A screeshot of the drama jury's Zoom meeting to decide the winner

The juries have made their decisions…

The winners are in!

Over the last week our wonderful judges have been deliberating, cogitating and not quite arguing over their specialist areas. It’s been tense. And for Rachel and me it’s been really hard to step back after two years, and watching every single submission. We’ve given our feedback, and the programme leads have pulled together 5 programmes of the Official Selections. We will be announcing all 6 winners (there’s an additional prize for the best student film) on Friday night at Ipswich Film Theatre, in front of an invited audience of filmmakers, judges and supporters.

The inside scoop is that it hasn’t been easy for any of the juries, not one was unanimous! So hard was it, that some of the judges have requested additional Highly Commended laurels and there will also be a special ‘Best Performance’ mention  in the Drama category. You’ll see that the jury, above, thoroughly enjoyed watching and discussion the films.

Check our social media @suffolk_shorts on Friday night

In case you haven’t downloaded our programme, here’s a review of the Official Selection for Saturday:


Camelot Dir: Alison Hargreaves Dur: 12:07 – 2019 in the Rhymney Valley, South Wales. An imaginative team of eight-year-old boys rewrite the ancient Welsh legend of King Arthur.

A Wider Screen Dir: Joe Hunting Dur: 13:00 – An intimate insight into how virtual reality (VR) is affecting peoples social lives for the better. 70% of the film is shot within VRChat, a VR social platform that allows users to create their own worlds and avatars.

I love you more than my soul Dir: Anna-My Novotny Dur: 23:39 – I love you more than my soul, is partly a documentary about children who have fled their countries but it’s also a film which, in a warm and honest way, describes life that just has to go on in spite of experienced traumas and shattered families.

Unknown Hand Dir: Saul Pankhurst Dur: 03:19 – An individual reflects on the inevitability of change, how we know ourselves and how we wish to be known. This film discusses the impact of degenerative illness on one’s sense of Identity and Authenticity.

Man Up in Lockdown Dir: Ruicheng Liang Dur: 20:00 – Exploring non-binary identity, Man Up in Lockdown is a short documentary that follows Richard Energy, a provocative digital drag king born at the start of the pandemic.

A still from teh short documentary Man up in Lockdown

Pointe Black Dir: Rebecca Murray Dur: 05:24 – Marie-Astrid Mence has been a member of Ballet Black since 2014 – a seminal dance company formed of Black and Asian performers who astound audiences with displays of balletic beauty and power.

KEITH Dir: A F Webb Dur: 14:53 – KEITH is a film about how Keith Eldred came to own RAF Barnham, now known as Gorse Industrial Estate. The site, on the Suffolk/Norfolk border, housed Britain’s first nuclear weapon/deterrent and was used as the film’s primary shooting location.



A Hole Dir: James Solomon Dur: 11:38 – A man digs a hole, people watch him do it.

Squall Dir: Mark Brennan Dur: 13:48 – Ben and Margaret, two strangers at rock bottom in their lives for very different reasons, meet in a hotel bar before going on to spend a night putting their respective broken worlds to rights.

A scene from the film Innocence featuring Beth Asher as Sarah

What If? Dir: Katia Shannon Dur: 14:33 – At each step, Elena’s agoraphobia reinforces her sense of mortality but, as anxiety spreads around her like wildfire, she finally sees a way out.

Portrait Dir: Keir Siewert Dur: 13:05 – Based on real accounts, a model takes matters into her own hands to expose a serial predator in the photography world.

The Cunning Man Dir: Zoë Dobson Dur: 12:54 – Inspired by a real Cunning Man, John Harries (c.1785 – 1839). It’s an enchanted tale of compassion in the face of callous greed.

Skeletons Dir: Will Peppercorn Dur: 09:52 – A young man, Marcus, goes to collect his grandfather for the service on the morning of his father’s funeral.

Innocence Dir: Ben Reid Dur: 19:50 – When a worker falls to his death at a care home, it appears to be a terrible accident.




Datacosm Dir: Jo Lawrence Dur: 09:01 – At the dawn of the Datacosm, data is planted, harvested, transported, stored and processed as data-feed for consumption by the data eaters. The infiltration of the data storage facility by a hacker leads to contamination by a thought virus which alters the Datacosm forever.

Swivel Dir: Lois Norman Dur: 06:39 – What if you can be all of who you are and still allow another? That just for one night, judgement no longer exists? What if, an intimacy of touch, a truth of want, Swivels around your doubt and trusts? What if, love is not a gender, it is a swivel of the heart?

The Circle Dir: Lanre Malaolu Dur: 15:25 – The Circle is a bold and lyrical portrayal of two brothers from inner city London, and the challenges they face daily, interpreted through dance.

Bun na Spiére (the Bottom of the Sky) Dir: Paul Kenny Dur: 15:30 – Bun na Spéire is created using seawater and scraps of metallic flotsam and jetsam collected from a beach at Downpatrick Head, Mayo. The title is an Irish language term for “horizon”, the literal English translation is “bottom of the sky”.

Burnout Dirs: Joshua Vendetta Nash, Gemma Pons Alsina Dur: 04:10 – It seems his fire isn’t burning any longer, it’s extinguished. A young man. Stalked by his inner demons, burdened by a lost imagination for the future and alienated by the isolation of the current world.

Dancers from teh film Burnout on the beach

Align Dir: R.E. Wolfe Dur: 07:22 – A conceptual dance film that presents two radically different dance forms: ballet and pole dance. The juxtaposition between the two crafts is demonstrated throughout, but the cinematographic choices also allow the audience to see the parallels between the two crafts and between these two women who are united in numerous ways, including rhythm, gracefulness and athleticism.

The 1st Dissonant Piece for the Camera and the Body Dirs: Matija Kralj, Nastasja Štefanić Dur: 18:00 – Experimental dance film created by conducting a survey on interpretations of terms consonance and dissonance among people of different professions. The (re-)occupying of spaces not intended for human use or spaces that are now only a feeble reflect of the presence of life, sets the film on the line between non-spaces, and space established by filling and/or emptying a space, and intense directing and editing interventions.

TREMBLE Dirs: Jessica Wright, Morgann Runacre-Temple Dur: 04:00 – An abstract dining room is the setting for Scottish Ballet’s largest film yet. Tremble stars 26 Scottish Ballet dancers and has been co-choreographed and directed by Jessica Wright and Morgann Runacre-Temple, set to Anna Meredith’s brassy track ‘Nautilus’. Comic surrealism and offbeat invention involving frenetically dancing waiters, red jelly and a thrillerish edge.

Claire Whittenbury (Founder)

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