Sharp Shorts Year 2
Year: 2023

Synopsis: Joe is a young deaf man whose ambition in life is to become a singer. Only when he stumbles across embittered busker Andy, who is battling demons and writer’s block, do they discover an unlikely creative partnership.


Director: Cora BissettProducer: Laura McBride – Lothian FilmsExecutive Producer: James Heath – MTP Screenwriter: Cora Bissett & Jamie ReaDOP: Andrew O’ConnorEditor: Megan Green Sound Design: Garry BoyleProduction Design: Urte RusteikaiteCast: Jamie Rea & Jack Stewart 


About Cora Bissett

Cora Bissett is a Scottish Director, Actor and writer. She was ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR at the NATIONAL THEATRE OF SCOTLAND 2014-2022 where her work includes Orphans, RITES, INTERFERENCE and the multi-award winning ADAM, by Frances Poet (the remarkable real life story of an Egyptian trans man who settled in Glasgow). ‘ Adam’ went on to be adapted for a TV film in 2021 for BBC 4, which Cora co-Directed with Louise Lockwood and won a BAFTA award for best scripted Drama. She directed Saoirse Monica Jackson in Lisa McGee’s brilliantly explosive short ‘I’d like to Speak to the Manager’ as part of the ‘SKINT’ series of shorts on the theme of Poverty in the UK. (BBC4)

This experience with the Adam adaptation gave her the hunger and confidence to move from theatre directing into film. ‘The Singer’ will be Cora’s first time as Screenwriter and sole director.

She set up her own theatre company PACHAMAMA in 2010 with a strong emphasis on stories exploring societal injustice and shining a light on unexplored corners of Scottish society. Many of her shows are inspired by real life events.

The company’s first production was ROADKILL (co created with writer Stef Smith) which was awarded award at the Edinburgh International Festival 2010 and then toured London, Paris, New York and Chicago before winning an Olivier Award for Outstanding Production in London UK in 2012.

She then went on to tackle the real life story of ‘The Glasgow Girls’ and turned it into a multi-authored grime/hip hop/folk/rock musical highlighting the heinous events known as Dawn Raids’ in Glasgow. Proving it possible to make the complexities of immigration a vital and accessible story, it went onto win The Amnesty Award for Freedom of Expression and the Off West End Award for ‘Best New Musical.’

She worked closely with Emma Donoghue as Director and Composer on a music theatre adaptation of Emma’s best selling novel and Academy award wininng adaptaton ROOM for Theatre Royal Stratford East

London/Abbey Theatre Dublin 2017 and remounted in London, Ontario/Toronto 2022.

As a writer, Cora penned her first full length auto-biographical play ‘What Girls Are Made of’ in 2019. It charted her time as a teen singer in a Fife indie band who were signed to Major label Phonogram in the early 90s. She won a Fringe First for the play and it toured from London to The U.S, to Melbourne and Sau Paulo.

She is currently adapting it as a film with Black Camel Productions in Scotland.


About Laura McBride

Laura McBride is the founder of Lothian Films, an Edinburgh-based production company which champions diverse voices and women writers and directors. Projects include; BFI Network short films SCUZZ (Alia Ghafar), BAFTA Scotland nominated GROOM (Leyla Coll-O’Reilly), THE SINGER (Cora Bissett & Jamie Rea), Little Pictures micro-budget short film RETURN (Nazia Mohammad) and IN HER CORNER (Emma Ramsay) co-produced with Reece Cargan of Bombito Productions. Currently in development; feature film YELLOW MOON (Alia Ghafar) – an adaptation of the play by David Greig with which Laura attended IFFR Producer’s Lab 2021. Laura also works at Compact Pictures as an Associate Producer and has recently completed feature film FALLING INTO PLACE (Aylin Tezel) – a co-production with Weydemann Bros of Germany.

