Mackem movie makers needed for Sunderland’s first film festival

'REEL' FILM CHANCE: Jon Gann, programming director of the DC Shorts Film Festival.
'REEL' FILM CHANCE: Jon Gann, programming director of the DC Shorts Film Festival.
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SUNDERLAND’S first film festival needs you.

The hunt is on for Mackem movie makers to submit their work, with a view to it being screened at home ... and in America.

The inaugural Sunderland Shorts Film Festival is now open for submissions after a launch last month at Sunderland University.

Created in collaboration with the prestigious DC Shorts Film Festival in Washington, USA, the festival will be held at various venues across the city between July 2 and 5 – bringing together film-makers from across the globe to celebrate the very best in short films.

After being reviewed by panels of volunteer film enthusiasts and professionals, about 60 films will be selected by the festival’s programming team, to be screened during the course of the event.

Awards will also be presented to winners of various categories, including Audience Choice and Critics’ Choice.

Jon Gann, programming director of the DC Shorts Film Festival, said: “I have been working with the programming team to develop a method for evaluating submissions based on strength of story, production values and relevance to the audience.

“I am confident that the team of volunteer reviewers and programmers will have a large number of films from which to choose the final selections, and that the films will be enjoyed by the community at large.”

However, the films chosen won’t just be seen on Wearside.

A selection of the films chosen to be programmed will also be screened across the pond at the 2015 DC Shorts festival, giving local film-makers the opportunity to showcase their creations to international audiences and markets.

Rebecca Burdon, festival manager, Sunderland Shorts Film Festival, said: “The Sunderland Shorts Film Festival is an opportunity for film-makers to have their work screened in front of enthusiastic audiences in venues that aren’t your average cinema.

“We’re all about celebrating film-making talent and connecting creative people. Our connection with Washington DC, and its successful DC Shorts Film Festival, means that our stand-out submissions from the festival will also be seen by audiences across the pond.”

l Submissions close on April 3. If you’re interested in submitting a film, joining the panel of reviewers, or volunteering during the festival, visit