That’s A Wrap! DepicT! ’15 Winners Announced…


Rosa Fischer took home the DepicT! ’15 Random Acts Award with her short film Conformity Juice. Pictured here with Philip Ilson, Direcotr of London Short Film Festival. Photo: Jon Craig

We’re delighted to announce the winners of this year’s DepicT! 90-second filmmaking competition, as part of Encounters Short Film Festival​ at Watershed.

​Each year DepicT! challenges filmmakers from around the world to create an original and imaginative micro short film. The 20 films that made the DepicT! ’15 Shortlist were selected from over 700 entries from 49 different countries, and each film premiered in the cinema at the ever-popular DepicT! Showcase on Sat 19 Sept 2015: filmmakers, friends, family, film fans and industry professionals gathered to see which films had made the final cut. Most of the DepicT! filmmakers were in attendance at Encounters and went up on stage to discuss their films and their background in a Q&A hosted by Watershed’s Cinema Curator Mark Cosgrove.

Photo: Jon Craig

Photo: Jon Craig

We carried on the conversation in the Watershed Café/Bar with a Drinks Reception sponsored by St Austell Brewery, before heading onto the sold out Awards Ceremony to hear the DepicT! expert jury panel’s take on the shortlisted films.


Photo: Jon Craig

The prestigious panel included some of the top names in film and television including Oscar® and BAFTA award-winning Director Of Photography Robbie Ryan, the National Film and Television School’s Chris Auty, Shooting People’s Anna Bogutskaya, Random Acts at Channel 4 Editor Pegah Farahmand, Director of the London Short Film Festival Philip Ilson, BAFTA-winning short film writer and director maker and screen writer Jennifer Majka, and Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Aardman Animations David Sproxton. We we’re also delighted to have BBC Radio Bristol presenter Laura Rawlings as compère for the evening, presenting the awards to the lucky winners.

The DepicT! The Royal Photographic Society​ Award of £1,000 went to The Factory, co-directed by Thomas Phelan, George Lewis, Jack O’Dowd, James Hambleton-Plumb and Isaac Jack McCardle.

Still: The Factory

Still: The Factory

Judge DOP Robbie Ryan on behalf of the Society had this to say about the winning film: “The visual storytelling and emotion grabbed me, with great compositions making me want to know more. Its story and cinematography are intrinsically linked to keep us engaged.” This writing and directing group were inspired by the writings of Kafka and it was originally a longer piece that was cut down for the competition.

DepicT! 2015 British Special Mention Award – with a prize of some incredible talent development opportunities via BAFTA​, the National Film and Television School and Shooting People​ – went to the UK’s Steve Kirby for If The Cuckoo Don’t Crow “a brilliantly animated, sly, humane and comedic short that made us laugh unanimously.” Steve Kirby is a freelance motion graphic designer and animator based in London and Norfolk, and he first came across the audio clip used in the film when a friend shared it on Facebook.

Still: Don't Feed The Ducks

Still: Don’t Feed The Ducks

The jury also gave a special commendation to the UK’s Tom Edmondson for Don’t Feed The Ducks “for taking a simple everyday situation into a global breakdown.”

Still: Don't Feed The Ducks

Still: Don’t Feed The Ducks

The DepicT! Random Acts Award, which gives one lucky winner a unique opportunity to be featured on Channel 4’s Random Acts platform and a chance to pitch for a new Random Acts commission, went to the UK’s Rosa Fisher for Conformity Juice. The jury praised the film’s “surreal originality and apparent simplicity in disguising big ideas.” Rosa is currently at University and the film was made as part of her coursework.

Still: Conformity Juice

Still: Conformity Juice

A commendation also went to Spain’s David Castro González and his film A2042 for “its simplicity, powerful narrative and accomplished sound design.”

Still: A2042

Still: A2042

The Main DepicT! 2015 Award of £1,500 and a lifetime membership to our friends at Shooting People went to Hand Maid from Morocco, made by Karim Souissi, Robin Wijnhold and Reda Zniber, a film “that made the jury think in new ways; a purely visual story that touched us without even showing a face”.

