Mole Hill won DepicT! 2012 with Fat Cat, his fantastic animated commentary on the desire to make excessive amounts of money.
We caught up with Mole Hill recently to gain some insight, for those of you who are thinking of applying…
I really like the 90 second format, shorter than a short but longer than a commercial it gives enough time to tell a fairly complex story, whilst forcing the film-maker to be succinct.
I’ve been knocking around for ages, I started out making shorts for C4 back in the 80s and have worked on children’s series, commercials, stings – anything that comes along really. Over the last few years I’ve started making shorts again, taking advantage of the new technologies that have made film-making so accessible lately.
Winning at Depict was fantastic – It’s particularly good that the films get a bit of distribution after the event itself. I used the prize money to buy a camera and have started on a new short – I’ve completed the first shot, so at this rate it should be finished sometime in 2020!
A great showcase, a firm deadline, a creative opportunity.
DepicT! is thrilled to announce a new partnership with the Royal Photographic Society which doubles the prize money for its awards and introduce a brand new award celebrating the art of cinematography.
RPS Education Manager Liz Williams says of the new partnership:
“The RPS is delighted to be working with Watershed and DepicT! in offering an award for the best cinematography amongst the shortlisted films. The Society has always been a strong supporter of the moving image giving RPS Awards to the likes of Roger Deakins, John Mathieson and Sir Ridley Scott. We feel it’s important to recognise this swiftly changing and influential medium by helping and supporting up and coming film makers; this new award seems a perfect way of doing it and it’s the ideal time: Encounters are planning a major focus on cinematography this year.”
DepicT! producer Maddy Probst said:
“The partnership with the RPS is a very exciting development for DepicT! We share a passion for image making, innovative practice and an ambition to uncover and progress distinctive creative talent. We’re also both based in the South West of the UK but place no boundaries on our desire to connect with filmmakers, artists and audiences across the globe.”
Now in its fifteenth year, DepicT! is challenging the worldwide creative community to once again create distinctive, imaginative and engaging short films under 90 seconds long. As a result of the new partnership, the cash prizes have now doubled to a mighty £3,000 including £500 up for grabs for the winner of the Shooting People RPS Audience Award, the first time this gong has ever had a cash prize.
The DepicT! RPS Cinematography Award will be selected by the DepicT! Jury alongside the main DepicT! Award of £1500 at the 19th Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival (17 – 22 September, Bristol).
So why 90 seconds? Because it challenges filmmakers to think creatively and edit ruthlessly. More importantly, it gets talented filmmakers and their work noticed. As Mole Hill, who scooped the top prize for The Fat Cat at DepicT! 2012, said:
“There’s something about the 90 second format – longer than a commercial, but shorter than a short – that seems to bring out a really high level of invention and experimentation in all the filmmakers.”
The deadline for entries is Mon 8 July at 17:00 so it’s not too late to submit your super short film!
Looking for some inspiration? For the 5th year running, the DepicT! 2012 winning shorts are screening at cinemas and film societies across the UK over the next few months. Venues include London’s Curzon Soho and Renoir, Sheffield Showroom, Glasgow Film Theatre, the Irish Film Institute, Plymouth Arts Centre, the National Media Museum in Bradford, Yeovil Cinemateque, The Ultimate Picture Palace in Oxford and of course Watershed in Bristol.
We’re delighted to announce that DepicT! – Watershed’s super short film competition – is once again challenging filmmakers across the world to create a masterpiece in just a minute-and-a-half! Whatever your budget, whatever your genre, we want your shorts: simply enter for free online and be in with a chance of winning £1500 prize money, a slot on Channel 4, invaluable industry exposure, and other exclusive prizes.
Every year, the shortlisted DepicT! filmmakers are given the opportunity to network at Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival (17-22 Sept 2013), the UK’s longest running competitive short film and animation festival held right here in Bristol. While at the festival they get priceless exposure to distributors, producers, funder, exhibitors, other filmmakers, and enthusiastic fans of the short film format.
DepicT! is now in its fourteenth year and prides itself on the quality of its little gems, not to mention the quality of the filmmakers who submit them. Previous DepicT! winners have had their work screened at international film festivals, been picked up by commercial distributors, and carved themselves strong and successful careers in the film industry – even being recognised as Stars of Tomorrow by industry magazine Screen International.
Why 90 seconds? Because it will challenge you to think creatively and to cut ruthlessly. More importantly, it will get you and your work noticed. As Anna Ginsberg, one of the DepicT! winners from last year, said: “DepicT! is a great format in which the time constraint is in many ways liberating”. Some of the other DepicT! filmmakers and judges shared their thoughts on the 90 second format in this short film we made last year at the DepicT! showcase during Encounters:
Mole Hill, who scooped the top £1,500 cash prize for their film The Fat Cat at DepicT! 2012, said:
“The competition was incredibly strong and varied in both style and content. There’s something about the 90 second format – longer than a commercial, but shorter than a short – that seems to bring out a really high level of invention and experimentation in all the filmmakers.”
