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Summer Season Winners 2019:

Best Animation Short (Joint Award Winner)


Director: Aaron Hopwood, Harry Pearson

Writer: Harry Pearson

Producer: Maddison Gould

Country: United Kingdom

Overview: A young concert pianist rehearsing for her next solo performance finds help in an unlikely place.

Director Statement: "Minuet" is our most ambitious project to date at Escape Studios. We wanted to realise a short film which doesn't just achieve technical excellence but also tells an emotional story that audiences can connect to.

Best Animation Short (Joint Award Winner)


Director/Writer: Kayleigh Gibbons

Producer: Richard Gordon

Lead Animator: Joao Carrilho

Lead Compositor: Scott Newton

Country: United Kingdom

Overview: A dark humoured and expressive character animation about a Father and Daughter coping with the loss of a central family member.Whilst grieving in a graveyard, the Daughter is disrupted by a blackbird defecating onto her Mother’s grave. A fire of rage lights up inside of her and she sets out to direct it in various violent ways, whilst the Father chooses to shut himself up in an agoraphobic state and ignore everything. Can they proceed as a new family, smaller yet stronger?

Best Comedy Short (Joint Award Winner)


Director: Benjamin Sebire

Writer: Guillaume Remy, William Fontaine

Producer: Guillaume Remy, William Fontaine

Country: France

Overview: 4th of September 1889, 2 convicts escape from different prisons, they bump into each other and have no other choice then run away in the same direction, this is their story!

Best Comedy Short (Joint Award Winner), Best Actor - Joe Assadourian, Best Short (Audience Award)

Director: Jen Emma Hertel

Writer: Dale Johnson

Producer: Brendan Cochrane

Country: United States

Overview: A mass murderer can get an AK-47 in a country grocery easier than a man can get his driver's license at the DMV.

Best Director (Narrative Short) - Cindy Gzaiel
The Diver's Syndrome
The Diver's Syndrome

Director/Writer: Cindy Gzaiel

Key Cast: Léo Dussollier, Alexander Poole, Oliver Hubband

Country: France

Overview: Joseph, a young rising movie star, understands that his in-depth vision of things can create a more intense and exciting reality. Face to the showbiz superficiality, this new reality becomes a shelter for him but also a slippery slope to isolation and madness.

Best Sound Design - Matt Wells and Best Cinematography - Michael Humphreys
A Space Apart

Director: Chris Duplock

Producer: Ben Puskas

Sound Designer: Matt Wells

Director of Photography: Michael Humphreys

Key Cast: Tom Silverton, Ruby Eva

Country: United Kingdom

Overview: A science-fiction drama following an isolated astronaut who finds love amidst the void of space; however, his greatest fear may come between it all.

Best Microfilm

I'm scared
I'm scared

Director: Zhou Wang

Music: Mari Funbashi

Country: United Kingdom

Overview: A young person has written a poem about their experiences having a parent with alcohol issues. There are 700,000 children and young people aged between 10 and 17 living with parental addiction. No child should feel alone.

Best Drone Short


Director/Writer/Producer: Paul Hoehenberger

Country: Germany

Overview: Flights over castles, churches, ruins and beautiful places in Bavaria, Germany.

Best Trailer/Teaser
The Golden Acorn

Director/Writer: Maciej Osuch

Producer: Miguel Teixera

Country: United Kingdom

Overview: Two unlikely heroes must retrieve "The Golden Acorn" to save their city.

Director Statement: The Golden Acorn is a teaser/trailer for a film currently in development. Two unlikely heroes must retrieve The Golden Acorn, which has been stolen by a Mafia crime boss who is causing havoc in Nut Town. Can they save their city from destruction? Will they go nuts?

Best Edit
129 - trailer

Director/Writer: Peter Noel

Producers: Boglárka Csősz, Peter Noel, Tamás Kertész, Gábor Rajna

Country: Hungary

Overview: The story of '129' is divided into two action threads The first one is played somewhere in Europe, the other takes place in Budapest in 2063. In some further scenes, ten additional countries also appear. In the future we see flying cars and drones everywhere. Medrocorp British Research and Development Company is expanding its influence on the whole world, and they are observing people. They possess significant biological and technical developments, such as cloned arms, bones, organs, robots, flying cars and drones.

Best Mobile Short
An Open Marriage
An Open Marriage

Director/Writer: Wayne Stephens, Deya Danielle Drake

Producers: Wayne Stephens, Deya Danielle Drake

Key Cast: Wayne Stephens, Deya Danielle Drake

Country: United States

Overview: What should be a standard evening in front of the television takes an unexpected turn for a married couple, when a conversation about what to watch reveals the possibility of an escape from monotony more tangible and titillating than staring at a screen. Shot entirely on an iPhone, and edited in iMovie.

Best Art/Experimental Short
Paper People Play: The Ant And The Grasshopper

Director/Writer/Producer: Kristin Broadwell

Writer/Producer: Brooke Broadwell

Country: United States

Overview: The Paper People Play cast perform in a play inspired by the Aesop's Fable play, The Ant and the Grasshopper. ANT (Page) teaches her friends, GRASSHOPPER BILL (Cowboy Mark) and COUPON (Trace E.) a valuable lesson about preparing for the future.

