Special Feature: LSFF11 to screen Bafta shorts & more

Perennial champions of the abridged form, the London Short Film Festival returns this month for its 11th incarnation, cementing its position once again as the premiere UK showcase for groundbreaking, innovative independent film. Festivities commence tomorrow evening (9 January) with a very special BEV screening of The Punk Singer, an upcoming documentary about Kathleen Hanna (of groundbreaking bands Bikini Kill and Le Tigre fame), before unleashing a packed programme upon shorts enthusiasts and filmmakers alike with events taking place at the ICA, Curzon Soho, Hackney Picturehouse, Riverside Studios, Horniman Museum and east into the hipster-baiting bars of Dalston and Hackney.

This year sees the welcome restoration of the LSFF's regular programmes curated from open submission including Opening Night strand Funny Shit, Femmes Fantastique, Leftfield & Luscious, Lo-Budget Mayhem, Teenage Girls Go Crazy!, God's Lonely Men, Global Stories, Music & Video and Fucked Up Love, plus brand new selections. Among those programmes making their debut are newcomers Celluloid Traces - bringing together filmmakers working with film stock in a series of experimental and documentary films - and North American, with filmmakers looking for stories across the pond. In addition (and tying in nicely with the recent BFI Southbank season), The Gothic & The Grotesque will be on-hand to chill guests to the bone.

As ever, a host of well-known faces will be make their presence felt both on and off the screen, so expect to see Sally Hawkins, Ben Whishaw, comedian Josie Long, Stephen Mangan, Maxine Peake, Alice Lowe, Michael Smiley, Hugh Bonneville, George MacKay, Ewan Bremner, Miranda Hart, Rutger Hauer, Jack Whitehall, MacKenzie Crook and Jessica Bardem cropping up here, and indeed there. Documentary also plays a crucial part in the ongoing success of the LSFF, which explains the eagerly anticipated return of the festival's essential Night of the Living Docs evening and the afternoon of Long[er] Docs, both in the relaxed environs of Borough's plush Roxy Bar & Screen. With fewer and fewer platforms for short film as a whole, the London Short Film Festival deserves - nay, demands - the London-based cinephile's time and attention, with even this year's Bafta-nominated shorts getting a run-out.

The 2014 London Short Film Festival runs from 10-19 January, 2014. For more info and to book your tickets, visit shortfilms.org.uk.

Daniel Green

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