Showroom Cinema: The Best British Short is by far my favourite category

The screen sector in Yorkshire has been growing rapidly in recent years, with organisations like Screen Yorkshire upping the development of new talent across the county. At the Showroom, we do our best to support young people to find pathways into the industry, too, running our own Film Academies in partnership with the British Film Institute.

Tuesday, 10th August 2021, 11:37 am
Mikaela Smith
Mikaela Smith

Twice a year, we manage dynamic courses for 16–19-year-olds to help them develop their skills, with one course focussing on filmmaking and one (currently in progress) focussing on film exhibition.

Next week, we’ll also be screening a collection of five short films in collaboration with the British Independent Film Awards and the BFI Network. These are the nominees for this year’s Best British Short award at the BIFAs - a bold collection of work from Britain’s best and brightest.

I have been a voter for BIFA for a few years now, and Best British Short is by far my favourite category. Largely overlooked, short films are where many of the most exciting filmmakers have the space to experiment. Unbound by the need to make a film broadly appealing or commercial, it’s here that they are at their most raw. Directors like Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, In Bruges) started by fleshing out their style with a short. McDonagh’s hilarious, tightly-wound short film Six Shooter won the BAFTA in 2004, opening the doors of the film industry wide open. Check-in on the Internet Movio Database (IMDb) page of your favourite filmmaker, and there will almost always be at least one, but usually three to four short films at the start of their careers. Many even act as ‘proof of concept’ for feature films they have in mind, with films from Whiplash to the Saw franchise beginning their lives in a snappy 15-minute format.


It’s astounding to me that you can spend less than half an hour watching a film and know that the person who made it will do great things. It’s a distinct skill to be able to tell a whole story in such a tiny space, packing in just the right amount of flavour to leave you wanting more.

The BIFA Best British Short collection screens at Showroom Cinema on Wednesday, August 18. Tickets are £4.50, including a Q&A with filmmakers and post-event networking.

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