Suffolk Shorts is an international competition for short films with a running time of fewer than 25 minutes, with a gala event and two days of screenings. Submissions are accepted exclusively through FilmFreeway. The five main categories are: Best Animation, Best Art & Performance, Best East Anglian Film, Best Drama and Best Documentary. There will be an additional award for the Best Student Short submitted to any category.

Sophie Fiennes

Best Documentary Jury

Acclaimed Director Sophie Fiennes, originally from Suffolk, is 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.

David Morrissey

Best Drama Jury

David Morrissey is one of the UK’s best-known and best-loved actors, a household favourite since his first role in One Summer (1983) and a cult favourite since he appeared in The Walking Dead. He’s also an acclaimed producer and director. David is an active supporter of a number of charities, and an ambassador for UNHCR.

Suffolk Shorts Judge Ryan Gander

Ryan Gander

Best Art & Performance Film Jury

Ryan Gander is an artist living and working in Suffolk and London. He has established an international reputation through artworks that materialise in many different forms from sculpture to film, writing, graphic design, installation, performance and more besides. Gander’s work involves a questioning of language and knowledge, a reinvention of the modes of appearance and creation of an artwork.

Carla MacKinnon

Best Animation Jury

Carla MacKinnon works across art, animation, film and live events. Her award-winning films have been exhibited internationally and broadcast on the BBC. In 2009 she founded the organisation Rich Pickings, using film and discussion to explore scientific and psychological themes. She is an animation lecturer at Norwich University of the Arts and a PhD candidate at Arts University Bournemouth, conducting research into animated documentary filmmaking.

Richard Prendergast

Best East Anglian Story Jury

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.

Kate Muir

Best Drama Jury

Kate Muir is an author and critic. She is writer and producer of The Great Menopause Scandal, a documentary for Channel 4, and an accompanying book. She was chief film critic of The Times, and has published three novels. Muir is a campaigner for Women and Hollywood, which advocates for equality and diversity in the movie industry. She also works with Time’s Up UK and is on the board of Birds’ Eye View, a charity which promotes the distribution of female-led films.

Vanessa Engle

Best Documentary Jury

Vanessa Engle is a documentary filmmaker who has been making authored films for BBC Television for over thirty years.  She has been nominated seven times for Grierson Documentary Awards – more than any other director.  Love You to Death was nominated for the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards 2016 for Best Single Documentary. In November 2015, Engle received an Outstanding Contribution to Documentary award at the Aldeburgh Documentary Festival.

Christopher Andrews

Best East Anglian Story Jury

Writer and Director Chris Andrews started his career in the camera department, before completing an MA in screenwriting at the London Film School in 2012. He went on to write and direct short films including FIRE in 2015 and the multi award winning STALKER in 2018. His feature screenplay SCAFELLS featured on the 2018 The Brit List and in 2019 he was named by Screen International as a Screen Star of Tomorrow.

Kate MccGwire

Best Art & Performance Film Jury

Kate MccGwire is an internationally renowned sculptor whose practice employs natural materials to probe the beauty inherent in duality. 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. She currently splits her time between London and Suffolk.

Gillies MacKinnon

Best Drama Jury

Gillies MacKinnon is an award-winning Scottish director. A fine visual stylist who coaxes exceptional performances from his casts, he is a favourite with audiences and critics alike. His film credits include Hideous Kinky, Small Faces and Regeneration. His TV credits include The Village and Whisky Galore.

Suffolk Shorts Judge Gillian Allard

Gillian Allard

Best East Anglian Story Jury

Gillian Allard, the Suffolk-born award-winning photographer and Winner of the Sky Arts Master of Photography 2017, uses a range of in-camera techniques to explore her subjects and create juxtapositions and optical illusions.  She is a specialist in applying photographic images to alternative surfaces such as wood and stone and her series ‘Refugee Stories’ commissioned for the PhotoEast Festival, with the work exhibited in both Ipswich and London.

Alice Taylor

Best Animation Jury

Alice Taylor was an award winning graphic artist and illustrator in the US, where she established a highly-respected animation program that was used as a curriculum model in Texas. In 2015, Alice moved back to her home town of Lowestoft where she is now Mayor and an advocate for The Arts.

Jonathan Watkins

Best Art & Performance Film Jury

Jonathan Watkins is a freelance director and choreographer whose most recent film project, Kes – Reimagined, premiered in November 2019. Credits include 1984 (Northern Ballet) winner of best new dance production at The Southbank Sky Arts Awards 2016. Dance on film credits include Route 67, Sofa and Bunker and as Movement Director on Road (Royal Court) The Machine (M.I.F) Coriolanus and Aristocrats (Donmar Warehouse) and People (National Theatre).

Bill Jackson

Best Art & Performance Film Jury

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 at the 2019 Venice Biennale for ‘Alive In The Universe’. 

Tracey Gardiner

Best Documentary Jury

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.

Alexandra Leaney

Best East Anglian Story Jury

Alexandra Leaney is researching focalisation as an organising principle of the screenplay narrative within her PhD at University of East Anglia. The critical thesis includes a theoretical and methodological framework, drawing upon narratology, to analyse focalisation within the screenplay. She is also developing a 24 to 30-episode Sci-Fi TV series for the Chinese market with co-writer, and story originator, Dr Kira-Anne Pelican.

Jeremy Là Zelle

Best Documentary Jury

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.


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