Sharp Shorts Year 3

Synopsis: A coming of age story rooted in an electric subculture, Soul deals with the grief of letting your child leave home and the guilt working class people feel when leaving their town behind to better themselves.


Director: Eilidh Loan
Producer: Stuart Condy
Executive Producers: Iria Pizania, Miriam Newman, Sean Greenhorn, Kieran HanniganScreenwriter: Eilidh Loan
DOP: Laura Dinnett
Editor: Douglas FlockhartSound Design: Gary CameronComposer: Gary CameronProduction Design: Frances CollierCostume Design: Sam TurnerHair & Makeup: Madeleine DrewellCast: Eilidh Loan, Paul McCole, Sean Connor, Martin Quinn, Robyn Ritchie, Gregor Wells, Andy Arnold

Photo credit: Conor De Ath


About Eilidh Loan

Eilidh Loan is an award-winning actor, writer and director from Renfrewshire. In 2018, Eilidh graduated the Guildford School of Acting as the winner of the Bachelor of the Arts Acting Prize, the GSA Entrepreneur Award and as a finalist in the BBC Carleton Hobbs Bursary Competition. In her graduating year, Eilidh won the prestigious Alan Bates Competition, beating over 200 applicants from drama schools across the UK. She has gone on to make a successful career across all avenues of the industry.Eilidh was nominated for Best Writer at the Stage Debut Awards and for two CATS Awards in 2022 for her debut play Moorcroft. Moorcroft returns to the Tron theatre in July and continues to Tour Scotland from September 2023.Eilidh was awarded the New York City Radio Award for directing, creating and performing in, Two Bad Mice for Almost Tangible. Since then, Eilidh has continued to work closely with the company, gaining a nomination for Best Actress in a drama at the One Voice Awards for her portrayal of Lady Macbeth in the five time award-winning production of Macbeth.Eilidh has recently returned from Greece filming a new Film4 project.Her other credits include: A Castle for Christmas (Netflix), Traces 2, The Sister Boniface Mysteries, Pancake, Clique 2, Doctors, England’s Forgotten Queen (BBC), London Kills (Acorn TV), Doctor Who (Big Finish), Frankenstein (UK Tour), Mary & Ada Set the World To Rights (Óran Mòr), Me & My Left Ball (Tristan Bates) and Me and My Sister Tell Each Other Everything (Tron Theatre)


About Stuart Condy

Stuart Condy is a BAFTA winning film producer from Edinburgh. After graduating in Film & TV from Edinburgh College of Art in 2010 he co-founded Arpeggio Pictures which has since went on to produce 13 short films across drama and documentary. His BAFTA recognised credits include My Loneliness is Killing Me (BAFTA Scotland, Best Short Film Winner, 2018), Take Your Partners (BAFTA Scotland, Best Short Film Nominee, 2016), Rabbit Punch (BAFTA Scotland New Talent, Best Short Film Winner, 2012).

Stuart also produced and co-starred in 12 half hour episodes of May Contain Nuts, a comedy television show which screened on the BBC Scotland channel in 2019/20.

Sharp Shorts Year 3

Synopsis: Plus-sized Jackie loves sweets, trying on his mum’s clothes, and admiring girl-next-door Tegan on her trampoline from his bedroom window. He adores her, and he’ll do anything to get close to her. Even, to his health-conscious mum Carol’s surprise, ask for a trampoline.


Writer: Ali Taylor
Director: Michael Lee Richardson
Producer: Reece Cargan
Producer: James Heath / MTP

Jackie: Joshua Lawrie
Tegan: Erin Benson McGinley
Carol: Megan Shandley
Graeme: Graeme Thomson
Mollie: Izzy McDonald

