Aspiring film makers celebrate as Virgin Media Shorts reveals finalists
Budding directors prepare for film to be judged by panel of industry experts
The UK’s biggest short film competition, Virgin Media Shorts, has today unveiled the film makers that have successfully made this year’s shortlist.
The twelve shortlisted film makers will now go on to be judged by a panel of industry heavyweights including acclaimed British actor John Hurt CBE, The Bourne Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass and and Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll director Mat Whitecross. All are now in the running to receive the Grand Prize: up to £30,000 film funding to make their next film hand-in-hand with the British Film Institute.
The announcement of the shortlist also marks the launch of the coveted People’s Choice Award – voted for entirely by the public atwww.virginmediashorts.co.uk. This gives film fans across the UK the chance to support their favourite film, with the winner receiving thousands of pounds worth of film equipment. The People’s Choice Award and the sought-after grand prize will be presented at a glittering awards ceremony to be held at BFI Southbank on November 10th 2011.
The shortlisted film makers hail from across the UK with a variety of backgrounds, including a mum who juggles being a doctor with making films in her spare time, a photographer who shot his film whilst travelling in India, a member of the writing team behind BBC comedy series The Thick Of It and a full-time film maker who spent nothing making his short which was inspired by – and stars – his ailment-suffering granny! All hope to follow in the steps of previous winners such as Luke Snellin, a talented film maker who won Virgin Media Shorts in 2009 with his film Mixtape, which went on to be nominated for a BAFTA. Since his win, Luke’s career has gone from strength to strength; he recently showcased his new film Disco (funded by his prize money) on the international film circuit, winning awards including Best Screenplay at the LA New Wave International Film Festival earlier this year. Luke is now writing his first feature.
Now in its fourth year, Virgin Media Shorts gives aspiring film makers the opportunity to have their work showcased to millions of people across the country through four distribution channels, including cinemas nationwide, on TV (via Virgin Media’s Movies On Demand and an app for Virgin Media’s TiVo), on mobile and online. The finalists are now looking forward to having their work shown on over 200 Picturehouse and independent cinema screens across the country for a whole year, a unique opportunity for those trying to break into an industry that is notoriously competitive.
Judge Mat Whitecross says “It can be extremely hard for film makers to get a break and succeed in putting their work out there. Virgin Media Shorts does a fantastic job of giving upcoming film makers the chance to be seen by some hugely influential industry people. It’s become more than a competition: it’s now a community.”
Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media said “It’s great that Virgin Media Shorts has struck such a chord with aspiring film makers. This year’s shortlist even includes a re-entry from the winner of last year’s People’s Choice Award; saying last year whetted his appetite for more success. Anyone that loves shorts and film should check out www.virginmediashorts.co.uk for their chance to vote in the People’s Choice Award.”