Still: Hand Maid

Still: Hand Maid

And the last DepicT! award was chosen by you – we received over 2,500 votes over the two weeks that voting was open, so thanks for joining in! The Shooting People Audience Award winner is Hand Maid by Karim Souissi, Robin Wijnhold and Reda Zniber, making Hand Maid a double award winner.

Watch all the films at

Once again, a big thank you to all the filmmakers who entered this year, to our fantastic judges, to all of your who voted and supported the competition, and of course, to our sponsors: Royal Photographic Society, Channel Four​, Aardman Animations​, Films@59, BAFTA, NFTS, Shooting People, British Council​, Independent Cinema Office​, Encounters

Like us on Facebook to get short film news, updates and opportunities every Saturday.


The DepicT! ‘15 Shortlist Now Live!

Watch, Vote and Comment on this year’s super short films…

Image from The Whale by Henning M. Lederer, DepicT! '15 shortlist

Image from The Whale by Henning M. Lederer, DepicT! ’15 shortlist

DepicT! challenges filmmakers from around the globe to make compelling mini-movies under 90 seconds in length as part of Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival – and we’re thrilled to announce that the shortlist for this year’s DepicT! competition is now LIVE.

Watch all 20 shortlisted films here on and vote for the film you love the most. The film with the most votes will win the Shooting People Audience Award – a life-time membership to the global network of filmmakers and industry professionals as well as exposure through DepicT!, which is part of Encounters (15 – 20 Sept), one of the most widely respected international short film and animation festivals that happens right here at Watershed.

This year the DepicT! competition went more worldwide than ever with entries from 69 countries and a greater number of entries than ever before. Over 700 films were in the running for the shortlist, with only the most original, most distinctive, and most imaginative making the final cut.

The shortlisted films will have their big screen premiere at the DepicT! Showcase at Encounters on Sat 19 Sept at 15:30. This is when the panel of judges (hailing from all corners of the film and broadcasting world) will decide who will win four out of the five DepicT! awards: the Main Award, the British Special Mention (supported by NFTS and BAFTA amongst others), the Royal Society of Photography’s Award for Cinematography, and the Random Acts Special Mention, presented by Channel 4.

The film and filmmaker that wins the Shooting People Audience Award is completely down to YOU. Don’t miss your chance to have your say. Voting is now open here on until Sat 19 Sept at 18:00. Leave your feedback and comments and be part of the discussion. Happy watching!

Want a taster of last year’s favourite films? 

Watch Nati by Daniel Chisholm, which won the 2015 DepicT! Shooting People Audience Award (and the British Special Mention Award to boot!) and Ant Blades’ funny film Carpark, which won the Main DepicT! Award for 2014. What did you think?

You can learn more about our DepicT! ’15 Jury in our news post

Like the DepicT! Facebook page for more short film news and opportunities

Join us at Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival in September 2015


Presenting the DepicT! ’15 Jury Panel Members…

Settling in to the DepicT! ’14 Awards Ceremony

We are proud to announce the stellar jury panel of industry experts for DepicT!, Watershed’s super short filmmaking competition challenging filmmakers from across the globe to create an imaginative and original short film of 90 seconds or less.

The competition is a unique opportunity for emerging talent to get the exposure for their film and the support they need to take their career to the next level and the shortlisted films will screen at Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival, the UK’s leading short form and animation festival and annual meeting place for new, emerging and established filmmakers and industry professionals.

With this year’s DepicT! film entries numbering a record breaking 710 films from 69 different countries, the judges will have a tricky time deciding which films and filmmakers deserve a taste of DepicT! glory and this year’s prizes, which include: the Main Award of £1,500, the Royal Photographic Society Cinematography Award of £1,000, the British Special Mention Award talent development package supported by BAFTA and NFTS, and the Random Acts Special Mention Award of priceless exposure via Channel 4.

