Short films are the future

The Suffolk Short Film Festival is a new festival launching in Ipswich in 2020. We believe that Short films are the future, they give filmmakers the chance to experiment and hone their skills. Telling a story in a short film takes skill and determination, but it also frees you from the constraints and influences often associated with features or traditional commissioning. Shorts are not just practice runs, they are an art form in their own right.

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Suffolk Shorts is proud to have attracted the support and commitment of these respected individuals and is in the process of building a strong team of judges for our award panels. Subscribe to be updated when judges join the panels for award categories.



Sophie Fiennes

Filmmaker & Director

Acclaimed Director Sophie Fiennes, originally from Suffolk, will be actively taking part in developing the festival as well as sitting on the jury. Well known for her documentary features, most recently Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, Sophie’s unique way of looking at the world brings insight into the lives of philosophers and artists. She has also contributed to Hopper Stories, a collection of shorts in 2012.

Jeremy Là Zelle


Jeremy is a filmmaker specialising in documentary films that align environmental and human concerns. He is an avid storyteller and has won numerous international film festival awards. Whilst based in the US he continually travels around the world, filming and documenting projects for TV Networks, Nations, NGOs, Charities, and Businesses who make a positive social impact on their communities.

Tracey Gardner

Documentary Maker

Executive Producer Tracey Gardiner has over twenty years’ experience developing and making documentaries and low budget feature films. Her production company Iridescent Films recently co-produced feature doc 100 Men (Netflix). Her award winning films include: Keys to the Castle (Scottish BAFTA and RTS), How M&S Lost its Millions (Wincott Award – Best Documentary), and the Grierson Newcomer Award for Send Me Somewhere Special.



Suffolk Shorts is talking to a number of potential judges for this category. We expect to start announcing details in November.

East Anglian Stories

Richard Prendergast

Richard has a natural ability for story telling through film and video. His vision and passion, backed by his in depth technical ability and experience, make for exceptional thought provoking watching. His most recent project is a short film he has written and directed titled “Sylvia” is having great success, having won 15 awards at film festivals worldwide and now entering for consideration at to the 2020 Oscars.

Art and Performance

Kate MccGwire

Kate MccGwire is an internationally renowned British sculptor whose practice employs natural materials to probe the beauty inherent in duality. Growing up on the Norfolk Broads her connection with nature and fascination with birds was nurtured from an early age. She currently splits her time between London and Suffolk and her work has been exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery (London), the Museum of Art and Design (New York), Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (Paris), Snape Maltings (Suffolk) and Glasstress at the Venice Biennale.

Bill Jackson

Suffolk Based conceptual​​ artist, photographer​, performer and foto filmmaker, ​Bill Jackson has created site specific projections, installations and soundscapes. He has received many international awards for his photographic prints and films including a Gold and Silver at The Tokyo International Awards and screened ‘The Venetian Mirror’, a collaborative work with the poet Tamar Yoseloff at the 2019 Venice Biennale for ‘Alive In The Universe’. He has exhibited worldwide at The Photographers Gallery, The National Portrait Gallery, The Brno Museum and the Museum Of Modern Art in Argentina.


Christian Aldridge

Christian Aldridge studied painting at the Slade School of Art and Animation at Norwich University of the Arts. He has a keen interest in hand-drawn animation and maintains a studio practice in Darsham as well as holding a teaching position at the University of Suffolk at East Coast College.

Alice Taylor

Alice trained as graphic artist and illustrator. She went on to win awards in the US, where she taught digital graphics, art and animation at a large urban vocational school and established a highly-respected animation program that was used as a curriculum model in Texas. She was College Board Teacher of the Year for the 5-state Southwest Region, one of the top 6 art teachers in the US and on the board of professional artists and art teachers who judged student art portfolios for the College Board, an elite university entrance examination system used by universities worldwide. In 2015, Alice moved back to her home town of Lowestoft where she is now Mayor.


Claire Whittenbury

Producer & Filmmaker

Claire developed her muscle as a runner hauling film cans across Soho and after years in film and TV production she became part of the team that launched the FilmFour channel, where she discovered her love of short film through the Short Attention Span Cinema strand. She went on to produce The Shooting Gallery with Mark Kermode, profiling filmmakers and introducing new short films to a late night audience on Channel 4. Claire currently produces videos, supporting conservation and mental health charities. She’s dedicated to bringing international short film to Suffolk and determined to encourage investment in local talent.

Rachel Aldridge

Producer & Director

Rachel spent ten years in London working for ITV, also starting as a runner, and worked her way through the ranks to become Producer/Director on a number of factual entertainment programmes. Since moving back to Suffolk she has worked as a Suffolk-based location manager and location scout. She currently works part-time for Screen Suffolk, the county’s official film office, supporting and promoting filmmaking in the county. Her aim is to raise the profile of filmmaking in East Anglia, and to create a fund specifically for that purpose through The Suffolk Short Film Festival.


Jim Horsfield

Technical Manager

Jim Horsfield has worked internationally on events and festivals for 15 years, specialising in projection and AV Project Management. He has worked with numerous clients including Brighton Festival, The Banff Mountain Film Festival UK, NESTA, Max Cooper and the Samsung Olympic Torch Relay. Originally from Birmingham, Jim now lives in Ipswich.

Mary Graham

Having earned her spurs working for leading London agencies and major brand in-house marketing teams, Mary Graham knows how marketing works from both sides of the fence. As a Director of First Light Festival Mary championed Suffolk Shorts and now provides the team with much needed support, both moral and professional. Mary is a founder of Yellobelly, a creative agency based in Suffolk.

Rob Bevan

Creative Director

Rob Bevan was a founding partner at online drama production company XPT, and director of BAFTA-winning Online Caroline, he also co-founded NoHo Digital. Rob began his interactive media career in the late 1980s creating educational CD-ROMs for Apple’s Renaissance project and The MultiMedia Corporation, the BBC’s former Interactive Television Unit. He is a member of the BAFTA British Short Film category longlisting group.

Christine Howell

Christine Howell is a specialist in policy and security, having been Senior Director of Policy and Security at Oracle for 16 years. Christine advised us on our application to be incorporated as a CIC and is working on general administration for the launch of the festival in 2020.

Charlotte Treifus

Charlotte has a home in Suffolk but is now based primarily in the US where she is on the board of Pure Earth, a not-for-profit that identifies and remediates toxic pollution in the developing world. Charlotte is an advocate for people who are finding their creative voice later in life, and is supporting a special award for filmmakers over 50 and stories that feature those generations.


Suffolk Shorts is proud of our partnerships and look forward to establishing future connections with like minded organisations.