For the first time in its 18-year history, LSFF is going virtual and global, with over 50 award-nominated filmmakers, 200+ short film artists, a UK and an International Competition and a programme featuring Daniel Kaluuya, Riz Ahmed, Mark Rylance, Intermission Youth, Ngozi Onwurah, Colectivo Los Ingrávidos, Videofreex, Vaginal Davis, Keiken, HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN?, Ken Jacobs, Steve Reinke, Wong Ping, Sohrab Hura, Ben Rivers, Fringe! Queer Film and Arts Festival and so much more.
From 15th - 24th January 2021, LSFF will be accessible to audiences beyond London, sharing the nation’s leading short filmmaking curation with audiences throughout the UK, with subtitling across all filmic, recorded and live content.
Embracing visual art experiments, genre-bending documentary, kaleidoscopic animations and more, LSFF’s New Shorts strand celebrates 220 globally-made short films, curated from over 5000 open submissions, across its ten days. The programme includes passion projects from BAFTA winner Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Black Panther) and Emmy winner Riz Ahmed (Four Lions, The Night Of), to innovative moving image from avant-garde legend Ken Jacobs, acclaimed monologist Steve Reinke (MoMa, Centre Pompidou), photographer Sohrab Hura (Magnum Photos), Jarman Award nominee Larry Achiampong and animator Wong Ping (Guggenheim, IFFR).
The festival’s Special Events showcase archive gems of radical activism and collective action, rarely screened and now available to UK audiences, whilst panels and workshops see Oscar winner Mark Rylance, Black British cinema pioneer Ngozi Onwurah, digital arts collective Keiken and others in conversation on industry ethics and diversifying the filmmaking community.
LSFF starts with a firecracker of an opening night: on Friday 15th January, (19:00 GMT) is HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN?’s Good Stock On The Dimension Floor: An Opera, a genre-bending, 35 part visual epic offering radical, expansive perspectives on Blackness - rarely seen after the predominantly Black and queer artists collective withdrew it from exhibition in 2014 in protest at art world racism.
LSFF offers the first UK festival presentation of Good Stock in its entirety - with an exclusive live Q&A. The “collective” is the key theme across the LSFF 2021 programme, with Special Events responding to
a socially distanced 2020. Expect a host of global voices and stories, with guest curators Fringe!
Queer Film and Arts Festival, documents of direct action and activism from the League of Revolutionary Black Workers and Groupe Medvedkine, and solidarity-building documentaries from Palestine and Indigenious reoccupation project, The Unist'ot'en Camp.
Experimental artist filmmaking is celebrated in LSFF’s annual strand Platform welcoming radical anonymous Mexican collective Colectivo Los Ingrávidos for 2021. Their defiantly in-your-face work disrupts through both form and content, tackling topics from femicide to capitalist complicity in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pioneers of DIY citizen journalism, radical TV collective Videofreex are presented in retrospective in partnership with Video Data Bank. Films include rare footage of the late Chairman of the Black Panther Party, Fred Hampton and the 1970 Women’s Liberation Demonstration of New York City.
Elsewhere, LSFF ventures offline to present a free outdoor installation of looping AV compositions and performance visuals projected onto the side of BFI Southbank. This immersive programme will celebrate the graft and creativity behind the scenes of live gig visuals with work originally created to accompany the Pet Shop Boys, New Order and London Grammar.
This LSFF’s industry offering is entirely free to attend, focussing on how collectives and communities come together in virtual spaces. The White Pube’s Gabrielle de la Puente hosts game developer and academic Robert Yang (The Tearoom), software artist Everest Pipkin (Lacework) and more in conversation around gaming. Cross-dimensional, augmented reality collective Keiken discuss how a group of three navigate institutions as one entity. Theatre Charity Intermission Youth will host two panels around structural barriers in short filmmaking with panellists including Oscar winner Mark Rylance (Dunkirk, Bridge of Spies) , Ngozi Onwurah (Welcome II The Terrordome) and Joy Gharoro Akpojotor (Blue Story).
This year gone, “the film festival industry has had to re-adapt incredibly quickly and with much creativity” (Philip Ilson), offering audiences a unique experience from conventional film festival-going. This edition, LSFF are able to offer 48 hours accessibility to all programmes and more cost-effective pricing. Special Events are priced at £5, New Shorts £4 and industry events free. LSFF are also offering passes to their Competition and Documentary programmes starting from £12.