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The London Short Film Festival (LSFF) returns to London for its 13th year to be as confrontational as ever, and to prove that the UK is truly a hotbed of film creativity. This year, LSFF received an unprecedented number of submissions – nearly 2,000 in total. For the 2016 festival, taking place from 8-17th January, LSFF is working with long-standing venue partners the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) and Hackney Picturehouse, with new special event programmes taking place at Round Chapel in Lower Clapton, ACE Hotel in Shoreditch, and Oval Space in Hackney.

LSFF prides itself on being the biggest showcase of UK short film. Away from the mainstream, UK film culture is alive with incredible artists and original voices which will be showcased at this year’s Festival. The core programme of selected shorts will screen across Hackney Picturehouse and the ICA. With 38 programmes of New UK Work, this is a real snapshot of 21st century Britain. Documentary gets a bigger look-in this year with six dedicated programmes focussed on topics including London, artists on film, and the current refugee crisis (with a panel discussion), as well as our popular Night of the Living Docs. This year, the festival welcomed International Short Films for a second time, and 2016 will see four international programmes playing at Hackney Picturehouse on the second weekend, with films from Australia, Japan, Cuba, Croatia and the US, amongst many others.

The Attic at Hackney Picturehouse will host the LSFF Industry Programme, running from Saturday 9th to Friday 15th Jan – including workshops from Shorts International, Guardian Docs & British Council Film. They will also be hosting Happy Hour Drinks for filmmakers on Monday 12th – Friday 15th Jan, 5.30-6.30pm, courtesy of Jameson First Shot.

This year, the festival is extremely grateful to have the support of the BFI’s Festivals Fund to help make January’s edition the most accessible to date. They received Arts Council England funding to develop two Film & Music Commissioning projects:

  • CATS&CATS&CATS: This event reclaims the cat video from its contemporary YouTube ghetto and looks at the cat film in experimental cinema, with new film commissions from artist filmmakers Vivienne Dick, Jennifer Reeder and Nicholas Abrahams, plus a newly commissioned score by electronica trio Stealing Sheep to films by Maya Deren (Private Life of a Cat, 1949) and Stan Brakhage (Cat’s Cradle, 1959), alongside classic work by Jayne Parker (1982), Donald Richie (1966) and Johan van der Keuken (1968). Vienna International Shorts are providing  with a selection of more contemporary cats from the Walker Art Center cat video collection, so maybe grumpy cat will get a look in after all…! All this will take place in the majestic surroundings of The Round Chapel in Lower Clapton, built in 1869 and considered one of the finest church buildings inLondon.
  • NATURE MIXTAPE: We’re also excited to commission a new film by Jessica Sarah Rinland made in response to work by the little-known, pioneering British documentarian Mary Field (1896-1968), which will be screened at our Nature Mixtape event. Field’s films explore British wildlife with humanising narratives, providing a unique insight into the anthropology and culture of mid-twentieth century Britain. Rinland’s new film, shot on location in the diverse natural habits of Argentina, will play alongside 16mm and 35mm prints of Field’s groundbreaking films, followed by a panel discussion.

In partnership with MUBI, London Short Film Festival present the Harmony Korine Weekender!

LSFF has a close affinity with the uncompromising cinema of Harmony Korine, particularly his 1998 debut feature Gummo, which we will screen and re-visit with a symposium (a Gummo-sium) featuring filmmakers, writers and academics responding to the work. There will also be a chance to see Korine’s music videos, for the likes of Bonnie Prince Billy, Sonic Youth, Cat Power etc, and fashion films, as well as his shorts for Vice and Die Antwoord. Also screening is the UK premiere of A Crack Up at the Race Riots, adapted from Korine’s book of the same name by Belgian artist collective Leo Gabin, drawing on a collage of dadaist found- footage mayhem of on-line postings via YouTube. To compliment the Harmony Korine weekender, London College of Fashion have also programmed a special event on the final Sunday of the festival which will explore notions of identity in the fashion film. Spanning a range of filmmaking approaches, from experimental to documentary, the programme will explore this morphing, contemporary medium in all its guises.

Read all about the other Special Guest Screenings and Retrospective programmes on the official website of LSFF!

Philip Ilson, LSFF Artistic director, says: “Cats, Gummo, Berlin, and the Beastie Boys! All at the 2016 London Short Film Festival, alongside nearly 400 UK and international short films selected from nearly 2000 open submissions. And for the first time, we’re super excited to be commissioning work by artists we love, particularly as this involves the aforementioned cats! It’s been an incredible year pulling the Festival together and I love this moment of announcing the full programme to the world.”

The full programme details and booking info can be found on the LSFF website: www.shortfilms.org.uk/lsff13