Last weekend the 8th London Short Film Festival hit the capital’s various screening venues and bars. Returning for its biggest year yet, having had well over a 1000 submissions, LSFF aims to showcase the best of UK-made short films with twenty screenings featuring over 250 new shorts, proving the short film industry is far from dead.
Packed with free industry events and talks with support from BAFTA, Shooting People and the BFI, you’d be pretty stupid to be in London and not pop your head into at least one event over its 10-day duration.
The first screening I had the pleasure of attending was Fucked Up Love. Full of relationships and situations that don’t neccesarilly follow the social norms, or maybe just the rarely written about, fucked up ones….
Elsewhere was one of the stand out shorts from this screening for me. Set within various remote landscapes, it features a young couple, on the run and leaving behind an abandoned house with a body inside. The film itself looks stunning, cinematographer Xavier Amoros did an amazing job of capturing this strange adventure. Aneurin Barnard and Jessica Raine delivered excellent performances for roles that barely saw either of them leave the screen.
Directors Mathy Tremewan and Fran Broadhurst have been collaborating in film since 2005 across both the writing and directing fields, and have seen their first short De Sul hit the interntional circuit as well as had films selected for Channel 4’s 3 Minute Wonder series.
Blindate was a short I have weird feelings towards. A genuinely funny script, well written and well acted too. The cinematography was something to be questioned though. I assume it was an intention for the film to employ the look it did, as I don’t think what I watched could have been shot as a mistake. The framing and tone were quiet distracting, and I find it a shame it looked the way it did when the script was so brilliant. It does however bring up the question of how much audiences care about how films look, although it did win an audience award at last year’s Austin Film Festival. I do feel that Abigail Blackmore deserves a special mention for both writing the script and giving a great performance as the hopeless Rachel.
My favourite film of the screening would have to be In the Meadow. Described as a ‘Psychological Chiller’ on its Facebook page, we watch as what seems to be an idyllic birthday picnic suddenly takes a very disturbing turn for the worst.
Things that end very disturbingly out of situations that don’t seem threatening initially are always a hit in my book. Dave Alexander Smith has written a film that’s excellently judged and he’s followed up by directing it wonderfully to the book. With great photography and performances, this really is a film that just sticks with you.