Virgin Media announces new Short Film Competition, Virgin Media Discovers
Virgin Media announces new Short Film Competition, Virgin Media Discovers

Deadline approaches for Virgin Media Discovers short film award

Virgin Media Discovers judge Grainne Humphreys has urged all who have been inspired by Phoebe Waller-Bridge to ‘seize the opportunity’ as the deadline approaches in the search to find Ireland’s next great short filmmaker.

Waller-Bridge shot to international fame thanks to the success of her shows Fleabag and Killing Eve, with the runaway success of the British actress and writer providing compelling evidence of how quickly your star can rise if you hit the right buttons and attract a huge audience. 

Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival director Humphreys is part of a star-studded judging panel that also includes IFTA and BAFTA award-winning Irish director Neasa Hardiman and Line Of Duty star Adrian Dunbar and she hopes the Virgin Media Discovers competition provides a platform for a new star of Irish film to emerge.

Everyone is looking for the next Phoebe Waller-Bridge and if you have an idea that you have been storing up and wondering where you can put it, this is the competition for you.

The snobbery on being a TV actor as opposition to a movie actor has certainly gone in recent years, as the way we consume TV has changed so dramatically with streaming services. The idea that you are not a real actor unless you are on the big screen has been banished and that means TV and short films have become so significant in our industry.

You can reach a nice audience if your film is given good distribution, but there is a significant leap in the number of people who will view your work when you are television. Television has a much more broad appeal and that is why drama and short films have been getting so much attention in recent years.

All of the elements that filmmakers struggle with are overcome in this Virgin Media Discovers competition. Sometimes making the film is the easiest part, but there is a struggle to put the finance together or getting a crew together and then they don’t know what happens when the film is made. Will it be left under their bed, or will it get the exposure they want?

What we have with the Virgin Media Discovers competition is a golden opportunity because they appreciate that this prize includes a guaranteed screening in next year’s Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival, there will be media attention around their film and a significant budget of €35,000 in place to help to make the best short film possible.

When you add in the judges and organisations that are involved in this competition, it’s clear that the elements everything a top international filmmaker would put at the top of their wanted list when they start a project will be assured for the winner of the Virgin Media Discovers competition.

We have a great track record of award-winning short films being made in Ireland, so this fits nicely into that a strand of cinema that we are already good at and giving it an extra twist.

Grainne Humphreys, Judge

Humphreys will be joined on the Virgin Media Discovers judging panel by Birch Hamilton, Executive Director of the Screen Directors Guild and Bill Malone, Director of Content at Virgin Media Television and she has clear advice for all hopefuls.

Virgin Media Discovers Launch 14
Tony Hanway -CEO Virgin Media Ireland & Chairman Virgin Media Television ,Grainne Humphreys, Director of the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival,Actor Adrian Dunbar, Birch Hamilton, Executive Director of the Screen Directors Guild and Bill Malone, Director of Content at Virgin Media Television pictured at the launch of Virgin Media Discovers, a short film competition to discover and support the very best filmmakers in Ireland. Entrants are invited to submit scripts by Friday 26thth July for a proposed 10 minute short film which, if chosen, will feature in next year’s Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival schedule, alongside other local and international filmmakers, and will debut on national television on Virgin Media Television. The winner will also receive €35,000 from Virgin Media and a TV production crew to support them in making their short film. Pic Brian McEvoy No Repro fee for one use Ireland’s creative industry is an economic and cultural powerhouse. This competition will ensure we continue to develop the film making talent of the future, rewarding them for their creative content and encouraging their ambition to compete on the global stage. The judging panel comprises of film industry experts, actor Adrian Dunbar, Director Neasa Hardiman, Grainne Humphreys, Festival Director of Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival, Bill Malone, Director of Content at Virgin Media Television and Birch Hamilton, Director of the Screen Directors Guild. Adrian Dunbar, the BAFTA nominated actor best known for Blood (2019), The Crying Game and Line of Duty said: “This is a fantasticopportunity and it’s great to see Virgin Media playing a leading role supporting creative work which is crucial to a thriving production industry in Ireland and abroad. We’re looking for innovative, fearless filmmakers to submit clever and thought-provoking scripts. The Virgin Media Discovers entries could be about lifestyle, relationships, goals, social proble

There is not enough happiness in this world, so I would defiantly be enticed by a short film proposal that makes me smile. I would say a film of around 10 minutes would be apt and aim as high as you can.

People are always interested in working with young filmmakers at the start of their careers, so push to casting net out far and wide and see who you can get. 

Don’t try and remake Goodfellas in a 10-minute short film. All the things you don’t want to see as an audience member, please don’t present them to us for this competition and the final piece of advice from me would be to make sure that opening shot is memorable. 

I pretty much decide whether I like something from that first impression and a young filmmaker needs to keep that in mind. It’s hard to correct a bad impression from that opening shot, so make it intoxicating from the first moment. This is not the time to come up with a slow-burning film. We want something impactful and exciting to catch the eye of a judging panel who have read a lot of scripts collectively.

Grainne Humphreys, Judge

Entrants are invited to submit scripts by Friday 26th July for a proposed 10-minute short film which, the ultimate winner will win a €35,000 worth of investment to fund the production of a 10 minute short film, which will then be broadcast on Virgin Media Television, Virgin Media On Demand and screened at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2020.

For more information visit www.virginmedia.ie/discovers 

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