News

Oct022017

Filmmakers from Mexico, France and the UK share DepicT! Awards

Filmmakers from Mexico, France and the UK shared the glory in this year’s DepicT! – Watershed’s 90 second filmmaking competition – at the recent Encounters Short Film Festival in what was our most international shortlist to date, selected from over 500 entries from 66 different countries.

The Main DepicT! Award presented by Jury member Åsa Lucander, Director for Aardman Animations went to Vudù by director Alejandra M. Perrusquía, who travelled all the way from Mexico to pick up her award – a £1,500 cash prize and a lifetime membership to our friends at Shooting People.

Åsa explained that the jury felt that this was:

“the most complete film, with its seductive colour palette and stylised mise-en-scene”.

Reflecting on her award, Alejandra said:

It was wonderful to be part of Encounters and DepicT! I felt very lucky to be there for the screening. There’s nothing like showing your film in a foreign country and getting the reaction you expected from the audience, even when it’s in a different language. It reminded me that film is a language that all of us can speak.”

The jury also gave a commendation to Iranian film The Fish and I by Babak Habibifar “for its controlled tension and ultimate tender message.”

Lead actor Tom Hawkesworth picked up two DepicT! Awards on behalf of British film Winnow by director George Lewis; firstly, the DepicT! RPS Cinematography Award, a £1000 cash prize c/o The Royal Photographic Society and the DepicT! Random Acts Award, which offers a unique opportunity to be featured on Channel 4’s Random Acts platform and a chance to pitch for a new commission.

Jury head Seamus McGarvey ASC BSC commended Winnow as:

“A wee jewel of a film. I loved the fusing of live action and animation to seamlessly evoke a magical dreamscape. The choices made from the music to the casting to the photography were all so adroitly handled. The cinematography was really beautiful with the use of charcoal dark and opalescent bright light serving to enhance this alluring tale.”

Winning filmmaker George Lewis sent the following statement:

‘DepicT! is a fantastic way to exercise your creativity in a very concentrated way. With Winnow I tried to challenge myself to pack as much visual storytelling as I could into the 90 second format and I’m extremely happy the jury responded so positively to it.

BAFTA Award-winning filmmaker, writer and producer and Encounters Festival Patron Damien O’Donnell presented the DepicT! British Special Mention Award to British filmmaker Edwin Mingard for his film Walk chosen for its “ethereal quality and style.” The Jury felt that:

“the filmmaker showed a lot of promise and could get a great deal out of the mentoring and support package that makes up the award from the National Film and Television School, BAFTA and Shooting People.”

A commendation was also made to America, I Think by Matthew Hermitage “for its imaginative & evocative portrait of a place in such a tight timeframe.”

Last but not least the DepicT! 2017 Shooting People Audience Award selected by you (with over 1300 votes) went to Ojalà by director Marie-Stephane Cattaneo from France, who also picks up a Lifetime Membership to Shooting People. Marie-Stephane said:

I’m extremely happy to learn that “Ojalá” has won the Audience award. It’s a very important story to me and I’m glad it has touched the audience as well!

A big thank you to all the filmmakers who entered this year, to our fantastic jury members including Afolabi Kuti, BAFTA-winning producer of short Home (on behalf of BAFTA), Åsa Lucander, Director for Aardman Animations, Beth Webb, Multiplatform Editor at Channel 4’s short-form arts strand Random Acts, Chris Auty, former film critic and producer, Head of Producing at NFTS, Matt Turner, Shooting People Membership & Editorial and BAFTA winning Cinematographer Seamus McGarvey ASC BSC on behalf of The Royal Photographic Society.

We are grateful to those of you who voted and supported the competition and of course, to our sponsors and partners: The Royal Photographic Society, Channel Four, Aardman Animations , Films@59, BAFTA, NFTS, Shooting People, British Council, Independent Cinema Office and Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival.

Sep052017

2017 Shortlist is now live

Watch, vote and comment now

We are delighted to announce that this year’s DepicT! shortlist is live – and we need your votes to decide the winner of this year’s coveted Audience Award.

DepicT! is Watershed’s ultra-short film competition. It’s been going for over twenty years and features as part of the brilliant Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival held here in Bristol. The premise? DepicT! asks filmmakers from across the world to create shorts that are 90 seconds or less in length, and challenge what we think of super short filmmaking.

