Sharp Shorts Year 2
Running Time: 13mins
Synopsis: Plus size burlesque enthusiast Mandy, is practising for her first public performance. But only when her best friend needs her help does she find the confidence to perform in her full power.
Director: Sarah Grant
Producer: Misha McCullagh
Executive Producer: Lauren Lamarr, Gabriel Robertson and Blazing Griffin
Screenwriter: Sarah Grant
DOP: Owen Laird
1st AD: Charlotte Daniel
Editor: Elizabeth Clutterbuck Sound Designer and Composer: David Devereux Production Design: Iveta Smidt Costume Design: Nicola Ellis Hair & Makeup: Samantha Jack Post Production Supervisor: Dionisis Sarakinis Principal Cast: Sarah Grant, Katrina Allen, Cameron Fulton, Derek Jeck, Ian Laing, Cindy Awor, Miss Bella Houston and Phoneutria Fera
Photo credit: Kevin J. Thomson
Sarah is a writer, director, performer and poet based in Glasgow. Her first short film, The Cyclist (2014), was nominated for a BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award and her most recent short Scare (2019) gained BAFTA Qualifying status and was awarded feature film development funding. Sarah has created a number of short form work for BBC The Social and BBC Short Stuff, featuring body and sex positive female fronted comedy, gaining tens of millions of views across digital and social platforms as well as a Royal Television Society Scotland award.
Sarah is currently taking steps towards writing long form for film and TV. She developed her first feature script with Short Circuit and Screen Scotland, was part of programmes such as the EIFF Talent Lab and UKTV Comedy 5050 pilot initiative, and has work currently in development with BBC Scotland. Sarah is committed to body positive, sex positive and inclusive female led stories that are honest, feminist and fearless.
Misha is a producer, with interdisciplinary experience in the creative industries. She is a BAFTA Prince William Bursary recipient and a GFF New Talent Mentee. She was selected for Short Circuit’s Producer Accelerator in 2021.
Misha works in association with Blazing Griffin who are executive producers of Misha’s 2022/23 slate. She is currently developing a feature film We Are Not Animals, about Scottish prison reform in the 1980s, directed by Khaled Spiewak, written by RTS winning Stef Smith and with BAFTA winning DOP Alan McLaughlin. She also produced BFI Network short Candy with Sarah Grant which is currently tearing up the festival circuit, with three BAFTA and BIFA qualifying festivals already under its belt and a top prize win at 16 Days 16 Films.
Misha also works as a production coordinator, recently on CBBC’s The Dumping Ground, The Hogmanay Show 2022 and Molly and Mack series 3 & 4. Misha is driven to create work that is bold and vivid, amplifying underrepresented voices whilst diversifying and promoting the wealth of Scottish based talent on and off screen.
Sharp Shorts Year 2
Synopsis: On her first day at a high school in rural Scotland, a London teenager is targeted for her afro hair by cocksure class bully and must harness her inner power.
Writer/Director: Eubha Akilade
Producers: Jack Gemmell, Sophie Chater
Director of Photography: Andrew O’Connor
Editor: Mark Fraser
Composer: Taneka Miles
Casting Director: Anna Dawson
Production Designer: Iveta Schmidt
Costume Design: Honor Anderson
Hair Designer: Helen McEwan
Make-Up Designer: Rhona Stewart
First Assistant Director: Lee Preston
Focus Puller: Sil Derkx
Gaffer: Stewart Torley
Sound Recordist: David McKeitch
Intimacy Coordinator: Georgia Alexandria Johnson
Cast: Miriam Nyarko, William Alexander, Lucianne McAvoy
Photo credit: Shonagh Kelly
Eubha Akilade is an actor/writer/director from Glasgow. Working as an actor and being on sets from a young age, Eubha quickly developed a keen interest in behind-the-scenes.
After completing a 6-month screenwriting programme through the National Film and Television School in 2021, she received her first short film commission, through Short Circuit. The short BLACKWOOL, written and directed by Eubha, was funded by Screen Scotland and BFI and is due for festival release in 2023. Eubha also co-wrote and directed on the BBC monologue series The Wedding.
Jack Gemmell is a Glaswegian filmmaker and writer for stage and screen. He was selected as one of BBC Writersroom’s Scottish Voices 2022, whilst producing BFI/Screen Scotland commissioned short, BLACKWOOL, directed by Eubha Akilade.
With a diverse background in production across shorts, commercials, music videos, and features, Jack wrote and produced 12th Man (GSFF, Portico Media) and acted as an associate producer on the Glasgow-based short film, Unders, due to release in 2023. For the stage, he was selected for Traverse Young Writers and has been in artistic development with Traverse Theatre with his full-length play Tobojo (Boris Johnson is Toast)’. This was performed as part of First Stages Festival.
Sophie Chater is a Scotland-based commercial, short film, and documentary producer.
While working at STV, she began her involvement in the independent film scene, producing her first short, Eyes Down, a trans-focused drama that was shown at a wide selection of festivals globally, and in particular, received acclaim and awards from 16days16films.
After leaving STV, Sophie focused on further independent works, such as the documentary, One Last Spin, which as well as playing at a host of festivals, was officially requested for use in training staff at Citizens Advice in Scotland due to its accuracy in the depiction of addiction.
