Newcastle Community Cinema announces winners of ‘Eat My Shorts’ filmmaking competition
Over lockdown, Newcastle Community Cinema held its first filmmaking competition, challenging amateur filmmakers to create a 2-minute U/G certificate film in any genre. The 'Eat My Shorts' competition was sponsored by Fibrus Broadband Northern Ireland, who contributed the General Category prizes of vouchers from WEX Photo Video Belfast. Into Film also awarded a special prize for the Best Film Made by a Young Filmmaker. The films were judged by a panel made up of industry professionals: Maria Brennan, Jennie Carlsten, Niamh McGrady, and Campbell Miller. The competition closed at the end of October, and seven films were shortlisted. The four winners were announced at an online event on 6 December 2020.
For new filmmakers, of course, short films are a way into the industry, a chance to prove oneself. The short is democratising – giving more would-be filmmakers the opportunity to create art even with limited resources, personnel or time. For more established filmmakers, short films are a place to try out new ideas, new genres or pursue passion projects. Short films are important to studios, helping them to identify talent or to make judgements about risk and viability. For film audiences, the short film can be a chance to step outside our comfort zone and make a new discovery.
But shorts are also important in terms of film culture. Taken together, a group of short films can show us the concerns and preoccupations of the artists and the society that produces them.
Fundamentally, by providing a site for innovation, creativity and experimentation, shorts can expand the language of cinema. The very limitations of the form become the inspiration for new methods of storytelling and visual communication. The filmmakers involved in NCC’s ‘Eat My Shorts’ competition can all attest to the challenge of delivering a coherent, complete narrative within 120 seconds.
It was not only the filmmakers who felt challenged by the competition, however. For the judges, making relative comparisons between such disparate films was quite difficult. In the end, the winners were selected as follows:
First Place: The Watchers by Ayeitia Mack
Second Place: Danny Buoy by Robin Cordiner
Third Place: Dreams by Laura Barr
Best Film Made by a Young Filmmaker: Ping by Toby Coole
All seven shortlisted films will be screened on the big screen at a special celebration of short film NCC’s Full Moon Film Festival in the new year. In the meantime, the films can be viewed on the NCC website at http://www.newcastlecinema.org/eatmyshortlist.