The 2015 DepicT! judges who will be joining us at Encounters this year are Chris Auty (Head of Producing at the National Film and Television School), Anna Bogutskaya (Business & Marketing Manager at Shooting People), Pegah Farahmand (Editor of Random Acts at Channel 4), Philip Ilson (Director of the London Short Film Festival), Jennifer Majka (BAFTA-winning short film writer) and David Sproxton (Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Aardman Animations). We’ll be announcing one more jury member in the coming weeks, so watch this space.

The jury panel aren’t the only ones who get to have their say though. We’ll be announcing this year’s DepicT! shortlist on Tue 1 Sept and that’s when the judging for the Shooting People Audience Award is handed over to YOU, as you vote and comment on your favourite films. Make sure you head here to and have your say…

It’s also not too late to get tickets to the Encounters festival which celebrates all things short film over six jam packed days of film fun. It’s the perfect place to get inspired by the newest shorts on the big screen, to brush up your skills with events, workshops and masterclasses tailored for varying abilities and disciplines, and to chat and party the nights away with creatives and industry professionals. The DepicT! super shorts will get their big screen premiere at the festival and we’d love to see you there.

Head to the DepicT! Facebook page for short film news, opportunities and competition updates. Be sure to tune in on Tuesdays throughout August for some top filmmaking tips from none other than some of our expert DepicT! judges…

Here’s more info on the 2015 DepicT! Jury:

Chris Auty – Head of Producing, National Film and Television School

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, CBEE (Creative Business for Entrepreneurs and Executives), backed by the NFTS, Ingenious Media, and Sir Richard Branson.

Anna Bogutskaya, Business & Marketing Manager at Shooting People

More than a bit film obsessed, Anna hails from Spain and has worked across many corners of the film industry including magazines, online platforms, production companies and festivals. After working on several feature films at production house El Deseo and the festivals team at the BFI, she is currently running Business and Marketing at Shooting People, the UK’s leading independent filmmaker’s network.

Pegah Farahmand, Editor of Random Acts at Channel 4

Pegah works at Channel 4 as Editor of its short form arts strand, Random Acts. Previously, she worked for Vice Media where she spent 10 years producing and directing documentaries with talent such as Spike Jonze, Jonathan Glazer, and Sally Potter, as well overseeing the content from Vice’s many brand partnerships including Intel, Google, Ford and Nike.

Philip Ilson, Director of the London Short Film Festival

Philip Ilson is the Director of the London Short Film Festival, which he co-founded in 2004. He is also the short film programmer for the BFI London Film Festival, and has worked as a freelance programmer, including at the East End Film Festival, Cork Film Festival, and the Branchage Festival in Jersey, Latitude music festival, and at Curzon Soho Cinema.

Jennifer Majka – BAFTA-winning short film writer

Jennifer was awarded the prestigious Leverhulme Scholarship to study screenwriting at the National Film and Television School and graduated in 2014. She was nominated for an Oscar and won a BAFTA for Best Short Animation ‘The Bigger Picture’ in 2015. She has a number of TV and film projects in development, with a feature film, ‘Beautiful Devils’ starring Iain Glen and Osy Ikhile, currently in post-production for Ascension Pictures/Carnaby Films.

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.


DepicT! ’14 Winner’s Journey – June

Daniel Chisholm won two awards at DepicT! '14

Daniel Chisholm won two awards at DepicT! ’14

Each year we challenge filmmakers from around the world to create an original and imaginative super short film of 90 seconds or under. This year’s deadline for your super short submissions is just one and a half weeks away (Mon 6 July), so do send your films to us pronto if you think you can do it in 90 seconds!

Last year’s DepicT! competition was dominated by UK filmmaker Daniel Chisholm, who took home two awards for his short film Nati, which follows a green-fingered 92 year old with an infectious joie de vivre.

We’ve been catching up with Daniel every few months to hear what he’s been up to after his big win. From making another short film, to working on his first feature project, attending film festivals and more, you can hear what he’s been up to this far in our November, January, and April instalments.

In Daniel’s latest update, he takes stock of the year so far and talks about the final stages of making his first feature film.

