The 7th London Short Film Festival blows into town January 8-17th with an incredible line-up of over 200 films in ten premier venues. The festival kicked off 16 years ago as the Halloween Short Film Festival, which explains why so many of these shorts are quirky, dark, macabre, and fiercely original.
New shorts are categorised by theme and there is such a diverse and varied mix that you are bound to find something interesting. The Fucked up Love programme comprises of 12 shorts such as Reap What You Sew, a love story between a hard-up farmer and his creative wife, Love Hound, about a woman who falls in love with her pooch, and The Morning After, which tells the tale of... well you can figure that one out. Other highlights include Funny Shit, which aims to make you chuckle in the new year, London Lives, a programme featuring the diverse and often perverse stories of Londoners, and late night events like Lo-Budget Mayhem, where the best low budget film will be judged by the Hamburg Short Film Festival.
Short films getting high traffic on the LSFF website include Last Breath, a dark comedy about family life, the animated documentary Eyeful of Sound about 'audio-visual synesthesia', and the Brothers Grimm meets Tim Burton fairytale The Continuing and Lamentable Sage of the Suicide Brothers.
For music fans, the Post Rock Years: Introspective is not to be missed. Exploring the past 20 years in post-rock music, this documentary features interviews with Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, and live footage of some of the most influential bands such as Mogwai, Low, Tortoise and Yo La Tengo. There will also be live performances featuring the melodic Wild Dogs in Winter, who sound like a cross between Arab Strap and Sigor Ros, and the electronic band Erisian. Also of interest is the Music and Video shorts, where the Quietus website will be presenting the best short of the night. The Roxy Bar and Screen will also be hosting the classic music documentaries Last Waltz, the Bob Dylan must-see performance, and Stop Making Sense, Jonathan Demme's footage of the Talking Heads 1984 live performance. Stick around after the show for some Talking Heads karaoke.
There will also be panel discussions and training courses throughout the ten days. Look out for the This Way Up: a Nexus animation retrospective which features experts from the animation industry with Oscar nominated animators Smith & Foulkes.
The LSFF will be hosted in the ICA, Curzon Soho, Roundhouse, Rich Mix, Roxy Bar and Screen, and many other hipster joints across town. With so many electric events on hand, we can't think of a better way of ushering in a new year.
By Abby Chau
London Short Film Festival, January 8-17th, venues across London