DepicT! accepts films from anywhere in the world, from any genre, and it’s totally free to enter. The one and only caveat is that your short film must be 90 seconds or less. That’s it! So what’s stopping you? Pack your tiny film with masses of creativity and send it to us.
You have until Mon 8 July 2013 to upload your little gem to us, giving you plenty of time to read the rules and get a short bit of inspiration by checking out our archive of 13 years of teeny, tiny shorts. Who knows – maybe next year we’ll be telling everyone to watch your creation for inspiration?
Following a fantastic buzz at the sold out DepicT! Showcase filmmakers, distinguished guests and jury members gathered on the evening of Sat 22 Sept for the grand finale of the 18th Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival, the UK’s leading short film festival. Aardman Animations’ David Sproxton, DepicT! Jury member and long-standing supporter of the competition introduced the DepicT! Awards to a full house.
This year’s DepicT! jury session brought together seasoned industry figures such as Producer Chris Auty, now Head of Producing at NFTS, David Sproxton from Aardman Animations and Karen Alexander from the Royal College of Art. After a lively and lengthy discussion at Encounters, the jury did eventually arrive at a consensus despite “no single film standing head and shoulders above the others.”
That said, what the fat cat wants the fat cat gets… Mole Hill walked away with the main DepicT! Award and the cash prize of £1,500 for The Fat Cat. David Sproxton described his film as ‘naïve in its execution yet sophisticated in its message.’
Mole Hill said:
“I’m absolutely delighted that ‘The Fat Cat’ was so well received at DepicT! – the competition was incredibly strong and varied in both style and content. There’s something about the 90 second format – longer than a commercial, but shorter than a short – that seems to bring out a really high level of invention and experimentation in all the film-makers.”
Will Massa, Film Advisor at the British Council went on to present the British Special Mention to Anna Ginsburg for her animated film Living With Depression. Her short was praised for ‘representing the unrepresentable, quite a feat in such a short space of time.’
She has won a great package of career development opportunities from BAFTA, the National Film and Television School, The British Council and Shooting People. You’ll be able to follow her progress on depict.org
Anna Ginsburg says:
“I feel the programming at Encounters is so strong that any Award from this festival means a lot. DepicT! is a great format in which the time constraint is in many ways liberating.”
This year’s Shooting People DepicT! Audience Award went to Scott Coello for the infectiously upbeat Hey!. The Award was presented by Sarah Chorley, whose international networking organization Shooting People has secured Scott a lifetime membership along with a selection of DVDs and other goodies.
Scott Coello says:
“It’s mind blowing that the audience, both online and offline, connected with Hey! and enjoyed it enough to vote, especially considering the skitty-nonsense-whimsy-plotless-fun nature of the animation. It’s reassuring to know that I’m doing something right and encouraging to continue, develop and improve for future short films.”
Jury member and BAFTA-nominated filmmaker Karni Arieli from Karni+Saul (Flytopia) presented Dutch filmmaker Evelien Lohbeck with the inaugural DepicT! Random Acts Special Mention award for her film Big Signal: “Channel 4’s Random Acts is about bringing the most brilliant creative short bursts from all over the world to a mainstream UK TV audience. We selected a short, which we felt would offer late night viewers across the UK something memorable. The jury was struck by the simplicity and symmetry of the piece from dots to nature and back again.”
A huge thank you to the sponsors and supporters of DepicT! that enable us to run the competition, and also to all 600 filmmakers who submitted their 90 second films without which we wouldn’t have a competition!
Visit the Encounters site to view a full list of Awards.
Want the Inside story on Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival this year? Nine talented young journalists covered this year’s festival via a daily blog as part of a New Film Journalism Workshop.
We would like to start by thanking all filmmakers that have submitted their shorts into DepicT! this year.
A staggering variety of entries were received from all over the globe from Brazil and Ethiopia to Germany and Hungary and we very had a difficult job in selecting the shortlist. We received a record number of entries (over 600 from more than 30 countries!), and now the shortlisted films for DepicT! ‘12 are all available for your viewing pleasure.
These 15 tiny films have been selected stood out for their ability to be hugely distinctive, imaginative and engaging. They are all in the running for the four prestigious prizes, which will be announced during the Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival (Tue 18 – Sun 23 Sept). These include the main DepicT! Award of £1500, the British Special Mention Award and the Shooting People Audience Award, as well as the brand new DepicT! Random Acts Award, which gives one lucky winner the chance to have their film screened on Channel Four’s popular weeknight programme Random Acts.
The Shooting People Audience Award is where you come in – watch, vote, and comment on the shortlisted films online to help determine the winner!
