University of Suffolk

Best East Anglian Film Award sponsorship confirmed

Official Sponsors

Suffolk Shorts are delighted to confirm that the University of Suffolk will be sponsoring the Best East Anglian Film award at the festival this year. The category is open to filmmakers based in the region or those telling stories about East Anglia. The other four categories are: Best drama; Best documentary; Best art and performance film; and Best animation.

Best East Anglian Film Award logo


The relationship between Suffolk Shorts and the university began in 2019. The founders met with Course Leader in Digital Film production and Screenwriting Alexandra Leaney, who is now a member of the jury for the Best East Anglian Film award. She introduced Suffolk Shorts to the students and has helped to foster a growing connection over the last two years. Alex says: “We are delighted that the School of Engineering, Arts, Science and Technology has the opportunity to support the festival by sponsoring the East Anglian Film Award. It’s a great opportunity for students and those who are already involved have really enjoyed the professional experience.”

“It’s a great opportunity for students.”

Co founder of Suffolk Shorts, Claire Whittenbury, is a guest lecturer on the Screenwriting course short film module “The Ten Minute Short” at the University. Students keep a notebook during the module, detailing short films and screenplays that they have chosen to read independently, as the shorts they watch. The culmination of this work is the production of a ten page screenplay which some students will have the opportunity to have filmed by the Digital Film Production students. Claire sticks by the Suffolk Shorts mantra that short films are the future and really enjoys the process of developing the scripts with the students. She has real admiration for the discipline of writing for shorts.

“Short film script writing is an incredibly exacting skill, I’m always in awe when someone pulls it off.”

Students on the team

Hebe at the university standing under a giant photograph of herself

Suffolk Shorts are keen to support students by offering them places on the festival screening panel as well as contributing to their blog and social media. Regular readers of our blog will know recent graduate Hebe Dobson-Mouawad. Hebe has written reviews and interviewed actors and directors for Suffolk Shorts as our official writer. She says that she will always cherish her time writing for the festival and has enjoyed the support she’s had from the team, both as a student and now that she’s pursuing her career.

Suffolk Shorts have provided me with the opportunity to interview film industry leaders, increasing my understanding of the medium of short film, as well as write about a subject that I am deeply passionate about.”

Submissions for the festival are taken through FilmFreeway. Here all the films are watched be a diverse screening panel, who give their views, rate the project and potentially recommend the films to the programming team. The panel is age diverse and students are encouraged to join. Benjamin Jay, who is currently on the Digital Filmmaking Course at University of Suffolk has particularly enjoyed the experience. He says that Watching, critiquing, and discussing the films has made him think and take more notice of the individual crafts.

“Working on the screening panel has really developed my critical skills.” 

We are really delighted about the growing relationship between the University and Suffolk Shorts. We very much hope that one day we’ll see graduates from University of Suffolk submitting films to our festival – as well as other festivals! 

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