We’re a long time supporter of the BIFAs, and keen cheerleaders of their desire to celebrate the best in new British cinema. The annual awards ceremony is often our favourite night of the year, and we’ve conducted dozens of red carpet interviews over the years. Today we can exclusively reveal the long list for the BIFA Best British Short Film award, supported by BFI NETWORK.

The 12 films featured on the long list were chosen from a record 210 short film submissions to this year’s British Independent Film Awards, and showcase outstanding work from some of Britain’s most exciting emerging film voices:


1745 (dir. Gordon Napier)

Blue Christmas (dir. Charlotte Wells)

Cracked Screen(dir. Trim Lamba)

Diagnosis (dir. Eva Riley)

Edith (dir. Christian Cooke)

The Entertainer (dir. Jonathan Schey)

Fish Story (dir. Charlie Lyne)

La Madre Buena (dir. Sarah Clift)

Tickle Monster (dir. Remi Weekes)

Vibration (dir. Jo Bareun)

Work (dir. Aneil Karia)

Wren Boys (dir. Harry Lighton)

The BIFA Best British Short Film award is supported by BFI NETWORK, a UK-wide partnership of film agencies which supports new and emerging filmmakers. Every year, the partnership invests around £2.5 million of National Lottery funding in new and emerging filmmakers, helping develop and produce over 300 shorts and 60 first features.

The five nominees will be revealed on Wednesday, the 1st of November, and the winner will be announced at the BIFA ceremony on Sunday, the 10th of December.

Discover more about the films on the long list below.


Director: Gordon Napier

Emma and Rebecca Atkin are slaves, running into the Scottish highland wilderness to escape their owner, Master Andrews. They disagree on whether to carry on or fall back; but with Andrews in close pursuit, their union and survival is under threat.

Created by writer Morayo Akandé and developed with her sister Moyo, this challenging short won a place on the 2016 Scottish Film Talents Shorts scheme and was part-funded through a popular IndieGogo campaign. The film screened at Edinburgh Film Festival and the BFI London Film Festival this year.

Blue Christmas

Director: Charlotte Wells

On Christmas Eve, 1968, in a Scottish coastal town, a debt collector goes to work to avoid confronting his wife’s worsening psychosis at home.

Charlotte Wells is a Scottish writer/director and 2017 graduate of the MBA/MFA program at NYU. Her previous short films screened at Sundance, SXSW and Glasgow Short Film Festival, and she is currently writing her feature debut.

Cracked Screen

Director: Trim Lamba

Cracked Screen is a bold new vision of the social media world: a young woman continues to self-broadcast as she endures a horrific attack.

Filmmaker Trim Lamba developed Cracked Screen over several months with his star and co-writer Chantelle Levene. They have employed a democratic method to open up discussions about access to film and what we choose to capture.


Director: Eva Riley


Sally seems to be a normal young woman. However, her secretive evening job – acting in medical role-play situations for trainee doctors – forces her to face up to feelings she thought she had under control.

Filmed on location in north London, Diagnosis is the work of NFTS graduate Eva Riley. The film stars Charlotte Spencer, a 2015 Screen International Star of Tomorrow. Riley’s previous short, Patriot, was nominated for Best Short Film at Cannes 2015.


Director: Christian Cooke

Edith explores the cruel inevitabilities of old age, and the methods we use to make peace with our past.

Starring Peter Mullan & Michelle Fairley, it is the debut film or director Christian Cooke and was written by novelist Ray Robinson. Yorkshire-born Cooke is best known for his acting roles in Cemetery Junction and Romeo & Juliet.

The Entertainer

Director: Jonathan Schey

Paul Limp (Toby Young) drives up and down the county in a cheap tuxedo entertaining at parties. Tonight, it’s Charlotte’s Bat Mitzvah – and it’s set to be the best night of her life. Until Paul starts drinking.

Jonathan Schey’s short films, including I Want to be Happy Cha Cha Cha and Toby, have screened at major film festivals around the world including Brest European Film Court and Berlin British Shorts.

Fish Story

Director: Charlie Lyne

Fish StorySometime in the 1980s, Caspar Salmon’s grandmother was invited to a gathering on the Welsh island of Anglesey, attended exclusively by people with fish surnames. Or so he says. Thirty years later, filmmaker Charlie Lyne attempts to sort myth from reality as he searches for the truth behind this fishy tale.

Charlie’s feature-length essay films, Beyond Clueless and Fear Itself, have screened at festivals worldwide as well as on Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Charlie is also a critic and writer for the Guardian, Vice and Sight & Sound, amongst others.

La Madre Buena

Director: Sarah Clift

A Mexican mother embarks upon an epic journey across land and through politics to find her son’s birthday request – a Donald Trump piñata.

La Madre Buena is the debut short from Sarah Clift, who has worked in commercial media as a Creative Director in London and Paris for 18 years. The film has been featured in The New York Times, Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post and the BBC.

Tickle Monster

Director: Remi Weekes

Natalie is having a quiet night in with her boyfriend, aspiring grime artist Elliott. When she learns that he is ticklish, things get bad. And then they get worse.

Tickle Monster is the first narrative film from experimental filmmaker Remi Weekes, whose work has been shown at numerous festivals and galleries including the Guggenheim Museum. It was made with the support of Film4 and shown in Channel4’s Fright Bites programme.


Director: Jo Bareun

Mr Wang, a Chinese man living in the UK, finds a sex toy under the bed of his dead wife.

Short film director Jo Bareun’s previous films have been screened at festivals in the USA, Italy and his native South Korea. Vibration is supported by the BFI’s London Calling scheme.


Director: Aneil Karia

WorkJess is an eighteen-year-old from London balancing her responsibilities as a daughter with her ambitions of a career in dance. When she is confronted with just how cold and unjust life can be during a bus journey to work, her perspective of the world around her begins to shift.

Aneil Karia’s previous short film, Beat, starred Ben Whishaw and screened at over 50 festivals worldwide. He directed the countdown to the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony and is a previous Screen International Star of Tomorrow.

Wren Boys

Director: Harry Lighton

Wren Boys


On the day after Christmas, Father Conor and his nephew drive to prison to visit an inmate.

Harry Lighton is a London-based writer and director. Wren Boys was nominated for Best Short Film at the BFI London Film Festival 2017, and won the 2017 Film London Jury Award.


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