The DepicT! ‘12 films will have their big screen premiere on Sat 22 Sept at 15:30 at the ever-popular DepicT! Showcase at Watershed, Bristol, as part of Encounters. The DepicT! showcase gives everyone a chance to see the films in a cinema setting, meet the talent behind them and find out more about the competition. Tickets are on sale now so snap them up to see these super shorts in their full splendour!
Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival (Tue 18 – Sun 23 Sept) is now in its superb 18th edition. Join us over six days of action-packed programmes to discover today’s best and brightest short filmmaking talent and more. For full details of all Encounters events, delegate registration and to purchase tickets online go to encounters-festival.org.uk
Last but not least, if you are a young filmmaker aged 21 or under, or part of an organisation working with under 21s, we’re delighted to invite you to submit your films to Electric December, an online advent calendar showcasing shorts by new talent from all across Europe.
The deadline has been extended to Fri 28 Sept so if you want to submit your short film (this time five minutes or less!) head on over to electricdecember.org now. Previous winners have received travel bursaries to attend the BUFF Young Peoples’ Film Festival in Malmö, Sweden – and we have some similar treats in store for whoever wins this year – good luck!
We are delighted to announce the stellar judging panel for DepicT! – Watershed's super short film competition part of Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival.
The judges are Chris Auty (NFTS), David Sproxton (Aardman Animations) Karen Alexander (Royal College of Art), Ravi Amaratunga (Channel 4), Will Massa (British Council), Sarah Chorley (Shooting People) and BAFTA nominated Karni Arieli (Karni+Saul) whose short Flytopia premieres at this year’s festival.
Creatives worldwide were challenged to come up with distinctive, imaginative and engaging shorts in just one minute and a half. With a record number of entries – 650 from 32 different countries whittled down to a shortlist of 15, the judges will have the difficult task of choosing winners for the main DepicT! Award of £1500 as well as the British Special Mention Award, a tailored package of career development opportunities from NFTS, BAFTA, British Council and Shooting People for a UK-based filmmaker.
For 2012, we join forces with Channel 4 to introduce the brand new DepicT! Random Acts Special Mention, which the Jury will also select. This is a fantastic opportunity for one of the shortlisted filmmakers to win a slot on Random Acts, Channel 4’s short-form arts strand that airs every weeknight.
Editor Ravi Amaratunga says:
“We’re delighted to be offering this unique opportunity for the very best creative filmmakers out there. Random Acts is absolutely committed to showcasing the most brilliant creative short bursts from all over the world to a mainstream UK TV audience and cannot wait to see what the high calibre of entrants to DepicT! have to offer.”
All will be revealed; there are just few weeks to go until the shortlist goes live on depict.org on Mon 3 September for everyone’s viewing and voting pleasure as part of the very popular DepicT! Shooting People Audience Award.
The tiny shorts get their big screen premiere at the ever-popular DepicT! Showcase (Sat 18 Sept, 15:00) at the 18th Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival (18 – 23 September) one of the world’s leading showcases and meeting points for emerging talent. The winners will be announced by members of the Jury later on that evening at the festival’s prestigious Award Ceremony. After the festival, the winning films will also be digitised by Arts Alliance Media and made available for theatrical screenings at cinemas across the UK.
Maddy Probst, DepicT! Producer comments:
“A staggering variety of entries were received from all over the globe from Brazil and Ethiopia to Germany and Hungary. The range of styles, subjects and ideas expressed in these shortest of shorts never ceases to amaze me. The jury has a tough job ahead of them!”
DepicT! is a Watershed project part of Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival sponsored by Aardman Animations and Films@59 with support from BAFTA, British Council, NFTS, Arts Alliance Media, Channel 4, Shooting People, in partnership with the Independent Cinema Office.
The 2012 DepicT! Jury:
· Chris Auty – Head of Producing, NFTS
Former film critic Chris Auty has produced films including Stealing Beauty, My Summer of Love, In This World and 24 Hour Party People and is currently Head of Producing at NFTS. He sits on the governing board of the European Film Academy and has just launched a new course (EPCRI), backed by the NFTS, Ingenious Media, and Sir Richard Branson.
· Will Massa – Film Advisor, British Council
Will is Film Advisor at British Council, working to promote new British work internationally. Will is also Development Co-ordinator for Rankin Film (the new film wing of photographer, Rankin) overseeing their recently launched Collabor8te Shorts Scheme.
· Karen Alexander – Senior lecturer, Royal College of Art
Karen Alexander is currently a senior tutor in the RCA's Curating Contemporary Art department. Prior to that she worked as a film curator and freelance consultant on film exhibition and distribution.
· David Sproxton – Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Aardman Animations
David is the co-founder and Executive Chairman of Aardman. Together with co-founder Peter Lord, he has overseen the development of the company from a two-man partnership to one of the pre-eminent animation houses in the industry.
