselves.
London Short Film Festival is on from 12th until 21st January 2018. For further information or to book an event visit the festival website here.