Overview of Shorts in the UK
The UK had much to celebrate in 2015: Mat Kirkby’s The Phone Call took home the Academy Award for best live action short film, while Fyzal Boulifa’s Rate Me won the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight Illy Prize for the second time and Petros Silvestros picked up the Crystal Bear at Berlinale with his short A Confession, also for a second time. These three shorts, independently made, represent some of the best-received work of the year and this independent spirit is mirrored by the recent BAFTA 2016 short film nominations which include daring and provocative pieces such as Jorn Threlfall’s Over and Billy Lumby’s Samuel-613
In February 2016 three UK shorts were nominated for an Academy Award: Shok dir. Jamie Donoughue and Stutterer dir. Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage in the Live Action category, and Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoa dir. Adam Benzine in the Documentary category.
The BFI’s NET.WORK has been very busy over the last twelve months helping new and emerging talent into production across its range of partners in the UK’s nations and regions. Creative England continues to support out-of-London filmmakers with lower budget early career shorts through its iShorts programme, while Film London extended its long-running support for the most exciting new prospects in the capital with its London Calling and London Calling Plus initiatives. Outside England the Scottish Film Talent Network (SFTN) has produced six new shorts across its New and Emerging Talent Shorts, Film Agency For Wales funded new work through its Beacons programme and Northern Ireland Screen supported a further 15 shorts.
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 Manoman directed by Simon Cartwright, the RCA’s Half Wet from Sophie Koko Gate, and Those Little Things by Carla Simon from the London Film School.
Our festivals go from strength to strength: 2015 saw Encounters celebrate its 21st birthday in fine fashion; the London Short Film Festival entered its 13th year in January 2016 showcasing over 300 new shorts from the UK and abroad; Glasgow Short Film Festival continued to fly the flag for short film showcasing in Scotland, as did the 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 the premier shorts event in the North of England.
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 2016 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.
British Council also supports Euro Connection, the annual European co-production forum that takes place at Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. The UK’s nominated project for 2016 is The Baby Shower a live action short from celebrated animator Joseph Pierce to be produced by Katie Jackson from Fifty Nine Productions.
UK SHORTS AT CLERMONT-FERRAND 2016
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 8th – 12th February and the following UK organisations will be attending: Film London, Film Agency for Wales, Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival, Aesthetica Short Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Northern Ireland Screen, Creative England, BFI NET.WORK, Scottish Film Talent Network and ShortsTV.
8 UK shorts films have been selected to screen at this year’s festival, they are:
Dark_Net dir. Tom Marshall
Edmond dir. Nina Gantz
(National Film and Television School)
Fuel to Fire dir. Sam McMullen
Manoman dir. Simon Cartwright
(National Film and Television School)
The Atom Station dir. Nick Jordan
H Positive dir. Glenn Paton
Camrex dir. Mark Chapman
Teeth dir. Tom Brown and Daniel Gray
The BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) is a celebration of independent short film from around the world, and an outlet for supporting and championing short filmmaking. ASFF is hosted by the international art and culture publication Aesthetica Magazine.
The film festival takes place annually in York, UK, at the beginning of November and the programme includes film screenings, guest showcases, masterclasses, hosted networking sessions and panel discussions. There were 20,000 admissions in the previous edition.
Films screened at the festival are also eligible to enter the BAFTA British Short Film and Animation Awards. Further prizes include awards for Best of Fest, People’s Choice and Best of Category, plus screenings at other film festivals and events as part of the ASFF Film Tour.
ASFF presents many opportunities for filmmakers to connect with industry, and welcomes some of the film world’s most talented professionals to give advice on making it in film. Masterclass speakers include representatives from Association of Camera Operators, Rankin Film, Ridley Scott Associates, Channel 4, National Theatre Live and many more.
The Meet the Film Festivals event offers the opportunity to speak with festival programmers from around the world and find out exactly what they are looking for. The networking sessions give visitors a chance to interact with representatives from a range of leading film organisations to keep up to date with current trends and opportunities.
NET.WORK is a UK-wide talent development initiative that gives bespoke support to new writers, directors and producers on the way to making their first feature.
NET.WORK brings together Creative England, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Film London, Northern Ireland Screen and the Scottish Film Talent Network - with backing from the BFI.
Every year NET.WORK invests £3 million of National Lottery funding into new and emerging filmmakers. This includes support for professional development schemes, short film funding, feature film development funding and more.
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.
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.
The longest continually running film festival in the world, EIFF is now preparing its 70th 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 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival runs from 15 – 26 June 2016. Full details on EIFF 2016 can be found at www.edfilmfest.org.uk/2016.
EIFF Submissions are now open. The deadlines are:
Earlybird – Wednesday 16 December 2015
Regular – Wednesday 20 January 2016
Late – Wednesday 10 February 2016
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
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 22nd Encounters Festival in 2016 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.
20 – 25 September 2016
The Beacons Short Film Scheme, managed by BFI NET.WORK Wales and Ffilm Cymru Wales, shines a light on outstanding film talent from Wales, drawing attention to writers, directors and producers, helping them establish their credentials for feature production.
