• Lights, camera, action

    Caption Coach directed by Ben Adler won Best Short Film at the Berlin International Film Festival

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Lights, camera, action

London City Island residents were treated to an evening of special screenings of short films in association with The London Film School in advance of the school’s move to the area this autumn.

Eight ‘shorts’, including major contenders for awards at this year’s Cannes and Berlin Film Festivals, were screened to more than 40 newly arrived residents of London City Island, which is fast becoming London’s newest cultural hub. As well as the London Film School, English National Ballet and its Ballet School are also re-locating to London City Island this year.

“Short films are having a huge renaissance,” said Amy Hemmer, manager of Future Shorts, the Hackney-based network that put on the screenings in partnership with the LFS. Since launching just over a decade ago, the company has grown into the world’s largest network for short films.

“There was a great turnout of new residents just moved into London City Island,” said Amy. “It was very laid back and cosy with some people watching the films on beanbags and staying on afterwards to join in conversations discussing the films. It was a really great way of bringing the new community together,” said Amy.

She welcomed “positive on-going talks with Ballymore about making the screenings a regular thing” at LFS. “Shorts are now gaining a huge popularity, especially with platforms like YouTube and Vimeo where you can watch with easy access for three minutes to 20 minutes, instead of spending hours in the cinema”, said Amy.

Just to illustrate how ‘shorts’ are fast becoming a major port-of-entry to Hollywood success for emerging film makers, Damien Chazelle, Best Director at this year’s BAFTAs for La La Land, first cut his teeth on an 18-minute short, premiered at the 2013 Sundance Festival, that went on to become Whiplash, the frantic story of a young jazz drummer.

Ballymore and the LFS are also discussing proposals to set up a four-part film making workshop series on LCI, starting in September. The series will be potentially partnered with Little White Lies, a 15,000-circulation bi-monthly for movie lovers, or Total Film/Empire.

Workshops of 15 people being discussed are: Writing for the Screen; Visual Storytelling, working with a classic film director; Animation, working with London City Island resident Tim Allen; and Filming on an IPhone, working with LFS graduate Fred Van Stridock, who made his graduate film on his mobile.

The LFS’s new home on London City Island will accommodate 220 students, along with over 55 staff, from over 60 countries when it opens in October. Students will study filmmaking, screenwriting and film business in the new purpose-built space which will include two cinemas.

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