Irish filmmakers Laura O’Shea and Karen Killeen’s Hold the Line was announced as the winner of the 19th Best Short Film award this weekend at Belfast Film Festival. 

Written by, produced by and starring Laura O’Shea, and directed by Karen Killeen and Laura O’Shea, the film’s synopsis is as follows – “Em works in a call centre. She faces a day that’s more difficult that the usual ‘customer care queries” and is on the brink. That’s until: she picks up the phone to Patsy”.

We are over the moon to have been awarded for Best Short Film. We felt lucky enough just to be selected alongside such a strong bunch of short films and we are so grateful. Thanks to the Belfast Film festival for taking a chance on a no-budget first-time Short!

Laura O’Shea and Karen Killeen

The film was selected as winner by judges Chris Martin (Indie Movie Company), Sarah Edge (Professor of Photography and Cultural Studies at UU), Niamh McKeown (last year’s winner for directing Good Girls), Cian Smyth (Outbursts Arts), and Hugh Odling-Smee (Film Hub NI) .

We particularly liked this film because it was not filmed or shot on a large budget. It has a very tight storyline and it only has really one character but it holds a very engaging story and it was unanimous on our decision to award the prize to this film.

Sarah Edge, Judge

Hold the Line has previously picked up the Audience Award at the Chicago Irish Film Festival, Best Actress and Best Editing at the Richard Harris International Film Festival, and a Special Mention at IndieCork Film Fest for ‘Best Emerging Irish Female Director’. 

Laura O'Shea picking up the award for Best Short Film for Hold the Line at the Belfast Film Festival
Laura O’Shea picking up the award for Best Short Film for Hold the Line at the Belfast Film Festival

Chris Martin (Indie Movie Company) gave a special commendation to El Hor, a film that was described as “refreshing” and pushed the boundaries of cinema. Directed by Dianne Lucille Campbell the film honours one of the most ancient and highly honoured dog breeds, the Saluki.

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