The judges of the 2020 Virgin Media Discovers Short Film Competition, in association with Screen Ireland have been announced.
The panel of star judges include Derry Girls creator and screenwriter of The Deceived, Lisa McGee; award-winning director and screenwriter Lenny Abrahamson, known for directing such acclaimed independent films as Adam & Paul, Garage, What Richard Did and Room; Mullingar-born actor Niamh Algar who stars in Ridley Scott’s major new HBO Max series, Raised by Wolves; Screenwriter and Executive Producer Ursula Rani Sarma whose work includes Delicious and Red Rock, joined by representatives from Virgin Media Television, Screen Ireland and the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival.
Now in its second year, the Virgin Media Discovers Short Film Competition is open to new, emerging and established filmmakers across drama, comedy, fiction, thriller, animation and so much more. The competition is designed to recognise the contribution and impact that the TV and film production sector creates for our economy, society, culture and democracy. From a total prize fund of €150,000, 10 shortlisted projects from new and established filmmakers will be given €9,000 each to invest in the development of their script. €90,000 in total will be invested in script development. Two winners will be selected from these final scripts by our judging panel and will win €30,000 worth of investment each to fund the production of a 10-minute short film.
According to Lenny Abrahamson: “In the best of times it can be very tough for filmmakers to get their ideas realised and out in front of an audience. This year, as we battle through a global pandemic, the challenges are huge. That’s why I’m delighted that Virgin Media are stepping up to provide such a substantial set of awards. This competition will encourage, acknowledge and support creative filmmakers, while bringing new work to audiences and I’m so looking forward to working with this excellent group of judges as we read and discuss the submissions.”
“I’m thrilled to be a part of the Virgin Media Discovers Short Film Competition for 2020 – it has been a tough year for our industry and I’m looking forward to helping highlight fresh Irish film making talent. I can’t wait to get my hands on the scripts,” adds Lisa McGee.