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The Voice at the LSFF: 'Youth in Revolt' and 'Teenage Kicks'

CRUSH: Danae Jean-Marie plays Ella, who follows her big brother's friend around

TO SOFTEN the blow of getting up to go to work this morning, Londoners were treated to a weekend of independent and award-winning films at the London Short Film Festival (LSFF), which ended yesterday.

The LSFF is now in its 14th year and The Voice were happy to celebrate all month, attending screenings, film maker Q&As and themed events; which included the Youth in Revolt and Teenage Kicks selections as well as a throwback screening of Shonda Rimes' Crossroads which starred Britney Spears and Zoe Saldana (pictured below).

Saturday saw The Voice team munching our way through a big bar of chocolate whilst we sat comfortably in reclining seats at the Hackney Picturehouse for the Youth in Revolt and Teenage Kicks shorts.

A highlights of the Youth in Revolt-themed films was Macarena (Alnoor Dewshi), which appeared to be a parody of young bloggers and later revealed itself as a painful glimpse into a young pre-teen's life with a single dad prone to violent outbursts. We hear Jade, the young YouTuber in question, field questions such as: "Is positivity putting food on the table?!" from her screaming dad, before we see her return to her still-recording camera phone with a split lip.

Knock Down Ginger (Cleo Samoles Little ) then transported us to an unidentified London council estate where girls with gelled-down baby hairs and tracksuits threw eggs from a roof and conjured-up memories of secondary school japes that had the capacity to turn ugly quickly.

Ding Dong Ditch (Trevor Williams), set in south London's Lewisham, showed a group of young boys on what seemed to be an ordinary day riding bikes until one of them remained near-silent throughout the film; even after discovering a dead body.

After a short break, those massive reclining chairs beckoned once again for the Teenage Kicks collection of films, which included We Love Moses, from writer / director Dionne Edwards; whom we spoke with last week.

Edwards and producer Georgia Goggins didn't disappoint, allowing us a glimpse into the world of Ella (pictured above) and her brother who pales into insignificance next to the boy he introduces as his best friend, Moses. Shocking secrets came to the fore as we watched the trio get older.

Sweet Maddie Stone (Brady Hood) took us to another part of the country, where the brash anti-heroine Stone went from running a successful sweet business from the playground to facing harsh realities stemming from her father's imprisonment. Jessica Barden's Maddie was executed with all the skill of a Hollywood pro - definitely one to watch.

Finally, Teenage Kicks also featured False Men (Christopher Chuky), a contemporary Shakespearean short complete with council estate stabbings and poetic language.

A special element of this particular cluster of films is the way they were selected. Eight young people from around the UK worked with the charity Into Film to handpick the shorts for Teenage Kicks.

To round off our Sunday night nicely, we cosied-up on the sofa seats (yes, 'sofa seats') in the back row at Picturehouse Central to relive one of our childhood favourites, Crossroads, starring none other than Britney Spears, Zoe Saldana and Taryn Manning of Orange is the New Black. The teen flick was written by Shonda Rimes' way back when Spears was still officially with Justin Timberlake.

Rather than wait for next January's round of films, you can book your place for May's getaway with the LSFF; Down on the Farm; which includes:

"...20 events, happy hours, panel discussions, keynote speakers, networking drinks and (our) Saturday night Networking Dinner."

To find out more and buy tickets, click here.

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