LSFF 2022 Award Winners

And just like that, LSFF 2022 is over! After a year of uncertainty, we were able to return to an in-venue festival across London, and our amazing audiences showed up to support us. Sold-out screenings, buzzing live events and inspiring industry sessions – we couldn’t be more grateful for the support of our supporters, partners, filmmakers and audience members.

As always, our Juries watched and deliberated over our Competition strands before awarding their winners. Below is a list of the winning and runner-up films in each category, with the judges’ comments.

UK Short Film Award

Winner: Play It Safe directed by Mitch Kalisa

“The winner of the UKshort competition is an incredibly powerful parable that tackles its subject of prejudice and unconscious racism with confidence, sophistication and clarity. A deeply cinematic experience that grips the viewer through a combination of subjective, intimate storytelling, engaging performances and impeccable and visceral craft work. This filmmaker shows us how much can be said within the limited timeframe of a short film, and just how much we as an audience can feel.”

Runner-up: Irani Bag directed by Maryam Tafakory

“A video essay that deconstructs a cinematographic motif in order to propose a powerful textual and political analysis of censorship and intimacy in post-revolution Iran. Irani Bag not only exposes a codified vocabulary, it also invites the spectator to reconsider the relationship to (and between) sight and touch.”

International Short Film Award

Winner: Listen to the Beat of Our Images directed by Audrey Jean-Baptiste & Maxime Jean-Baptiste

“This imaginative visual essay delves into the archives to explore the impact of space exploration from the perspective of a young Guyanese woman whose world is being transformed. With its evocative soundscape and thoughtful scripting, the jury enjoyed the filmmakers' artful approach to a surprising story.”

Runner-up: Sër Bi directed by Moly Kane

“A work that addresses a difficult subject matter, not often seen in narrative fiction film, with clarity and simplicity that is difficult to achieve. We commend in particular the impeccable craft and the engaging main performance.”

TAASH Award for Comedy in Film

Winner: Three Meetings of the Extraordinary Committee directed by Jones.

This award was presented via video by actor Mark Rylance, who praised the film for its Orwellian satire of bureaucracy and false promises.

In celebration of the life of promising filmmaker Nataasha Van Kampen, this award remembers her boundless talent and humour. The award was judged and awarded by Mark Rylance, Claire van Kampen, Director, writer, Composer; Juliet Rylance, Actress; and Chris van Kampen, Architect.

Lo-Budget Mayhem Award

Winner: What I Imagined the dying fly, with the broken leg, was feeling directed by Hugh Clegg

“When you think of films, the examples that come to mind might be your studio film which is filmed with the most cutting-edge cameras on a state of the art studio lot, with an insanely talented and expensive VFX company to boot. Or you might not think that since you probably have better taste than me.

Anyway, what I am trying to say is that you don’t need all of that for your work to be considered a film, and the films in the Lo-Budget Mayhem programme prove that. The filmmakers behind these pictures managed to make a lot with a little. To make people feel something with 300 million dollars in your pocket is easy. To do it on a budget, however… not so much.

Watching these shorts it was fascinating to laugh and to be moved and at times be slightly unnerved while I was sitting in the front row at the Rio Dalston. We believe that one film, however, really fit the bill here. When we think of that phrase ‘Lo-Budget Mayhem’ – one film keeps coming to mind. A film that really hit the mark. It was an absolute crowd-pleaser." Written by Mascuud Dahir