Watch Daniel’s winning DepicT! ’14 film Nati

DepicT! ’14 Nine Months On – by Daniel Chisholm

Daniel savouring the fantastic Italian fare on offer in Liguria, where his first feature is set

Daniel savouring the fantastic Italian fare on offer in Liguria, where his first feature is set

“Saluti dall’Italia!

The last few months have flown by – it’s been hectic working on the cut of my first feature, which is about farmers in Liguria, Italy. My film for DepicT! ’14 Nati, featured one of the farmers I’ve been filming over the last two years. I’ve now completed a second short using the footage I’ve been shooting, which I’ve submitted to this year’s Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival. I’ve also been working as a teacher and have just sent off lots of eager new film students into the wide world of filmmaking. After all this action, it’s now time for a little R&R – and where better to go than Italy!

Back in Liguria, my girlfriend Anna (and long-time DP partner) managed to catch up with the charismatic star of Nati. It’s been one year on since we filmed him and despite now being 92 years of age, Nati is still as sprightly and as active in his garden and around his olive trees as before. Speaking of olive trees: the tree Nati planted in the film has now sprouted, and is well on the way to becoming a full-sized, fruit-bearing beauty.

Nati, star of Daniel's DepicT!'14 winning film of the same name

Nati, star of Daniel’s DepicT!’14 winning film of the same name

Other than visiting Nati though, I’ve left the camera at home this time and am simply enjoying the sun, the wonderful food and wine, and have been winding down a bit before I do a commercial project in London for an American construction company. I’m also hoping to start my NFTS course come Autumn, which is part of the talent development package I won at DepicT! last year. After that, I’ll be heading back to the cutting table to finally nail down the finer nuances of the feature film about Nati and his fellow farmers, and maybe I’ll make one last trip to Italy in late summer to film the grape harvest and capture a final few shots that the edit has thrown up. 

Daniel at Encounters 2014

Daniel at Encounters 2014

Come September, it will be time for DepicT! and Encounters again – and I can’t wait! It’s been a year since I was in Bristol, but the memory is still bright and I look forward to attending the festival again this year, watching lots of creative and inspiring shorts, meeting filmmakers, distributors and curators, and enjoying the vibrant city!

To all of you who have submitted a short this year or are planning to (there’s just two weeks left by the way): have fun and – as they say in Italy – buona fortuna!”


Think you can do it in 90 seconds? Submit your short film to DepicT! ’15 for free, for the chance to win cash prizes and more. Deadline: Mon 6 July 17:00


DepicT! ’14 Winner’s Journey – April

Daniel Chisholm went away from DepicT! '14 with two awards!

DepicT! challenges filmmakers from around the globe to create an original and innovative super short film of 90 seconds or less. Last year, Daniel Chisholm from the UK took home not one, but two awards, at theEncounters Short Film and Animation Festival awards ceremony. His short film Nati won him Shooting People Audience Award’ and the ‘DepicT! 2014 British Special Mention Award.

Believe it or not it’s been nine months since DepicT!’ 2014 double award winner Daniel Chisholm took home his two short filmmaking competition awards Shooting People Audience Award’ and the ‘DepicT! 2014 British Special Mention Award.’Daniel Chisholm won big at last year’s DepicT! ’14 competition, taking home two awards for his short film Nati, which is set in Italy. We last caught up with Daniel in January and heard about how filming was going for the feature length version of his winning short.

In this instalment, Daniel reports back on the Berlinale Film Festival and talks us through the new short film he’s making for this year’s Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival.

Watch Daniel’s charming winning film Nati

DepicT! ’14 Nine Months On – by Daniel Chisholm

Augusto, one of the famers Daniel's been following for his new short film

Augusto, one of the famers Daniel’s been following for his new short film

February and March have been busy! A new short I hope to submit to Encounters ’15 is in the final editing stages, almost ready for sound and grade; the edit of the feature is continuing apace; my new and improved showreel and website are up and running; and in between I managed to watch about 30-odd films and attend various networking events at the Berlinale Film Festival… phew!

