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.