4th - 6th May 2017
The Place, Athanaeum St


We're excited to add details of our screenings in the coming days and weeks. These blockbusters might be bite-sized, but they’re Hollywood standard!

Each screening is around 90 minutes in length, but not all screenings have the same number of films.

All screenings contain a curated mixture of great drama, thought provoking documentaries, and laugh-out-loud comedy. There are some animated, experimental, and sci-fi films in the mix too.

Please note that some of this information may be subject to change as we finalise details. Our team and volunteers are working as quickly as we can to get you everything you need to know about this year’s festival.

Student Screen #1

Wednesday 2 May, The Peacock


DIRECTOR Carys Watford | 15 MINUTES, Comedy, UK

Theatreland takes a thoughtful and darkly humorous look at the lives of a group of actors forced for financial reasons to take jobs as ushers in a West End theatre while they wait for their dreams of becoming professional actors to take wing.


DIRECTOR Bernie Mooney | 7 MINUTES, Drama, UK

A naive burglar breaks into a house in North London where he discovers a feisty young woman is being held prisoner and he is himself trapped when the violent human trafficker responsible returns to the house.


DIRECTORS Paul Cooke & Dominic Rees-Roberts | 6 MINUTES, Sci-Fi, UK

In a near future where all antibiotics have failed, Tom and his young daughter, Amy, are quarantined in their home during a lethal pandemic. CATCH is about the love between a father and his daughter, and the lengths he will go to, to try to protect her.

The Ballad of Gloria Sedgwick

DIRECTOR Peter Riddihough | 3.5 MINUTES, Comedy, Canada

The short tale of a capricious heroine and curiosity that can’t quite be killed.


DIRECTOR Jonathan Shaw | 15 MINUTES, Drama, Ireland

On her 50th Wedding Anniversary a woman returns to the Hotel where she spent her Honeymoon. Will her estranged Husband return to honor a promise?

Till the End of The World

DIRECTOR Keishi Suenaga | 13.5 MINUTES, Sci-Fi, Japan

The Earth has been invaded by extraterrestrial biological entities that possess much more intelligence than humans. They send “Domes” to replace our lands with theirs. At this point, we have almost nothing to do with the “Domes” but run away from them and wait for the end of our world.


DIRECTOR Benjamin Bee | 13 MINUTES, Drama, UK

Daniel, an ultra orthodox Jew, hasn’t seen his identical twin brother Mordechai in years; Mordechai’s ‘life choices’ were a bit too much for the family to handle. But today is the day of their father’s funeral.

Screening 2

Friday 5th May - 17:00


A Fistful of Candy

DIRECTOR Ali Hughes | 7 MINUTES, Comedy, UK

Three cowboys must choose between greed and loyalty.


DIRECTOR Jalapathy Sri | 13 MINUTES, Drama, UK

When the kids grow up it’s time to relax and wane into those Golden years. To Many those years are something to be feared, set in an allotment the story of a man plagued by the future unfolds into a choice of Biblical Repercussion affecting the fabric of his family.


DIRECTOR Glen MacKay | 4.5 MINUTES, Art, Greece

A fashion film about the essence of an Olympic gymnast. An Olympic gymnast combines artistry and sport beyond any one else. She has strength, grace, balance, speed and courage.

The Breakdown

DIRECTOR Anthony James Faure | 5 MINUTES, Fantasy, France

A young author who can talk to his characters has to reveal to his hero his coming death.

The Lift

DIRECTORS Leyla Pope & Marlek Al-Habib | 7 MINUTES, Drama, UK

A chance encounter between two strangers in a lift is more than it appears to be.


DIRECTOR Guillaume Comtois | 10 MINUTES, Drama, Canada

Two sisters with nothing in common have only one night to come to terms with something that happened in their past.


DIRECTOR Jerry Auld | 6.5 MINUTES, Animation, Canada

An explorer looks back on her life to realize what she has always been searching for.

It's All About The Dots

DIRECTORS Carol Lynn & Michael Gardiner | 4.5 MINUTES, Documentary, UK

Ferank Manseed is obsessed with dots. Using the ancient method of hand poking tattoos with a needle and a stick, he creates works of art - depicting spiritual motifs, swastikas, and sacred geometry - made up of thousands of dots.


