This is England director Shane Meadows and former Doctor Who star David Tennant are to help judge this year’s Virgin Media Shorts competition, which is now open for entry.

Meadows, who is set to release music doc The Stone Roses: Made of Stone, will act as head judge for the British short film competition.

Entry is open for three months from today [Apr 18].

Now in its sixth year, Virgin Media Shorts showcases the shortlisted films on Virgin Media’s TV service with TiVo and online network and in Picturehouse cinemas throughout the UK.

The Grand Prize winner – selected from a shortlist of 12 – will receive £30,000 in funding for their next film project, along with the help and support of the BFI in its production.

The public will also get their chance to crown their favourite with this year’s Nikon People’s Choice award, with the winner receiving £5,000 of Nikon equipment.

Previous winners of the competition include BAFTA-nominated Luke Snellin and BIFA-nominated Oscar Sharp, who have both gone on to become regulars on the film festival scene.

Last year’s grand prize-winner Jennifer Sheridan, whose short ‘Rocket’ featured Bowie the dog’s space ship building adventure, has submitted the script for her next film to the BFI.

Joining Meadows on the Virgin Media Shorts judging panel are former Doctor Who actor David Tennant and Spike Island director Mat Whitecross.

They will be joined by critic James King, 2011 winner Jason Wingard, photographer and Nikon ambassador John Wright, and Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media.

Meadows said:  “Short film has always been very close to my heart. It’s how I learnt my trade and what has ultimately shaped what I make today, I’m archiving my shorts now and I’ve made over a 100 in nearly 20 years and still continue to do so.

“When I first started off, getting my work seen was a massive challenge. Even today the right kind of exposure for aspiring film makers is hard to come by. The internet has meant that anyone with a camera can publish their work. Virgin Media Shorts takes that a step further – offering both a credible route to exposure and the chance of receiving expert support. I can’t wait to see this year’s entries and wish good luck to everyone entering.”

To enter this year’s competition visit