With over 500 submissions for this year’s DepicT! from 66 different countries, we’ve had an especially exciting and diverse pool of mini movies to whittle down to our most international shortlist to date. The twenty films shortlisted are now live on depict.org and awaiting your votes and comments.

There are multiple awards and prizes to be won but we specifically need your help to decide the outcome of the Shooting People Audience Award. With a lifetime membership to Shooting People up for grabs (a global network of filmmakers and industry professionals), the winner of this prize is chosen entirely by the public through voting on depict.org. There’s a massively varied selection to choose from and we’d love to hear your thoughts, feelings and even critical analysis in the comments section of each film.

Join us on Sat 23 Sept at 14:00 at Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival for the DepicT! Showcase – the big screen premiere of the DepicT shortlist, a chance to meet some of the talent behind the films and for a discussion on the ultra short film format. The showcase is followed by DepicT! Drinks in the café/bar sponsored by St Austell Brewery open to DepicT! Showcase ticket holders. Our panel of judges also meet at the Festival to decide on the winners to be announced at the prestigious Encounters Short Film & Animation Award Ceremony – headed up by twice Oscar® and BAFTA nominated Cinematographer Seamus McGarvey ASC BSC (Atonement and Anna Karenina) on behalf of The Royal Photographic Society.

Seamus is joined by leading industry practitioners; Afolabi Kuti, BAFTA-winning producer of short film Home (on behalf of BAFTA); Åsa Lucander, Director for Aardman Animations; Beth Webb, Multiplatform Editor at Channel 4’s short-form arts strand Random Acts); Matt Turner, Shooting People Membership & Editorial; and Chris Auty, former film critic and producer, currently Head of Producing at NFTS.

The jury will have the tough job of deciding who will be awarded this year’s much coveted DepicT! prizes – the main DepicT! Award of £1,500, the Royal Photographic Society Cinematography Award of £1,000, the British Special Mention Award, a talent development package supported by BAFTA and NFTS, and the Random Acts Special Mention Award, that gives priceless exposure via Channel 4’s short form content platform and a chance to pitch for a new Random Acts commission.

Remember though, the winner of the Shooting People Audience Award is down to you, so don’t miss your chance to have your say. Voting is now open on depict.org until 17:00 on Sat 23 Sept. Simply rate the film by selecting 1 – 5 stars or leave a comment if you want to say more and be part of the discussion. Happy watching!

Jun142017

From an “amalgamation of fractured dreams” to scooping one of the top prizes, 2016 winner Lee Charlish tells us about his DepicT! Journey

We’re getting excited here at DepicT! HQ as there are only a few weeks left until this year’s submission deadline (Mon 3 July – but you knew that already, right?).

DepicT! is Watershed’s free competition for tiny films and each year we’re inundated with fantastic entries from around the world, all 90 seconds long or less. Submissions span every genre and style of filmmaking and come from people at all levels in their careers (or hobbies). We remain immensely proud of the filmmakers who have entered and found their way onto every year’s shortlist, and subsequently go on to do amazing things – we also love staying in touch with them and finding out what they’re getting up to now.

Lee Charlish won the DepicT! British Special Mention Award last year with his abstract animation, Pig Dream. Upon giving him a package of career development opportunities the judges said his short contained “powerful images and compelling sense of the horrific” – it’s also really, really good.

We caught up with Lee to chat about making his winning film and advice for anyone applying for this year’s competition.

Can you describe your winning DepicT! film for us and how you came up with the idea?

Pig Dream was an amalgamation of fractured dreams weaved together to form some kind of abstract message. It was about mental illness, particularly schizophrenia. I built the narrative from heightened ideas, gathered from various dreams and daydreams, and put it all together to try a make some kind of cohesive message. I have an over active imagination! Even if you don’t truly get it, the film should still be enjoyable in some way. That was my point.

What drew you to the DepicT! 90 second format?

I was already aware of the DepicT! Competition and 90 seconds provided me with the discipline to focus attention and pacing, and decide what would be more impactful. The film was supposed to be abstract and visually striking, and relied less on a solid hook from a narrative. So, 90 seconds lent itself well to what I was trying to achieve. Attention spans are dipping as everything is more immediate these days – capturing an audience and captivating them is a challenge. This format helps. Obviously, animation is a painstaking process and, despite not being a purist, as such, there were techniques employed in the creative process which meant that a significantly longer film with the same aesthetic would be difficult.

