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.