The quality of the stories and craft on show made it extremely difficult for our Judges and team to decide on our 2 WINNERS. A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to them, our Top 5 and our 15 Finalists. Also, thank you to everyone who entered this year’s Short Film Fund. The submission fees go towards financing these shorts, so without you none of this is possible.
Our two Winners and Top 5 can be seen below. A Young Man’s Game is our GRAND PRIZE WINNER. This has been awarded $10,000 in cash. MISS FORTUNATE is our 2ND PLACE WINNER. $4000 in cash has been awarded to help with the production of this short.
NOTE: In 2020 we will run two Short Film Funds throughout the year. More info on this to follow. Get all the updates.
GRAND PRIZE WINNER - A YOUNG MAN'S GAME ($10,000 GRANT AWARDED)
Jake wants to be a doctor when he grows up, but his father has different ideas.
Jake doesn’t want to be sitting in a parked car with his dad watching kids playing football in the cold. He wants to be at his friend house playing video games, or riding around on the back of his stepdad’s motorbike. But his dad has big plans for Jake. He wants his son to have the life that he never did, to have the opportunities that he never had, and to become the person that he never was, whether Jake likes it or not… A Young Man’s Game is a darkly comic story about family, trust, and the dangers of good intentions.
READ THE Q&A WITH JAMES & BEN
WRITTEN BY JAMES GOULD-BOURN
James Gould-Bourn is a screenwriter and novelist from Manchester, England. He’s written and co-written several short films, one of which (Sniper) was funded by the Lithuanian Film Centre and will debut in 2019.
James’s debut novel, titled Bear Necessity in the US and Keeping Mum in the UK, will be published in 12 countries in 2020. A film adaptation is also currently in development.
TO BE DIRECTED BY EMMY WINNER, BEN TRICKLEBANK
2ND PLACE WINNER - MISS FORTUNATE ($4000 GRANT AWARDED)
If luck is a lady, grief is a bitch. A young woman loses her mother and finds herself.
A coming of rage story.
WRITTEN BY MOLLY O'SHEA
2019's TOP 5
(in alphabetical order)
BLANK (ANIMATED) by BERNARDO DURAN
DUNKED by JOHN BICKERSTAFF
THAT SISTER THANG by LINDIWE MUELLER-WESTERNHAGEN & DALE WINTON
THE BIFFY by HEATHER DEBLING
SPADE by CARLY POPE
Our Top 5 will receive feedback on their scripts from our Judges along with free film festival tickets to one of these international festivals: Edinburgh, New Orleans, Raindance, Vancouver, Tampere, and The Macoproject LA.
|James Gould-Bourn & Ben Tricklebank||A Young Man’s Game||Jake wants to be a doctor when he grows up, but his father has different ideas.|
|Bernardo Duran||Blank An Animated Short Film||Blank, a nondescript animated character is determined to do what it takes to find its identity.|
|Habib Yazdi & Jordan Swisher||Dead Guy||When Nadia discovers an unwanted visitor, getting rid of him is harder than it seems.|
|John Bickerstaff||Dunked||A closeted teen takes swimming lessons to prepare for his full-immersion baptism.|
|Luke Howe||El||A reclusive objectophile sets out to find his lost love, an old telephone box, after it is removed and replaced with a new WiFi hotspot.|
|Cedrick May||Home Invasion||A man, struggling with an addiction, is confronted by his inner demons while his family is away.|
|Matt Brothers||Knight||Stuck in a never ending cycle of death and resurrection, a lone Knight embarks on a dangerous rescue mission, unaware that his fate is being controlled by a higher power… an 11 year old girl.|
|Angelica Weaver||Love Emancipated||In the 1860s, two black women fight against their wicked slave owner, an abusive fiance, and a cruel mother in their pursuit of romantic love for one another.|
|Molly O’Shea||Miss Fortunate||If luck is a lady, grief is a bitch. A young woman loses her mother and finds herself.|
|Geoff Henry||Nino||A young boy is held in an immigration detention center without his parents but a kitchen assistant who doesn’t speak the same language finds a way to secretly communicate, helping the boy regain the happiness of his life.|
|Christopher Maudsley||Rat Tail||During the Gulf War of 1991, a young American asylum seeker from Saudi Arabia struggles to make friends in his newly adopted home.|
|Angad Singh||SM9||SM9 (Salok Mahalla 9) tells the story of a young Sikh Londoner wrestling between his queerness and his faith. Rooted in the experiences of the writer, this powerful story shows the push and pull between our desires and who society tell us we should be.|
|Carly Pope||Spade||ACE, a homeless youth, gets paired with a new volunteer at his drop-in center, TAVI, who, surprising them both, is a woman he connected with in the neighbourhood the previous evening.|
|Lindiwe Mueller-Westernhagen & Dale Winton||That Sister Thang||Two chalk ‘n cheese South African sisters struggling to fit into weird Austin life must overcome the revelation that they have different mothers, one dead and one white, in order to save the thing they hold most dear – their sisterhood.|
|Heather Debling||The Biffy||A comedy that shows the unthinkable lengths some people will go to to make friends.|
A YOUNG MAN'S GAME - Q&A
• Can you tell us a little bit about A Young Man’s Game? What is the story about and how did you come up with the idea?
