Returning for its 14th Year is The London Short Film Festival (LSFF) from 6th – 15th January 2017.
This 14th edition of the London Short Film Festival is as always a showcase of the best of British talent with around 350 short UK shorts selected from 2000 open submissions across music, comedy, LGBTQ, fashion and culture.
Whilst short films may not be selling out your local cinema multiplex every week, it is very important to not underestimate the role that they play in the Film Industry.
The short film, given its nature of having a limited amount of time to get its story or message across, means that it must be clear and concise enough to have a beginning, middle and an end. Although this sounds like an almost impossible feat to accomplish in around ten minutes, we see countless examples every year of fantastic filmmaking in which the concept of having a huge budget and a lifetime of experience is thrown out of the window. Instead to comes down to an idea and the willingness to bring the idea to life.
They have given independent filmmakers a platform to express themselves and share with the world their ideas and dreams. They act as a demo tape for aspiring filmmakers and with a the right story, concept or a little bit of luck they may just grow into something a little bigger or kick start the career of the next great filmmaker.
In 1992 two students collaborated to create the 13-minute short film ‘Bottle Rocket’ and after screening at the Sundance Festival in 1994, film producer James L. Brooks decided to fund the duo’s debut feature based on their short film of the same name. The two in question if you haven’t guessed where Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson!
The horror genre is one that has thrived through ideas that first stated life as a short film. The now legendary Sam Raimi initially got together with a few friends in 1978, went off into the middle of nowhere and made a short film called ‘Within The Woods’ on a humbling $1600, yet three years later it led to the classic horror film The Evil Dead.
Guy Ritchie is another that ended up becoming an incredibly successful filmmaker through the medium of the short film. His 1995 short film ‘The Hard Case’ caught the attention Rock Star Sting who decided to invest in his project, which went on to become ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ released in 1999.
More recently, Damien Chazelle’s outstanding debut feature film ‘Whiplash’ was born out of his un-produced screenplay. Whilst the screenplay remained on the Black List, Chazelle decided to pick a scene from his screenplay and direct it himself. Despite having never directed before and after a little help from J.K Simmons the short ended up winning the Short Film Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The rest as they say is history.
The LSFF is recognised for showcasing cutting-edge UK independent films. Critically lauded for its provocative cross-arts programming, the festival has become synonymous with unique, zeitgeist capturing experiences and events, making it a mecca for creative talent and an important moment in the UK film calendar.
Highlights of this year’s festival include a programme that tells the story of the birth of ‘riot grrrl’, which resonates with today’s disillusioned youth. Using confrontational imagery, a generation of female filmmakers also paved the way alongside their punk counterparts, looking to the scene for inspiration.
David Bowie Sound & Vision, a series of screenings at 19 Picturehouse cinemas across the UK, captures the story of his career, taking in three decades, from his experimental beginnings of the sixties to the golden era of the seventies to his world of domination in the eighties with a series of critically acclaimed films that have rarely been seen cinematically.
The festival continues to highlight international talent for a 3rd year, as well as an ongoing dedication to documentary short film. LSFF aims to inspire its audience, bringing back voices and images from the past. Whether it be through the exploration of the work of late US short story writer Raymond Carver or the ground-breaking nineties LGBT work of London filmmaker Annette Kennerley, LSFF gives new generations the opportunity to reflect on social and cultural issues questioning whether progress has been made over the years.
For more information, ticketing and to view the full schedule please click here: http://shortfilms.org.uk/lsff2017/events