In 2008 I started work on an exciting new opportunity for up-and-coming filmmakers: the Virgin Media Shorts competition. From 2008 to 2010, the time of the UK Film Council’s closure, I watched every film submitted to the competition and compiled the shortlist of 12 films to be presented to the panel of celebrity judges and screened in cinemas across the UK, as well as on Virgin Media’s numerous platforms.
Now in its 5th year, the Virgin Media Shorts competition has gone from strength to strength and has just announced its 2012 shortlist – 12 great short films, as well as an additional 13th film (lucky for some!) which was voted onto the shortlist by the public. This year’s short listed films are:
A Brush with a Bee by Katie Parnell & Joachim Malan
Dream Girl by Alice Seabright
Little Larry by Andrew Lee Potts
Man Up by Carolina Giammetta
Mourning Rules by Daniel Castella
Rocket by Jennifer Sheridan
Skirt by Amanda Boyle
Sprockett by Hazel Meeks
Super Fast Samosa by Sundeep Toor
The Best Medicine by Dan Smith
The Plotters by Thomas Guerrier
Without Saying by Paul Dingwall
PJ, Tiny Planet Explorer by PJ Liguori
These brilliant finalists will all have their work judged by a panel of industry experts, including actress Julie Walters, director Phyllida Lloyd (The Iron Lady, Mamma Mia!) and director Luke Snellin, whose 2009 Virgin Media Shorts winning film Mixtape went on to be nominated for a BAFTA.
As always, the winning filmmaker will receive a fund of £30,000 to produce their next short film with the BFI, making Virgin Media Shorts one of the most lucrative film funds for new talent.
View this year’s shortlist here, where you can also vote for your favourite to win the People’s Choice Award, which comes with a handy prize fund of £5000.
Words: Jack Casey