How did you find the making of your DepicT! film?

It was predominantly animated using real, photographic elements and Photoshop manipulations, so it presented lots of challenges when trying to achieve the aesthetic I was after. Did I achieve it? Probably not completely. The result was satisfying and obviously it realised its ambitions somewhat. However, with the passing of time, a little more knowledge and experience, I could and would make the same film better and differently now. All in all, it was a great experience, despite feeling like I was snorkeling through glue with it sometimes!

What was your level of experience before submitting to DepicT!?

I’d make some films since the advent of the noughties, but left it all behind in about 2008, until 2014 when I made a six minute animation. I’m completely self-taught and always had it in my mind to enter something snappy into DepicT! with its 90 second format. Animation is less restrictive, both financially and practically, on what you can achieve, in terms of locations and characters. Essentially, worlds can be created with the only limit being your imagination. However, there is a naiveté to my thinking, I’ve since realized. Animation is tough and painstaking, so yes, the autonomy it offers and the ability to create all manner of set ups and worlds is possible, but it’s hard work and the preparation process is long and drawn out.

What have you been up to since your DepicT! success? Where did the competition take you?

I am never short of ideas! I’m a frustrated writer and actor! My website korkyfilms.com contains all the projects I am currently involved with and my enthusiasm to make more films has only increased since the DepicT! success. My latest animation, ninetofive, is currently being finished and I will be entering it into festivals worldwide, including Encounters. I like the fact that with each project it feels like I’m improving. I always feel like my next film is going to be the best film and there’s something pleasing, if not a little frustrating, about wanting to get on with my next project whilst I’m working on the current one. I definitely have a love for creativity and filmmaking is my passion. Since my success I have attended the National Film and Television School (NFTS), as part of my prize, to learn about operating a camera effectively, so I’m hoping to get more proficient with self-shooting a live-action short in the near future. However, I will still animate, despite feeling like I could jab myself in the eye with a pencil in frustration sometimes!

Can you sum up why DepicT! is important to emerging filmmakers?

It’s a respected and recognised platform to get good industry exposure and a means of getting your film shown to a receptive audience. My experience at Encounters was amazing. Great organization and a positive vibe about the whole event. People are supportive and they WANT to watch your films. Since receiving my award I have had additional training and mentoring as part of my prize which is invaluable.

What would be your top three tips for this year’s DepicT! entrants?

1) Ignore elaborate concepts and keep the idea or message simple, or abstract enough to captivate an audience.

2) Don’t stop yourself from entering. If you think you can, you should and then you will.

3) Learn from the mistakes of others who give you advice.

And generally, don’t take life too seriously. It’s not like anybody gets out of this alive…

Check out Lee’s winning DepicT! film here….

DepicT! ’17 is open for entries until Mon 3 July 2017. We accept films from people at any level in their career or education, from anywhere around the world, and in any genre. Our only rule is that it has to be 90 seconds long or less. There’s up to £2,500 in prize money to be won plus loads of development opportunities, including mentoring from industry professionals and invaluable exposure at Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival. Good luck!

May302017

2016 Winner Petra Balekic discusses all things DepicT! and explains why the competition is important for emerging filmmakers

With the Mon 3 July deadline for entries to this year’s DepicT! – Watershed’s super short film competition – beginning to loom on the cinematic horizon, we took some time out to catch up with Croatian director Petra Balekic, one of last year’s DepicT! winners, to get her insights into what it takes to be successful DepicT! filmmaker.

DepicT! prides itself on both the quality of its films and the filmmakers who submit them. Some of our entrants are seasoned directors, enticed by the filmmaking challenges of DepicT’s uniquely constrained format. But not all of our shortlisted filmmakers come with oodles of experience under their belt before they enter.

Take a look at Petra’s bite-sized gem Impacts for example – originally made as part of an entrance exam for her MA in animation – which scooped her both the DepicT! ’16 Random Acts Award and the festival Main Award after drawing praise from the Jury for its simple and bold execution.

