British film celebrated as Virgin Media Shorts unveils its shortlist

Virgin Media Shorts 2013

Finalists to be judged by an expert panel including BAFTA award-winning Shane Meadows

Created to help uncover some of the best up and coming British filmmaking talent, the UK’s biggest short film competition – Virgin Media Shorts – has revealed the successful film makers to make this year’s shortlist.

Whittled down from over 800 entries, 13 emerging directors can now look forward to having their work judged by industry heavyweights including BAFTA Award winning director, Shane Meadows (This is England, Dead Man’s Shoes, Made of Stone), respected actor of stage and screen, David Tennant and director Mat Whitecross (Spike Island). Virgin Media Shorts, which is now in its sixth year, is the largest competition of its kind in the UK. It has quickly has established itself as a real driving force, providing British film talent with a step up in a challenging industry, working in partnership with the BFI (British Film Institute).

The finalists are now contenders to win the Grand Prize of £30,000 funding to make their next film and of course, the invaluable mentoring and guidance from the BFI.12 of the final films were shortlisted by the Virgin Media Shorts curation panel, made up of industry representatives, with an additional 13th film, voted for by the public. All 13 films will now face our expert judging panel to determine the Grand Prize winner, before the glitzy awards ceremony on 7th November.

The shortlist, which consists of successful entries from all over the UK, is:

The shortlist, which was unveiled at an event at the historical Curzon Cinema in London’s Soho, and simultaneously on, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, also marks the launch of The Nikon People’s Choice Award – giving film fans from across the UK, the chance to support their favourite, by voting on Twitter (by stating the name of the film followed by #VMShortsVote) and via Facebook. The Nikon People’s Choice Award Winner will receive £5,000 film funding, mentoring from the BFI and Nikon digital SLR camera equipment worth up to £5,000.

The shortlisted film makers will be hoping to follow in the steps of previous winners such as Jason Wingard, a talented director and two time Virgin Media Shorts winner. Since picking up his prize, Jason has worked with BBC Comedy North and, with the help of the BFI, is currently finalising his latest short film project. Since his win Jason’s career has gone from strength to strength, to the extent that he is now sitting on the panel of judges.

Virgin Media Shorts also gives shortlisted film makers the opportunity to have their work showcased to millions of people across the country through cinemas nationwide, on TV (showcased in a dedicated app on Virgin Media’s TiVo® service) and online. A unique opportunity for those trying to break into such a notoriously competitive industry.

Dana Strong, chief operating officer at Virgin Media, said: “Here at Virgin Media, we’re extremely proud to be supporting such wonderful British film talent. The quality of this year’s entries is amazing and I can’t wait to see which of the films picks up our TiVo® Award, voted by Virgin Media customers.”

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