Show Us Your (Virgin Media) Shorts

Virgin Media Shorts, the UK’s biggest short film competition is back for a fifth year and they want to see your two minutes and 20 seconds of movie magic! Upload it before 12th July 2012 and you could soon be watching it on the big screen.

This year they’ve have a whopping 13 spaces on the shortlist, with one lucky Grand Prize winner skipping away with £30,000 funding to make your next film with the British Film Institute.

They believe that every raw talent deserves a break, whether you’re a Tarantino in training or giving film making a spin for the first time. A shortlist of 12 films will be selected by their panel of curators and screened in UK cinemas for a year. And for the first time ever, they’re opening up a 13th spot for the entry that’s shared online the most. Every time you watch a film and pass it on in the week after the competition closes – via Facebook, Twitter or even email – you’ll be helping nudge it into the limelight.

So if you’ve got a masterpiece up your sleeve, what are you waiting for? Upload your short today and you could soon be seeing it on the big screen, as it was meant to be watched. They can give you a leg up in the film industry and give millions of people the chance to see your work.

Check out the list of what’s up for grabs this year…
The 13 shortlisted film makers will have their work watched by their panel of movie industry judges – Mat Whitecross, James King, Chris Collins and Cindy Rose (more to be announced). Imagine hearing what British director Mat Whitecross thought of your film!
One lucky winner will receive £30,000 of film funding to make their next film, hand in hand with the BFI
The final 13 shorts will be shown in cinemas nationwide for a year, screening before the main feature
The winner of the People’s Choice Award (voted for by the public) will walk away with £5,000 of film funding and BFI mentoring
One film will take away the new TiVo® Award, introduced last year, voted for by Virgin Media customers through their TiVo® boxes

Even if your film doesn’t make it to the shortlist, they’ll make sure all of this year’s entries get as much exposure as possible via social media (Twitter, Facebook and YouTube) and their TiVo® and iPhone apps – your short could soon be reaching an audience of millions, even if you don’t make it to the final stage.

The 13 shortlisted film makers will attend a glitzy award ceremony at BFI Southbank in November, where they’ll meet the judges and be given the full red carpet treatment.

The winners don’t just get their work seen by millions of movie lovers, they turn industry heads, too. Luke Snellin, who won Virgin Media Shorts 2009 with Mixtape, was nominated for a BAFTA and is now a regular on the film festival scene with his award winning short Disco. Oscar Sharp clinched a BIFA nomination for his 2010 winning film Sign Language and is working on his new film starring Olivia Colman and Sean Dooley. 2011 winner Jason Wingard, director of the futuristic thriller 2:20, is now working on his next film with the BFI.

The best news is that Virgin Media Shorts is open to everyone, whether you’re a seasoned pro with all the latest gear or a new recruit to film land messing about on your Mac. All it takes to stand out is a brilliant idea, executed well. The BFI curators (who choose the shortlist) won’t dismiss your film just because it’s a bit rough around the edges. Good luck!

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