Here’s what Petra had to say about getting started, how to improve, and the doors that DepicT! can open…

Can you describe your winning DepicT! film for us and how you came up with the idea?

My film is a 2D animation that thematises violence towards the individuals who refuse to follow society’s norms. The idea for this film came from observing a society that is often very closed and not prepared to accept behaviors that are unusual for its particular surrounding.

What drew you to the DepicT! 90 second format?

I’d actually made this film before I found out about DepicT! but I just thought it fitted the entry criteria so well. But I’m generally interested in the short form because it allows me to go straight to the point. That’s what I like. And that’s why I think the 90 second format is really great. But at the same time it’s very challenging because there’s only very short amount of time in which to present a meaningful story that has a head and a tail.

How did you find the making of your DepicT! film?

It was hard, because I had no experience before, but also interesting, because I was really passionate about learning animation. Afterwards I realised it should’ve been done in much less time and with much less effort but I wasn’t aware of it in that moment.

What was your level of experience before submitting to DepicT?

I was a graduate student at the Animation and New Media Department at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb and I’d previously graduated from the Graphic Arts department. But I had no experience in animation before I made this film; it was my first one and I actually made it as part of an entrance exam for the MA in Animation.

What have you been up to since your DepicT! success? Where did the competition take you? 

Afterwards the film was also shown as part of Confrontations Competition at Interfilm – Short Film Festival in Berlin. I was invited there after they found out the film was awarded the main prize at DepicT! so I’m really grateful to organisers of DepicT! for giving the film this exposure. At the moment I’m preparing to make my next short animated film, and if everything goes well it should be finished in 2019. In the meantime I also graduated with another short film named The Stranger in My Head. It’s a four and a half minute long animation based on my memories of the Albert Camus’s book The Stranger that I read twelve years ago. The film is going be part of Animafest in Zagreb next month and I hope it’s going to appear at many festivals in the next couple of years.

Can you sum up why DepicT! is important to emerging filmmakers?

DepicT! is very focused on the idea and author’s potential and it accepts films of any budget. So it’s really helpful to young and emerging filmmakers who have talent but didn’t get a chance to find funds or have a basic knowledge when it comes to film industry. DepicT! gives a couple of awards that are helping talented directors to integrate into film industry more easily – there’s a chance to get free lessons at BAFTA, a lifetime membership at Shooting People, have your film shown on Channel 4’s Random Acts. And the 90 second format itself is important for emerging filmmakers because it helps with learning how to summarise your idea in order to make a film that is clear to the audience.

What would be your top three tips for this year’s DepicT! entrants? 

Choose a topic you’re really passionate about. Make a simple but remarkable design and summarise as much as you can.

DepicT! ’17 is currently open for entries. Remember, 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 Australia, Argentina or Croatia –  so long as your film is less than a minute and a half long. It’s completely free to enter and there’s up to £2500 prize money, invaluable industry exposure as part of Encounters Short film and Animation Festival, plus other exclusive prizes up for grabs. So get making!

Feb232017

What will you DepicT! ?

Submissions for our 2017 competition are now open…

DepicT!, our ultra-short film competition that asks filmmakers from around the world to create an original short film under 90 seconds long, is back and we’re looking for your mini-masterpieces to be in with a chance of being selected for this year’s shortlist.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a big budget or a teeny tiny one; whether you specialise in documentary, animation or live-action; whether you live for horror, comedy or romance; or hail from China, Columbia or Croatia – as long as your film is less than a minute and a half in length, 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 industry networks. If your film makes our DepicT! 2017 shortlist, you’ll be invited to showcase your film at Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival (19 – 24 Sept 2017), the UK’s longest running competitive short film and animation festival.

Distributors, producers, funders, exhibitors, fellow filmmakers, and enthusiastic fans of the short film format – not to mention our stellar judging panel, which last year included Oscar® nominated Director of Photography Dick Pope – will all be there, so it’s the perfect opportunity to get some priceless exposure and industry experience. You’ll be in with a chance of winning up to £2500 prize money thanks to sponsors including The Royal Photographic Society and Aardman Animations as well as other exclusive prizes and opportunities to help you get to the next stage of your career courtesy of partners such as BAFTA, NFTS, Channel 4’s Random Acts and Shooting People.

