British Short Films on Film

+ intro by directors Andrea Arnold, Ngozi Onwurah and John Smith

This programme includes drug use, strong racial language and implied animal cruelty.

A selection of the best British short films ever made. From the canon of essential cinema to experimental and rarely seen, all screen on original 35mm and 16mm prints. Inspired by BFI’s Film on Film festival and featuring directing icons of British cinema from the 1950s to the new millennium.

Lindsay Anderson (If.…) was part of the radical Free Cinema movement documenting 1950s working class life, O Dreamland being a portrait of visitors to Margate’s iconic fairground. Artist and activist filmmaker Derek Jarman (Blue, Jubilee) famously worked with The Smiths to showcase songs from their The Queen Is Dead album. Aardman Animations charmed the world with Nick Park’s (Wallace & Gromit) Oscar-winning animation Creature Comforts. Award winning short Coffee Coloured Children is by pioneering director Ngozi Onwurah, who’s nineties film Welcome II the Terrordome was the first Black British female directed feature to be commercially released. Veteran experimental British filmmakers Peter Greenaway (The Draughtsman’s Contract, Drowning by Numbers) and John Smith (The Black Tower, Blight) are represented here with early visually playful shorts from the 1970s, Windows and Girl Chewing Gum. There are also early shorts from contemporary directors Andrea Arnold (Fish Tank, American Honey) and Menhaj Huda (Kidulthood, Harry & Meghan) in Dog (starring Freddie Cunliffe) and Jump Boy (starring Preeya Kalidas and Ray Panthaki).

O Dreamland

Director Lindsay Anderson, UK 1953, 13 mins


Director Peter Greenaway, UK 1975, 4 mins

Girl Chewing Gum

Director John Smith, UK 1976, 12 mins

Klipperty Klopp

Director Andrew Kötting, UK 1984, 12 mins

The Queen Is Dead

Director Derek Jarman, UK 1986, 13 mins

Coffee Coloured Children

Director Ngozi Onwurah, UK 1988, 16 mins

Creature Comforts

Director Nick Park, UK 1989, 5 mins

Jump Boy

Director Menhaj Huda, UK 1999, 11 mins


Director Andrea Arnold, UK 2001, 10 mins

Please note that the 35mm print of the short film Dog screening in this programme has French subtitles.

Total runtime 96 mins

LSFF Competition: This Must Be the Place
Sat 20 Jan 20:45
LSFF Competition: There Are New Suns
Wed 24 Jan 20:30
LSFF Competition: Growing Up in Public
Thu 25 Jan 20:45
British Short Films on Film
Fri 26 Jan 18:15
LSFF Competition: A Trick of the Light
Sat 27 Jan 20:40

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Programme notes and credits compiled by Sight and Sound and the BFI Documentation Unit
Notes may be edited or abridged
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