Overview of Shorts in the UK
There are a number of organisations involved in short film production and exhibition in the UK, and shorts funding has long played a key role in talent development for both regional and national agencies, helping to develop the voices of filmmakers such as Andrea Arnold, Asif Kapadia, Shane Meadows, Duane Hopkins and Paul Wright.
In 2014/15 Creative England put 20 non-London shorts into production through its iShorts initiative while Film London backed 18 new shorts through its London Calling initiative, and another 5 through London Calling Plus which was open to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic writers and directors from across the capital. Both initiatives are part of the BFI’s NET.WORK, as is the Scottish Film Talent Network which will be funding short film projects from new and emerging talent during 2015.
The UK’s major film schools produced their annual crop of graduation films, with shorts from the National Film and Television School (NFTS), London Film School (LFS) and Royal College of Art (RCA) flying onto the film festival circuit. Notable titles include the NFTS’s The Bigger Picture directed by Daisy Jacobs which has won over 20 prizes on the international festival circuit (Hiroshima, Annecy, Dinard, Message to Man, Edinburgh….), and the LFS’ Leidi, a Colombian-UK co-production directed by Simón Mesa Soto which won the short film Palme D’Or at Cannes 2014.
The UK’s exhibition sector has a healthy commitment to shorts, with several key organisations profiling international and UK short film. 2014 marked the 20th anniversary of Bristol’s dedicated international short film and animation festival Encounters, a key fixture in the film calendar for emerging talent and industry scouts alike. In 2015 The London Short Film Festival entered its 12th year and opened up for international submissions for the first time. Glasgow Short Film Festival continues to fly the flag for short film showcasing in Scotland, as does Edinburgh International Film Festival which, like the BFI London Film Festival, has a dedicated shorts section in its programme. Meanwhile Aesthetica Short Film Festival has established itself as an exciting shorts event in the North of England.
Three UK short films were selected in the final nominations for the 2015 Academy Awards: Independently produced The Phone Call dir. Mat Kirkby, Northern Ireland Screen’s Boogaloo and Graham dir. Michael Lennox, and the NFTS’s The Bigger Picture dir. Daisy Jacobs.
The British Council supports short filmmakers to travel internationally through its Shorts Support Scheme and Travel Grant Fund, which it runs in partnership with the BFI. In 2015 it will continue to offer the British Council UK Shorts Portal, a dedicated online platform that promotes the best new UK work to the international film community.
UK SHORTS AT CLERMONT-FERRAND 2015
The British Council film department manages the We Are UK Film stand at the Clermont-Ferrand short film market. The stand will be open from the 2nd – 6th February and the following UK organisations will be attending: Film London, the London Film School, Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival, Aesthetica Short Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Northern Ireland Screen, Creative England and ShortsTV.
9 UK shorts films have been selected to screen at this year’s festival, they are
National Film and Television School
The Bigger Picture
National Film and Television School
The Brothers McLeod
The Obvious Child
Small People with Hats
Royal College of Art
Loop Ring Chop Drink
Royal College of Art
Royal College of Art
Huge congratulations to all the filmmakers involved!
The Royal College of Art is a wholly postgraduate art and design university based in central London. The RCA provides a number of innovative routes for students wishing to pursue the study of moving image. The School of Communication offers two programmes: Animation and Visual Communication that both explore the possibilities of moving image. The School of Fine Art offers Moving Image and Performance routes for students wishing to pursue the study of moving image in a fine art context.
The Animation programme is led by Professor Joan Ashworth and is regarded as one of the best in the world. Work by students and graduates are screened worldwide in a number of contexts, winning many international and professional awards including an Oscar, many BAFTAs and Jerwood Awards. Students are encouraged to develop their own distinctive voices as filmmakers and can develop narrative, non-narrative, documentary and cross-platform work. The programme has developed an innovative approach to visual writing through which students develop and extend their ideas and imagination. A new research cluster, Serious Animation, is being developed to help reposition Animation as an area of study and practice and as a valuable tool for research.
