Double Anamaria
Seeing double: Anamaria Marinca in Bootstrapped, a short film by Tony Grisoni playing at the ICA on 10 January as part of the London Short Film Festival

Films about peer pressure, relationships gone wrong and cats are to feature at the London Short Film Festival, returning this month for its 13th edition.

Hackney Picturehouse, the Ace Hotel Shoreditch and the Round Chapel in Lower Clapton are host venues for the festival, which aims to offer a snapshot of contemporary Britain in the most confrontational of terms.

Fucked Up Love (Hackney Picturehouse, 9 January) is a selection of shorts focusing on extra-marital affairs, sex games, prostitution and misread moments, from a story of a couple trying to take a picture they both agree on, told through the lens of a photo booth, to a short in which an act of animal cruelty creates a schism in a couple’s relationship.

There’s a focus on groups of people, with programmes about motherhood, lonely men and peer pressure amongst urban youth. And with the refugee crisis still very much in the spotlight, a programme of shorts entitled Movement: Refugee and Migrant examines perceptions of immigration and the grim realities many immigrants face.

One programme likely to pull in crowds has a feline focus. Cats&Cats&Cats is a celebration of the best in classic and contemporary cat cinema, to be held at the Round Chapel on 14 January. A live score by psychedelic three-piece Stealing Sheep will accompany some classic mog-centred shorts such as Private Life of a Cat (US, 1949), Cat’s Cradle (US, 1959), Jayne Parker’s The Cat and the Woman: a Cautionary Tale (UK, 1982), as well as three new cat films specially commissioned for the festival.

Films from around the world make up an unprecedented number of submissions – nearly 2,000 in total – with Bootstrapped, the latest short by award-winning screenwriter Tony Grisoni, the pick among the many offerings by local filmmakers.

London Short Film Festival
8–17 January 2016

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