· Karni Arieli – Filmmaker / Photographer
Artists Karni+Saul direct films and music videos and their film 'Turning' was short-listed for the best film short in the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) and shown in several festivals, including Encounters Short & Animation Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival and the LA Shorts Fest.
· Sarah Chorley – Operations Director at Shooting People
Sarah has worked for independent production companies like Slate Films, Signal Films and Living Cinema and the London Disability Film Festival and Cambridge Film Festival.
· Ravi Amaratunga – Media Project Manager, Creative Diversity Editor, Random Acts / Channel 4
Ravi works across short form at Channel 4 running Channel 4’s late night zone for short films ‘The Shooting Gallery, its weeknightly arts strand Random Acts and commissions short form factual for the channel.
With all the excitement of the Euros, the Olympics on the way and festival fever taking over the nation, it’s easy to get carried away with this sporting and social action, but don’t forget the DepicT! 2012 deadline is looming (Mon 9 July, 17:00) so enter your 90-second-or-less gem for free now!
Whether it be a comedy or a horror, made on your phone or with a professional crew, there’s no limit on what your creativity might muster and the competition is open to all genres and production techniques. For inspiration why not take a look at last year’s winner, Wake by Nick Fogg, a documentary set on one day or The End (2002), which was completed the night before the deadline!
Of course there are some superb prizes available – there’s the chance to win a £1,500 cash prize, priceless industry exposure and mentoring opportunities that will kick start your career.
Nominated filmmakers will also be invited to the Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival (18 – 23 Sept), the leading industry platform where you can meet key professionals, other filmmakers and short film fans.
For the chance to have your short judged by a panel of experts (Oscar®-winning Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson and NFTS Director Nik Powell have both had their say in the past), get filming, animating or editing and send in your film now!
DepicT! proves it’s a genuine springboard to success with the news that previous winner Tim Bassford has won the top prize in The Pitch: a £25,000 budget to turn his film idea into a 20 minute short, and a once in a lifetime chance to go to Hollywood.
Last year Tim’s enchanting 90 second short The Launderette won the Shooting People DepicT! Audience Award at the Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival. DepicT! is open to anyone, anywhere in the world, on any budget, and in any genre. There is only one caveat: the film must have a maximum running time of 90 seconds. That’s it – we really are looking for the shortest of the short.
Each year the shortlisted DepicT! films get priceless exposure at Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival. One of the fantastic things about Encounters are the incredible opportunities to network and speak to real industry professionals: it was this experience that proved crucial when Tim began working on his ideas for The Pitch.
The Pitch challenges up and coming filmmakers to pitch their film ideas: Tim made it to the last 10 finalists and was invited to the legendary Pinewood Studios where judges editor-at-Large of Empire Film Magazine, Nev Pierce, Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park, and screenwriter Stuart Hazeldine declared Tim the winner.
Tim will now receive mentoring from filmmaking professionals who will help develop his idea, Samson, into a 20 minute short film due to be recorded during the summer. Once filming has wrapped he will fly to Tinseltown where he’ll have a private meeting with Producer Ralph Winter (X-Men, Fantastic Four) for yet more invaluable industry tips and advice.
Winning an award last year at DepicT! gave me such a boost of confidence and self-belief: it certainly encouraged me to dream big and has increased my ambition to want to go on and do bigger and better films. DepicT! and Encounters in general provided such a great opportunity for me to meet other filmmakers who are at a similar stage or a few stages further on – that is invaluable when you’re looking to progress as a filmmaker.
If you want a brilliant, credible place to start your career in film, I’d wholeheartedly recommend entering a film into DepicT! – it did wonders for me, and I’m sure it’ll do wonders for you too!
You too could be jetting off to Los Angeles some day: DepicT! is open for submissions now – enter your film for free online before Mon 9 July and keep those fingers crossed!
Filmmakers worldwide: we need you! DepicT! ‘12 challenges you to get creative in just one little minute and a half. Whatever your budget or genre, we want your super shorts – you can enter for free online and be in with a chance of winning £1500 prize money, invaluable industry exposure, and other exclusive prizes.
Following a fantastic buzz at the DepicT! Showcase in the afternoon, filmmakers and guests gathered on the evening of Sat 19 Nov for the 17th Bristol Encounters International Film Festival Awards Ceremony hosted by Peter Carlton to learn who’d scooped this year’s DepicT! competition prizes.
Out of a dizzying 500 films from 30 countries, 14 tiny films were shortlisted for their distinctive, imaginative and engaging qualities.
DepicT! is a brilliant opportunity for filmmakers to challenge themselves to come up with a strong, imaginative idea to engage audiences in less than 90 seconds. It’s the original ultra-short film competition in this country offering a space for quality and ambition, giving short-listed filmmakers priceless exposure, through networking and development opportunities at Encounters, the UK’s leading short film festival.