shortFLIX, a short film initiative led by Creative England in partnership with National Youth Theatre and Sky Arts, was launched earlier this year. Aimed at aspiring filmmakers aged 18-25 and not currently in full-time education, employment or training, it sought out new and exciting filmmaking voices from across the UK.
From 300+ applications and following an initial development process with 26 shortlisted filmmakers, 5 outstanding projects were selected by a panel of commissioners to receive a production award of up to £10k each.
Our talented finalists will make their shorts for showcase on Sky Arts, working with experienced professionals and benefiting from further training, mentoring and support. Below you can read more about each of the projects, the individuals involved and how to keep up to date with them as they embark on their journey to being filmmakers.
BATTY BOY – Dior Clarke (right) & Blain Ho-Shing (left)
BATTY BOY is an uncompromising take on black gay culture unmasked, set against homophobia and dancehall music: “They say burn them, we say salute them.”
The duo formed as Dior Clarke and Blain Ho-Shing will be working to bring you BATTY BOY.
Dior was born and raised in North London and despite financial challenges wouldn’t allow his fascination with performing arts get away. Since graduating from the London School of Dramatic Arts he is now a member of the National youth Theatre and aims to tell the stories we never see and inspire people. He believes that you should "Never let someone tell you that you can't do something. If you have a dream you’ve gotta protect it."
Blain was born and raised in West London. As a former BRIT School for Performing Arts student, being creative has always been second nature to him Ultimately Blain’s passion is to tell stories of the personal, often thought-provoking experiences he encounters while navigating his way through life. Currently Blain freelances as a vocal coach training primary school children in strengthening their vocal ability and in musical drama, installing in them his life’s motto: “Practice like you’ve never won, perform like you’ve never lost.”
You can stay updated with Dior and Blain below:
LADIES DAY – Abena Taylor-Smith
LADIES DAY is about a young, black lesbian who spends the day in an Afro-Caribbean hair salon. It’s full of fun, sheen spray, gossip and laughter, but how will she deal with the casual homophobia?
Abena is a freelance writer. She studied Biomedical Science at Imperial College London. First published at 16 years old, when she interviewed a lead actor from HBO’s The Wire, she wrote for student media throughout university and her most recent work is featured in Black Ballad and gal-dem magazines. Her favourite topics are film, music, race, gender and sexuality. She loves all forms of writing and hopes to build a career in film, TV, print media and radio.
You can stay updated with Abena below:
LOSING IT – Ben Robins
LOSING IT is the story of the worst drunken hook-up in the history of human sexual encounters. A twenty-something virgin finds his evening taking a turn for the weird, when his new partner shows off a rather unusual fetish.
Ben is a freelance writer who’s spent the last year dodging all responsibility since graduating university. Having grown up on Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, and flirted with everything from the European arthouse to the dark, dark depths of American exploitation cinema, his tastes are a little all over the place. Losing It is his first short as a director, and as a self-confessed horror nerd and genre fan, he’s got his heart set on really pushing the envelope with his work.
You can stay updated with Ben below:
NOSEBLEED – Luna Carmoon
NOSEBLEED follows a pivotal week for long-time best friends Lilah and Coby, whose friendship is morphing into something far more venomous and toxic. A flower that once delicately bloomed proves to just as easily draw blood with its thorns…
Films were Luna’s escape growing up, watching until she had no perception of her own reality - because hers wasn’t that good anyway. Otto from REPO MAN was her dream guy, and no one has ever lived up to her expectation of this terrifically peng fictional character. Once she had left the so-called best years of her life behind, escaping teen-hood, this obsessively, almost disgusting amount of time bingeing on films came in handy. NOSEBLEED is her first short film, and this is the best thing that has happened to her in years; she was so extremely appreciative of the terrific news that she cried multiple, multiple times.
You can stay updated with Luna below:
TOGETHER, THEY SMOKE – Henry Gale
TOGETHER, THEY SMOKE is the story of a depressed young man. Following a failed suicide attempt, he must contend with the dysfunctions of his family, a cardboard coffin, and his own anxiety in order to say goodbye to his terminally ill mother.
Henry is a short film-maker, animator and writer, living in Bath. Since the age of 15, he’s dealt with tough issues through his work. Having tackled hard-hitting subjects such as toy dog attacks, semi-nude vampire hunting, and perilous journeys to buy milk, he’s decided it’s about time to depict something lighter; the death of his Mum. He’s delighted to have been chosen by shortFLIX, and is hoping that his film Together They Smoke can open a dialogue surrounding the tricky topics of death, cancer and suicide, whilst also raising the occasional smile. He’s very excited to get started.
We’ll be keeping updated with the final five projects over on our social channels… @creativeengland on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You can also keep up to date with the filmmakers’ progress here on our website.
shortFLIX is lead by Creative England in partnership with National Youth Theatre and Sky Arts, with support from Creative Skillset's Film Skills Fund.
- short film