Delivered through Creative England's Sheffield and Brighton Talent Centres as part of the BFI.NETWORK, iShorts is an entry level short filmmaking initiative, for filmmakers outside of London who have some experience in self-funded short films or student films, have written an unproduced screenplay, or have produced work that has not yet attracted financial support from within the industry.
Chris Moll, Head of Film at Creative England, said: "We had our work cut out for us choosing the twenty final short films from the incredible range of talent across England. Over 350 applications went through a rigorous process of assessment that included interviews and workshops at our Talent Centres in Sheffield and Brighton. For the talent we are supporting, we hope this will be a pivotal moment in their filmmaking careers.”The short films are now in pre-production and span a wide range of genres and styles, from quirky comedy to supernatural horror, social-realism to magic realism, and sci-fi to road movie. The projects represent England-wide regional talent, everywhere from Exeter to Gateshead, Morecombe to Brighton, and strong contingents from both sides of the Pennines.
Each project receives £5000 towards its production budget and on-going support from Creative England's Talent Centres to deliver the finished films. The selected filmmaking teams have also received intensive residential production and development training, supported by Creative Skillset.
Some talent on the shortlisted productions are moving to film from other media and professions: Cecilia Stenbom is making the step from visual art installations to fiction films, while qualified doctor Lucy Campbell has retrained as a filmmaker. Others are stepping up from wider filmmaking experience to making their signature films: Alkin Emirali is a commercials director now making his mark with drama, while Ged Hunter and Dave Hart have been acting in and crewing on films in Liverpool before this breakthrough moment to make an industry-backed short.
Cecilia Stenbom, Director on the iShorts film In Waiting, said: "The opportunity not only to receive funding for my short film but to get the level of support that iShorts has to offer was too good to miss. I was absolutely delighted to be selected for the scheme with my project.
"iShorts has so far been an intensive and amazing experience, not only have I been supported to develop my idea but I've had the opportunity to meet some amazing and talented people. I have learned so much in such short time. I am entering an intense period of production now and I am really excited to see In Waiting coming to life.”
Lucy Campbell, Director on iShorts film Pig Child, said: "I applied to iShorts because I had a story idea that I wanted to explore in a short film. I knew it was dark but compelling, and I was after the support and advisory input from Creative England, as much as the financial support.
"Our all-female core team of writer, director and producer have worked together on projects before, but this is the highest profile project so far and we have assembled a fantastic crew. We have just embarked on casting and cannot wait to get started on filming.”
iShorts is supported by Creative Skillset's Film Skills Fund, which is funded by the National Lottery via the BFI, and through the Skills Investment Fund.
The iShorts films
A Complicated Way To Die, Ged Hunter and Dave Hart
A schizophrenic struggles with a system that pushes him towards the only option he thinks he has.
By The Canal, Anna Blandford
The brutal killing of a dog disturbs two young lovers' evening walk. Their different reactions force them to admit they are really strangers to each other.
Chance, Joe Carter
On the open road to find freedom, two friends take a whole load of wrong turns…
Crisps, Jim and Joe Dethick
In an uncannily nostalgic world, Al Crisps finds his life turned upside down when his usual routine is broken.
Hits Like A Girl, Harry Sherriff
A female fighter from a tough part of Liverpool tries to find her way when everything seems to be holding her back.
How To Disappear Completely, Tim Woodall and Phil Drinkwater
A thirteen year-old misfit magician tries desperately to escape a cruel adolescence by perfecting the ultimate disappearing trick.
In Waiting, Cecilia Stenbom
A group of strangers are stuck in a hospital waiting room expecting test results – the moment of uncertainty, and the stress of not knowing.
Shiner, David Lilley and Kevin Pacey
A delusional old aged pensioner believes he is a crime-fighting superhero, but can he capture the criminals, defeat his nemesis – and overcome a weak bladder?
Pig Child, Lucy Campbell
A pioneering female scientist decides to cross the ultimate boundary and surrogate a pig-human embryo she has created.
The Devil's In The Detail, Tomasz Aleksander and Jasmine Ballard
The biggest crime for a pair of bumbling criminals is to forget the burglary basics.
The Princess Under The Stairs, by Sarah Goodall
Six-year-old Norah journeys into a magical land conjured within her imagination in order to save her mother from an unyielding, seemingly enchanted, sleep.
Billy The Kid, Sam Johnson
Fitting in at school can be hard for a 14-year-old cowboy. But Billy's new school is in need of a lasso wielding, John Wayne quoting, bubblegum chewing hero.
Daddy's Girl, Jed Hart
A Dartmoor prison guard comes across an abandoned child's bicycle on an isolated stretch of moorland road. With the last light fading, he follows his instincts and heads into the night in search for the missing child.
Our Cyprus, Alkin Emirali
A dogged old Turkish Cypriot man refuses to give up on an emerging friendship with a young Greek Cypriot man with hateful nationalistic views – but what will it take to prove to him that they are one?
The Treehouse, Amy Coop
In the shadow of a family funeral, a teenage boy retreats to the treehouse he built with his father – where he meets an enigmatic young girl who helps him to let go and come to terms with his loss.
Strange Weather, Tom Shrapnel
Two strangers, a bereaved woman and a lonely man, are drawn together when they experience a mysterious natural phenomenon that reawakens their senses and brings hope to their fractured lives.
Sweetheart, Jack Cox
Turning sixteen is a milestone for all young girls, but for Sweetheart it's a matter of love and death.
The Man Who Choked, Ross Jameson
An elderly patient in an institution turns the tables on his sadistic nurse.
The National Phobia Association's Annual Day Out, Mark Drake
David Bowie's biggest fan will do anything to get to his final concert, even if it means lying her way onto a private coach – only this is the National Phobia Association's Annual Day Out.
The Room, Paul and Simon Wade
A maintenance man's voyeuristic tendencies turn to obsession when a new tenant moves into his building.
- Short Film Competition
- Film Funding