NOW SHOWING: London Short Film Festival 2019

The 16th London Short Film Festival (11 to 20 JAN 2019) opens this week and many screenings are selling fast. We thought we’d take a look at all the special events you can still buy tickets for at the time of posting… Here’s our RADIANT CIRCUS top ten picks of this year’s LSFF. Please click quickly!


1. SPECIAL FOCUS

Films in London today: WASHERWOMEN aka WÄSCHERINNEN by Jurgen Bottcher at ICA, part of LSFF 2019.
LSFF 2019: WASHERWOMEN aka WÄSCHERINNEN by Jurgen Bottcher at ICA (19 JAN).

This year, there’s a special focus on films that came out of the GDR with three events peering BEHIND THE WALL: JÜRGEN BÖTTCHER (19 JAN 17:00, ICA); PHANTOMS (20 JAN 13:00, ICA); and, EX ORIENTE LUX: 8MM UNDERGROUND EXPERIMENTS (20 JAN 15:00, ICA) which includes Ex Oriente Lux – a Berlin based archive of 8mm experimental films made in the GDR between the years 1976-1991 – founder Dr Claus Löser giving an introductory talk.


2. OPENING NIGHT

LSFF 2019: COFFEE COLOURED CHILDREN Ngozi Onwurah at ICA (11 JAN 18:30).
LSFF 2019: COFFEE COLOURED CHILDREN by Ngozi Onwurah at ICA (11 JAN).

The festival opens with NOW! THAT’S WHAT I CALL ’80S SHORT FILM (11 JAN 18:30, ICA), throwing us back into a decade when “British artists were young, emboldened and equipped with just a camcorder.” Includes films by David Yates (yes, the Harry Potter guy…), Andrew Kotting, Carol Salter, Clio Barnard, Sally Potter, Ngozi Onwurah and Julian Temple. Followed by ALL THAT SCRATCHING IS MAKING ME ITCH (11 JAN 20:00, ICA) “an old school Scratch Video affair with big visuals, big dancing and/or a little considered head nodding”.


3. AIRDRAFT & GROW HACKNEY WEEKENDER

LSFF 2019: AIRDRAFT at Grow Hackney.
LSFF 2019: AIRDRAFT at Grow Hackney.

Natalie Sharp (aka Lone Taxidermist) takes to the water, curating two days of pumped up plastic, sploshing, body manipulation and expanded cinema. Limited capacity on the AIRDRAFT is making this one hard to see. Available events at time of posting include: ACTION SPACE (12 JAN 16:30, Grow Hackney); EXPRMNTL (12 JAN 18:30, Grow); EMO VIDEO JUKEBOX (12 JAN 20:30, Grow); EXPRMNTL (13 JAN 16:00, AIRDRAFT); INTENTIONAL COMMUNITY (13 JAN 17:15, AIRDRAFT); A BEAUTIFUL BODY HORROR VIDEO SHOW (13 JAN 18:30, AIRDRAFT).


4. DEREK JARMAN: THE MUSIC VIDEOS

LSFF 2019: BROKEN ENGLISH - MARIANNE FAITHFULL by Derek Jarman at BFI (16 JAN).
LSFF 2019: BROKEN ENGLISH – MARIANNE FAITHFULL by Derek Jarman at BFI (16 JAN).

DEREK JARMAN: THE MUSIC VIDEOS (16 JAN 20:30, BFI), a night of music videos by RADIANT CIRCUS godhead, Derek Jarman. Followed by a Jarman Disco with guest DJs Alexander Tucker (Grumbling Fur) and Will Fowler & Leigh Milsom Fowler spinning Jarman collaborators and ’80s experimental sounds.


5. THE CONTOURING OF DEAFHOODS

LSFF 2019: WORDS OF CARAMEL by Juan Antonio Moreno at BFI (17 JAN).
LSFF 2019: WORDS OF CARAMEL by Juan Antonio Moreno at BFI (17 JAN).

We get to list relatively few events specifically by and for D/deaf and disabled audiences, so this one is an absolute must. THE CONTOURING OF DEAFHOODS (17 JAN 20:20, BFI) looks at “how D/deaf people negotiate the world around them, moving through society and shaping themselves into pockets of community” programmed by LSFF’s Young Deaf programmer Zoë McWhinney and presented in partnership with The British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust (BSLBT).


