It’s that time of year again: the time when you go to see a film and are slightly baffled by the sudden appearance of a short extra thing, out of nowhere, before the main feature. The Virgin Media Shorts competition has been running since 2008 and is surely a good thing (£30,000 for the winner to make their next film), but it suffers rather from the niche marketing and poor penetration of short films in general.
This year the organisers have put more emphasis on interactivity. Not only will you be momentarily baffled when one of these films shows up in your cinema, but now you can follow the competition via hashtags, Facebook and probably SnapChat. All the films will also be screened through Virgin Media, with a People’s Champion being chosen by Virgin viewers. This leads, among other things, to the following piece of PR genius: “By voting through their TiVo® set top boxes, customers will choose their favourite of the 13 shortlisted films. The winner will win Virgin Media’s TiVo® service for a year (if they are an existing Virgin Media customer).” Well, yes.
The thirteen nominees are below the jump. One of them – the excellent Niche in the Market – has already featured in Mostly Shorts.
A Favour (Simon Cheek)
Brando-ing (Malcolm Roy Greenhill)
Handuken (Chris Chung)
Homey (Ben Garfield)
Just Say Hi (John McPhail)
Niche in the Market (Rod Main)
RVG (Ian Bucknole)
Spring Clean (Ed Clifton, Ed Dagget, Michael Stranney)
Stick Out (Anthony Farquhar-Smith)
The Big Day (Nimer Rashad)
Jetpack Jack (Oliver Lee)
Touch (Nimer Rashad)
The Man Who Couldn’t Stop Putting Things In Bins (Louis Paxton, Patrick Kondraki)