There were some big winners among the short films on show at Sunderland’s premier film festival.

Movies from across the world were showcased across the city at the Sunderland Shorts Film Festival, which returned for its fourth year last week.

From a pre-event showcase celebrating films by students and young people on Wednesday, May 2 at The Peacock to scare-packed horror screenings at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, the event attracted hundreds of film fans and kept them on the edge of their seat.

The awards ceremony and final screenings of the award winners took place on Saturday Night at the Looking Glass in Sunniside.

Anne Tye, festival director, said: “We have been proud to show an incredible array of submissions and welcome such amazing talent to the city for this year’s event.

“It’s a cliché to say it was impossible to pick winners, but so many of the submissions were worthy of recognition and could have claimed the top prizes.

“I’d like to thank everyone who submitted and attended the film festival, our army of volunteers who ensured it ran smoothly, and all those across the city who have helped make Sunderland Shorts an amazing success once again. And congratulations to all the winners – you did an incredible job”

This year’s festival was a truly global affair – featuring short films from the US, Canada, France, Germany, Sweden and Lebanon, as well as some filmed closer to home.


Sunderland Shorts 2018 WINNERS:


Best Drama

Space Girls

Dir: Carys Watford

During a sleepover, four space-obsessed 9-year-old girls embark on a secret mission in their cardboard rocket. ‘Space Girls’ celebrates the power of the imagination, the importance of STEM education & girl power. A film to inspire youngsters to see science & space as fun.


Best Comedy

Rag Dolls

Dir: Justin & Kristin Schaack

Playtime turns to uncontrolled shenanigans when a child discovers rag dolls in an old chest. Her imagination runs wild, but for the dolls’ real-life doppelgängers, self-control is no more.


Best Documentary


Dir:  Faye Carr-Wilson

Documentary dealing with issues of disability and female empowerment through the subject Venus Dimilo, a female drag performer.


Best Art/Experimental


Dir:  Keelan Crawford

A film dealing with loss, following an old man who travels into his dreams and collects memories of his life in the shape of photographs


Best Thriller


Dir: Jack Levy

About the dangers of peer pressure and mob mentality. John and Rebecca attend a gig only to find that the act, Nick, has incredibly committed fans. As the crowd grows animated, John and Rebecca go to great lengths to prove their devotion to the charismatic singer.


Best Sci Fi/Horror


Dir: Varun Raman and Tom Hancock


Young and Emerging Stand Out Films (In no particular order)



Dir: Ruby Blake

Enjoyable and unusual documentary about Skinningrove in East Yorkshire. The tiny community combines to build a spectacular and unusual Bonfire Night display.


N.E.P.K – North East Parkour

Dir:  Robert Kilburn

This short documentary provides a snapshot of the North East Parkour community.


The Sycamore Gap

Dir: Lucy Rose Wilson-Green

A short film following the romantic affair of two women in 1841. Mina works in Blackwood House and finds enters an affair with Lady Clara. Clara’s Husband, becomes aware of the affair forcing the women to face some harsh truths. Mina is torn between logic and emotion.


Special Award

A Dog’s Best Friend

Dir: Hannah Rollins


Special Jury Mentions went to:

Dial a Ride

Dir: Tom Huntingford


A Place For Everything

Dir: Barnaby Boulton


Audience (Equal) Favourites:

Space Girls

Dir: Carys Watford


Ghost Beats

Dir: Brent Barson


A Place for Everything

Dir: Barnaby Boulton

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