Moving image is a main discipline within the Visual Communication programme and includes a research strand that focuses on moving image and its development in artists’ film and video within the context of visual communications.
Moving image routes in the School of Fine Art can be explored through one of the four existing Fine Art programmes – Painting, Photography, Printmaking or Sculpture.
Founded in 1956, LFS is one of the world's longest established graduate filmmaking schools. It is constituted as an international conservatoire with 70% of its students coming from outside the UK. The School operates as a working studio, producing around 170 films a year for the two-year, multi-department MA Filmmaking programme. In 2013 LFS films had around 240 festival selections, receiving 45 prizes, as well as BAFTA and Student Oscar nominations.
The School also offers a one-year MA Screenwriting course, a PhD in Film Practice and, launching in 2014, a one-year MA in International Film Business. The MAIFB and Phd programmes are offered in partnership with University of Exeter. Around 50 Continuous Professional Development courses run each year under the ‘LFS Workshops’ banner.
The school is the most active in Europe with post-graduation teaching partnerships, including The Low Budget Film Forum, Making Waves and Serial Eyes.
LFS graduates are established in film and television production in more than eighty countries and include world-renowned filmmakers like Mike Leigh, Michael Mann, Duncan Jones, Tak Fujimoto, Roger Pratt, Ueli Steiger, Iain Smith, Danny Huston, Brad Anderson, Ann Hui and Marius Holst. LFS is one of three Creative Skillset Film Academies, postgraduate institutions approved by the UK film industry as centres of excellence.
In just seven years Glasgow Short Film Festival has established itself as Scotland’s flagship short film event, the largest annual showcase of emerging Scottish film talent and a key meeting point for local and international filmmakers and their audience. GSFF not only advocates the importance of short film in progressing future generations of filmmakers, but provides the forum where collaboration can begin.
Drawn from over 1,100 submissions, approximately 50 international films compete for the Bill Douglas Award for International Short Film, whilst 30 Scottish films compete for the Scottish Short Film Award. Both these programmes have associated Audience Awards. Alongside the competition programmes, GSFF presents panel discussions, workshops, filmmaker retrospectives, parties and live performances.
GSFF seeks opportunities to screen Scottish short film internationally, and has recently taken programmes to South Korea, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Italy and Croatia. GSFF belongs to the Euroshort festival network, alongside Avanca, Filmhafizasi, In the Palace, Sedicicorto, Tabor and Wiz-Art Film Festivals. GSFF also manages scottishfilms.com, a password-protected online viewing platform promoting a wide range of new short film from Scotland to international talent spotters.
The 8th GSFF runs 8-15 March 2015. www.glasgowfilm.org/gsff
Funded by BFI and Creative Scotland, the Scottish Film Talent Network (SFTN) will discover, nurture and progress new and emerging filmmaking talent across Scotland.
This programme will provide a clear ladder of progression from shorts to first feature, offering significant support for individual film projects and personal skills development.
The Scottish Film Talent Network consortium comprises of the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI), DigiCult and Hopscotch Films and has been awarded the contract by Creative Scotland to deliver the Scottish element of the BFI NET.WORK.
SFTN's core activities will provide opportunities for all levels of new and emerging talent based in Scotland, from those looking to secure their first short film commission, to those almost ready to start seeking finance on their first feature.
The following opportunities will be available through the SFTN:
Short film development and production for new talent
Short film development and production for emerging talent with a feature film project to develop
Feature film script development and packaging
Support for emerging Scottish based Writers, Directors and Producers to attend talent labs and initiatives delivered by International Festivals such as Rotterdam, Berlin, Toronto, Annecy.
For more information visit http://www.scottishfilmtalent.com/
Creative England invests in and supports creative ideas, talent and businesses in film, TV, games and digital media.
Creative England Film provides comprehensive support to filmmakers from across England. Whether you are a writer, director or producer looking to progress to first feature, an established producer looking for production finance or an ambitious film business looking to grow and innovate, Creative England Film can provide the necessary funding and bespoke support.
