News Column

Short on film but big on talent ; Cornishman reaches Virgin Media competition finals

October 2, 2013


AFILM by Cornish director Ian Bucknole has made the shortlist for the UK''s biggest short film competition.

Created to help uncover some of the best up-and-coming British filmmaking talent, Virgin Media Shorts has announced its 13 finalists for 2013 and Ian - raised in St Agnes and now living at Lanivet - is one of them.

Ian, 29, is certain to have November's award evening circled in his diary, after his entry RVG was named in the final shortlist and is now a contender for the grand prize - Pounds 30,000 funding to make his next film, with invaluable mentoring from the BFI (British Film Institute).

Entered by over 800 keen filmmakers, Virgin Media Shorts, which is now in its sixth year, is the largest competition of its kind in the UK. The competition has established itself as a real driving force, providing British film talent with a step up in a challenging industry, working in partnership with the BFI.

Twelve of the final films were shortlisted by the Virgin Media Shorts curation panel, made up of industry representatives, with an additional 13th film, voted for by the public. All 13 films will now face the expert judging panel, made up of industry heavyweights, including Shane Meadows (This Is England, Dead Man's Shoes, Made Of Stone), respected actor of stage and screen David Tennant and director Mat Whitecross (Spike Island), before the winner is announced at a glitzy awards ceremony on November 7. Inspired by Ian's childhood belief that the red and green men who stand guard at pedestrian crossings have become embroiled in a longstanding battle (thanks to Green taking all Red's glory), RVG follows the events as Red reaches breaking point and attempts to gain his revenge - chasing Green throughout the streets and encountering various hazards as other street signs leap to life.

A comic piece of physical comedy, RVG was shot in two-hour slots during evenings and weekends over four weeks, entirely on location in quiet local areas - to avoid causing alarm to any passers-by as Red and Green battled it out. We see the action through the eyes of a child, standing patiently and amused at the crossing.

Ian said: Film-making allows me to take childhood whimsies and bring them to life - what could be better? When making RVG I took inspiration from all sorts of places, from the Road Runner cartoons I loved as a child, to the camera and editing techniques of John Woo and Sam Raimi. Virgin Media Shorts presents an accessible and diverse platform to see hundreds of short films (which I love) and it's been a great experiment. I've learnt that when making short films, you can connect with the audience in a very real way and having the chance to do so with RVG is brilliant.

Ian hopes to follow in the steps of previous winners such as 2013 judge, Jason Wingard, a talented film-maker who has gone from strength to strength since his win in 2010, having worked with the BBC and, with the help of the BFI, is currently finalising his latest short film project.

The shortlist, which was unveiled at an event at the historical Curzon Cinema in London's Soho earlier this week, and simultaneously on, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, also marks the launch of The Nikon People's Choice Award - giving film fans from across the UK, the chance to support Ian's film, by voting on Twitter (by stating the name of the film followed by #VMShortsVote) and via Facebook. The Nikon People's Choice Award Winner will receive Pounds 5,000 film funding, mentoring from the BFI and Nikon digital SLR camera equipment worth up to Pounds 5,000.

Virgin Media Shorts also gives shortlisted film-makers like Ian, the opportunity to have their work showcased to millions of people through cinemas nationwide, on TV (showcased in a dedicated app on the TiVo service) and online.

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