Phyllida Lloyd CBE, 2010 Star of Tomorrow Luke Snellin [pictured] and Julie Walters CBE among judges for the short film prize.
Thirteen shorts are in contention for the fifth Virgin Media Shorts competition, which gives filmmakers the opportunity to have their work showcased nationwide at cinemas and on TV, mobile and online.
Among the shorts up for the grand prize of £30,000 funding towards their next film are Alice Seabright’s Dream Girl, about a chance meeting on a tube journey, Carolina Giammetta’s Man Up, which sees three men discuss how to be ‘the boss’ in life, and Paul Dingwall’s Without Saying, a story set in the opening stages of a romance.
For the first time this year, there is also a ‘Lucky 13th’ on the shortlist, the entry most ‘liked’ and shared online, belonging to PJ Liguori’s PJ, Tiny Planet Explorer which is centred around a boy’s journey through the universe.
Also new this year is the People’s Choice Award which gives fans the chance to vote for their favourite online, with the winner receiving a prize fund of £5,000. One short will also pick up the TiVo Award, as voted for by Virgin Media TiVo customers.
On the jury this year are Phyllida Lloyd CBE and Julie Walters CBE, along with director Mat Whitecross, film critic James King, winner of the 2009 competition - and 2010 Star of Tomorrow - Luke Snellin, Sundog Pictures founder Sam Branson, Virgin Media executive director of digital entertainment Cindy Rose and BFI Film Fund director Ben Roberts.
Rose commented: “We are extremely proud of the launch pad Virgin Media Shorts provides for great British filmmakers, with so many over the past five years going on to achieve international success. We can’t wait to discover the next generation of British film talent and I am sure that this year’s shortlist will be no exception.”
Full shortlist is as follows:
- 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
All finalists and judges are set to attend an award ceremony to be held at London’s BFI Southbank in November, with exact date to be confirmed.