FEATURE: Sunderland Shorts Film Festival  | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Secret Life of Tom Lightfoot

Founded in 2015, Sunderland Shorts makes its big screen return from Monday 17th-Saturday 22nd October and is dedicated to bringing the best short films from across the country and internationally to audiences in the North East, while also supporting and developing the skills of local screen talent.

There will be over 130 short films and music videos making up fifteen screenings across six days at The National Glass Centre, Pop Recs Ltd. and Empire Cinema, with each screening showcasing a different genre of film from comedy and horror to drama and documentary. The festival also includes dedicated screenings for young, emerging and student filmmakers, as well as a North East showcase to support the work of the next generation of cinema. For the first time the line-up also includes two music video screenings supported with a gig by We Make Culture’s Young Musicians Project and held at Pop Recs Ltd.

Also on the agenda are a number of prestigious guest screenings including OSKA Bright, the leading international award-winning Learning Disability Film Festival, at The National Glass Centre and a Film Hub North curated evening of some of the ground-breaking short films they have helped bring to the big screen, at the same venue.

Along with filmmaker Q&As accompanying each screening there will also be a networking event at the Mayor’s Parlour at Sunderland City Hall, a chance to connect with local filmmakers, students and recent graduates along with other industry professionals, local institutions and production companies.

Sunderland Shorts is dedicated to bringing the best short films from across the country and internationally to audiences in the North East

Films worth looking out for include Jon Olav Stokke’s Deloping, a dark period drama set in 1792; Matthew Ride-Smith’s Hopper And Gundel – River Police; China In A Box from Irish singer-songwriter Niall McNamee about a loving, honest, yet fragile relationship and how these connections with a loved one should be cherished; and A Town Called Panic: The Summer Holidays – School is Over. Vincent Patar and Stéphane Aubier tell the story of Indian and Cowboy who decide to build a boat and set out in search of adventure. With the help of the animals, they finally manage to inaugurate their proud vessel.

Elsewhere, Secret Life of Tom Lightfoot reveals how we can learn to live with the secrets of our hearts; One Like Him, in which a Jordanian man must find a way to tell his first love the truth about what happened twenty years ago, when a single moment changed both their lives; Luke Bather’s Bald tells the heart-warming tale of how the baldest man in the world accidentally starts a moon-worshipping cult in South Wales; Type is a stop motion animation about a young woman growing up with chronic allergies that isolate her from the world and stars Jodie Whittaker and David Bradley, and is directed by Lesley-Anne Rose; and Funke Alafiatayo’s Everything’s Fine follows an empathetic young woman as she struggles to find space for her own care.

The top films in each genre category will be eligible to win a range of awards, including cash

prizes provided by the University of Sunderland, ensuring the festival nurtures and inspires young filmmakers in the future.

Sunderland Shorts Film Festival takes place at various venues in Sunderland from Monday 17th-Saturday 22nd October.

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