My biggest takeaway from the Berlinale (apart from watching lots of inspiring films) was a renewed enthusiasm for attending festivals and the opportunities they present – there really is no better way to get your work out there and meet great people and potential collaborators. That’s why I’m so keen to attend Encounters 2015 and why I would recommend to anyone interested in filmmaking to submit for DepicT! and / or Encounters this year – it is such a great festival with a brilliant vibe and last year I came away feeling refreshed and in love with film again.

Unsurprisingly, the short I’m working on for Encounters this year is also about farmers in Italy – this time it focusses on the ‘raccolta’: the olive harvest. It features two brilliant characters: Augusto and Vanda, who are olive farmers and friends of Nati’s. They are wonderful people, who have witnessed a lot of change in their time, and who have gone through a lot of hardship, but who can still laugh about it all and evidently manage to enjoy life, no matter what it throws at them. If you’re thinking of submitting to either DepicT! or Encounters, I’d highly recommend you find yourself characters like these guys and let them do the talking – I personally find there’s nothing as gripping in a film as a good character, be it fictional or real.

Vanda appears in Daniel's new short film

Vanda appears in Daniel’s new short film

Augusto and Vanda will of course feature in the full-length film I am working on, alongside Nati and a host of other charismatic farmers. I am planning to shoot some pickups in the summer, but until then I want to really have a good crack at the edit and get something on the timeline that feels like a feature film.

I am now booked on a course at the NFTS in June entitled “Financing Your Feature Film” (one of the prizes that I won at DepicT! last year) and I can’t wait to attend! It promises to be a very useful course and I will definitely report back once I’ve been.

Anyway, I need to get back to my edit in order to hit the submission deadline for Encounters

Until next time, and good luck to all of you who are submitting!





Ready, steady, DepicT! – 2015 submissions now open

Still from Dave Anderson's DepicT! '14 shortlisted film Full Fat Simon

Still from Dave Anderson’s DepicT! ’14 shortlisted film Full Fat Simon

We are back for our nineteenth year of DepicT!, Watershed’s ultra short film competition that asks filmmakers from around the world to create an original short film under 90 seconds long.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a big budget or a teeny tiny one; whether you specialise in live action, animation or documentary; whether you live for horror, comedy or romance; or hail from Japan, Brazil or Holland – as long as your film is less than a minute and a half long, you can submit your short film to this year’s competition for free!

We’re interested in seeing as many original, imaginative and engaging films as possible and giving the best of these works and the talent involved the exposure they deserve via the DepicT! competition, showcase and networks.

If your film makes our DepicT! 2015 shortlist, you’ll be invited to showcase your film at Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival (15 – 20 Sept), the UK’s longest running competitive short film and animation festival. Distributors, producers, funders, exhibitors, other filmmakers, and enthusiastic fans of the short film format – not to mention the stellar judges – will all be there, so it’s the perfect opportunity to get some priceless exposure and industry experience. Not to mention that you also be in with a chance of winning up to £2500 prize money, and other exclusive prizes, such as invaluable talent development courses to help you get to the next stage of your career.

“Much has changed in the worlds of short and animated film-making in the past 20 years – digital has transformed the industry, short-film debutants have become major directors – but this festival has remained Britain’s premier destination for both.”
Steve Rose, The Guardian on Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival 2014

Previous DepicT! winners have had their work screened at international film festivals, been picked up by commercial distributors, carved themselves successful careers in the film industry and beyond.

Daniel Chisholm who won both the DepicT! Special Mention and DepicT! Shooting People Award at last year’s ceremony with spirited short Nati, is now back in Italy making a feature length version of his winning piece. You can read more about his journey here.

Daniel Chisholm went away from DepicT! '14 with two awards!

Daniel Chisholm went away from DepicT! ’14 with two awards!

Ninian Doff of DepicT! 2013 fame – who scooped both the Main DepicT! Award and The Shooting People RPS Audience Award with comedic gem Cool Unicorn Bruv – has gone on to make impressive music videos for the likes of Kasabian.

