Calling on filmmakers to get creative in 90 secs or less amidst lockdown

#shortitout launches today inviting filmmakers from all over the world to get creative and come together amidst the global pandemic; offering unique filmmaker-led resources, light relief and inspiration.

BFI NETWORK, Encounters Film Festival and Watershed have joined forces with a wealth of industry partners to set up #shortitout which calls on filmmakers of every age and experience level to get involved in making 90 second films; encouraging creativity, storytelling, as well as giving opportunities for them to connect their peers and hone their filmmaking skills.

As we’re all experiencing the unprecedented; and dealing with various challenging situations in different ways, we believe that film can play an important role in getting us through this and bringing us together. Whilst some of us are struggling with isolation, stress or even grief, and others are just at a loose end looking for something to do and for people to connect with, we all have stories to share.

 “Working with Encounters, Watershed and other industry partners to present #shortitout enables us to collectively create an important cultural legacy of this unique period of time, as well as a valuable outlet for us to continue our work in supporting and developing great filmmaking talent.” Jessica Loveland, Head of BFI NETWORK

Encouraging people to capture and share their view of this unique moment, the ambition is to build a creative community as well as create a cultural legacy through film.

Everyone is encouraged to make a short film in 90 secs or less and to share their creations on socials (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) using the #shortitout hashtag. It doesn’t matter what genre you’re working in or what you are filming on, just give it a go (obviously strictly adhering to current social distancing guidance.)

Other industry partners include BAFTA, BBC and Channel 4, who are working together to ensure #shortitout is offering a wide range of engaging, expert-led resources for short filmmakers, and the message is reaching as many filmmakers or aspiring filmmakers as possible.

Connect with the wider community by joining in watchalongs and Q&As with celebrated filmmakers such as writer/directors Desiree Akhavan (The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Appropriate Behavior), Jim Cummings (Thunder Road) and Depict alumnus Rachel Tillotson (Last Man Out.)

Here’s our first playlist The Room curated from the Depict back catalogue. As we’re all stuck inside, we may think that we have limited options for where and how we can film. However, this list of short films all shot in one room prove that there’s a wold of opportunities within your four walls.

There will be new blogs and short films on DIY filmmaking from emerging talent, the first of which is from Manchester based writer-director-actor Harry Sherriff with his short Just Because it’s Cinema Doesn’t Mean it’s Not Real. Also take a look at his top tips and recommendations.

#shortitout launches today, Thursday 16 April, and closes on Thursday 4 June. In June a selection of films from the UK will be hosted on BFI Player and that selection will be held in the BFI National Archive. This is part of the archive’s vital work ensuring it protects the nations screen heritage, and allows future generations to access these creative responses to this exceptional time.

Some of the most innovative and original films will also be presented on the #shortitout online space. Those that manage to create a short by 4 June 2020 are encouraged to submit their creation for free into Watershed’s annual Depict short film competition as part of Encounters Film Festival to be in for a chance of being showcased at the forthcoming edition of the festival and win some great cash prizes and things money can’t buy such as exposure and mentoring.

Over the next few months, look out for #shortitout updates on socials and for more info, head to and

Posted on 15 Apr 2020 at 1:42 pm.

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