“(LSFF) is a festival not afraid to take creative risks and nurture new talent, something rarely seen in this age of austerity and conformity.” — i-D
Founded in 2003, London Short Festival (LSFF) is a BAFTA-qualifying, internationally regarded independent short film festival.
Each January, LSFF hosts ten days of short form, conversation and multidisciplinary curation. We present between 250-500 British and international films each edition, collaboratively programmed down from 5000+ open submissions, alongside Special Events and an industry offering of workshops, panels and discussion for filmmakers and workers.
LSFF exists to spotlight a multiplicity of filmmakers, visual artists and creatives, across intersections and with a commitment to peripheral voices. We pride ourselves on an 18 year ethos of giving screen-space and visibility to unconventional and thoroughly independent filmmaking, and our programming seeks to situate the contemporary in dialogue with its history and the world at large. We consider LSFF both a platform where filmmakers can cut their teeth and define their careers, and a celebrator of the archival treasures and talent that got us here.
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PHILIP ILSON, Artistic Director
Philip co-founded LSFF with Kate Taylor in 2003 under its original nominer Halloween Short Film Festival, following ten years of running its predecessor The Halloween Society through its various guises as a film and club night. He is Short Film Programmer for the BFI London Film Festival and has previously programmed for East End Film Festival, Cork Film Festival, Branchage Festival, Latitude and Curzon Soho.
SHIRA MACLEOD, Managing Director
Shira is a champion of repertory cinema and has 18 years' experience working with and programming short films. She was Cinema Director at Riverside Studios for 11 years then Cinema Director at Regent St Cinema for 5 years, hosting LSFF editions at both venues. She has since worked as a consultant for Bertha Dochouse and as a film programmer for The Arnolfini Bristol and Raindance. She has most recently curated the In Short, Europe Short Film Festival for EUNIC.
ALICE MAESTRINI, Festival Producer
Alice Maestrini is a film festival producer and cinema manager. Before joining LSFF, she worked in production roles at various festivals including the London Korean Film Festival, Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival and London Feminist Film Festival. She’s also the co-director of Screen25, a community cinema in South Norwood.
CHARLOTTE ASHCROFT, Marketing & Events Manager
Charlotte has held film marketing roles at Film Hub Scotland, Film4 Online, the ICA and Showroom Sheffield, working across a range of projects, seasons and new releases. She is an alumnus of the ICO Cultural Cinema Exhibition Course, the Europa Cinemas Innovation Lab in Sofia and is on the submissions team for the Glasgow Short Film Festival.
VARUN RAMAN, UK Programming Lead
Varun has previously programmed for the UK Student Competition at Encounters, the New Talents Live Action Competition at PÖFF Shorts and was on the SXSW and Fantastic Fest screening teams. He was also Festival Coordinator at Grimmfest and is a writer, filmmaker and Script Reader for the BFI NETWORK's Short Film and Early Development Funds.
QILA GILL, International Programming Lead
Qila Gill is a film programmer and producer. Alongside being the International Programmer at LSFF, she is a selection committee member at Sheffield Doc/Fest and has programmed for London Film Festival and Aesthetica Film Festival. She is a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts,
a member of BGDM, POC2, and an alumnus of IFFR Sessions.
T A P E Collective, Special Events & Industry Programmer
T A P E Collective are a London based collective consisting of Angela Moneke, Nellie Alston and Isra Al Kassi who work across production, distribution and exhibition. Launched 6 years ago after meeting as Barbican Young Programmers T A P E has since programmed in venue and online screenings, produced zines, hosted cross-arts events and supported new film releases.
SYLVIE DUMONT, UK Pre-Selector
Sylvie has been a pre-selector at LSFF since 2020. She has volunteered and worked for Raindance Film Festival, Open City Documentary Festival, LOCO, LFF, and participated in a Young Curator panel for UK Asian Film Festival. She is currently studying part-time for an MA at Goldsmiths University in Postcolonial Culture and Global Policy.
RAKIYA HASAN, UK Pre-Selector
Rakiya Hasan is a creative director with a passion for film. She has experience of many areas of production and acting for screen and stage, and is part of a youth theatre called Intermission Youth. She was blessed to get an agent through Intermission where she surrounded herself in a positive creative environment that nurtured her interests. She worked on production behind the camera, on directing, cinematography and editing. She is a storyteller and can deliver stories on set and acting, on screen and stage. Rakiya loves to escape in stories and her mind never rests in thinking of new things.
MASCUUD DAHIR, UK Pre-Selector
Mascuud is an actor born and raised in East London. Recently, he completed a month-long run of a modern day retelling of Romeo and Juliet at the Cheslea Theatre where he played Friar Laurence. Mascuud has a love for all-sorts of film. He recently, in an attempt to bolster his film knowledge, watched 100 films before the end of the year.
UMLODA IBRAHIM, International Pre-Selector
Umloda has a background in Interior Architecture and is currently completing an MA in Global Cinemas, with a focus in African and Middle Eastern regions. Her previous experience includes being a Project Assistant at One World Media and Production Assistant at Film Africa Film Festival and Lewisham Youth Theatre. Her interests, other than coffee and the Marvel franchise, is in claiming back narratives through storytelling and telling authentic stories about the people around her.
MO-JAI MCKEOWN, International Pre-Selector
Mo-Jai is a student, currently researching at the intersection of film and critical theory during his MPhil Film and Screen Studies at the University of Cambridge. His interests lie in the capacities of experimental and art film to convey animal presence beyond the human subject. This forms part of a broader consideration of cinema’s resonance with post-subjective philosophies which seek to convey a multiplicity of being, channeled through Jacques Derrida's figures of ghosts and the spectral. Beyond academic work, Mo-Jai previously served on the Youth Jury at Sheffield Doc/Fest, and was an International pre-selector for last year’s London Short Film Festival.
MARIA PARADINAS, International Pre-Selector
Maria Paradinas is a film archive researcher from London. She is particularly interested in the politics of the archive, and how we may confront, interrogate and delineate the power structures it encodes. Maria has previously programmed film events at the Barbican, and assisted curation for an artists’ moving-image exhibition at LUX. She is currently a juror for the FOCAL International awards.
KAKI WONG, International Pre-Selector
Born in Hong Kong, Kaki is currently based between London, Hong Kong, Iceland. She graduated from the London Film School - MA in Filmmaking in March 2018. Her films are mainly about strange human relationships and fantasies, featuring female characters and stories. She is currently working towards her debut feature film, Fire Room. Fire Room has participated in The 18th Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum and Berlinale Talents Script Station 2021.
Kit Mason, Designer
Georgia Lowe, Website design