Sunderland Shorts Film Festival launch is huge success

Sunderland Shorts Banner

The Sunderland Shorts Film Festival launch took place at the University of Sunderland's David Puttnam Media Centre over Friday and Saturday 9 and 10 January with a hugely enthusiastic audience who will no doubt be looking forward to the main festival in July.

The festival is part of a number of cultural initiatives that Sunderland have undertaken with Washington, D.C. under its Friendship Agreement. This special relationship is due to its historical connection to the American capital with Washington in Sunderland being the ancestral home of the family of George Washington first President of the United States.

The Sunderland Shorts Film Festival will work with DC Shorts, a festival and organisation based in Washington, D.C. that supports and provides opportunities to film makers at every level.

DC Shorts was created in 2003 by Washington DC based film maker Jon Gann and from that beginning has gone from strength to strength. In 2014 the festival showed an incredible 135 films, from 25 countries over a period of 11 days at various locations in and around Washington, D.C.

At the launch Jon Gann introduced the audience to two programmes of shorts that included; comedy, drama, documentary, romance and much else besides. The films included both live action and animation and were from a whole host of countries.

At the end of each programme the audience took part in a lively Q & A with directors from the films. At the Friday showing both Devon Avery and Scott Calonica proved to be erudite and intelligent speakers letting the audience into the workings of short film making with their insights of the industry.

Devon Avery, originally from London, is currently based in Los Angeles. His film 'One-Minute Time Machine' is a clever comedy about a slightly nerdy scientist who tries to impress and win over a very attractive woman with his invention of a time machine. The film is scripted very well, has high production values and a somewhat dark twist, on top of all that the film also features TV stars Brian Dietzen (from NCIS) and Erinn Hayes (from Children's Hospital) and is both a festival favourite and winner of numerous awards.

Scott Calonica, a film director based in California explained to the audience that his film was based on a phone conversation, or should we say rant, by President John F Kennedy to the top brass of the U.S. Airforce about a leak to the press about the cost of a hospital room at an airforce base prepared for Jackie Kennedy, who was eight months pregnant at the time. The press report included a photo of smiling airforce man Ernest Carlton standing by the bed. Ernest Carlton was the 'Silly Bastard Next to the Bed' which was the phrase used by the President and is the title of this award winning documentary.

While both 'One-Minute Time Machine' and 'Silly Bastard Next to the Bed' may well have been festival launch favourites there were plenty of other films on show that the audience loved including the beautifully drawn animation 'My Milk Cup Cow' by Yantong Zhu, the clever and very well acted 'Verbatim' by Brett Weiner and the tense drama 'Business as Usual' by Lenn Kudrjawizki, to name just a few.

While the Sunderland Shorts Film festival in July will bring some of the best international short films to Sunderland it will also be an opportunity for film makers from Sunderland and the rest of the North East to find an audience for their work.

Whether you are a local film maker or someone who just loves film Sunderland in July will be the place to be when the Sunderland Short Film Festival lands in the North East.

Find out more about Sunderland Shorts Film Festival.

Share this

Did you know?

2013 marked 21 years since Sunderland city status from HM The Queen, on 23rd March 1992.


RT : Join us for the preview of Kelly Richardson: Pillars of Dawn at Seaton Delaval Hall this Bank Holiday Monday 28 May… 21 hours 7 min ago
RT : Details of the Friday night draw, as we mark 30 years of the flight display 22 hours 25 min ago
RT : Next week is - why not bring the kids to our creative art workshop🎨📿on Wed May 30? Have a go at making je… 22 hours 42 min ago
Can’t wait to see these guys on 27 and 28 July! 1 day 12 hours ago
If you haven't already visited this captivating and breathtaking exhibition , get there soon! It ends 10… 1 day 17 hours ago
Let's help to get our already fabulous sea front 'ship shape' for the 1 day 17 hours ago
RT : There is still spaces available for volunteers to get involved in this exciting project. Help turn the new Northern… 1 day 17 hours ago
RT : We're getting super excited for ! We're working with who are running two workshops where… 1 day 17 hours ago
Who doesn't love top notch jokes! We certainly do so that's our Friday evening all sorted then! 1 day 19 hours ago
RT : Check out our non-fiction collection on ! We have sporting memoirs, music, politics, true crime and more!… 1 day 19 hours ago
What a fabulous opportunity to work in such a fascinating historical building! 2 days 28 min ago
RT : Wonderful “ship sails” made in a variety of media by The Art Studio members in preparation for . 2 days 1 hour ago
RT : Coursework deadlines? Upcoming pub quiz? Or do you just want a bit more info than your go-to search engine can prov… 2 days 1 hour ago
RT : At this Thursday's Rainforest Rascals playgroup we're reading from the picture book 'Monkey Found a Baby'. Songs, s… 2 days 1 hour ago
There are so many great places to visit and amazing things to see and do in our fabulous this bank holi… 2 days 20 hours ago


Download the See it Do it app

Sign up to our newsletter