SECRET RITES screens at London Short Film Festival 2018.


LONDON SHORT FILM FESTIVAL arrives for its 15th edition (12 to 21 JAN 2018) which is a fine reason to get booking. Here’s our handy SCREEN GUIDE.

NOW BOOKING: YOUR MOTHERS ARE MINE screens at ICA as part of LSFF 2018.


UPDATED: 12.01.18 based on ticket availability – please click quickly!

Described by festival artistic director Philip Ilson as an “auteur-led punk-rock left-field in-your-face celebration of the moving image”, the 15th edition of the short film festival screens at venues we love across London.

The festival is a fine home for international, diverse moving image makers with special events dedicated to, amongst others, L.A. REBELLION (13 JAN 13:30, Rio Cinema) – “a critical mass of American filmmakers of African origin or descent… in the late 60s” – and two programmes of NEW QUEER VISIONS: DON’T LOOK BACK IN ANGER (13 JAN 18:00, Moth Club) and MEDIUM RARE (21 JAN 16:50, ICA).

In addition to a veritable feast of shorts and features – in and out of competition – there are a number of events presented by indie programmers we regularly shout about, including: The Bechdel Test (MATI DIOP: THE LIFE FARAWAY, 16 JAN 18:30, ICA); The Final Girls (THE WITCHING HOUR, 15 JAN 18:30, Regent Street Cinema); and, Cigarette Burns Cinema (WELCOME II THE TERRORDOME 35mm, 19 JAN 21:00, Regent Street Cinema).

The festival’s special focus is French filmmaker Lucile Hadzihalilovic with screenings of her SHORT FILMS + Q&A (20 JAN 12:30) and debut feature INNOCENCE (20 JAN 14:30) – see below for details.


We (really) like the look of the following:

WITH TEETH PREMIERE: Kim Noce, Zoe Aiano and Tash Tung (13 JAN 12:00 ICA) – “A triple bill premiere of With Teeth’s three commissioned moving image pieces, accompanied on screen by their influences and inspirations.”

RADICAL SOFTNESS THROUGH A HAPTIC LENS: Barbara Hammer and Chick Strand (13 JAN 16:00, ICA) – “The works of pioneer feminist filmmakers, Barbara Hammer and Chick Strand, accompanied by Skype Q&A with Hammer”.

DAWN SHADFORTH: Spinning Around (14 JAN 16:00, Regent Street Cinema) – “Kylie Minogue, Björk, The Streets, Sugababes: a retrospective of one of music video’s most quietly prolific auteurs, Dawn Shadforth”.

NEW SHORTS: Lo‑Budget Mayhem (15 JAN 20:30, Regent Street Cinema) – “What can DIY filmmakers achieve with minimal cash and a genius idea?”

LIVES IN SIGN LANGUAGES: A Screening for Deaf and HoH audiences (16 JAN 18:30, BFI Southbank) – “LSFF present their first screening exclusively for D/deaf audiences, curated by LSFF’s young Deaf programmer Zoe McWhinney”.

MUSLIM PUNK AND THE NEW SUBCULTURE (16 JAN 19:00, Moth Club) – “What happened to Taqwacore, and how is class, race, and gender tied in with Muslim resistance to Trump and Brexit?”

JG BALLARD: This Is The Way, Step Inside (19 JAN 18:30, ICA) – “Exploring Ballard’s preoccupation with the Machine, the body, the human condition and disembodiment through short screen adaptations and panel.”

NEW SHORTS: Midnight Movies (19 JAN 23:00, Rio Cinema) – “Indulge your inner masochist and come spend the early hours with gratuitous tales of horror.”

LSFF: TEAROOM screens at ICA (21 JAN).
LSFF: TEAROOM screens at ICA (21 JAN).


Only got time for just one? We’d pick one of these two:

LUCILE HADZIHALILOVIC: Short Films + Q&A (20 JAN 12:30 Curzon Soho) – “A rare chance to see the short films of our International Juror and French auteur, Lucile Hadzihalilovic with filmmaker Q&A” – which is followed by LUCILE HADZIHALILOVIC: Innocence (20 JAN 14:30, Curzon Soho) – “Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s deliciously dark debut feature follows a year in the life of the girls at a secluded boarding school, starring Marion Cotillard.” Why? We’re huge fans of her most recent feature, EVOLUTION.

TEAROOM (21 Jan 13:00, ICA) – Video artist William E. Jones uses police surveillance footage to examine communal spaces made for themselves by cruising gay men in the 1960s. There will also be a showcase of Robert Yang’s videogame THE TEAROOM, a cruising simulation made in direct response to the film, replacing all the penises with guns to (successfully) avoid censorship. The screening is followed by a discussion with filmmaker Sam Ashby, artist Prem Sahib and game developer Robert Yang, hosted by Dr Fiona Anderson.


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*THE SMALL PRINT: As accurate as we could make it. Apologies for any mistakes. Updates & corrections to the online version. All readers & subscribers should be 18+. We only include events you can get tickets for at the time of posting. Please click quickly!

Featured image: SECRET RITES (1971).