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. CHAMP (Previously called 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.
GRAND PRIZE WINNER - CHAMP (PREVIOUSLY CALLED A YOUNG MAN'S GAME) ($10,000 GRANT AWARDED)
It’s hard to be a boy when your dad wants you to be a man.
Jake might only be 12, but that’s old enough to be a man as far as his dad is concerned. The only problem is that Jake
isn’t sure he’s ready to grow up – at least not in the way that his dad wants him to.
READ THE Q&A WITH JAMES & BEN
THE SHORT FILM FUND RUNS TWICE A YEAR. FROM FEB-MAY & FROM AUG-OCT.
GET YOUR SHORT SCRIPT INTO PRODUCTION WITH THE SHORT FILM FUND.
WRITTEN BY JAMES GOULD-BOURN & BEN TRICKLEBANK
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.
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.
Miss Fortunate won Best Film at Exit 6 Film Festival and has so far screened at:
Oxford Film Festival Shorts Film Festival & Asia Indy Shorts Film Festival Fastnet Film Festival Calgary International Film Festival Exit 6 Film Festival Encoures Film Festival Hamilton Film Festival Tallgrass Film Festival Aesthetica Film Festival PÖFF Shorts Loudon Arts Film Festival Kyiv International Short Film Festival Cambria Film Festival of Romance
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 Finalists receive feedback on their scripts from our Judges along with a host of script development prizes.
CHAMP (Previously called A Young Man's Game) - Q&A
• Can you tell us a little bit about A Champ? What is the story about and how did you come up with the idea?
Champ 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 Champ.
• 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 Champ?
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.