Best of the Postroom 2016

We round up 2016 with 12 of our favorite Postroom script and short film submissions.

21 December 2016
By Dionne Farrell
Dionne spent two years working in factual programming on a variety of projects, before joining the BFI as a trainee Script Editor.

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Invisible Barriers (Mustashrik Mahbub)
Swara Kadir and Jeremy Ogunleye - 21st Century Dating [Short film]
 
Tinder is now part and parcel of the millennial’s experience, and this clip from an up-and-coming new web series perfectly captures the awkwardness of this relatively new phenomena, with great one liners (who doesn’t want the back and forth of Richard and Judy) and brilliant attention to detail.
 
 
Bio: After graduating from their respective studies of English Literature at Oxford University and New College of the Humanities, Jeremy Ojo and Swara Kadir came together last year to begin work on Shoestring, a new web series following a musician who brings together a group of young creatives to make a music video. 21st Century Dating is a clip from the pilot, and they are currently working on more shorts based around the character from this series. 
 
Jeremy also dabbles in acting, having previously worked on a short about the effects of Brexit, whilst Swara is working on a documentary about the prevalence of chicken shops in London. 
 
 
Stuart John Stafford – Wilderness [Short film]
 
Wilderness instantly impressed us with its unusual and unexpected narrative, atmospheric animation and blend of genres, which transports us into a fantastical and unsettling world. 
 
 
Bio: Stuart is an animator and writer dwelling in the London suburbs. He believes that there should always be something people can take from his work; a thought or an idea.
 
Along with the team behind Wilderness, he is currently working on his next animated short, Talking With, a political satire set in the midst of a political scandal. 
 
 
Drew Marke - The Unseen [Script]
 
Drew’s psychological horror, The Unseen, is a great example of genre writing, concerning a troubled single mother and her mysterious house guest as they are forced to deal with a supernatural power. This slow burn feature is packed with deftly handled genre beats,  convincing characters and a layered narrative that grips throughout. 
 
Bio: Drew is an award-winning writer/director who has been selected for Cascade Pictures Writers' Couch; has taken part in the prestigious Channel Four Screenwriting Course, and recently took part in the BBC Doctors shadow scheme. 
 
She has created videos for the likes of TFL, the British Equestrian Federation and the charity Lantra, and also created, directed and produced an online cooking show, for which The Big Lunch were a promotional partner. She is currently submitting her sci-fi short film LOVE ROBOT into festivals, and plans to direct a psychological horror feature. 
 
Drew is represented by Emily Hayward-Whitlock at The Artists Partnership in the UK and managers Jay Glazer & Jenny Wood at Elevate Entertainment in Los Angeles.
 
Mustashrik Mahbub - Invisible Barriers [Short film]
 
In 2016, we more than needed the message that lies in Mustashrik’s inspiring film, Invisible Barriers. Beyond the import of it’s message, is the beauty and skill of the animation, which wonderfully encapsulates the energy and feeling of the piece. 
 
 
Bio:
Mustashrik cut his teeth as a Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Concept Artist, Character Designer, and Animation Director, working with the international media-markets top production companies and advertising agencies, before launching his career as an award winning solo Director. Since then, he has directed for clients including Louis Vuitton, Chloe, NOS Energy and Michael Kors, and has been featured in Shots Magazine, Art Review, D&AD and Bloomsberg News for his creative work. 
 
His animations have been nominated at various international film festivals, and Invisible Barriers won a Bronze Award for Best International Animation at Kinsale 2016, within the International Film Craft category for Cinema, TV and Online.
 
He is now currently developing several original stories for film and TV, and has recently wrapped on an anti-domestic violence animated short. 
 
 
Ben Stevenson - Deliveries Before Dawn [Short film]
 
Refreshing like a pint of milk, Deliveries Before Dawn imbues the vampire trope with new life through a brilliantly witty script and subtle, assured direction. 
 

 

Bio: Award winning director Ben Stevenson studied filmmaking and design at Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art. He has directed films for clients including Mulberry, Naim Audio and Ballymore, and his latest film, Deliveries Before Dawn for Parker Dairies, won a Kinsale Shark and a British Arrow in 2016. 
 
Ben’s films have been screened at Cannes, the British Museum and the BFI. His latest short documentary, The Third Column, is now screening at festivals internationally. He is currently developing a slate of short and feature dramas. 
 
 
Kiran Benawra – Roots [Script]
 
The Sandhu-Dhillon family are close knit, but they also have their secrets, and from the very first page, I loved delving into these. The characters are genuine, and genuinely hilarious, the situation is fraught with recognisable drama, and it was a joy to read. I want to see this come to life!
 