Director of Photography: Steve Cardno
Editor: Sean Geddes
Production Designer: Gail Bowman
Costume Designer: Cara Roxburgh
Sound Designer: Heather Andrews
Make Up & Hair Designer: Hollie Mckenzie
Composer: Oleta Haffner
Mentor: Peter Hoar
Line Producer: Emma Pais
Production Manager: Kieran Padraig Smyth
Production Runner: Abbie McLaughlin
Script Supervisor: Urszula Kola
Script Consultant: Theresa Boden
1st Assistant Director: Sean Hind
2nd Assistant Director: Hannah Jackson
3rd Assistant Director: Nichola Petermann
Floor Runner: Luke Keogh
Runner: Raonaid MacDonald
Sound Recordist: Seamus Stewart Skinner
Boom Operator: Jack Coen-Doyle
1st Assistant Camera: Micheal Neal
2nd Assistant Camera: Jasmine Brenwick
Camera Trainee: Rhona McCalman
DIT: Coco Mcleod
Gaffer: Joe Breslin
Sparks: Pierce Brown and Spike Wright
Spark (daily): Amy Urquart
Grip: Aaron Boucher
Grip Assistant: Graham Strachan
Assistant Editor: Jennifer Morrison
Art Department Assistant: Hanne Barr
Costume Assistant: Oksana Makowska
Costume Assistant (daily): Heida Senkute
Medic: Steve McCabe
Trampoline Coach: Lewis Church
Chaperones: Shirley Lawrie, Chris Lawrie, Susan Macpherson and Fiona Bonner
Stills Photographer: Celine Antal


About Michael Lee Richardson

Michael Lee Richardson is a writer and youth worker based in Glasgow. Michael’s short film, My Loneliness is Killing Me – directed by Tim Courtney – won a BAFTA Scotland Award in 2018. It has been shown on BBC Scotland, and at film festivals around the world. Michael’s most recent short, Who I Am Now – directed by Jack Goessens – debuted at Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2022.

Just Jackie is Michael’s first short as a director. As a writer, Michael has film and television projects in development with a range of different broadcasters and production companies. Michael has also written audio drama, prose, poetry and children’s non-fiction.

As a youth worker, Michael set up and ran Trans Youth Glasgow. Michael is passionate about telling rich, authentic stories about queer and working class lives and culture. Outside of writing, Michael likes 80s makeover montages, witches, and going to the shops.

Sharp Shorts Year 3

Synopsis: When a suburban housewife’s world falls apart, she meticulously plans revenge against her husband.


Director: Oisín Kearney
Producer: Lewis Wardrop
Executive Producer: Tony Wood, Dougray Scott, Anna BurnsScreenwriter: Ciara Elizabeth-Smyth
DOP: Steve Cardno
Editor: Florian NonnenmacherSound Design: Patrick CollinsComposer: James WellandProduction Design: Christine Ting-Huan UrquhartCostume Design: Liberty BramallHair & Makeup: Hazel SmithCasting: Anna Dawson & Amy 

Photo credit: Stuart McClayCast: Michelle Duncan, Dougray Scott, Sophie Sloan, Robin Laing, Elizabeth Millbank-Turner, Sophie Amparo


About Oisín Kearney

Oisín Kearney is a director and writer represented by Curtis Brown. He has a background in theatre and documentary and loves to watch and to make comedy drama, thrillers and psychological horror. He co-wrote and directed the popular My Left Nut stage show and developed it into a multi-award winning BBC Three series. He is under commission with several television production companies and the Traverse Theatre. He has written several plays, including The Alternative, which won two Irish Times Theatre Awards and was nominated for Best New Play. He assistant produced feature documentaries 66 DAYS (BBC Storyville) and ELIÁN (CNN Films – Emmy-nominated, Oscar long-list) and directed films for BBC, De Correspondent/NPO2, and Aljazeera, including BOJAYÁ, which premiered at Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto in April 2019.