DIRECTOR Michael Urbanski | 13 MINUTES, Sci-Fi, USA

When a mysterious serum is delivered to her door, Claudia Fischer enlists the help of her scientist brother to determine its contents. The results bear a striking resemblance to the research he has been conducting for the past decade. What they ultimately decide to do with it may significantly change the future of the world.

Screening 3

Friday 5th May - 19:00


Two Evacuees

DIRECTOR Nicola Dove | 9.5 MINUTES, Drama, UK

A tale of treachery and tenderness as two girls tussle between friend and foe. Set against the backdrop of World War II, a friendship develops between two ten-year old girls walking home from school, as they prepare for evacuation and imagine what might be in store for them.

One Under

DIRECTOR Ruth Pickett | 10.5 MINUTES, Comedy, UK

David is stuck - doing a job he hates, living in a tiny Derbyshire backwater, bullied by his boss and his eccentric grandmother and being cheated on by his girlfriend. And when he finally tries to stand up for himself and become a hero - things don’t quite go to plan.


DIRECTORS Erik Ivar Sæther & Nicolai Berg Hansson | 11.5 MINUTES, Comedy, Norway

Family man Jens realises he isn’t happy and tries to choose a suitable time to spill the beans, in this black comedy with a taste of salty duck breast.

Heather’s Painting

DIRECTOR Freddie Connor | 15 MINUTES, Drama, USA

The story follows the breakdown of a family after losing their 14 year-old daughter, Heather, to stage 4 Leukemia. It’s a bitter and tempestuous journey as the marriage crumbles in the process of grief. Heather leaves them a secret message to help them through their turmoil.

The Slow Lane

DIRECTOR Fin McMorran | 4 MINUTES, Animation, UK

The open road. The wide landscape. A fallen tree. A tiny road-movie about a tiny community.

Unattended Item

DIRECTOR Filippos Vokotopoulos | 13 MINUTES, Drama, UK

Andy is in debt and mourning. Pressure goes up when a loan shark wants a share of his vintage shop. The moment he decides to take vigilante action, things get ridiculously out of hand.

Penny & Paul

DIRECTOR Brian Rawlins | 12.5 MINUTES, Drama, USA

Somewhere in the Mojave desert, a wayward young woman en route to a new life with a guy she just met in Vegas discovers that her new fellow isn’t quite the man she thought he was.

Mismatched Eyes

DIRECTOR Nathaniel Hill | 10.5 MINUTES, Drama, UK

Mrs. S goes about her days casually stealing fabrics and buttons for her craft bears. So when Claire comes barging in to her life full of ideas that would shake things up, Mrs. S keeps her distance. Until Toby the bear turns the problem into an opportunity.

Screening 4

Friday 5th May - 21:00


Rhonna & Donna

DIRECTOR Daina O.Pusic | 15 MINUTES, Comedy, UK

How are you supposed to act when you are conjoined at the hip?


DIRECTOR James Cookson | 19.5 MINUTES, Horror, UK

Dylan’s nightmares are becoming more real. He’s got to get away or he might not wake up. Jenny is all he lives for and he’ll do anything for them to escape.


DIRECTOR Sam Peter Jackson | 3 MINUTES, Comedy, UK

When Pip and Lydia make it to the final round of a popular game show, their luck and maybe their relationship hang by the thread of a single question.


DIRECTOR David Hamilton | 12 MINUTES, Drama, UK

Set in 1918, following the end of the First World War, a young soldier returns to his rural home in County Durham to learn of his father’s death in the time he was away. He struggles to deal with regaining control of their farm while dealing with the trauma of war; refusing to join in the celebrations going on in the local town even with the continued efforts of his recently re-united best pal and pit miner boy Oliver.

And So Do I

DIRECTOR Jana G. Younes | 13 MINUTES, Drama, Lebanon

A man lost his wife while she was giving birth to his little girl. The trauma, even after 10 years, still causes him hallucinations. In his own bubble, he imagines his wife is still with him.


DIRECTOR Will Stewart | 5.5 MINUTES, Documentary, UK

Gary grew up in Bearpark Co Durham, badly afftected by the miners’ strikes of the 1980s and 90s. With little education at a time of severe austerity, he took to petty crime to stay warm and fed, which escalated into a full-time life of crime and two prison sentences. Having learned to read and write in prison, Gary has forged a respected and influential position in his hometown to discourage young people from taking the path he chose.


