Kino London – The Monthly Open Mic Short Film Night

Where: Vibe Bar, Brick Lane
When: 05/01/12 (and every first Thursday of the month)

We wanted to start 2012, and our plan to make the most of London, with something a little bit different and unusual. What we didn’t expect to find was Shoreditch’s answer to Keith Lemon in a trilby. Let me explain: on Thursday we went to Kino – a monthly open mic short film night where anyone can screen films under six minutes.

Arriving at Vibe Bar, we were asked by two separate people where Kino was – obviously we looked the part. The bar is classic shabby chic, mismatched chairs/sofas and very Shoreditch (there was even free popcorn). The night started off with a screening of ‘His Haunted Laughter’, a silent film about a deranged clown introduced by film-maker Jamie H. Scrutton, or as we will forever know him – Keith (could easily have been Leigh Francis hiding behind a hat!). We, and perhaps the rest of audience too, weren’t entirely convinced by the film. It was visually interesting but fell slightly on the pretentious side of innovative and we were a bit concerned about what the night would bring.

However, the films that followed allayed our fears and included ‘The Event’, a film about a mystery vision in the sky, and Colourvision, exploring relationships and race. ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’, an excellent animated film with no dialogue, and a trailer for our favourite, ‘Daydreams’, by Yemi Barimo, are embedded below alongside Scrutton’s effort. Barimo’s story of elderly people in a care home expertly conveyed poignancy, humour, sadness, memory and loss in 7.5 minutes (breaking the rules!) The audience was transfixed and Yemi received a deserved huge applause.

Other highlights included Molly Brown’s very funny ‘Guide to Fine Dining’, which included the amusing abbreviation of CYH-SEO (Careful You’ll Have Someone’s Eye Out). The food theme continued with ‘Dining’ by Johnny Pratt, a film about a woman with a Zombie husband attempting to live a normal suburban lifestyle. ‘The Spy’ by Andy Lewis (a Kino regular) was shot entirely on an iPhone 4. The biggest laugh of the night came during ‘A Game of Monopoly’ by Gusack Movies, a trailer for a film based on Monopoly in the style of Ridley Scott – very funny and a great idea.

There was also an opportunity for anyone in the audience to come up with film ideas to be made for the London Short Film Festival. Made in one week, with anyone involved in the filming, they’ll be screened on Thursday 12th. Our favourite ideas were ‘Dolphin in a coma’ and ‘Because today we are remembering grass’. ‘Occupy Yourself’, a previous Kino challenge about sex line addiction (and an angry miniskirt), was screened by a group of people who had only met for the first time a month earlier.

The night provided some fantastic examples of innovative film-making and exciting new directors, and certainly provided something different. The films were a little hit and miss, but at an average of 5 minutes per film, this really didn’t matter. The audience participation for the Kino challenges was also great fun. There is a full bar upstairs where the films are screened and, while the prices were cheap, there was a single, fairly useless barman for around 100 people. Get your drinks for the night early!


If you’re interested in film and looking for something different to do in London this is a great night, and for only £4 each it’s really cheap. Go with an open mind, and I’m sure like us you’ll appreciate the talent of the film makers and actors involved and see something a little unexpected.