BAFTA Nominated Short Films at the 2018 London Short Film Festival

The BAFTA nominations have been announced and this year’s London Short Film Festival sees Best Short potentials scattered across their competition programmes, contenders equally for LSFF’s Best British Short prize. See all of the featured nominees below and book now to see them all on the big screen. Make up your own mind on the year's best.

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AAMIR, dir. Vika Evdokimenko

Inspired by a true story but not one in particular, a narrative all the more devastating in its universality, Aamir follows its thirteen year old namesake separated from his family and stranded alone in the largest unofficial refugee camp of Europe, the Calais jungle. Designed by The Lobster’s Jacqueline Abrahams and photographed by American Honey’s Robbie Ryan, Aamir’s haptic camerawork clings to him in place of a protector, shot on 16mm and always cut tight to close up, frantic and heavy with his panic and wide eyed with his uncertainty. Handling its topic matter compassionately but distinctly without sugarcoating, Aamir establishes both Vika Evdokimenko and it’s lead Alan Asaad as ones to watch.

Showing as part of Skin Thick Too Tough, Weds 17 Jan, Curzon Soho


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WREN BOYS, dir. Harry Lighton 

Through details subtle and otherwise, eyes twitching on the peripheries and unabashed verbal abuse thrown across waiting rooms, judgement is Wren Boys’ anchoring theme. Beginning with vignettes of a ‘traditional’ childhood bird-hunt tinged with pagan motifs, intermixed with a Catholic Sunday sermon suggesting perhaps their interchangeability and beginning its probing of ‘judgement’ as systems at play, Wren Boys sees this same small town Irish priest driving his nephew to a prison visit. Foul mouthed and chain smoking respectively, in surprising high spirits the entire ride, the film itself pivots at this mid-way point with a clever reveal - from behind the neighbour’s net curtains or as spectators ourselves sucking up conventions to leap to conclusions, things are never as they seem. A bittersweet LGBT drama.

Showing as part of Dreams Of You In Both Worlds, Sun 14 Jan, Curzon Soho


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A DROWNING MAN, dir. Mahdi Fleifel

Alone and far from home, The Kid - whom we know little about except he is originally from Palestine and is ‘dying for a smoke’ - makes his way through a strange city looking for the means to get through his day. Mahdi Fleifel’s drifting camera, dipping in and out of focus, hustles through crowds, waivering always enough to keep us displaced right along with our protagonist - a down-and-out too far on the wrong side of desperate to be considered romantic but with visuals dreamy enough that this desperation seeps in slowly, softly, a thoroughly bad dream. Where the city proves itself hard and uncompromising, Fleifel’s aesthetic offers The Kid lacking tenderness. Surrounded by predators, he is forced to make compromises merely to survive, his life of exile growing one day longer.

Showing as part of Skin Thick Too Tough, Weds 17 Jan, Curzon Soho


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WORK, dir. Aneil Karia

With echoes of Fish Tank, Work offers an insightful chronicle of Jess, an eighteen year old Londoner on the precipice of womanhood confronted with its physicality - from her body refusing to conquer complex dance steps to being sexually assaulted on a London bus, we watch Jess struggling with ‘coming into’ personhood and this jarring against the lack of control she seems to have over the body that houses it. Feeling undervalued by her family proves her final straw and something flips with a final act of reclamation, her perspective of the world around her shifting as she faces off with its capacity for injustice. A deftly perceptive, satisfyingly homegrown London-shot piece.

Showing as part of Skin Thick Too Tough, Weds 17 Jan, Curzon Soho


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THE COLOUR OF HIS HAIR, dir. Sam Ashby

Finally, not to be missed is Sam Ashby's ‘impressionistic meditation on post-war outlawed queer life’, LGBT period drama The Colour of His Hair, featuring a poignant turn from BAFTA Rising Star nominee, God’s Own Country’s Josh O’Connor.

Playing in LSFF’s Pictures Snatched Out the Frame competition programme, Sat 13 Jan, Curzon Soho


The 2018 London Short Film Festival takes place at venues across the city, including Curzon Soho, from January 12th - January 21st. Find out more about the programme by visiting the LSFF page on the Curzon website.

Ryan Hewitt