Everything that Creative England does do is motivated by a desire to support the brightest and best, whatever their background, experience or stage of development.
We have two separate schemes for short filmmakers. iShorts is aimed at new filmmaking talent based outside of Greater London and finances around 20 films with budgets of £5,000 each, as well as providing professional mentoring and bespoke training. The emerging talent scheme can award up to £50,000 to support the production of shorts from writer/directors and directors who have written or have a formal attachment to a feature film that is at first draft or beyond.
The intention is that both iShorts and the emerging talent scheme will constitute a creatively and professionally relevant calling card for a first feature.
Encounters Festival is the UK’s leading short film and animation festival. The festival discovers, supports and develops new talent in filmmaking, providing a platform and meeting place for emerging and established filmmakers from around the world.
Encounters Festival presents one of the world’s leading International Competitions for short film and animation, and is also a gateway to the world’s most prestigious awards: The Oscars®, BAFTAs, European Film Awards and Cartoon d’Or.
Connecting industry and audiences, the festival celebrates the creativity, diversity and impact of short film.
The 21st Encounters Festival in 2015 will present an annual International Competition showcasing the best new short film from around the world, alongside an intensive 3 day industry programme featuring masterclasses, panel discussions, talks and workshops with leading figures from the film and animation industries.
There will be unmissable evening and weekend screenings where audiences can watch the best new short films from the hottest new talent, and plenty of music, parties, receptions and opportunities to network with the industry.
15 – 20 September 2015
A dynamic player on the UK film festival circuit, the Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) is a celebration of independent film from across the world, and an outlet for championing and supporting short filmmaking.
Screening 300 films, ASFF showcases the very best in international short film, spanning all genres including drama, documentary, animation, comedy, music video, thriller, experimental and artists’ film. The festival screens the Official Selection across 15 distinct and historic locations in the iconic city of York. Merging the contemporary with the historic and moving between medieval halls, ancient city walls, boutique cinemas, galleries and museums, the festival invites visitors to create their own unique viewing experience. Films screen several times throughout the festival weekend in a range of bespoke and unique venues. All films are up for an award in their category, as well as the Best of Fest Award and the People's Choice.
Alongside screenings, ASFF also presents a series of masterclasses and workshops with leading industry figures, working with such organisations as BAFTA, Channel 4, Film4, Warp Films, Raindance, Sheffield Doc/Fest and many more. There are also guest screenings, networking opportunities and special events throughout the festival weekend.
ASFF is hosted by the international art and culture publication, Aesthetica Magazine.
Scottish Documentary Institute is an internationally recognised documentary research and production centre based in Edinburgh. We run training initiatives such as the annual Bridging the Gap scheme. We organise masterclasses, screenings and workshops and host many visiting filmmakers of international reputation. We hold an annual international Pitching forum as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Our aim is to stimulate and inspire the documentary scene in Scotland and beyond through focus on creative excellence and unashamed international outlook.
In 2007 we set up SDI Productions Ltd, in order to develop a slate of feature documentaries (‘New Ten Commandments’, ‘I Am Breathing’, ‘Pablo's Winter’, ‘Future My Love’).
Our films, short and long, have played at major film festivals, such as Sundance, Cannes, Hotdocs, Full Frame, Silverdocs, IDFA, Cinema du Reel, Vision du Reel, Leipzig and have picked up major awards and nominations.
Northern Ireland Screen is the government-backed lead agency in Northern Ireland for the film, television and digital content industry, with a mission to accelerate the development of a dynamic and sustainable screen industry and culture in Northern Ireland.
Strategic intervention is through development and production funding; free information and production support including FAM trips; financial assistance for training and skills development; investment in film education, heritage and archive, film festivals and cultural cinema.
The region has a strong crew base, stunning locations and facilities with two new purpose built sound stages at Titanic Studios to complement the huge Paint Hall studio.
