A film featuring Call the Midwife stars Miranda Hart, Jenny Agutter, Pam Ferris and Jessica Raine won one of the UK’s most prestigious short film awards, the reed.co.uk Short Film Competition.
Written and directed by London film maker Michael O’Kelly, ‘The Runner’is a tongue in cheek portrayal of life on set for a lowly production assistant, and was made when Michael was working as a third assistant director on the set of the award winning drama series. The award, and £10,000 prize money, was presented to the London filmmaker at the finals, which were held at BAFTA and hosted by award winning comedian and satirist, Marcus Brigstocke. ‘The Runner’ also won the public’s vote, picking up the People’s Choice Award.
Further awards were presented to London filmmaker Dan Hartley, who won the Judges’ Commendation for his short film ‘One’, and to Ben Witt, a student at Bournemouth University, who received Best Young Filmmaker for his film ‘Letting You Go’.
The winning films can be viewed here: http://www.reed.co.uk/film
Following a record year for entries, which saw over 540 filmmakers competing for four awards, twelve films were shortlisted and put before an industry judging panel that included actress Alexandra Roach (The Iron Lady, Cuban Fury, One Chance), producer and co-founder of Vertigo Films James Richardson (The Sweeney, StreetDance 3D), film director Paul Weiland (Mr Bean, Sixty Six), film critic Charles Gant and founder and creative director of New Moon, Caroline Rowland.
The reed.co.uk Short Film Competition was first conceived by Nicola Reed, as she looked for an innovative way for a growing and influential online brand to support creativity and the arts. Now in its fourth year, the competition is the fastest growing film competition in the UK, a feat that can be attributed, not least, to the huge platform if offers first time filmmakers. With more than 5 million unique visitors to reed.co.uk each month, the competition gives first time filmmakers the biggest platform of any film competition in the UK to have their work seen.
Grand Prix Winner Michael O’Kelly said:
“I had come to believe no one in the UK would reward comedy in film. Winning has given me back a confidence that’s been dribbling away. reed.co.uk put on a damn fine contest and I feel proud and lucky to have won. I plan to develop a sitcom based on ‘The Runner.’ Until now that was something I just said. Thanks to reed.co.uk it’s something I’ll now do.”
Paul Weiland, judge and long-time supporter of the reed.co.uk Short Film Awards said:
“Everyone who watches it, loves ‘The Runner’. It’s funny, superbly acted and very well finished and it really answers the brief to create a film about ‘Ambition’. Once again, all of the winning films in the reed.co.uk Short Film Competition showcase some incredible talent and set an extremely high benchmark for this and other short film competitions.”
Mark Rhodes, marketing director at reed.co.uk, thanks everyone involved in this year’s competition:
“As well as congratulating all of this year’s winners, our thanks go to the directors, casts and crews who dedicated their time, talent and effort to create such a wonderful selection of films, and to our panel of expert judges, who gave up their time to choose this year’s winning film. We’re extremely proud of reed.co.uk’s association with short film and look forward to seeing this competition continue to act as a springboard for talented, ambitious and enterprising filmmakers.”