Ninian said of DepicT!:

DepicT! is the perfect creative challenge. 90 seconds to do your best means its not some daunting shoot but a manageable task that forces your screen writing and editing skills to be super sharp. DepicT! is also a really good platform – a lot of people pay attention to it and just making the final screening at Encounters is a prestigious achievement. The fact that DepicT! is a competition which genuinely anyone can win, whilst also being a serious, professional filmmaking award, means it is pretty unique and well worth entering.

Sound like your kind of challenge? As long as your film is under 90 seconds or less, you can enter your film to DepicT! – it is always totally free to enter your movie and this year you can submit your movie using either Vimeo or YouTube, making it easier than ever to get your work to us!

Submissions close on Mon 6 July 2015 so there is plenty of time to read the rules and get some more inspiration by checking out our archive of 18 years of teeny, tiny shorts.

So pack your tiny film with masses of creativity and send it to us – good luck!


Get double the exposure for your short film! This year any films under 90 seconds or less submitted to Encounters get automatically entered into this year’s DepicT! competition. So if you fancy double the chance of winning, enter your shorts via the Encounters website here.


Get double the exposure for your short film – at DepicT! ’15 and Encounters Short Film Festival

Still from Loose Ends  by Tom Lox, DepicT! '14 Shortlisted Film

Still from Loose Ends by Tom Lox, DepicT! ’14 Shortlisted Film

We’re delighted to announce that we’re teaming up with Encounters Short Film Festival 2015, the UK’s leading short film and animation festival, for this year’s DepicT! ’15 submissions. Yes, any short films under 90 seconds that you submit to Encounters will automatically be entered into DepicT! ’15 so your film gets double the exposure for half the effort! DepicT! prizes include prize money, invaluable industry exposure, and talent development opportunities.

Encounters is one of the world’s leading International Competitions for short film and animation and 2014 marked the festival’s 20th year, when they exhibited over 250 new short films and animated films from around the world, chosen from over 2000 submissions.

The festival is also a gateway to the world’s most prestigious awards: The Oscars®, BAFTAs, European Film Awards and Cartoon d’Or. This year, no less than three Encounters alumni were nominated for Oscars® and one of these talented filmmakers, Daisy Jacobs, went on to win a BAFTA for her innovative short, The Bigger Picture!

If you fancy your chances at 2015’s awards, head over to the Encounters submissions page and enter your mini movie – and remember, any short films under 90 seconds will automatically be submitted to DepicT! ’15 as well. Easy!

Encounters Festival Producer Rich Warren said:

Encounters is thrilled to continue our work with DepicT! for 2015, and develop this dynamic and exciting part of the festival competition with our partner Watershed.

Challenging filmmakers to be creative in 90 seconds and under makes DepicT! a vibrant, exciting and extremely popular addition to the annual festival programme, and contributes to Encounter’s reputation as the UK’s leading talent development festival.  DepicT! gives new and emerging filmmakers a really accessible route into the festival, and we can’t wait to start watching the entries this year!

You’ve got until 31 March to submit films made in 2014 to Encounters, and until 5 June for those made in 2015.

DepicT! ’15 submissions will open very soon – keep an eye on and our Facebook page for updates. Watch 2014’s DepicT! shortlisted films for inspiration here.

Encounters Short Film Festival runs from 15 – 20 Sept 2015 in Bristol, UK and the festival will host the DepicT! ’15 Showcase and Awards Ceremony.


DepicT! ’14 Winner’s Journey – January

We return to a DepicT! double award-winner to hear about what he’s been up to since his big wins.

In September 2014, emerging British filmmaker Daniel Chisholm picked up an impressive two DepicT! ’14 awards for his captivating short Nati at the Awards Ceremony at Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival. Daniel took home both the DepicT! British Special Mention Award and the DepicT! Shooting People Audience Award, and won a whole host of career development opportunities with BAFTA, the National Film and Television School and Shooting People.