Northern Ireland Screen recognises the importance of a thriving short film community to the wider screen industries in Northern Ireland and the agency invests in the talent of the future through short film development schemes and production funding for short films, giving emerging film-makers an opportunity to showcase their talent.
Many of Northern Ireland’s creative talents have come through various Northern Ireland Screen short film schemes over the years, while their short films continue to garner accolades and awards from festivals worldwide.
From shorts to features, Film London supports emerging and established talent in the capital. We have commissioned and produced Oscar-nominated and BAFTA winning short films and our latest short film scheme London Calling (since 2006) is producing over 20 films this year.
London Calling has supported over 170 shorts to date with awards of up to 4,500 euro. This year five films will receive awards of up to 17,500 euro. Many awarded shorts have gone on to international festivals including Cannes, Sundance and Berlin and to win international prizes at SXSW, Berlin, Warsaw, Milan, Anchorage and more. All the shorts are given an industry platform and the best shorts from the scheme are screened at the BFI London Film Festival. Crucially, we have seen the talent move to TV, be spotted by the industry and move into features.
The longest continually running film festival in the world, EIFF is now preparing its 69th edition. Over the years, the Festival has continued to bring UK audiences ground-breaking and exciting films from around the world. EIFF seeks to represent the most innovative and adventurous developments in world cinema, to bring worthy filmmakers to local and worldwide attention, and to provide a forum for appreciative and informed discussion of their work.
A pioneer of short film, the Festival screens fiction, documentary, animation and experimental works that suffuse originality, ambition and aesthetic innovation.
EIFF seeks the new generation of strong cinematic voices that explore individual and collective stories, narratives, threads and vital and exciting ideas through their work. Short films that make us think and feel differently; proffering layers of interpretation and insight, original perspectives and pursuing techniques of interrogation of themes and issues both familiar and uncommon.
The 69th Edinburgh International Film Festival runs from 17 – 28 June 2015. Full details on EIFF 2015 can be found at www.edfilmfest.org.uk/2015
EIFF Submissions are now open. The deadlines are:
Earlybird – Wednesday 17 December 2014
Regular – Wednesday 21 January 2015
Late – Wednesday 11 February 2015
For further details and information on how to submit your film visit www.edfilmfest.org.uk/submissions
EIFF is also committed to providing support for the film industry through its diverse industry programme. Each year the Festival welcomes over 1,400 industry delegates, filmmakers and members of the press. Come and take-part in our range of specially curated industry events and network with professionals from across the industry. These all run alongside a series of talent development initiatives designed to support the best emerging talent from across the UK.
Full details about EIFF’s industry and talent development work can be found on the Festival’s website - www.edfilmfest.org.uk
Lighthouse is a Brighton-based digital culture agency, which supports, commissions and exhibits new work by filmmakers and digital artists. Positioned at the intersection of the arts, education and media industries, the organisation has established a strong reputation for delivering high quality professional development opportunities for emerging and established practitioners. Working with a wide range of partners, its programme is presented in galleries, festivals and cinemas nationally and internationally.
Lighthouse is Executive Producer on the BFI Shorts scheme, through which 17 high-level shorts have been produced. The films are currently making a strong impression on the international film circuit, with appearances at Cannes (Critic’s Week), Berlin Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand, Palm Springs, London Film Festival and many others. They are also accumulating a growing number of major awards and nominations, including three Best Short Film BAFTA nominations for ‘Sea View’, ‘Keeping Up With The Joneses’ and ‘Orbit Ever After’ (which was also nominated for a European Film Award), and a BIFA nomination for ‘L'Assenza'.
In 2010, Lighthouse also produced four shorts with BBC Film Network, of which ‘Turning’ received a BAFTA nomination, and ‘Wish 143’ was nominated for an Academy Award.
Lighthouse also manages the prestigious Guiding Lights programme, which creates mentorships between emerging film talent and the UK's most successful industry professionals. Guiding Lights mentors include Danny Boyle, Barbara Broccoli, Clio Barnard, Sam Mendes, Lone Scherfig, and Paul Greengrass.
