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Back for its sixteenth year, London Short Film Festival (LSFF) has become recognised as the leading UK showcase for innovative homegrown and international short film. Starting today, 11 January, and running until 20 January, under the directorship of Sarah Chorley, the annual programme sees diverse audiences of 10,000 plus gather, taking over some of London’s most historic cinematic venues, from the Institute of Contemporary Arts and BFI Southbank, to Curzon Soho and Dalston’s Rio. Something Curated highlights the screenings and events we’re most excited about this year.


Surreal Worlds, at ICA || Ben Aston, William Boyd, Sarah Talbot & More (13:00 Sat 12 Jan 2019)

There’s all manner of the absurd in this selection of surreal scenarios and minute marvels, composed to confuse and leave you just the right amount of uneasy. Films from directors Ben Aston, William Boyd, Sam Nicoresti, Sarah Talbot and more will have you stuck in limbo, spooked in haunted houses, lost in a weird world of portals and bewildered in melting Lynchian rooms.


Lo-Budget Mayhem, at Regent Street Cinema || Sam South, Daniella Wilson, Ian Mantgani, Terence Chim & More (15:00 Sat 12 Jan 2019)

Lo-Budget Mayhem showcases the best of what happens when a minimal to non-existent budget meets the (un)healthy imagination of a short filmmaker. Dogs here find themselves the muse – whether defecating on the lawn, looking bored outside polling stations or overstepping the mark as man’s best friend. You can also expect a low budget apocalypse, warring chess pieces and a Czech barber shop medley of the Daft Punk canon.


International: A State Of Anxiety, at ICA || Betina Bozek, Laura Huertas Millan, Jacqueline Lentzou, Nikita Diakur & More (17:00 Sun 13 Jan 2019)

Straddling the political and the personal, this collection surveys the multitudinous causes of anxiety in the 21st century, from the angst of familial strife to the numbed alienation of violence filtered through social media. Combining a heady mix of animation, experimental film and drama, this selection traverses a world in the midst of global agitation.


Animation Variety Showcase, at Regent Street Cinema || Greg & Myles McLeod, Rosa Beiroa, Olga Makarchuk, Yen Liang Chen & More (16:00 Sun 13 Jan 2019)

Fantastical, polemical, political or whimsical – animation does the job best. Absent parents, rural Texas, the beauty of women’s bodies and a little boy who may actually be a cat create beautiful and unexpected pictures of the worlds we live in that only animation mavericks could conjure up.


Losing Home/Leaving Home, at ICA || Jessica Bishopp, Ellen Evans, Andreas Anuuk Muggli, Roxy Rezvany & More (18:30 Tue 15 Jan 2019)

Whether you choose to or are forced to, sometimes leaving home is the only choice. These shorts are presentations of escape, whether compelled or chosen, but the distinct need to relocate that sense of ‘home’ and take stock is common in these films. Ranging from the whimsical to the painful, traversing North Korea’s capital to the Swiss Alps, the showcased films explore the complexity of what it means to leave or lose that safe place.


Acting The Part, at Curzon Soho || Jennifer Rosen, Amrou Al-Kadhi, Rik Burnell, Joe Wheatley & More (18:30 Fri 18 Jan 2019)

Acting The Part strives to look past the masks we hide behind and into the personas that make us feel the most us, looking to the disconnect between body and owner, clashes of culture and identity, crises of confidence, and those with a flair for performance. The evening features Neil Maskell (Humans), the real-life soul musician Geno Washington talking about his early life, as well as the latest from Amrou Al-Kadhi.


Feature image via London Short Film Festival (LSFF)

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