Short films can be a crucial stepping stone in a filmmaker's career, providing a showcase for new and emerging talent to demonstrate their abilities, as well as opportunities for experimentation, exploring different ideas and forms of cinematic storytelling. Short films help build creative professional relationships and allow industry to spot the next generation of screen talent.
We are looking for bold and unique voices, original storytelling, visual flair, and production values befitting to the big screen and film festival awards categories.
Despite significant gains in some sectors, a diversity deficit in UK film and TV - both in front of and behind the camera - remains a major problem. To address this, we are especially keen to attract filmmakers and stories currently under- represented within the industry, reflecting diversity of ethnicity, disability, gender, sexual orientation and socio-economic background.
Awards range between £5,000 - £15,000 with producers able to raise further finance through crowd funding or third party deals.
From shorts to features, Film London supports the UK capital’s most exciting new and emerging talent. We have commissioned and produced Oscar-nominated and BAFTA-winning short films, and our short film scheme London Calling produces some 20 films a year
Running within London Calling is London Calling Plus, a scheme specifically geared towards filmmakers from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. The scheme was launched in 2013 to address imbalances in the industry and help ensure the voices we support are as diverse and representative as the city itself.
To date, the schemes have supported more than 185 short films, many of which have been selected at international festivals including Cannes, Clermont Ferrand and Sundance, with others going on to win prizes at Berlin, SXSW, Warsaw, Aspen, and Flickerfest. As well as funding, expert training and an invaluable industry platform, both schemes have also helped our filmmakers secure further industry opportunities, from television work through to feature production.
Glasgow Short Film Festival is 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. We believe that international collaboration is vital for Scottish filmmakers. GSFF not only advocates the importance of short film in progressing future generations of filmmakers, but provides the meeting-place where collaboration can begin.
Drawn from over 1,200 submissions, approximately 40 international titles 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 Croatia, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Poland, South Korea and Switzerland. GSFF is a member festival of the Short Film Conference and of the Euroshort festival network, alongside Avanca, BuSho, FEC, Filmhafizasi, In the Palace, Sedicicorto, Tabor and Wiz-Art Film Festivals.
The 9th GSFF runs 16-20 March 2016. www.glasgowfilm.org/gsff
The London Short Film Festival, now in its 13th year, has been recognised as the premiere UK showcase for cutting-edge UK independent film, while now accepting international submissions.
Renowned for daring cross-arts programming, we have showcased the very best of the country’s raw talent for 12 years. The London Short Film Festival is a Mecca for the UK’s young creative talent and a significant date in the UK film calendar.
Every year the Festival’s large and loyal audience flock to screenings and events, and this network has grown steadily over decade and beyond.
The National Film and Television School is one of the top film, television and new media schools in the world as evidenced by the Observer Newspaper describing the NFTS as the 'The Best Film School in the World'. A Creative Skillset Film 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.
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.
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 Interactive Experience Design 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 Dr Birgitta Hosea 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. The programme offers two pathways: Experimental and Animated Documentary. Students are encouraged to develop their own distinctive voices as filmmakers and can develop narrative, non-narrative, documentary and cross-platform work. It has developed an innovative approach to visual writing through which students develop and extend their ideas and imagination.
Scottish Documentary Institute (SDI) is a hub for filmmakers, with an international reputation for innovative and creative documentary. Established in 2004 by Noe Mendelle to nurture documentary filmmakers and audiences in Scotland and beyond, SDI specialises in documentary training, production and distribution, supporting filmmakers through its diverse programme of international activities and high quality training programmes.
Based at the Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh, SDI has produced over a hundred films, screening in sixty countries worldwide, garnering international recognition as being at the cutting edge of the documentary sector. Straddling between art and industry, SDI is committed to supporting authored films driven by content and emotional experience.
The Scottish Film Talent Network (SFTN) offers new and emerging filmmakers significant support for individual film projects and professional development.
SFTN connects with new and emerging Scottish talent - from new entrants through to first-time feature filmmakers by providing tailored support which best suits individual requirements alongside wider funding schemes, short film commissions and personal skills development.
This initiative is the first to bring together industry practitioners in film development, production, finance, distribution, exhibition and festivals to pass on their expertise through comprehensive hands-on development opportunities.
The Scottish Film Talent Network (SFTN), backed by Creative Scotland, the BFI and Creative Skillset, forms the Scottish element of the BFI NET.WORK, designed to develop and support film talent from across the UK. SFTN is a consortium made up of the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI), DigiCult and Hopscotch Films.
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.
Founded in 1956, The London Film School (LFS) is one of the world's longest established graduate filmmaking schools. It is constituted as an international conservatoire with over 60% of its students coming from outside the UK. The school operates as a working studio, producing around 180 films annually and is dedicated to Postgraduate training programmes in film.
LFS films submits shorts to over 200 festival selections, receiving most recently over 30 prizes, including BAFTA and Shorts Oscar nominations.
The school offers a two-year Masters in Filmmaking programme and a one-year Masters in Screenwriting, both validated by the University of Warwick. Additionally, a PhD in Film Practice and a one-year MA in International Film Business are offered and run in partnership with the University of Exeter.
Around 50 Continuous Professional Development courses run annually 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. The school is one of three Creative Skillset Film Academies; postgraduate institutions approved by the UK film industry as Centres of Excellence.