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Winners & Special Mentions: London Lift-Off Film Festival 2023

Thank you to all the filmmakers who participated in the 2023 London Lift-Off Film Festival. It has been a fantastic experience witnessing so many filmmakers taking part and the tremendous global support for authentic independent cinema.

After meticulous scrutiny, the judges' evaluations have been combined with the audience's feedback. We extend our warmest congratulations to the filmmakers who graced our screens! In particular, we commend the following films for their exceptional contribution...


Festival Winners

We are thrilled to announce the London Lift-Off Film Festival winners in their respective categories! Huge congratulations to all the winners!

Now and Then

Dir. Harris Alvi
Synopsis:While moving house, a middle-aged Muslim woman finds a box of old tapes filled with the memories of her husband's previous relationship and becomes increasingly obsessed

Short Listed for Best Short Live Action Narrative

How to Build a Life

Dir. Matthew Reese
Synopsis: Louis, a young man with Asperger’s, talks candidly with his older brother about the decade of bullying that nearly ended his life. For the first time, he shares the details of his harrowing journey from the depths of depression, to finding hope through his dog best friend and renewed passion for Lego, in the form of stop-motion.

Short Listed for Short Documentary

Unstoppable - Inside the mind of the extreme triathlete

Dir. Ben Hull
Synopsis: The secret of success in endurance challenges goes beyond the physical to become a battle that is fought and won in the mind.

Short Listed for Best Feature Documentary

Short Listed Films

The Lift-Off Season Awards is an annual event that celebrates the very best of indie film. Following each Lift-Off film festival, films that have excelled in their respective category are short listed for a Season Awards Nomination.  At the end of the year, once all the 12 city-based festival have taken place, the shortlisted nominated films are reviewed again by the jury and Official Nominations are designated.  Click here for more information about the Lift-Off Season Awards.


Dir. Richard Elson
Synopsis: Cassian is terrified of his abusive father Cain. Cain sees son as a weak burden who doesn’t understand his Welsh heritage. Cassian runs away to a far corner of the failing farm and meets an enigmatic vaudeville performer named Lottie. Lottie has the power to grant wishes so Cassian hopes to make the scariest scarecrow ever to help save the family farm. Lottie obliges, with terrible consequences.

Special Mention and Short Listed for Best Short Live Action Narrative

A Dishonourable Death.

Synopsis: "A Dishonourable Death” is a darkly comic, debut short film, satirising traditional manifestations of honour through a warped masculine lens… exploring varying degrees of prejudice across the board: class, race, sex and the perception of ’the hero’. The film toys with the concept of heroism. What exactly is that? Who is the hero here? Is there one? Or are there only victims? Can heroism in its traditional form exist in such a dark and twisted chaos, where the foundations of moral value are built on what may or may have not been said in a pub… once upon a time. Is it worth it? And to whom?

Special Mention and Short Listed for Best Acting Ensemble

Audience Choice

The Audience Choice award is given to the filmmakers whose film received the most votes during the festival. The filmmakers will be invited to join us on the Lift-Off YouTube channel for a directors commentary roundtable. Join in the conversation as we delve deeper into each film.

For Years to Come

Dir. Micah Stuart
Synopsis: A gay man falls in love with his dead mother's hospice nurse, while struggling to reconcile with his elderly father...who's secretly a porn director. This new romantic dramedy stars veteran character actor Richard Riehle.


Dir. Milo James Tucker
Synopsis: Two girls make a deal- but is it the one they thought they were making?

Eyes on the Nightstand

Dir. Hannah Gordon
Synopsis: A surrealist drama about a young woman coping with her past trauma while an eclectic group of characters find themselves influencing her actions.

Alameda - Here is Anywhere

Dir. Patti Cary
Synopsis: When a recently retired science teacher, Patty May, witnesses something she can’t explain, she makes it her mission to solve the mystery of Rusty, a man suddenly gone missing, and Scout, the sweet dog he left behind.

A Peculiarly Bizarre Day For Josie Joan

Dir. Federico Balla
Synopsis: Josie Joan loses everything in one day. Their job, their home, and the love of their life. At an all time low, Josie discovers something magical. What is the cost of all your desires becoming reality? Can you find family in your worst enemies? And why the cuss are people throwing up ping-pong balls? Join Josie on their journey reconciling with their life - rivalry, adultery and sheer cussing lunacy.