Encounters Short Film Festival in Bristol, where a good short can often make a bigger splash. – The Guardian

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.

The Main DepicT! 2016 Award of £1,500 and a lifetime membership to our friends at Shooting People went to Impacts from Croatia, made by Petra Balelkic, who had the following to say about her experience:

“This was my first time at the Encounters Festival as well as in Bristol in general and I could only say it has exceeded my expectations. The programme was very inspiring for me and all the people I met here are extremely friendly and positive.”

Previous DepicT! filmmakers Director Brett Harvey (Obbin Up The Brea, 2015) and cinematographer Adam Laity (The Peace of the Wild Things, 2014) collaborated last year on the release of their first feature Brown Willy, whilst DepicT! ’16 British Special Mention Award winner Lee Charlish (Pig Dream, 2016) is being mentored by The Brothers McLeod (Greg and Myles) on behalf of BAFTA. 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 3 July 2017 so there is plenty of time to read the rules and get some more inspiration by checking out our archive of 20 years of teeny, tiny shorts. So pack your tiny film with masses of creativity and send it to us – good luck!

Sep262016

DepicT! ’16 Winners Announced…

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.

DEPICT-PANEL

Each year DepicT! challenges filmmakers from around the world to create an original and imaginative micro short film. The 15 films that made the DepicT! ’16 Shortlist were selected from over 700 entries from 63 different countries, and each film premiered in the cinema at the ever-popular DepicT! Showcase on Sat 24 Sept at Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival.

depict-drinks

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

The prestigious panel that came together to select which films and filmmakers deserved a taste of DepicT! glory included some of the top names in film and television – Oscar® nominated Director of Photography Dick Pope, Film Programme manager at the British Council Jemma Desai, the National Film and Television School’s Chris Auty, Shooting People’s Matt Turner, Random Acts at Channel 4 Editor Pegah Farahmand, writer / director Damien O’Donnell, BAFTA-winning short film producer Emilie Jouffroy, and Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Aardman Animations David Sproxton.

SPECIAL-MENTION-AWARD

Following the big screen premiere of the shortlisted films, Encounters Board Chair and Aardman Animations’ David Sproxton presented the DepicT! British Special Mention Award. The prize – a package of career development opportunities for a UK-based filmmaker from NFTS, BAFTA and Shooting People – went to filmmaker Lee Charlish for his film Pig Dream “for its powerful images and compelling sense of the horrific. The jury felt the film demonstrated that the filmmaker had considerable potential and could get a great deal out of the mentoring and support package that makes up the award.”

The jury also made a commendation to the film The Jungle Restaurant by Dave Young –  a film about the Calais migrant camp The Jungle “for its humanity and a sense of hope, in what to many of us seems such a hopeless situation.”

CINEMATOGRAPHY-AWARD

The DepicT! The Royal Photographic Society Award of £1,000 went to Living by British director Ben Mankin and DoP Will Baldy. The award was presented by Andy Golding FRPS, Principal Lecturer in Film and Photography at the University of Westminster, and a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society who commented: “The Society and the Festival share a passion for image making and forward-thinking, and an ambition to uncover and progress distinctive creative talent. Judge Dick Pope BsC on behalf of the Society had this to say about the winning film: “Will Baldy’s cinematography perfectly realises director Ben Mankin’s vision.  Along with the highly stylised atmospheric lighting the film is also very economically described by only a few shots… all precisely composed and well executed. A spot-on collaboration between DoP and Director.” 

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, was won by Croatian director Petra Balelkic for her animated film Impacts. The award was presented by DepicT! Jury member, BAFTA Award-winning filmmaker and Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival Patron Damien O’Donnell who commented:  “The Jury praised the film for its simple and bold execution. A perfect embodiment of Channel 4’s Random Acts which is all about provoking thought and debate.”

Both Living and Impacts also battled it out for the main DepicT! Award, which saw the Croatian animation pick up its second award and a £1500 Cash prize and a lifetime membership to our friends at Shooting People.

The award was again presented by Damien O’Donnell who commented: “Firstly, the jury would like to make a commendation for Living, such an accomplished and well realised piece that kept us engaged throughout but in the end, this year’s DepicT! Award goes to Impacts – a film that the jury felt has a profound and universal message, with bold visuals and an outstanding soundtrack, managing to speak volumes in such a short timeframe.”