Bio: Kiran is currently a Junior Researcher at Mighty Productions, an independent television company, and also a freelance editor and reviewer for family arts magazine, Curious Mum. In 2014 she was shortlisted for the BBC’s ‘What’s Funny’ competition, and her Edinburgh Fringe Festival play ‘Mates’ received a writing commendation from the National Student Drama Festival. 
 
Earlier this year ‘Roots’ was shortlisted for the Red Planet Prize, and more recently, Kiran completed the Soho Theatre Young Company Stand Up comedy course. Her short film, ‘We Need to Get to the Moon’ - a winner of the Northern Film Competition - will be released in the New Year.  
 
 
Ben Reed - Heavy Feet [Short film]
 
This wonderfully strange and dreamy music video follows the adventures of the Llandow Visually Impaired Harriers, and proves to be uplifting and moving in equal measure. 
 

 

Bio: Ben Reed is a Welsh director living in London. Over the last six years he has directed music videos for a wide variety of artists including Blur, George Ezra and Michael Kiwanuka. He is currently writing several short fiction films to be shot next year.
 
 
Brendan Cleaves - Sam and Doug [Script]
 
Anchored by complex and sympathetic characters, Sam and Doug follows two unlikely heroes during a zombie apocalypse, as they fight for survival. Cleaves’ script is taut with tension from the get go, economically establishing empathetic characters, and a very real and visceral world.  
 
Bio: Brendan is an award-winning British writer and director, who returned to England to concentrate his skills on a variety of film projects, after shooting local programming and live music in Hawaii. 
In 2016, he won 'Best UK Screenplay' for his script Building Bricks at the London Independent Film Festival, whilst his short film script Sam and Doug made the quarter final of the Bluecat Screenplay Competition.
 
Currently, Brendan’s short film Roger - starring John Bradley (Game Of Thrones) and Seann Walsh (Big Bad World) - is on the world festival circuit, and he is working on a number of short and long form projects. 
 
 
Yemi Bamiro - Vogue Nights [Short film]
 
We love the energy of Yemi’s film, which captures the colour and charisma of its participants, as well as the value of voguing to black and LGBT communities in New York City. 
 
Bio: Yemi Bamiro is a writer and director who has worked in TV for over 12 years. Starting his career at MTV Networks Europe, Yemi produced and directed a number of short music films and documentaries. Yemi has since worked for the likes of Remedy Productions, Lemonade Money, VICE Media and Sky Sports F1, directing a number of shorts and longer form documentaries. His hour-long Channel 4 documentary, Life of Rhyme (Acme Productions / Lemonade Money) , was nominated for a Cultural Diversity Award, whilst Viceland’s Gaycation, for which he has directed, has been Emmy nominated. 
 
Currently, Yemi is working on his first feature length documentary, which looks at the phenomenon of Air Jordan sneakers.
 
 
Christopher Gilbert – Borderland [Script]
 
Centring around a man who becomes paranoid that his neighbour plans to sabotage his leylandii hedge, this ambitious and absurd short is satisfyingly ambiguous, with rich characters that feel very plausible despite their ridiculous behaviour.  
 
Bio: Christopher has worked in the camera and post-production departments on a variety of projects, from corporate videos to television programming for companies such as the BBC and Sky. He also works on personal projects and, in the future, hopes to make the move into fiction production.
 
 
Peter King - Crack [Short film]
 
Everything about this mockumentary makes me laugh, from the double entendre title, to the conker nostalgia felt whilst watching it. Intelligent and hilarious idea with great performances, dialogue and direction.
 
 
Bio: Peter is a BIFA nominated director, originating from County Durham in the North East of England. He’s been directing for over ten years, and has made a number of shorts that have had international festival success. He also directs commercials for Outsider, with a diverse body of work that includes films for Philips, The Army, The Department for Education and Currys PC World to name a few. He is currently in pre production on his next short and developing a feature film on the same subject.
 
 
Freddie Van Der Velde – Watch [Script]
 
After witnessing a suicide in one of the Storage Lockers, George begins to uncover a malignant force which threatens to unravel his already troubled mind. This character driven feature serves as an effective PTSD story with strong horror elements, balancing a number of complex themes and ideas with sensitivity and conviction. 
 
Bio: Freddie Van Der Velde is a graduate of the London Film School's Screenwriting MA. This year he’s had short plays performed at the Arcola Theatre and Park Theatre in London, and a short film screened at the Derby Film Festival. A further draft of "Watch," now entitled "Don't Just Watch," was longlisted for the Screencraft Horror Screenplay competition. 
 
Alongside his stage and screenwriting, Freddie also works as a book reader for Mammoth Screen, and is part of the Brighton Theatre Royal's young writers group. He is currently working with other young filmmakers on several short film projects, helping to develop a documentary on the Rough Trade record shop in Shoreditch. He is also in the early stages of development on a comedy horror miniseries.