About Ciara Elizabeth Smyth

Ciara Elizabeth Smyth is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter from Ireland. Her plays have been presented by the Abbey Theatre, Fishamble, Dublin Fringe Festival, the MAC Theatre and the Project Arts Centre. She is under commission with several television production companies and theatre companies Prime Cut Productions and Gúna Nua. Ciara’s most recent play, Lie Low, was nominated for two Irish Times Theatre Awards (Best Actress and Best New Play) and is due to go on an international tour 2023/24. She is a recipient of the Next Generation Award 2020, the Abbey Theatre’s Commemoration Bursary 2021 and a Sharp Shorts 2022 awardee. She has also received funding from Short Circuit’s First Features to develop a debut feature film. Ciara is represented by Nick Marston and Katie Battcock in Curtis Brown.


About White Stag Films

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.

Sharp Shorts Year 3

Synopsis: 7-year-old Ailsa grew up with an old island tale, woven by her Mum to explain her Dad’s absence. Beginning to notice the hole in their family, Ailsa bravely sets out to find the truth of her mum’s tale, hoping she can make their hearts whole again.


Writer, Director and Animator: Ana Songel
Producer: Misha McCullagh
Executive Producer: Lauren Lamarr, Nic Crum, Naysun Alae-Carew with Blazing GriffinProduction Manager: Serena Gardner
Post Production Manager: Rebecca Morrow
DOP: Andrew O’Connor
Editor: David HunterSound Design: Heather AndrewsComposer: Mark HendryProduction Design: Erin Hamill
Production Design Consultant: Ryan Clachrie 
Model Maker: Lara Jones
Prop Maker: Kirsteen Lyth
Puppet and Costume Maker: Andrea Casadevall


About Ana Songel

Ana Songel is an award-winning stop-motion director and animator based in Glasgow, Scotland. Three years ago Ana was selected by the micro-budget film scheme Little Pictures run by GMAC Film and Screen Scotland to make her first commissioned stop motion I Miss Hugs, which has recently screened in BAFTA and Oscar-qualifying film festivals. She is currently building her portfolio as a freelance animator and developing her next stop motion film called Beatless, through the Screen Scotland-funded scheme Sharp Shorts.


About Misha McCullagh

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 3

Synopsis: Over the course of one Saturday, life on the streets of South Glasgow reaches breaking point for two young boys.


Writer/Director: Ciaran Pasi
Producers: Shona Mackenzie

Sharp Shorts Year 3

Synopsis: 1994. A Scottish working class man teaches his son a Scottish working class lesson.


Writer/Director: Lisa Clarkson
Producer: Alex PoluninDOP: Charlie JenkinsEditor: Waltteri Vanhanen
Sound Design: Dominika Latusek
Production Design: Katie Fiore
Costume Design: Kirsty Halliday and Jack Shanks
Hair & Makeup: Kat Morgan
Casting: Des Hamilton CastingCast: Jacob Abraham, Logan Cassells Keenan, Jim Sweeney, Beth Adams, Rhona Ashwood, Richard Mcshane

Photo credit: Giulia Sansone


About Lisa Clarkson

Lisa is a writer and director from Edinburgh, Scotland. She graduated from the National Film and Television School’s MA Directing Fiction in 2021, as Channel 4 Scholar. Her graduation film, Muse, won the school’s Panalux and Sargeant Disc prizes for excellence. Since returning home to Scotland she has directed a number of projects for film and television; directing an episode of BBC Four’s Skint, writing and directing Paternal Advice (Short Circuit/ BFI NETWORK), as well as shadowing and 2nd unit direction on original series The Rig (Amazon) and Granite Harbour (BBC Scotland). She is currently developing a number of long form projects, including a series set in her beloved Glasgow.


About Alex Polunin

Alex is a twice BAFTA-nominated film & television producer who currently enjoys a first-look deal with BBC Drama and has a slate of feature films in development with BBC Film and Film4, which he has developed over the last two years with the support of Cannes Film Festival’s La Cinef residency.