Director: Kristin Broadwell makes her directorial debut with “Paper People Play" to motivate play-based learning to enhance academic and developmental learning outcomes by encouraging children to create their own plays and stories while sharing moral lessons.

Best Student Director

Director: Feng Hui

Producer/Writer: Wu Sidi

Country: United Kingdom

Overview: The dream of a young woman who suffers from domestic violence, which combines her romantic memory and the dark reality.

Director Statement: A new director, a new team, seeking for experiences and opportunities.

Best Short
Are You Volleyball?!
Are You Volleyball?!

Director/Writer: Mohammad Bakhshi

Producer: Nima Rabiei

Country: Islamic Republic of Iran

Overview: A group of Arabian spoken asylum seekers arrive to an English spoken country border and can't keep going. They conflict with border soldiers everyday till a deaf-mute baby becomes a catalyst for better communication between two groups.

Director Statement: The main concept of the film story starts from a game. I decided to direct the story to a point where the kid's game turned the border wires into volleyball net. I wanted to pitch an alternative idea of creating walls of peace and friendship, not a border of concrete.

Best Drama Short
The Wallet

Director/Writer: Saumitra Singh

Writer: Vinu Vinay

Producer: Madan Paliwal

Country: India

Overview: Ayushman, is a young regular working man living in Mumbai. He prefers to complete his work and head home, hence doesn’t socialize much. One day he deviates from his pattern, this happens when he finds an unattended wallet on the morning walk. Being a responsible citizen, he attempts to find the owner. But after deliberate efforts when he doesn’t find one, he opens the wallet. To his surprise there is no ID in the wallet, but he finds a letter. This letter was written by Aasma to Samar in 1991, when both were young and madly in love...

Best Long Short
Mohingar Tapwe!!
Mohingar Tapwe!!

Director: Yuki Kitazumi, Aung Thu Rein

Writer: Yuko Hirata

Producer: Tomoya Shinmachi

Country: Myanmar

Overview: This film was produced by young Japanese and Myanmar creators in Yangon. They challenged the very new concept in Myanmar, comedy drama based on cooking battle. It is also a revenge story. Its important theme is Myanmar traditional catfish noodle “mohingar.” Young chef fights using his handmaid mohingar to revenge himself for his father’s death on big evil society which is ruling mohingar market in Myanmar by its automated technology.

Best Documentary Short
Our Life as Refugee Children in Europe
Our Life as Refugee Children in Europe

Director/Writer/Producer: Silvia Venegas

Producer: Juan Antonio Moreno

Cinematography: Alberto González Casal

Country: Spain

Overview: More than a million children have sought refuge in Europe, many of them completely alone. A whole generation that has fled the war and now, instead of being children, have to face bureaucracy, distrust, waiting, frustration, incomprehension and fear. This documentary looks directly into their eyes and listens to their opinions, their feelings, their desires, their songs...

Best Original Score
The Ribbon

Director: Polla-Ilariya Kozino

Composer: Jonathan Galland

Country: United States

Overview: A young girl suddenly finds herself in a beautiful imaginary world. As she explores this enchanting place, the long ribbon of her dress gets caught, holding her back. As she pulls on the ribbon to break free, a completely unexpected journey begins.

Director Biography: Polla-Ilariya Kozino is an animation director and producer. She has also worked on many short films, including "Coyote's Place". Most recently Polla has worked on "Missing Link".

Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi Short
Memory Man
Memory Man

Director: Christopher M Armstrong

Producer: Letizia Di Veroli

Writer: Danielle Wager

Country: United Kingdom

Overview: In a future where psychic abilities are outlawed, the Memory Man makes a living dealing with uncomfortable memories for other people. Until the arrival of a hostile new client, finally forces him to confront unfinished business of his own.

Director Statement: MEMORY MAN is a glimpse into our dark and dystopian future teetering on the brink of a catastrophic apocalypse. Written by exciting newcomer Danielle Wager, and brought to life by British Asian film and theatre actor Joplin Sibtain, the film’s stylized look is based on Christopher’s vision of how our future may one day look. Set only a few decades after the rise of populism, xenophobia and protectionism has lead to distrust between nations, as the world teeters on the brink of nuclear war. A return to patriarchal authoritarian rule has created a sense of fear and paranoia amongst citizens, whilst violent crime has become endemic. MEMORY MAN is a reminder of the dark side of humanity and our own possible future should we continue along our current destructive path.

Best Documentary Director
How to Bend Concrete in 108 Easy Steps
How to Bend Concrete in 108 Easy Steps

Director/Producer: Mahesh Madhav

Producer: Sean Conley

Country: United States

Overview: Engineering meets art as we follow a designer in his efforts to bend industrial concrete into beautiful furniture. Underneath the documenting of the physical process of manifesting the sculpture, we also document the ethos and mental process of ideation, discovery, and presentation -- capturing what all content creators struggle with on every project.

Director Statement: I was drawn to this project through a strong camaraderie felt with the artist. As he began his journey to build his first console table, I started my own journey to produce my first documentary. We wanted to craft a story for artists in all domains; underneath documenting a physical process of manifestation, we have documented the ethos and mental process of ideation, discovery, and presentation - capturing what all content creators struggle with in their work....