This year saw the highest number of submissions since we started our Fund in 2016. The quality increases year on year, which has made the process of narrowing it down to our Finalists, and overall Winners, an extremely difficult one. Our Judges and team have evaluated submissions in every genre, from writers all over the world.
A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to our Winners, our Top 5 and 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 would be possible.
For full details of what happens next, check out our Short Film Fund post-contest timeline.
GRAND PRIZE WINNER - THE TOWN (AWARDED $15,000 CASH GRANT)
A car breaks down in an anonymous South African town.
Seven-year-old Lesedi spends her days waiting and hoping for something to happen. She begins her morning as she has many others: chasing and throwing stones at the cars that are passing through the centre of her isolated town. Hitting one, she returns to Marta’s, a middle-aged shopkeeper and her best friend, to wait out the rest of the day. Waiting flows through Marta’s daily routine, and she is content and well accustomed to it. Lesedi is restless, expectant, and yearns for movement.
A car similar to the one Lesedi threw stones at breaks down introducing Naledi to the community, and leading Lesedi to believe that she caused the breakdown. Though Lesedi is wary of being discovered, she is enamoured by Naledi and an unlikely albeit transient connection is formed.
WRITTEN BY LINDIWE MAKGALEMELE
Lindiwe is a graduate of Harvard University where she majored in History and minored in Romance Languages and Literature.
Her work both within the archive and as a filmmaker seeks to tackle the continued erasures, misrememberings, and disappearances one has to confront as one-pieces together stories — particularly those of black and African women.
2ND PLACE WINNER - LADY & LUCK (AWARDED $5,000 CASH GRANT)
Australia has 0.3% of the world’s population but 18% of the world’s poker machines. Sue is a woman caught in the middle. A former carer to her ill husband but now a widow in her sixties with funeral debt. She’s too young for the pension yet invisible to the competitive and ageist job market. Sue must find herself in this new world, all while the alluring tunes of the poker machines beckon as she passes the local pub. In the windowless gaming room, Sue makes an unlikely friend in Lyn, but will luck be on her side?
WRITTEN BY BORIS VYMENETS
Boris is a cinematographer and writer based in Sydney, Australia.
2020's TOP 5
(in alphabetical order)
CALICO KID by SARAH & JAKE MAVITY
CONJUGAL by CORAL AMIGA
CURLS 4 SALE by NOAM ARGOV
PRECIOUS METAL, IRON BAR by SARAH JUMA
THE STORM by NICK BARKLA
Our Top 5 will receive feedback on their scripts from our Judges along with a Free Copy of Final Draft 11 & Free Enrollment into the Ultimate Screenwriting Course.
|Boris Vymenets||Lady & Luck||Sue must re-enter the world and pay her debts. But is luck on her side?|
|Coral Amiga||Conjugal||Set all in one room, a female prisoner is given twelve hours for a conjugal visit with her boyfriend, where she will discover what’s really lurking beneath their relationship.|
|David Leon||Leave to Remain||When Ned, a fisherman, and Maya, a young African girl smuggled across the North Sea, lives collide, their desperation leads to an albatross around Ned’s neck, which creates a greater appreciation for the narrow world that he had previously existed within.|
|Fay Devlin||Flourish||A war-widowed Syrian refugee confronts the privilege of a reluctant engineering student and provokes her to choose her own career path.|
|Hua Shang||The Sound of My House Plant||An antisocial sound editor loses her hearing overnight and starts to understand the language of the plants which forces her to see the world from a different perspective.|
|J.L. Reed||Rain for Jo||A father gambles his freedom to make a birthday wish for his daughter come true.|
|Sarah & Jake Mavity||Calico Kid||A kid with vitiligo rescues a talking goldfish, who teaches him how to accept the skin he’s in.|
|Kasia Kaczmarek & Felix Garriock||Maeve in the Dark||Sexuality and gender norms are explored when chronically sick Maeve meets her new A.I. nurse, LEM.|
|Lindiwe Makgalemele||The Town||A car breaks down in an anonymous South African town.|
|LT Verrastro & Jay Kressly Elias||The Long Way||A dark comedy about a transgender man and his estranged sister who encounter mishaps and secrets on their way to a remote location to spread their mother’s ashes.|
|Nelson Kim||Continuity||A Korean immigrant, alone and overwhelmed in New York City, becomes so obsessed with a TV show that the fate of the hero begins to matter more to him than his own life.|
|Nick Barkla||The Storm||An aggressive juvenile female prisoner forms a surprising emotional bond with a damaged male prison officer.|
|Noam Argov||Curls 4 Sale||A third-grade girl starts selling glimpses of her long, curly hair in exchange for quarters from boys in school. Inspired by a true story.|
|Sarah Juma||Precious Metal, Iron Bar||A prominent politician’s wristwatch goes missing in a hotel room and a veteran housekeeper must pay for it with her livelihood. Or life.|
|Steven Lundgren||Fog of War||A young British soldier in WWI falls deeper and deeper into delusion as he starts having visions of a boar-like creature roaming the battlefield at night, devouring the souls of dead soldiers.|