Sophie is now a freelance member of production teams and has this year worked with Glasgow-based Cut Media to assist on a range of commercials, and with Storyboard Studios where she coordinated the simultaneous filming of two BBC documentaries for their first-time director’s fund.
Sharp Shorts Year 1
Running Time: 16mins
Synopsis: A road trip pushes a dysfunctional family to the brink after their journey descends into a claustrophobic hallucinatory nightmare.
Writer/Director: Simone Smith
Producers: David Neilson and Lewis Wardrop
Executive Producers: Marielle Membreno, Tom Kimberley, Eoin O’ Faolain, Ian Sharp, Des Hamilton and Simone Smith
DOP: Nick Cooke
Editor: Simone Smith Sound Design: David Meikle and Simone Smith Composer: David Meikle
Sound Mixer: Patrick Collins
Art Director: Nicola Stead
Production Design: Ursula Cleary Costume Design: Monika Lorber Hair & Makeup: Laura McGowan and Alba Sofia Casting: Georgia Topley and Des Hamilton
Cast: Fiona O’ Shaughnessy, Andrew Flanagan, Mirren Mack and Stephen McMillan
Photo credit: Mark Shields and Martin Shields
Glasgow Short Film Festival 2023 – Jury Special Mention
“Both otherworldly yet uncannily familiar to anyone who has been stuck on an endless car journey with their family to the absolute nether regions of the UK.” Director’s Notes
“The small details might include the tape on the tape-deck and the tape within the tape-deck but the big loud details include a quantity of effing and geoffing that sits somewhere between Tarantino and Scotland.” Eye for Film
Simone Smith is an award-winning filmmaker and visual artist from Glasgow, Scotland. Inspired by the mystery of the subconscious and spirituality, Simone wants to get inside the hearts and minds of flawed, damaged human beings and tell emotionally conscious stories that explore themes of transformation, vulnerability, loss, and the challenges of becoming.
Independently made on zero to low budgets, her films have been described as “surreal poetry”, and “raw and unconventional”. Her short film Slap was BAFTA-nominated and won Jury Special Mention at GSFF were “the Jury were struck by the work of this director who is pursuing her own sensory style in design and narration.” Slap was also hailed by BFI’s Sight and Sound Magazine –“Particularly bracing was Simone Smith’s Slap, an overwhelming, multi-sensory short about the intense terror of the school playground.” and voted top-pick by Eden Court at IFF. Her short Red won a BAFTA New Talent Award – praised as “very original” by Stanley Kubrick’s producer, Jan Harlen, and “a true work of art” by Ain’t It Cool News. The Rinsing– starring BAFTA winning actress Daniela Nardini was broadcast on Channel 4’s Random Acts, won the Best Film award at London’s Shorts On Tap, and was nominated for Best Experimental Short at Aesthetica Short Film Festival. Her films have screened at Oscar and Bafta qualifying festivals including LEEDS, CORK, LSFF, GSFF, Underwire, and Cinequest. And her music videos have played on MTV and NME.
Simone was raised in the east-end of Glasgow and gained a BA Honours in Computer Animation & Digital Art, an HND in Digital Art & Design, and an Advanced Diploma in Physical Theatre Practice. From 2008-2014 she earned a position at BBC Scotland, working up the ladder from Runner to Researcher, to self-shooting Director and Producer. Simone then travelled to New York to work with experimental theatre collective The Wooster Group.
She is an EIFF Talent Lab participant for 2019 and is currently writing her first feature films Until She Bleeds and It’s Too Late You Can’t Save Me which are both in development with Screen Scotland and BFI Network. Simone also completed her latest short film The Möbius Trip which was selected for Short Circuit’s Sharp Shorts development and funding scheme and is set to kick off its festival tour this year. The Möbius Trip will premiere at the Glasgow Short Film Festival on March 26th 2023.
“My work is a constant work-in-progress where I aspire to explore freely through instinct, and without any kind of pre-conception the construction of the still and moving image. I follow my instincts and emotions, expressing what I can’t not express. It is animal, intimate, instinctive, a place to be both violent and tender, a diary of visual exercises with multiple interpretations, a spiritual place.”
Simone is represented by Rowena Wallace at PEACH HOUSE.
White Stag Films is spearheaded by Dave Neilson and Lewis Wardrop. Between them they have a rich variety of industry experience across development, production and financing. Based in Edinburgh our vision is to bring all of our industry, business and creative experience together to make White Stag Films a leading company in the production of unique, memorable and original film and television content. Dave Neilson is a producer with over 20 years’ experience who set up Filming Scotland one of Scotland’s most successful commercial production companies that has produced award winning international commercials and content for global brands working with A-list talent from all over the world. Lewis Wardrop has been working in the industry for over 10 years, during which time he has worked across the locations and production departments on some of the biggest films and high-end TV projects to shoot in Scotland. He is now developing feature projects with funders including Screen Scotland and Film4. White Stag Films was founded in 2019 and since then the company has produced a number of award-winning short films which have played and won awards at key international film festivals. They have a diverse slate of feature and TV projects, working with some of the best writers and directors across a number of genres.