As a recipient of the BAFTA Los Angeles Scholarship and then as a BAFTA Los Angeles Newcomer, Alex began his career working at the BBC, Working Title and Heyday Films in both London and Los Angeles. Since setting up Ossian independently, Alex has overseen the production of a slate of distinctive short films – including British by the Grace of God (Locarno 2017), Kingdom Come (Venice 2019), Father of the Bride (SXSW 2020), Egúngún (Masquerade) (Sundance 2021) and She Always Wins (TIFF 2022).

Alex is currently in production on Ossian’s debut feature film with BBC Film, the BFI and Screen Scotland.

Sharp Shorts Year 3
Year: 2023

Synopsis: After her estranged Palestinian father passes away, Linda returns to her childhood home in Glasgow, one last time. When her 10-year-old self suddenly appears, she is guided deeper into her own memories and her family’s past.


Director: Theo Panagopoulos
Producer: Penny Davies, Simone Pereira Hind
Screenwriter: Theo Panagopoulos
DOP: Nelisa Alcalde
Editor: Lindsay Watson
Sound Design: Jack Creith and Kym Hamilton
Composer: Alexandra Katerinopoulou
Production Design: Urte Rusteikaite
Costume Design: Marta Aspe
Hair & Makeup: Maddy Drewell
Casting: Anna Dawson

Cast: Simone Lahbib, Abby Wallace, Habiba Saleh, Firas Ibrahim

Photo credit: Robert Pereira Hind and Simone Pereira Hind

About Theo Panagopoulos

Theo Panagopoulos is a Greek-Lebanese-Palestinian filmmaker, film programmer and PhD candidate based in Scotland. His filmmaking explores through an ethical and intersectional way themes of memory, politics, fragmented identity and language connected to collective trauma and healing.

His creative documentary short My Own Personal Lebanon screened in multiple BAFTA-Qualifying festivals and was shortlisted for the IRIS award of the Hellenic Film Academy and his second documentary The Place between Was & Will Be premiered at Thessaloniki Documentary Festival. His next fiction short film called The Key is commissioned by Short Circuit, Screen Scotland and BFI Network and will premiere in 2023.


About Penny Davies and Simone Pereira Hind

Penny Davies has a background as an assistant director and line producer in TV and feature films, and has produced short form content for both television and independent film.

Simone Pereira Hind has a background in casting feature films, TV series, short films and theatre. She adapted Sian Hughes’ short story for Smashing Pictures’ first short, Consumed.

Penny and Simone are based in Scotland and committed to bringing the work of new voices to a wider audience. They first met and worked together in 2015. Realising that they had a shared interest in bringing female-focused, untold stories to the screen they set up Smashing Pictures and made their first short film, Consumed (directed by Karen Lamond), with funding from Scottish Film Talent Network and BFI Network, in 2019. Consumed has been selected by film festivals around the world and has picked up a number of awards. Penny subsequently produced Maureen (directed by Shiona McCubbin), which is presently doing the round of festivals after premiering at Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2022. Penny and Simone are currently co-producing two more shorts, Safe Home (with writer/director Holly Jack) and The Key (with writer/director Theo Panagopoulos, for Short Circuit and BFI Network).

Sharp Shorts Year 2
Year: 2023

Synopsis: A downtrodden Scottish farmer caring for her mother living with dementia attempts to become an influencer after discovering the popularity of cottagecore lifestyle.


Writer & Director: Debora Maité Bottino
Producer: Carys Evans, Katie Mallinder & Mary-Helena Quigley
DOP: Flora Fecske
Editor: Isidora Charbila
Sound Design: William Aikman
Composer: Larry Gus
1st Assistant Director: Eric J. Liddle
Production Design: Urte Rusteikaite
Costume Design: Jack Shanks
Hair & Makeup: Nikole Migl

Cast: Anna Russell-Martin, Selina Boyack

Photo credit: Laura Prieto and Meg Wriggles


About Debora Maité Bottino

Debora is an Italian writer and director based in Scotland. She is a Less is More and EIFF Talent Lab alumni. Her short film I Should Have Loved A Thunderbird Instead (2019) was acquired by Film Movement to be distributed in the US after gaining BAFTA-qualifying status. Debora was shortlisted for the 2021 Sundance Episodic Lab, Merky Books Award (Penguin House) and Sharp Shorts Funding Scheme, through which she is currently developing her latest project You Land (2022).


