The winners of A+E Networks’ Lifetime Shorts Competition gathered for a screening at Portcullis House in central London yesterday
The seven winners were hosted by MP Nigel Evans, who praised A+E’s efforts to tackle the “top heavy dominance of men” in the media industry.
The Lifetime Shorts Competition was open to any UK-based women film-makers, and received over 200 entries which were judged by a panel of experts including actress and producer Michelle Collins, Women in Film & TV UK CEO Kate Kinninmont and General Manager UK of A+E Networks Heather Jones.
Young women across all professions, Evans added, were coming to realise there are “no glass ceilings to where their aspirations could take them.”
A+E Networks’ Heather Jones echoed his sentiments, pointing out that there remains “a lot of work to do to increase the number of women behind the camera.”
All the winning films were shown on A+E Networks’ Lifetime network, which is dedicated to female entertainment. “The quality of the films was absolutely incredible,” she added.
The Overall Winner was Sarah Clift, who won with La Madre Buena (The Good Mother), her debut short. The prize money, she explained, had been spent on paying off the debt on her winning film, and part financing the next one.
The Good Mother has won awards elsewhere including five gold awards at the Kinsale Short Film Festival for Best Writing and Best International New Director.
Many of the other winners were also using their winnings to finance their next projects.
The winning films have been picking up accolades elsewhere. Animator Adara Todd, who won for her film Twiddly Things, used her prize money to fly to Los Angeles to attend the Annie Awards where she had been nominated.
Charlotte Regan, who won for her short film Standby, scooped nominations for a Bafta and a BFI Future Film Lab award – the latter of which she won.
For Lauren Morton, creator of documentary 3,217, the film-making process brought its own rewards: world records for the fastest and the youngest female team to row unaided across the Atlantic.
The other winners were Rosie Gaunt-Mathieson for train-based comedy Raymond starring Daniel Simonsen and Spencer Jones; Megan K. Fox for GIRL and Ruth Sewell for Countryphile.
The winners were announced in a ceremony at Curzon Soho in November 2016, and the competition was a partnership between A+E Networks and Women in Film & TV UK.