News: #SHORTITOUT calls on filmmakers to get creative amidst the lockdown

#shortitout is a call to action to filmmakers all over the world to get creative and build a community amidst the global pandemic. BFI NETWORK, Encounters Film Festival and Watershed, present #shortitout, which invites filmmakers of every age and experience level to submit 90 second films; encouraging creativity, storytelling, as well as opportunities to hone filmmaking skills and connect with their peers.

During this unprecedented period, where many may have additional time on their hands, are feeling isolated, or dealing with difficult emotions, #shortitout calls on people to get creative, using any filming and editing equipment available to them. Encouraging people to capture and share their view of this unique moment, the ambition is to build a creative community as well as create a cultural legacy through film. Entries can be 90 secs or under, a format which is accessible to work with and to watch, covering any subject or genre, and must be made strictly adhering to current social distancing guidance.

#shortitout launches today, Thursday 16 April, and closes on Thursday 4 June. Filmmakers are invited to share their films on social platforms using the #shortitout hashtag. In June a selection of films from the UK will be hosted on BFI Player and that selection will be held in the BFI National Archive. This is part of the archive’s vital work ensuring it protects the nation’s screen heritage, and allows future generations to access these creative responses to this exceptional time.

Jessica Loveland, Head of BFI NETWORK, said: “We are all living through unprecedented times, and we believe film, both watching and as an outlet of creativity, can play an important role in helping us get through it and to make sense of the many challenges we are facing. #shortitout promises to create an important filmic legacy of this unique period of time, which is why a selection of the shorts will forever be held in the BFI National Archive. At the same time, it also serves as a valuable outlet for NETWORK to continue our work in supporting and developing great filmmaking talent.”

dedicated #shortitout online space will act as a digital creative hub to share tips and inspiration, from both peers and trusted industry experts. Newly commissioned resources to support professional development include live filmmaker Q&As with celebrated filmmakers – initial sessions are confirmed with writer/directors Desiree Akhavan (The Miseducation of Cameron PostAppropriate Behavior) and Jim Cummings (Thunder Road). Blogs and short films on DIY filmmaking from emerging talent will also be posted, the first of which is from filmmaker Harry Sherriff with his short Just Because it’s Cinema Doesn’t Mean it’s Not Real. Content will continue to be commissioned and published regularly over the next few months.

The #shortitout hub will also host regular curated free-to-view playlists of the most compelling submissions, selected by representative from BFI NETWORK, Encounters and Watershed. A series of watchalong events will offer a sense of communal viewing, encouraging audiences and fellow filmmakers to discuss the films, the filmmaking and the themes explored, to ignite discussion and collaboration.

BAFTA, BBC and Channel 4, are also supporting #shortitout to ensure it offers a wide range of engaging, expert-led resources for short filmmakers, and the message is reaching as many filmmakers or aspiring filmmakers as possible.

Those who have created a film for #shortitout are encouraged to submit their creation for free into Watershed’s annual Depict short film competition as part of Encounters Film Festival to be in for a chance of being showcased at the forthcoming edition of the Festival and win some cash prizes and money can’t buy exposure and mentoring.

Look out for #shortitout updates on socials:
Facebook: Depict and Encounters Film Festival
Twitter: @depictshorts @BFINETWORK @encountersSFF
Instagram: @depictshorts @BFINETWORK @encountersSFF

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