A Skillset Screen and Media Academy, the NFTS is the UK’s leading centre for postgraduate and professional training in film and television, offering full-time MA and diploma courses in all the key film and television disciplines. Based in Beaconsfield, just outside London, the NFTS has its own purpose-built studios, including two film stages, a separate large television studio, and post-production facilities rivalling those of many professional companies. NFTS students learn from some of the most accomplished people working in film and TV today. Taking on their future professional roles from the outset, they learn their craft by making films and TV programmes, working to professional standards as closely as they can.The NFTS has launched the careers of hundreds of people working in UK film and television today. From the people who originate the ideas, through those who commission them, to the film and TV programme-makers who put them on our screens, NFTS alumni are among the most sought-after creative and technical personnel in the Industry
British Council Film is the link between UK films and filmmakers and new international audiences. Together with the British Council’s global network overseas we work to profile the innovation, diversity, creativity and excellence of British films around the world, and work to find opportunities for creative exchange between UK filmmakers and international counterparts.
We support short films and filmmakers through our Shorts Support Scheme and Travel Grant Fund which we run in partnership with the British Film Institute. The fund supports filmmakers whose work has been selected at premier world festivals to travel to those events and present their work.
British Council is the lead partner for the UK stand at Clermont-Ferrand’s short film market every year, in partnership with the BFI and under the banner of We Are UK Film. In 2014 we developed an online UK Shorts Portal which allows international programmers and buyers to watch the best new UK shorts on a secure platform.
DAZZLE handles the exclusive distribution, exhibition and sales rights for a selective
catalogue of award-winning and critically acclaimed British short films. From 90-second digital micro-movies to super-35mm masterpieces, our diverse collection is influential, thought provoking and truly beautiful. There is also a strong comedy element including Clermont-Ferrand winner and festival favourite BAD NIGHT FOR THE BLUES directed by the one and only Chris Shepherd. Finding new British voices in cinema is paramount to the work we do and more recent acquisitions include the 2013 BIFA (British Independent Film Award) nominated DYLAN'S ROOM by Layke Anderson starring the amazingly talented Joanna Scanlan (THE INVISIBLE WOMAN, IN THE LOOP, THE THICK OF IT); Sam Firth's breathtaking STAY THE SAME which is currently storming the festival circuit; the stunning and surreal directorial debut THE BOY WITH THE CAMERA FOR A FACE from actor, comedian and writer Spencer Brown and the awardwinning SEA CHANGE from Marinella Setti starring indie short film goddess Jo Hartley (THIS IS ENGLAND, DEAD MAN'S SHOES) and Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated Toby Jones.
ShortsTV is the global home to short film, where short stories come to life in stunning high definition. Available across the USA and Europe, the channel brings audiences captivating contemporary short form content from filmmakers across six continents. Following unprecedented growth in the demand for short films, it is now available to 40 million homes and is successfully entertaining over 11 million subscribers. ShortsTV is a world-leading short film media group, designed with movie enthusiasts and experimental ‘lean forward’ viewers in mind. Combining cutting edge short films with new spectacular HD technology, audiences of all ages can expand their viewing pleasure from the comforts of their own home, or on the move through mobile devices. ShortsTV obtains only high quality live action, animation, and documentary movies from the world’s most famous film festivals and independent suppliers. Through the acquisition of these films, the channel offers professional short filmmakers an unparalleled commercial medium to develop their careers.
ShortsTV is owned and operated by Shorts International Ltd, headquartered in London with its US head office in Los Angeles. Since 2006, Shorts International has produced the OSCAR® Nominated Short Film theatrical release, distributing it to cinemas across North America and Europe with its special global media partners. In 2008, Shorts International became one of the earliest iTunes movie partners, bringing hundreds of the world’s best independent shorts to the iTunes audience, years before the iTunes Movie Store launched. The films are now available in 54 countries worldwide.