A Young Man’s Game is about one father’s misguided attempts to do what he thinks is best for his son. It’s a darkly comic story about family, trust, and the dangers of good intentions.
Jake doesn’t want to be sitting in a parked car with his dad watching kids playing football in the cold. He wants to be at his friend Ryan’s house playing video games, or riding around on the back of his stepdad’s motorbike. But his dad has big plans for Jake. He wants his son to have the life that he never did, to have the opportunities that he never had, and to become the person that he never was, whether Jake likes it or not…
I’ve always enjoyed dialogue-driven films with single or limited locations. I wanted to write my own but I didn’t know where to set it. After watching Two Cars, One Night (Taika Waititi’s Oscar-nominated short), it got me thinking about what kind of story I could tell with a similar set-up (kid, car, plenty of dialogue). That idea eventually became A Young Man’s Game.
• What made you want to enter it into our Short Film Fund?
There are so many script competitions out there but very few of them give you the opportunity to actually make your short. Many writers/directors have brilliant ideas but they don’t have the funding to really bring those ideas to life. I love how Shore doesn’t just want to see your script. They want to see your script in action, and they’re keen to help you to achieve that. That’s what makes this competition special.
• Ben, what drew you to the script as a director?
I was on the lookout for a really well contained character driven story. It’s funny because I almost didn’t download James’s script as I wasn’t primarily looking for a comedy, which was how it was categorized. Thankfully I did and it immediately stuck with me. I just love how Jake and his dad’s character and relationship comes together. Maybe I was projecting, but it felt like a very ‘Manchester’ story, which is where I spent a lot of my youth (it’s also where James is from). Then of course there was the beautiful twist at the end that just nailed it.
• What do you feel will be your biggest challenge in terms of capturing the essence of this story on film?
I think the biggest challenge will be the casting. This is such a character driven story that if we get it right everything else will fall into place.
• James, do you think about the practicalities of filming when you write? If so, how has this changed your writing process, or have you always thought this way?
I always think about the budget whenever I’m working on a project. Every time I come up with a new idea, my first thought is generally “great, but can I actually make this?” It’s all well and good writing a billion-dollar space opera or your own CGI-laden superhero trilogy, but if you really want to get something made then you should try and keep things as simple as possible. I only write films that I know I can make.
• I know it’s early stages, but do you have any thoughts/preferences on camera format, aspect ratio, cast, crew, location, etc?
I pitched James the idea of setting the film in mid 80’s Manchester and as it turns out he was thinking of it in a very similar way. Ultimately I think this will set the stage for what format/aspect ratio we use.
• When, in an ideal world, would you like to shoot A Young Man’s Game?
In an ideal world I’d love to shoot the film later this year, in winter. The cold air would add a lot of texture to what’s going on in and out of the car. That said, if things fall into place and there’s a possibility to shoot sooner I won’t get hung up about it.
• Ben, are there any lessons you’ve learnt from your previous projects that will help you going forward with shooting the short?
Too many to list… but if I was going to give you a couple I’d say being open to the process and new ideas. You have to have a vision going in, but you also have to be open to creative input from the team you have around you. Everyone has a valuable voice and creative ideas process, it’s my job to draw all the best ones together.
• What are your aspirations for the film once it’s completed? Certain film festivals? Help with getting a feature off the ground…?
Both. I haven’t made a list of specific festivals yet but that is definitely the aim. I also see this as a valuable way for both of us to learn and evolve as filmmakers and to hopefully create something that helps open the door to other narrative projects.