BIFA, Best British Short Film 2017

We partnered with BIFA on their Best British Short Film award, find out more about the teams nominated below.

8 December 2017

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Work (2017), Aneil Karia
With Sunday's ceremony right around the corner we are more excited than usual about the BIFA’s this year. We are thrilled to see so many NETWORK supported filmmakers nominated, and are particularly looking forward to the ceremony because we’ve partnered with BIFA on their shorts award. We've been hugely inspired by the sheer excellence of the both the longlisted and shortlisted films, and hosted a breakfast here at BFI to catch up with all the filmmakers before the five nominations were revealed back in November (see the full list of BIFA nominations here if you haven’t already). It's been really exciting for us getting to know the brilliant teams behind all the shorts listed below, if you'd like to find out more about the projects and the filmmakers then scroll down or watch the trailer here:


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.
Director: Gordon Napier  /  Writer: Morayo Akandé  /  Producer: John McKay
Originally from the Highlands of Scotland, Gordon Napier has an MFA in Film Directing from The University of Edinburgh, where he won the highly coveted UK Prince William BAFTA & Warner Bros. Film Scholarship for his work. He has varied experience in the film industry, from working in non-creative roles on big productions like Harry Potter, 007: Skyfall and The Avengers through to directing intimate documentaries in the Mongolian Gobi Desert and directing narrative short films in Scotland. He was recently nominated for a BAFTA Scotland award and is currently seeking a producer to develop his first feature film TRAWLER.
A passionate lover of film, Morayo Akandé worked in a local video store (when they still existed) studying every film in the inventory. She started out as an actor before writing 1745, her debut short film, and also has ambitions to direct. Morayo is developing a feature film based on 1745, supported by Creative Scotland, and working on another short, which she will direct as a lead up to making her debut feature film - psychological thriller Amity.

Fish Story

Sometime 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.
Director/Writer: Charlie Lyne  /  Producer: Catherine Bray & Anthony Ing
Charlie Lyne is London-based writer and filmmaker, best known for the feature-length essay films Beyond Clueless and Fear Itself, which screened on Netflix and BBC iPlayer respectively. Charlie is also the director of a number of shorts, and he challenged the rules of the BBFC via the ten-hour protest film Paint Drying. His work has screened at festivals including Sundance, SXSW and Rotterdam, and he has written as a critic for the Guardian, Sight & Sound and Vice.
three people standing shoulder to shoulder smiling for a photo

The Entertainer

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.
Writer/Director: Jonathan Schey  /  Producer: Jodie Brown & Anthony Lee 
Jonathan Schey is a writer/director who trained at the Royal Court’s Young Writers and Studio Group. His first short film, I Want to be Happy Cha Cha Cha, was picked as Film of the Month for Shooting People and is listed on IMDB’s ‘Top 100 Shorts’ page. His latest work is THE COACHES, a short for Sky Comedy, produced by Warp Films. He is currently in development on his first feature and two original projects for TV. He previously worked as a Development Executive for Independent Films, including on BIFA-winning titles We Need To Talk About Kevin, Starred Up and Metro Manila. 
two people talking and laughing


Jess 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.
Writer/Director: Aneil Karia  /  Producer: Scott O’Donnell
Aneil began his career directing music videos with artists such as Jonsi and Dizzee Rascal, as well as commercials for brands such as Coca Cola and Nintendo. He also directed elements of the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, including the countdown to the beginning of the games. His first short film - Beat, starring Ben Whishaw - screened at several major festivals worldwide, and in 2014 he was named as one of Screen International’s ‘Stars of Tomorrow’. His debut feature film Surge - which will also star Whishaw - is currently in development with BBC Films and BFI. He is just about to start work on Pure, a brand new drama for Channel 4.
a man smiling

Wren Boys

On the day after Christmas, Father Conor and his nephew drive to prison to visit an inmate.
Writers: Harry Lighton & John Fitzpatrick  /  Director: Harry Lighton  /  Producer: Sorcha Bacon
Harry Lighton is a writer/director from Portsmouth. His first short, SUNDAY MORNING COMING DOWN, was nominated for Best British Short at the U.K. Film Festival and the Iris Prize. In 2017 the BFI selected him as one of six emerging LGBT filmmakers, resulting in a year-long mentorship from Tom Harper. His films aim to explore contemporary issues in surprising and entertaining ways. For instance, his upcoming short Leash is a supernatural revenge thriller addressing post-Brexit xenophobia. He is developing his first feature with BBC Films.
John Fitzpatrick trained as an actor at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama and is a graduate of the Royal Court writers’ programme. His first full-length play for stage, This Much (or: An Act of Violence Towards the Institution of Marriage), was produced at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015, transferred to the Soho Theatre for a 2016 run and is being revived as part of the Manchester Fringe 2017. He was shortlisted for Channel 4 and Touchpaper TV’s ‘Coming Up’ scheme and his new play REARED will go into production in 2018 as part of Theatre 503’s spring season.
a man listening to someone speaking
To find out who the winner of this year’s Best British short will be this Sunday, follow BIFA on Twitter or Instagram
Also look out for exclusive live snapshots from the ceremony online