The best of LSFF 2016

Starting the new year with new visions, the 13th London Short Film Festival rounded up last Sunday with the announcement of its award winners.


No Wolf Has a House (2015)
No Wolf Has a House (2015)

“Life is great. Without it you’d be dead”

Carrying on from last year’s ethos –“we’re not here to entertain you, we’re here to make you feel uncomfortable” – and growing from the Halloween Society short film night 20 years ago, the LSFF was back again this year with Harmony Korine’s short films and music videos on the projector in partnership with Mubi and a showcase of the short films of Fyzal Boulifa, Taina Galas, Joern Utkilen, Jessica Sarah Rinland, Derek Jarman collaborator Richard Heslop and cats, many cats. We chose 11 short films, which we loved seeing at the festival.

Sofia Safanova 2015 UK 16 mins

Winner of the Best New British Short Award Sponsored by British Council

Tamara is now nominated for the European Critics Circle Award

Shot in Krasnoyarsk, Southern Siberia Tamara is a collaboration between the students of London Film School, FAMU (Academy of Performing Arts in Prague) and has mixed non-professional cast and siberian film specialists. Siberian bus conductor Tamara introduces her teenage son Max to the colleague she has been dating for a while. However as they meet in a karaoke bar, she starts questioning her happiness and is forced to look after her own self instead.

Tamara (2015)
Tamara (2015)

Watch the trailer for Tamara

No Wolf Has a House
Hana Jušić 2015 Croatia 25 mins

Winner of the ShortsTV Award for Best International Short Film

Breezily surreal and creepy, Jušić’s post 60s Godard-like film is about a guileless woman who escapes a marriage that’s decidedly wrong and too much about meat and flesh.

No Wolf Has a House (2015)
No Wolf Has a House (2015)

Watch the trailer for No Wolf Has a House

Mining Poems or Odes
Callum Rice 2015 UK 10 mins

Winner of the Open City Docs Award for Best Documentary Short Film

Robert, an ex-shipyard welder from Govan in Scotland, reflects on how his life experiences have influenced his new found compulsion to write. His retrospective poetry reveals a man who is trying to achieve a state of contentment through words and philosophy. He has replaced his tools for pens and paper.

Billy Lumby 2015 UK 15 mins

Nominated for BAFTA 2016 in the British Short Film category

Writer-director Billy Lumby worked with art director Azalia Francis on handheld cameras for their Samuel-613. Its an imaginative ethnographic hybrid that tells the story of 23-year-old Hasidic Jew Shmilu (played by Theo Barklem-Biggs), who struggles to relate with his community and enters the void of modern-day Britain. Lumby went undercover in a synagogue in east London as part of his film research.

Simon Cartwright 2015 UK 11 mins

Nominated for BAFTA 2016 in the British short animation category

This is wild, weird and underground. Glen attends a cult world while on primal therapy treatment to discover his masculinity but he finds that he cannot make a sound. It’s altogether a new kind of work, dark and amazingly shot.

Jörn Threlfall 2015 UK 14 mins

Nominated for BAFTA 2016 in the British Short Film category

Shot in west London, Over documents the quite suburban neighbourhood of Phillimore Gardens at different times of a day. What we discover at the end of its quarter of an hour length, is shocking and one realises how helpless we all are.

Nina Gantz 2015 UK 9 mins

Nominated for BAFTA 2016 in the British short animation category

Drinking water from a fish tank, imagining of connecting back to our umbilical cord…already this doesn’t sound like a happy life. Gantz’s Edmond is about troubled minds unable to connect with, what the common mind understands it to be, real world.

The Curse
Fyzal Boulifa 2012 Morocco/UK 16 mins

A retrospective of collaborations between British-Moroccan director Fyzal Boulifa and Romanian-born cinematographer Taina Galis, brought back their bold 2012 film of intoxicating camera work and story resonance to the big screen. Boulifa and Galis’s latest collaboration, Rate Me (2015), was nominated for this year’s Best UK Short Film award.

Watch The Curse online

Dailies to Dawn
Kristina Cranfeld 2015 UK 18 mins

Winner of the ICA Award for Best Experimental Short Film

Shot in 16mm Cranfeld’s film is an exploration of the physical relationship between the celluloid, the artist and film processing by craftsmen at one of the last film laboratories in the UK. It’s a poetic journey that brings to mind the serene beauty of Nathaniel Dorsky’s cinema with shots of glorious sunlight merging with bubbling close-ups, water and flowers.

Dailies to Down (2015)
Dailies to Down (2015)

Benjamin Fox 2015 UK 3 mins

Benjamin Fox’s previous film Suchstuff (2014) was the winner of the ICA Award for Best Experimental Short at the LSFF last year. His Maelstrom is an experimental ethnographic look in the First World War with archive footage and metallic graphics.

Eva Riley 2015 UK 15 mins

Winner of the Women & Film in TV Award for Best Woman Director

A number of films are made on this topical subject of rising patriotism and racial discrimination in the UK. But it’s a subject destructive enough and in trying to communicate through film that it’s a crime, it needs terrific skills. The fact that Riley’s film Patriot won her the award for Best Woman Director is therefore satisfying but above all wonderful news.


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