FullSizeRender

A delighted Petra Balelkic, the winning director, had the following to say about her experience: “This was my first time at the Encounters Festival as well as in Bristol in general and I could only say it has exceeded my expectations. The programme was very inspiring for me and all the people I met here are extremely friendly and positive and it felt so good spending time in such surroundings. In the end, winning the prize was also a great experience (haha) and I’m happy that DepicT! encourages us to be extremely direct in presenting our thoughts.”

The final DepicT! award was chosen by you – DepicT! Juror, Shooting People’s Matt Turner awarded the Shooting People Audience Award to Run Boy by Meg Bagadion from the Philippines, which received 1573 votes. Meg, who picks up a Lifetime membership to Shooting People, sent this short statement: “I would like to thank Watershed and the people who have voted for Run Boy. It is such a relief to know that a lot of people felt familiar to my loosely based childhood story as depicted in the film! I hope you all get inspired by Run Boy to blow your snot before it slams you on the wall.  Again thank you very much!”

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 and Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival.

You can watch all the films shortlisted for this year’s competition online at depict.org/watch-films

Aug182016

Presenting the DepicT! ’16 Jury…

Including Oscar® nominated cinematographer Dick Pope and BAFTA-winning producer Emilie Jouffroy.

DepicT! – Watershed’s super short filmmaking competition – challenges 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 exposure for their film and the support they need to take their career to the next level. They stand to win cash prizes and benefits that money can’t buy at Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival (20 – 25 Sept 2016, Bristol, UK) and beyond. With this year’s DepicT! film entries numbering a record breaking 700 films from 63 different countries, we had an especially exciting and diverse pool of mini movies to whittle down to our shortlist of just fifteen films!

depict-JuryEach year we enlist the expertise of a panel of prestigious industry professionals to select which films and filmmakers deserve a taste of DepicT! glory. We’re proud to confirm the eight DepicT! judges who will be joining us at Encounters, the UK’s leading short form and animation festival and annual meeting place for new, emerging and established filmmakers and industry professionals:

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

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.

Jemma Desai – Film Programme Manager at the British Council

Jemma looks after British Council’s activity with short filmmakers and their global touring initiatives. She also programmes for BFI London Film Festival and has contributed to various film publications including Sight & Sound and BFI online. In 2012 Jemma founded I am Dora, a curatorial initiative exploring how women identify with one another through film, which encompasses a screening series, a printed publication and discussion events.

Matt Turner – Shooting People Membership & Editorial

Matt works for Shooting People, the UK’s largest community for independent filmmakers. For SP, he handles all editorial output, curates the Film of the Month competition, and is the first point of contact for the membership. When not representing Shooting People, Matt is usually found scurrying between London’s various cinemas trying to make up for lost time, or writing about film at tale of cinema.

Pegah Farahmand – Editor of Random Acts, 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.

Emilie Jouffroy – BAFTA-winning short film Producer (On behalf of BAFTA)

Emilie is a BAFTA-winning producer, awarded in 2016 for the short animation Edmond. She worked for Jonathan Cavendish and Andy Serkis at The Imaginarium Studios, before enrolling at the National Film and Television School, where she was mentored by Allon Reich of DNA Films. Emilie was a production and development executive at Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME). She is currently producing a short film for BBC Films called Diagnosis, written and directed by Eva Riley. In addition to her BAFTA, industry recognition for Emilie’s short films include a BIFA Award, and festival selections at Sundance, Palm Springs, Clermont Ferrand and BFI London Film Festival.

Dick Pope – Oscar® Nominated Cinematographer (On behalf of The Royal Photographic Society)

Cinematographer Dick Pope’s career includes ten features he shot for Director Mike Leigh, including Secrets and Lies, Vera Drake, and Mr Turner for which he was awarded the Prix Vulcaine for the Technical Artist at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and also nominated for Academy, BAFTA, BSC, ASC and British Independent Film Awards. Pope’s many other credits include films for leading US maverick directors such as Richard Linklater, Barry Levinson, John Sayles and Jill Sprecher. Recently, in New York, he photographed Angelica for Mitchell Lichtenstein the son of the painter Roy Lichtenstein. His latest project is Legend about the notorious Kray Brothers, written and directed by Brian Helgeland.

