London Short Film Festival 620
Stick ’em up! Eve Hedderick-Turner, Matilda Sturridge and Bonnie Wright star in How (Not) to Rob a Train playing at Hackney Picturehouse on 13 January as part of the London Short Film Festival. Photograph: Claire Pepper

Short films will be in plentiful supply this month with the return of the London Short Film Festival to cinemas in East London.

Hackney Picturehouse and Oval Space are two of the host venues for the 12th edition of the festival, taking place from 9–18 January.

This year’s programme is billed as a snapshot of 21st Century Britain, complete with love stories, horror stories, comedy, documentary, music and low budget gems.

An eclectic itinerary includes themed programmes such as Surreal World and Night of the Living Docs, as well as special screenings and events.

Iain Sinclair and Andrew Kötting will be discussing their new project By Our Selves, a film that traces the journey of Romantic poet John Clare from Epping Forest to Northamptonshire accompanied by a straw bear.

Other highlights include a fashion film programme, a night of queer short film and music, and Fourwalls, a selection of films about housing made by Londoners.

Favouring original voices over mainstream filmmakers, the LSFF has become the most comprehensive showcase of short film in the UK.

Festival director Philip Ilson has spelt out the festival’s mission, saying: “We want to be challenging and questioning; looking behind the curtain to seek out what’s hidden, and expose it to the world.

“It’s an amazing feeling to get wowed by the ground breaking creative work coming through year after year and get that out in front of excited audiences.”

For the full programme see

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