DIRECTOR Manan Singh Katohora | 13 Minutes, Comedy, USA

After dealing with a series of extreme characters during a speed-dating event for senior citizens, an elderly woman meets a charming, exotic gentleman.

Screening 5

Saturday 6th May - 13:30


The Driving Seat

DIRECTOR Phil Lowe | 9 MINUTES, Comedy, UK

One Saturday morning, a middle aged couple decide to make love in their car in the driveway to put a spark back in their marriage – only to find it has rather the opposite effect.

21st Century Hermit

DIRECTOR Neil Hall | 3 MINUTES, Documentary, UK

Sister Rachel Denton has vowed to spend the rest of her life as a consecrated hermit in the Catholic faith. Rarely leaving her house, she live a life of prayer and solitude, using the internet and social media to share her experience, while retaining her physical isolation.

Some Other Dawns

DIRECTOR Florian Poupelin | 16 MINUTES, Drama, Switzerland

One night, between dreams and anxieties, two young ones fight against boredom. One night, stuck in a city they know far too well, Isis and Thomas are getting bored. They are young and the future seems already too bland. Especially for Isis who, caught between her anxieties and her dreams, tries to believe in better tomorrows, in some other dawns, more luminous ones.

Four Day Weekend

DIRECTOR Nicole Jones | 20 MINUTES, Comedy, USA

Four Day WeekendA middle-aged couple, married for twenty-three years, takes a four-day break from each other and the aftermath leaves their relationship shaken and tested but not broken.


DIRECTORS Jody Oberfelder & Eric Siegel | 1.5 MINUTES, Dance, USA

There is time to connect the dots.


DIRECTORS Alexander Challies & Samuel Dickinson | 16.5 MINUTES, Fantasy, UK

Following the unexpected and tragic death of her mother, a young girl, Lily attempts to fight against her oppressive home life by delving deep into a self-created fantasy.


DIRECTOR Nicolai Tegeler | 3 Minutes, Comedy, Germany

A man apparently on his deathbed reminisces with his wife about some of the major events in their life together.


DIRECTOR Brendan Cleaves | 7.5 Minutes, Comedy, UK

Stephen (Seann Walsh) arrives home after six months in Mongolia to discover his best friend Roy (John Bradley) has replaced him with a ventriloquist’s dummy called Roger.

Screening 6

Saturday 6th May - 15:30


Golden Boys

DIRECTOR Jill Riley | 8 MINUTES, Drama, Canada

Golden Boys tells the story of three friends who end up on an unexpected bender and break back into their old private school in an effort to recapture their adolescence. But, their crazy, carefree night begins to sour when troubling memories come back to haunt them and they are forced to contemplate the true consequences of having been the big men on campus.


DIRECTOR Evy Barry | 8 MINUTES, Drama, UK

On a rare visit home, a war reporting photojournalist risks her relationship with her older sister when she tries to capture their ailing mother on camera for what could be the last time.

Right as Rain

DIRECTOR Sylvia Zhang | 7.5 MINUTES, Dance, Canada

A retired ballet dancer, Meredith, and Brenda, a retired tap dancer, admire an abandoned umbrella, unbeknownst to each other. Formerly unacquainted, the paths of the two women collide once they realize the umbrella’s unique beauty. A rainy day in a café sets their latest stage, as their fight symbolizes something much more personal.

Some Will Forget

DIRECTOR Ruth Grimberg | 15 MINUTES, Documentary, UK

Hatfield Colliery in the North of England, one of England’s last working coal mines, now faces closure, while cheap imported coal floods the market. The village annually commemorates the Miners Strike of 30 years ago and Les Moore, a striking miner, joins the fight to preserve the memory of the men who worked down the pit.

Choose Me

DIRECTOR Carlos Muñoz | 10 MINUTES, Drama, UK

A young couple flees from the chaos and the monotony of the big city to spend a few days together in a country house. What appears to be an idyllic getaway ends when he honestly tells her how he feels. She, completely shocked, will try to find the truth that was hidden behind her love for a long time.

On The Edge

DIRECTOR Martin Freeth & Hellen Kirby | 15 MINUTES, Drama, UK

A young man walks towards the edge of a cliff... Is he thinking of suicide? A young woman approaches him and it turns out she has a very personal connection with the place. Can she persuade him not to jump? ‘On The Edge’ explores key issues in the way the media covers depression and mental illness and asks what we can all do to help in the face of a suicide epidemic.