Damien O’Donnell – Writer / Director

Damien made his breakthrough in 1995, with the highly acclaimed short ‘Thirty Five Aside’, which picked up more than 30 awards worldwide. He went on to direct various film projects including the BAFTA winning ‘East is East’ (1999), Heartlands (2002) and Inside I’m Dancing (2004), which won The Audience Award at the Edinburgh Festival. Damien is also a proficient producer responsible for a host of creative commercial campaigns, music videos and shorts.

The jury panel will have the tough job of deciding who will be awarded this year’s much coveted DepicT! prizes – the Main Award of £1,500, the Royal Photographic Society Cinematography Award of £1,000, the British Special Mention Award, a talent development package supported by BAFTA and NFTS, and the Random Acts Special Mention Award, priceless exposure via Channel 4’s short form content platform and a chance to pitch for a new Random Acts commission.

We’ll be announcing the shortlist on Thursday 1 Sept and that’s when the judging for the Shooting People Audience Award is handed over to YOU. Vote and comment on your favourite films in the shortlist from Thursday 1 – Sat 24 September at 16:00. Make sure you head to depict.org and have your say…

It’s not too late to get tickets and passes to the Encounters festival, which celebrates all things short film over six jam-packed days of film fun including the DepicT! Showcase (Sat 24 Sept 13:00); a chance to experience the 2016 shortlist on the big screen and to meet some of the talent and industry partners involved. The festival is the perfect place to see the newest shorts on the big screen and get inspired, 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 alike. Tempted? Check out the full Encounters programme.

Jun062016

DepicT! ’15 winning director Karim Soussi talks about generating ideas to fit the 90 second format

90 seconds… It’s not long right? Longer than a commercial but shorter than the majority of most short film formats, DepicT! challenges filmmakers to both think creatively and cut ruthlessly. But as the great DepicT! films demonstrate, constraint can be a very useful tool for innovation, forcing you to lose all superfluous or self-indulgent elements, and often brings out really high levels of invention and experimentation in your filmmaking.

One group of filmmakers who really got to grips with the concept of DepicT! are 2015 winners Karim Souissi, Robin Wijnhold and Reda Zniber. Take a look at their masterful film Hand Maid whose purely visual story made a big impression on last year’s Jury members, making them think in new ways without even showing them a face.

Hand Maid scooped both the Main DepicT! and Audience Awards last year and we caught up with director Karim to find out the process behind how they came up with idea.

Can you describe your winning DepicT! film for us and how you came up with the idea?

Handmaid tells the story of a Moroccan maid through her hands. We follow her for a day, discovering her routine, her work, some of her struggles and some of her aspirations.

Because the format was very short, we knew that we had to come up with one single idea or concept and stick to it. After a while we agreed that it would be very interesting to focus the whole film on the hands of the characters because hands are a very expressive part of the human body. At that point we had a concept but we still needed a story. So we started searching for characters that use their hands a lot in their daily life or job. We first went with a street beggar but we realised it might be too static or repetitive. Then we came up with the idea of a maid. It’s a job where you constantly use your hands for a wide range of manual chores so it was a perfect fit for our concept.

What was your level of experience before submitting to DepicT?

Handmaid is my first fiction film as a director. Before that I directed and edited many corporate films and commercials.

What have you been up to since your DepicT! success? Where did the competition take you?

Well since DepicT! Handmaid has been selected for festivals in Kiev, Abu Dhabi and in Missouri and we really feel honored to be able to share this little film with audiences from around the world. Winning two awards at DepicT! gave me a lot of confidence. It also pushed us – Reda, Robin and I – to work together again. Robin and I are currently finishing the script of a new short movie that we would like to shoot this summer.

What would be your top tips for this year’s DepicT! entrants?

Firstly, don’t think twice, if you have an idea, shoot it, even if it’s flawed and you are afraid that people will think it’s corny. Just shoot it and edit it quickly. You might be surprised with the result. Secondly, 90 seconds is a short format. Think of one simple idea and try to breathe life into it. You don’t have enough time for a complex plot. Thirdly, do not neglect the sound. Audiences will have no problem to cope with low quality images. But if your sound quality is bad, you will lose the audience. And finally, don’t eat yellow snow… !

