In it's 14th year, London Short Film Fest is not showing any signs of ageing. Proof to this is a programme packed with female centeric events and screenings with a strong focus on subcultures and marginalised communities. With an opening night soundtracked by Aysa Hassan & Fay Milton from Savages playing electronic music to 16 mm projections, this year LSFF is going IN! Running from the 6th till 15th January, below are our picks of the best female-focused events you should attend in next couple of weeks.
This underground feminist movement brought about hard-hitting punk bands with trash aesthetics, love for John Waters and 60s and 70s exploitation cinema that were putting girls on and at the front of the stage. A generation of female filmmakers paved the way alongside their punk counterparts, looking to the scene for inspiration, creating visuals that signified the historical second wave of feminism that inspires to this day, especially resonating with us in the current climate. The screening of short films made by women in a midst of the riot grrrl movement is followed by discussion with Gina Birch (The Raincoats), Tamra Davis and other filmmakers in the programme.
@everyoutfitoncrossroads Instagram needs to happen.
It's Britney bitch! Penned by no other than then little-known Shonda Rhimes and directed by above mentioned Tamra Davis who previously made her name with music videos for N.W.A., Depeche Mode or Sonic Youth, it's mostly known for starring 'not a girl, not yet a woman' era Britney Spears, together with pre-OITNB Taryn Manning and probably pre-everything Zoe Saldana. Now up there with the cult teenage classics like Clueless, Heathers or Mean Girls, Crossroads differs from the rest for being a joined effort of team of talented up-and-coming young women in Hollywood who put their efforts together and persuaded Britney and her record label to give them money to make the film. Followed by Q&A with director Tamra Davis, this is not one to miss for a noughties Britney nostalgia.
LSFF is dedicated a large part of its programming to LGBTQ events including New Queer Visions: Roots Manoeuvre, a diverse set of tales, that raises but doesn’t necessarily answer a panoply of questions about crossing borders and identities taking shape. This is followed by New Queer Visions: A Special Relationship a richly diverse series of shorts and documentaries telling stories from across the US of A, taking in everything from anime, sharks and country music.
Our highlight is Club de Femmes screening of Anette Kennerley's 90s 16mm films - a unique and deeply personal body of work that explores the emotional ebb and flow of lesbian relationships and sexuality. Kennerley also made experimental documentaries with transgender people, screening them at Transgender Film Festival at Lux Cinema. The screening will be followed by a live Q&A with Annette Kennerley, hosted by Club Des Femme’s Selina Robertson.
A mix-tape programme of moving image works that live on the internet, I am Dora will screen short films that take in tension between Women Of Colour artists and institutions, activism and state of media, rave culture and gentrification, immigration and belonging and puts them in dialogue with current events featuring thinkers and makers including Kieran Yates (British Values), Shola Amoo (A Moving Image) and Cassie Quarless & Usaid Younis (Generation Revolution).
Filmmaker Laura Doggett travelled to Za’atari, organising workshops that engaged Syrian girls in artistic and technical training in video to reflect on and tell their own stories in first person. This is a rare chance to see all seven film in the collection followed by a panel discussion exploring the portrayal of refugees in the media, and projects that endeavour to challenge mainstream rhetoric, chaired by BAFTA nominated producer of A Syrian Love Story, Elhum Shakerifar.
There are many more female directed films we don't have space for, check the full schedule on on www.shortfilms.org.uk/lsff2017