La Belle Folie

DIRECTOR Ruth Pickett | 14 Minutes, Comedy, UK

A comedy about a desperate actress who attempts to make a black-and-white French language film, in order to convince her agent that she’s good enough at French to put her up for an audition. She ropes in her dad, her best friend, and her dad’s friend Mr Harris. It doesn’t go well

Screening 7

Saturday 6th May - 17:30



DIRECTOR C.D Cronin | 10.5 MINUTES, Drama, UK

A small takeaway becomes a battleground of egos when manager Amar, is forced employ the owner’s nephew, Jay. The clash of personalities culminates in an explosive shouting match. As they reveal their differences and reconcile, they realise they have more in common than they initially thought.


DIRECTOR Ryan LaPine | 9 MINUTES, Experime tal, UK

A homeless man is having another difficult day, and tries to find comfort with a few domestic objects. An encounter with a policeman looks set to make things worse, but leads to an unexpected emotional connection.

Door to Door

DIRECTOR Peter Banks | 5.5 MINUTES, Comedy, UK

Four deplorable door to door charity fundraisers are asked the question, "Why do you do the job?". Their ridiculous answers, as well as their even more ridiculous behaviour, show us how deluded they really are.


DIRECTOR Christopher Carson Emmons | 14 MINUTES, Drama, UK

An alcoholic struggles to get through the day in a surreal and frightening world where his inner demons appear real. Haunted by his worst fears, his sanity starts to slip, as does what little control he has left over his addiction.

Bryan Zanisnik And Eric Winkler's Animated Conversation

DIRECTORS Rafael Salazar & Ava Wiland | 9.5 MINUTES, Animation, USA

Performer Bryan Zanisnik shares outlandish stories of his life as an artist with cartoonist Eric Winkler who turns them into comics. “After years of friendship, I know that he’s going to tell me crazy stories”, says Winkler “and I’m going to have to say: So which part was really true?”

This Land Alone

DIRECTOR Liam Saint-Pierre | 8 MINUTES, Drama, UK

Set in the North West of England against a backdrop of rising immigration fears, Meg, a woman struggling with the loss of her son, encounters a young Romanian man hiding in her allotment shed. Despite the initial shock, a connection slowly forms as she realises he is also some mother’s son.

Ten Grand Even

DIRECTORS Gilad Deutsch & Paz Davidovich | 17.5 MINUTES, Comedy, Israel

Two thieves and their manipulative get-away driver plan a major robbery. But who will get away with the money?


DIRECTOR Emil Sallinen | 9 MINUTES, Sci-Fi, Finland

Maryam, a rebel leader in an archaic world governed by ruthless religion, is set to prove that the god hovering in the sky is a lie. But she is stopped by a holy warrior that turns out to be her lost father. Soon their lives change as they are about to find out a secret only a god can keep.

DC Shorts 2016 Award Winners

Saturday 6th May - 19:30



8 MINUTES, Documentary, USA

The "DC Downhill Club" are a group of skateboarders from the Washington, DC area have made it their mission to seek out backyard pools to drain and skate - making unique friendships along the way.


17 MINUTES, Drama, UK

In a neighbourhood rife with racial tension, a local girl falls for a recent arrival who is the victim of prejudice and shame.

Good Cop, Good Cop

5 MINUTES, Comedy, USA

Officer Lane is a dedicated but no so bright police officer who just can't seem to understand the concept of good cop bad cop.


15 MINUTES, Documentary, USA

As a child, Patrick Humphrey had no idea his father was a spy. How much can we really know someone through the stories we inherit?


7 MINUTES, Comedy, USA

A woman bribes her son with ice cream for information... If only he'll just point out the right house.

The Orchestra

15 MINUTES, Animation, Australia

In a world filled with beautiful music, Vernon always seems to strike the wrong note.


19 MINUTES, Comedy, USA

Maggie must find the courage to own up to her behaviour when she wakes to find every adult has received a YELP-like star rating floating over their head.

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Sunderland Shorts is presented by

  • Sunderland City Council
  • DC Shorts
  • Bureau
  • Music Arts and Culture Trust
  • FilmFreeway