DepicT! ’16 is currently open for entries. Remember, 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 Westerns, action or comedy; or hail from Japan, Mexico or Slovakia – so as long as your film is less than a minute and a half long. It’s completely free to enter and there’s up to £2500 prize money, invaluable industry exposure as part of Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival, plus other exclusive prizes up for grabs. So get thinking and get making!

May122016

2015 Winner Rosa Fisher discusses all things DepicT! and reveals her top tips for this year’s filmmakers

With the Mon 4 July deadline for entries to this year’s DepicT! – Watershed’s super short film competition – beginning to loom on the cinematic horizon, we decided to catch up with director Rosa Fisher, one of last year’s DepicT! winners, to get her insights into what it takes to be successful DepicT! filmmaker.

DepicT! prides itself on both the quality of its films and the filmmakers who submit them. Some of our entrants are seasoned directors, enticed by the filmmaking challenges of DepicT’s uniquely constrained format. But not all of our shortlisted filmmakers come with a high level of experience before they enter.

Take a look at Animator Rosa Fisher’s bite-sized gem Conformity Juice for example – originally a 2nd year university project – which scooped her the DepicT! ’15 Random Acts Award after drawing praise from the Jury for its surreal originality and apparent simplicity in disguising big ideas.

Here’s what Rosa had to say about getting started, how to improve, and the doors that DepicT! can open…

Can you describe your winning DepicT! film for us and how you came up with the idea?

Conformity Juice explores ideas of group identity and social norms. It grew out of frustrations that I had felt with groups that prescribe strict sets of rules and ideas, concentrating on group thought rather than the thoughts and opinions of individuals. The film is about embracing difference, stepping away from the crowd and discovering what it takes to break the mould.

What drew you to the DepicT! 90 second format?

I think ultra short films are wonderful. It forces you to refine your idea, so that it can come across clearly in a short space of time. There is no time to overcomplicate things, and I think that makes for brilliant films.

How did you find the making of your DepicT! film?

This was such an enjoyable project for me. I was venting my annoyance about conformist ideas in society, so it was quite cathartic to make in that way!

What was your level of experience before submitting to DepicT?

Conformity Juice was my final project for the second year of my degree in animation, so I was just at the beginning my animation journey. Making this film really helped clarify to me who I want to be as a filmmaker, and confirmed that animation is what I really love doing.

What have you been up to since your DepicT! success? Where did the competition take you?

Since DepicT! I have been enjoying the third year of my course, and having fun learning more about the wonderful world of animation. Conformity Juice was screened at a variety of festivals off the back of DepicT!, and as part of my award, will be part of the new Random Acts series which is coming out in May. I also got to meet and be interviewed by actor and comedian Eric Wareheim as part of this as he is the host of the Random Acts series. It was great to meet him – he is such a hilarious person!

Can you sum up why DepicT! is important to emerging filmmakers?

DepicT! is a brilliant way of getting your work out into the world, it has a very nurturing feel to it and acts as a great platform. It differs from other festivals in that it also shows the films online, offering another way for people to access your work. It is also so great to be able to go there and meet so many other lovely filmmakers!

What would be your top tip for this year’s DepicT! entrants?

The most important thing to remember when making films, is that you should make what excites you, and your enjoyment of the project should be the number one priority. I think this is always so much more successful than trying to fit yourself into what you think you should be doing.

DepicT! ’16 is currently open for entries. Remember, 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 Korea, Chile or Belgium – so as long as your film is less than a minute and a half long. It’s completely free to enter and there’s up to £2500 prize money, invaluable industry exposure as part of Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival, plus other exclusive prizes up for grabs. So get making!

Mar012016

DepicT! ’16 Open for Entries!

We are back for our incredible 20th year of DepicT!, challenging filmmakers 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! 2016 shortlist, you’ll be invited to showcase your film at Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival (20 – 25 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.

Steve Rose of The Guardian said of Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival 2014:

“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.”

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.

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”.

Daniel Chisholm who won both the DepicT! Special Mention and DepicT! Shooting People Award at 2014’s ceremony with spirited short Nati, has been back to Italy making a feature length version of his winning piece. You can read more about his journey here.

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 4 July 2016 so there is plenty of time to read the rules and get some more inspiration by checking out our archive of 19 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.

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