About Carys Evans

Carys arrived at producing with a passion for talent development and storytelling. As well as You Land her short film work includes Short Circuit supported A90 (dir. Olivia J. Middleton), Morning (dir. Olivia J. Middleton), and A Point (dir. Nicholas Afchain). Beyond her work as a narrative producer with Finite Productions she produces music videos and works as a freelance commercial producer. In January 2023 she was invited to attend the prestigious Producers Lab at International Film Festival Rotterdam, supported by a full bursary from Screen Scotland.


About Katie Mallinder

Katie jumped back into the world of production after a two year stint as an Editor at creative agency Media Zoo. Working straight away on You Land ignited her passion for storytelling once again. And since then has wrapped on Wild Oats (dir. Rosa Duncan), funded by Grey Moth’s ‘Witty Women Fund’. Alongside working on shorts, she works in broadcast, currently on BBC Scotland’s A View From The Terrace as VT producer.


About Mary-Helena Quigley

Mary is a Senior Producer for Media Zoo Scotland, where she manages an international team creating content for a Swiss academic institution. She was immediately attracted to the narrative of You Land and nourished her love of the poignant storytelling by coming on board as producer. As co-director of QuigleyFilm, a Scottish independent production company specialising in broadcast and digital, she is currently working on The Brian Cox Interview (WT) commissioned by BritBox Originals slated for release spring 2023.

Sharp Shorts Year 2
Year: 2023

Synopsis: Mimi is an old lady who remembers fragments of her life through a cloud of dementia, through the help of Elder her husband, against a confusing backdrop of their 60th Wedding Anniversary party.


Director & Animator: Wilma Smith
Producer: Carol Brown
Executive Producer: Ken Anderson
Screenwriter: Wilma Smith
Assistant Director: Catriona McLeod
DOP: Andrew O’Connor, Leon Brehony
Camera Assistants: Chris Kinghorn and Rosslyn McCormick
Gaffer: Seyma Dag
Production Assistants: Lipa Hussain & Jordan Russell
Production Design: Nazia Mohammad
Script Supervisor: Cat Napier
Costume Design: Wilma Smith
Hair & Makeup: Joanne McAuliffe
Storyboard: Russell McEwan
Models & Animation Set Design: Wilma Smith
Editor: Wilma Smith
Sound Design: Keith Duncan
Composer: Graham Pointer
Online Editor: Jack Lang

Cast: Tina Gray, David Hayman, Helena Creaney and Eilidh McCormick

Photo credit: Katie McLean and Corey Taylor


About Wilma Smith

Wilma Smith is a filmmaker with over 20 years of experience, making animations as a teenager, she went to Glasgow School of Art (2000). She co-wrote and co-directed several digital features which screened internationally with Four Eyes and My Life as a Bus Stop nominated for the Michael Powell Award at EIFF. Wilma edited the viral video for Mark Millar’s graphic novel Kickass. Wilma made a Bridging the Gap (2016) and continues to develop work with Scottish Documentary Institute and she’s currently the Filmmakers Programme Manager at GMAC Film since 2020.


About Carol Brown

Carol Brown is a creative, entrepreneurial producer based in Scotland. Carol completed her M.F.A in Producing from the prestigious Peter Stark Producing Program in Los Angeles on a scholarship from BAFTA LA. Carol has produced several critically acclaimed short films over the years, while also working in the industry on larger productions. Most recently, Carol was Associate Producer on the Netflix feature film A Castle for Christmas, where she was responsible for overseeing the pick-up shoot. She has just completed filming on a Creative Scotland funded short film and has first-hand experience of shooting during the pandemic.