6. NEW QUEER VISIONS

LSFF 2019: SIRENE by Zara Dwinger at Regent Street Cinema (19 JAN).
LSFF 2019: SIRENE by Zara Dwinger at Regent Street Cinema (19 JAN).

New Queer Visions – a cunning ‘bolt on’ that brings queer short films, documentaries and audiovisual snippets from around the world to film festival audiences and live events – returns to LSFF with two programmes: IN THE SHADOWS OF MEN (17 JAN 20:30, Regent Street Cinema); and, THE THRILL OF THE FUTURE (19 JAN 18:30, Regent Street Cinema).


7. NASTY STUFF

LSFF 2019: NASTY by Prano Bailey-Bond at Regent Street Cinema (18 JAN).
LSFF 2019: NASTY by Prano Bailey-Bond at Regent Street Cinema (18 JAN).

We have a (barely concealed…) love of horror at RADIANT CIRCIS, which is why this two-hander is our pick of the bunch… Things kick off with Underwire Festival presenting NASTY STUFF: PRANO BAILEY-BOND (18 JAN 18:30, Regent Street Cinema), a retrospective of the “curious horrors” of Prano Bailey-Bond who will be in conversation with Anna Bogutskaya (also of Final Girls and BFI fame…). Bailey-Bond then joins forces with another regular in our listings, Josh Saco of Cigarette Burns Cinema, for a 35mm screening NASTY STUFF: BASKET CASE. Frank Henenlotter’s 1982 tale of twisted brotherly love is followed by a panel to discuss the legacy of the Video Nasty era.


8. I WANT A DYKE FOR A PRESIDENT

LSFF 2019: A PLACE OF RAGE by Pratibha Parmar at Rio Cinema (19 JAN).
LSFF 2019: A PLACE OF RAGE by Pratibha Parmar at Rio Cinema (19 JAN).

Club Des Femmes presents I WANT A DYKE FOR A PRESIDENT (19 JAN 13:00, Rio Cinema), a programme of “queer films to #FuckTrump”. We need say no more…


9. TURBANS THROUGH TIME

LSFF 2019: GURDEEP SINGH BAINS by Beverly Shaffer at Regent Street Cinema (19 JAN).
LSFF 2019: GURDEEP SINGH BAINS by Beverly Shaffer at Regent Street Cinema (19 JAN).

Long-standing friend of RADIANT CIRCUS, Ranjit S. Ruprai aka SUPAKINO presents TURBANS THROUGH TIME (19 JAN 20:30, Regent Street Cinema), a special time-hopping, short film edition of turban-themed programming. If you’ve loved Ranjit’s eclectic programming of BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM, THE LIFE AQUATIC and THE ENGLISH PATIENT as much as we have, you’ll absolutely want to see this!


10. CLOSING NIGHT

LSFF 2019: NO WOMAN IS AN ISLAND at Rich Mix (19 JAN).
LSFF 2019: NO WOMAN IS AN ISLAND at Rich Mix (19 JAN).

We’ll let LSFF have the final words: “An evening of cosmic soundscapes and glitching polyrhythms, LSFF’s CLOSING NIGHT: NO WOMAN IS AN ISLAND (19 JAN 18:30, Rich Mix) showcases the black women artists of London synthesising Afrofuturism through their electronic experiments. Expect irresistible afrobeats and atmospheric loopings, diasporic electronica and sparse South African house. To accompany, the women-led music videos that have come to define the Afrofuturist aesthetic, from Janelle Monae to Missy Elliot.”


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*THE SMALL PRINT: As accurate as we could make it. Apologies for any errors. Updates & corrections will be made to the online version. Event dates/times are subject to change by the venue/organiser. We try to only list events you can book for at the time of posting: however, some events may still be sold out. Please click quickly! We don’t filter by age/certification: all readers & subscribers should be 18+.

Featured image: LSFF 2019 – HOW TO BUILD YOUR HUMAN by Jasmine De Silva at AIRDRAFT (13 JAN).

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