The Air Draft returns to Grow as we host the London Short Film Festival in January 2019

We’re very excited to annouce we’re hosting next year's London Short Film Festival in January, alongside the ICARich Mix LondonRegent Street Cinema and Curzon Cinema Soho . On Sat 12 and Sun 13 January, the Air Draft returns to Grow and throughout the weekend, films and performances will be shown in this floating pavillion and inside Grow itself. This weekend also includes the LSFF 2019: Emo Video Jukebox and LSFF 2019: Sketch Night + Live Comedy.

The Air Draft is repurposed industrial barge-turned-inflatable theatre, the Air Draft (created by architects Thomas Randall-Page and Benedetta Rogers) and is designed to float atop Hackney’s waterways hosting performance and play. Inspired by architect Jeffrey Shaw’s “floating city” Ant Farm, the London Short Film Festival has programmed two days of live performance and film, taking the Air Draft’s homage to public art and playfulness further down the rabbit hole of LSFF’s fascination with the pneumatic. Full programme below.

Arrive an hour early before the performance and stay-for-a-long-as-you-like post-film in the Winter Garden to enjoy a range of organic, independent and fair-trade drinks (including organic wines and processco , mulled wine and cider, ales and a range of soft drinks including Kompassion Kumbucha and Rejuce and some food from guest vegan kitchen at this totally unique creative space by the River Lea in Hackney Wick. 


Saturday 12 January


(16:00 & 19:30) on the AirDraft
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Fresh from the twisted machinations and fertile imagination of Cumbrian-born, London-dwelling artist and seer Natalie Sharp, Lone Taxidermist’s debut album Trifle is a gallery of grotesquerie not recommended for either the nervous of disposition or lactose intolerant. Arriving from a nocturnal world of sex and skullduggery, these irreverent and outlandish ditties exist on a unique psychic realm in which the profane and profound happily step out together on the lash - a collision between the high-maintenance and the kitchen sink that’s a feverish spectacle tobehold. The live experience of this musical and visual journey takes us into the unruly depths of sploshing, gender bending, food porn and squelchy mass ritual. Lone Taxidermist’s utterly bizarre and otherworldly dominatrix tactics, all wrapped up in plastic, turn audiences members into exhibitionists.

Invariably on the lookout for new and surreal dimensions of expression, Sharp’s malicious metier lurks somewhere between the eldritch diva manifestations of Diamanda Galas and the wry reflections of Victoria Wood, yet equally driven by a magpie spirit and conceptual chutzpah redolent of Leigh Bowery and an acidic wit damaged by John Cooper Clarke. It’s a stylistic path that has led to her being increasingly over-subscribed as collaborative maverick of choice for a dizzying array of artists, including recent work with Jenny Hval and Gazelle Twin.



16:30 in Grow
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Huw Wahl, UK 2016, 86 mins

Founded by the filmmaker’s father Ken Turner and Mary Turner in 1968, Action Space used large interactive inflatable structures to create interventions into public spaces. By bringing together artists, performers, dancers, painters and musicians, the movement sought to produce cultural democratic spaces for art, education and creative play outside of the restrictive gallery system arena. This film looks at the years between ‘68 and ‘78, exploring contemporary and pertinent issues around public / private space, individual / collective creativity, community and responsibility, emancipation and play. Featuring archive footage alongside discussions with key members of the movement, present-day writers and theorists, it uses the construction of a new inflatable to bring these arguments into the contemporary realm. This is the story of a radical artist-led art movement told through a personal lens.

Action Space


17:45 (Air Draft)
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Also shown on Sunday 18:30 (Air Draft)
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A programme of work by artist filmmakers whose work delves into manipulation of the human body, whether through animation or in real life, to create grotesque and stunning images which amaze and astound. We showcase work by Rachel MacLean, Ross Blake, David Lewandowski, Jasmine de Silva, Bart Hess, Nadia Lee Cohen, Monica Menez, Harriet Fleuriot &; Sarah Cockings.