Image by Jon Craig

His winning DepicT! ’14 film follows 90 year old Nati, who lives in the Ligurian mountains in Italy and spends his days tending to his olive trees. This short forms part of a feature length project Daniel’s working on that aims to capture the life and times of this special village of farmers on film.

In November 2014 we talked to Daniel two months on from his DepicT! ’14 win and heard about his last shoot as well as some of the characters he’s been working with, like Alessio – a tree climbing farmer in his 80s no less!

Watch Daniel’s winning film and read more about his filmmaking journey four months on from his big win:

DepicT! ’14 Four Months On – by Daniel Chisholm

Happy New Year! (Auguri! as they say in Italy)

2015 began with a bang, with more filming in Italy for my planned feature documentary and even some fun New Year’s celebration drinks with the titular, nontogenarian star of Nati and some of the other farmers in the village. We had a brilliant time chatting and playing with one of the village’s visiting grandsons, a feisty little 7-year old, who already drinks wine from his daddy’s glass, which apparently is not at all uncommon in the area. I don’t think I had acquired the taste at that age, but it seems to encourage moderation, as none of the farmers seemed to drink more than a couple of glasses of an evening, not even at the villages’ New Year’s Eve celebrations! It was still fun though, with some superbly delicious local food!

Nati is still on form and working hard on his vegetable garden, though the olive harvest this year was uncommonly poor due to unusually strong rain-fall. Apparently next year’s “racolta” (harvest) promises to be all the better as a result though, so fingers crossed!

Unfortunately Alessio, the farmer whom I had mentioned in my last report and whom we were hoping to do follow-up interviews with in January, had a fall from an olive tree (not an unusual occurrence in the profession apparently)! Luckily it wasn’t too serious, but it did keep him out of the trees for a while, and also meant we couldn’t grab him for filming. Luckily he is on his feet again and feeling better now though, so hopefully we will be able to catch up with him in the coming months.

We did however manage to shoot some material of the local farmers meeting up for their daily card game in the evening, with lots of jokes and taunts being thrown about the room during the game, which was very entertaining and will undoubtedly be a cornerstone of the edit for the film.

In other news, I have a new showreel and website in the pipeline, which I am very excited about! Hopefully that will also make it easier to approach production companies and agencies in the coming year.

I’m also planning to attend the Berlinale in February, which should hopefully be fun and a good warm-up for this year’s Encounters and DepicT! ‘ 15.

Speaking of which, I saw in a recent post that the submissions are now open for Encounters – I’d better go and see if there’s anything that I can submit!

Have a wonderful start to 2015 everyone and catch you in the next post soon!



DepicT! ’14 Winner’s Journey – November 2014

It’s been over a month since winning the two DepicT! prizes (DepicT! Special Mention and DepicT! Shooting People Award) and I’m still buzzing from the festival – what an amazing experience! The festival was awash with great films, interesting and friendly people, and a brilliant pioneering spirit. I’ll definitely be back for more next year!

In the meantime of course, reality has kicked in again, with lots of low-budget corporates and teaching at film-school to pay the bills taking up most of my time.

I’m very excited that I am going to meet my hero and director of such great films as Warrior and Senna, Asif Kapadia, through BAFTA, as part of the DepicT! Special Mention prize. I will definitely report back on how that goes.

Also, winning at DepicT! will hopefully help me get accredited for the Berlinale, where I hope to make more contacts and do some more much-needed networking.

In the meantime, I continue to put any free time into the feature version of the film I submitted at DepicT!, Nati – it’s slow going, but great fun! The characters are unique and there are some brilliant moments in the footage we have shot so far. Now it’s all about condensing the footage I have so far and deciding what to shoot on the next trip to Italy. I feel really privileged that I can take my time over this project and really delve deep into the interesting stories of these people who live such hard, yet rich lives. I can’t wait to go back!

While editing the long version of the project, the idea is to do a series of portraits of the individual characters in the film, similar to that of Nati. Who knows, maybe one of them will make it into next year’s DepicT! or even the competition proper at Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival

One of the farmers I am interviewing in Liguria is Alessio. He loves to talk about his olive trees and nearly gave me a heart-attack when he climbed a really tall one without a harness or any other safety features! And this is an octogenarian! I think he will probably feature in one of the portraits in the run-up to releasing the feature-length film.