A Beautiful Body Horror Video Show


18:30 (Grow)
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Also shown on Sunday 16:00 (AirDraft)
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Brecht Debackere, 2016, Netherlands, 65’

Knokke, Belgium. A small mundane coastal town, home to the beau-monde. To compete with Venice and Cannes, the posh casino hosts the second World Festival of Film and the Arts in 1949, organized in part by the Royal Cinematheque of Belgium. To celebrate cinema’s 50 year existence, they put together a side programme showcasing the medium in all its shapes and forms: surrealist film, absolute film, dadaist film, abstract film. The side programme would soon become a festival in its own right called Exprmntl, dedicated to experimental cinema, and would become a mythical gathering of the avant-garde, championing Expanded Cinema and the integration of multimedia arts, music and non-cinema spaces. Exprmntl knew only five editions, in 1949, 1958, 1963, 1967 and 1974 but those five editions became known as the most legendary of all experimental film festivals.

The documentary Exprmntl tells the story of experimental film through the history of this festival, a history which tells us how we came to understand what we watch, a history which questions the very nature of film and how a big part of how we understand our world relies on the very nature of moving images, very much in line and a source of inspiration for LSFF’s programming.



20:30 (Grow)
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After gestating for the better part of the Nineties, emo broke through to the MTV2 mainstream in the early Aughts, suckering in the angsty young hearts and existential woes of a million kohl-eyed teens.

For LSFF’s Saturday night offering, we bathe in the millennium’s last true subculture. We’re throwing it back with a music video jukebox from the pre-broadband golden age of punk rock and emo, featuring directors Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry and the music of Taking Back Sunday, Jimmy Eat World, Rival Schools and many more.

Emo Video.

Sunday 13 January


16:00 (AirDraft)
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Description above


17:00 (Grow)
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LSFF’s always raucous Sketch Night is back delivering quick hit shorts and live comedy to thaw out your wintry soul. Warm up with Bug’s Adam Buxton, Steve Oram (Aaaaaaaah!), Mathew Kelly (Stars in your Eyes), Asa Butterfield (Hugo) and Jason Flemyng (Lock Stock &; Two Smoking Barrels) appearing as psychopathic puppets, Scandi detectives, devil worshippers and, you know, everything in between. 64’

Live comedy from sketch duo Ladylikes interrogating gender expectations and female relationships, and Nigerian-born, London-based stand up Akin Omobitan. In association with Short Sighted Cinema. Hosted by Gem Carmella.

Sketch Night.jpeg


17:15 (Air Draft)
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Nick Jordan/Clara Casian, 2017, UK, 59’

A documentary portrait of Braziers Park School of Integrative Social Research (Braziers), a resident community and progressive college exploring co-existence, collective work and our place in nature. Centred upon insights from current residents and members, the film interweaves scenes of daily life with the natural features, architectural characteristics and diverse cultural history of the community.

Set in the wider context of intentional communities, sustainable living, and the economics ofpostcapitalism, Intentional Community explores the ‘sociobiological’ ideas of Braziers’ founders -psychiatrist Norman Glaister and educationalist Dorothy Glaister, who established the community in 1950 as a social experiment in group co-existence. Today, Braziers is the longest-running secular resident community in the UK, and hosts courses and festivals such as Supernormal.

Structured with a collaged, layered approach, the composite film makes correspondences between the past and present, combing interior and exterior spaces of the gothic manor house with material from Braziers’ archive of photographs, audio recordings and film; including scenes from a Situationist gathering in 1964, attended by writers Alexander Trocchi and Jeff Nuttall, artist John Latham and psychiatrist R.D. Laing. Intentional Community also explores Braziers’ links to the Common Wealth political party, the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry/Kibbo Kift and GrithFyrd peace camps, reflecting Braziers’ deep-rooted social values, progressive ideas on education, ecological awareness and pertinent links to the counterculture.

Original soundtrack score by Lord Mongo.

Intentional Community


18:30 (Air Draft)
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About the Airdraft

The AirDraft is an innovative and purpose-built inflatable performance venue on a former industrial barge designed by Thomas Randall-Page and Benedetta Rogers and funded by East London based charity Antepavilion.  The golden balloon-like pavilion with is undulating air-supported floor is an intimate yet dramatic and cultural venue like no other.  It is a unique and exceptional environment to experience performances and with its eye-catching form it will be a striking addition to the cultural landscape of the canal.