Right, time to get back to the edit – I will be back to give another report in a couple months!

Watch Daniel’s winning DepicT! ’14 film here.


DepicT ’14 Winners Announced

DepicT! challenges the international creative community to make distinctive, imaginative and engaging short films under 90 seconds long. Chosen from just under 600 entries from 49 different countries, the 20 films on this year’s shortlist stood out for their originality, going into the running to win one of four great prizes.

Following a fantastic buzz at the DepicT! Showcase hosted by Watershed Cinema Curator Mark Cosgrove, distinguished guests gathered on the evening of Sat 20 Sept for the grand finale of the 20th anniversary edition of Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival to hear our expert judging panel’s take on the shortlisted films.

The prestigious panel included some of the top names in film and television, including award-winning Cinematographer Robbie Ryan, Lara Akeju from Channel 4, Shooting People’s Sarah Chorley, BAFTA winning filmmaker Yousif Al-Khalifa, Producer Chris Auty (National Film & Television School) as well as David Sproxton from Aardman Animations, who opened the Award Ceremony to a full house.

Dr David Cooke, Chair of the Royal Photographic Society Education Committee, one of the major sponsors behind the contest, presented the main DepicT! Award. British animator Ant Blades (who is behind the London based Birdbox Studio) picked up a cash prize of £1,500 and a lifetime membership to Shooting People for his rollicking animated short, Carpark. “With great comic timing, it packed a lot into 90 seconds,” said the jury, who were unanimous in their choice.

Next up was the DepicT! Royal Photographic Society Cinematography Award, selected by members of the jury including cinematographer Robbie Ryan on behalf of the RPS, who had this to say about being involved in the jury for this Award: “It’s great to see the art and craft of cinematography recognised in an emerging talent contest where the focus is often on directors. It’s a good opportunity for me to get a sense of what new creatives are up to.”

The winner of this award, Bristol based Adam DJ Laity, met with Robbie Ryan at the festival and picked up a £1000 cash prize for The Peace of Wild Things, summed up by the jury as”an emotionally charged meditation on man and nature with beautiful images.”

We caught up with Adam – who is about to start a research PhD on the use of landscape in cinematography – at the Awards Ceremony:

“DepicT! is special – I’ve always felt that if I can’t do it in 90 seconds, what makes me think I can do it 90 minutes! And I’m so pleased to have won The RPS Cinematography Award; it means a great deal and shows that the competition and the form is being held in high regard by such a prestigious organisation. It was also great to meet a master DP like Robbie Ryan – he was so generous with his time and advice.”

Stas Santimov from Ukraine picked up the DepicT! Random Acts Award for his short, The Collector, considered by the jury “an original, evocative and intricate animation that invites you into a surreal world”. Watch out for Stas’ film on Channel Four’s popular Random Acts slot. The jury also gave a special mention to British short Crow’s Nest by Robert Milne, billed by the judges as “simple and as cruel as life can be.”

Winning the DepicT! British Special Mention was Daniel Chisholm whose film Nati, is a short, honest portrayal of a 90 year old man in just 90 seconds. The jury described its maker as “an interesting voice that they’d like to hear more of.” Daniel wins a great package of career development opportunities from BAFTA, the National Film and Television School and Shooting People. Follow his progress on

Last but not least, the DepicT! Shooting People Audience Award also goes to Nati! We’d like to thank all 2,923 of you, the audience, for voting. Daniel Chisholm picks up a Lifetime membership to Shooting People.

Dan said:

“I’m very excited to have won at DepicT! – I had a great time at the Festival at this win will help me gain the momentum I need to take my career to the next level.”

We’re also very grateful to our sponsors and supporters who enable us to run the DepicT! competition, and to all 580 filmmakers, from Peru to India, who submitted their 90 second films without whom we wouldn’t have a competition!

Watch Dan’s winning film, Nati, here!

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