Sunderland Shorts Film Festival 2023

After 7 days and over 160 shorts films and music videos Sunderland Shorts Film Festival 2023 is at an end, but what a year it has been!

2023 was our biggest and most ambitious year yet, and while it wasn’t without its challenges from venue closures and the effects of Storm Babet, it brought some of the biggest highlights of the whole Festival we have had since we launched back in 2015.

We opened this year with a phenomenal selection of films at Seventeen Nineteen from our friends at the Yorkshire and North East Film Archives followed by a conversation from Emma Nagouse (BBC Radio 4’s You’re Dead to Me) and Graeme Thompson MBE (Royal Television Society) chaired by Graham Relton. The week continued with over 20 screenings at a tour of local venues including the Fire Station, Arts Centre Washington and a sold out closing night at Pop Recs. As well as our genre focused screenings, this included a special showcase from local production company Candle and Bell in celebration of their 10th anniversary and recent collaboration with Sky Arts, a collaboration with the BFI Academy, Film Hub North’s Northern Exposure, a comedy night with fantastic stand-up from Felt Nowt and a live performance from YMP at our Music Video showcase. For the first time we also held a relaxed screening run in collaboration with Beacon Films CIC where we shared some of their new work alongside a selection from OSKA Bright Film Festival.

In addition to our biggest selection of screenings yet, we had several networking events and industry workshops, including on Film Festivals and Mental Health with Rebekah Louisa Smith and a Screenwriting Masterclass from Len Collin (Eastenders, The Bill, Sanctuary), with this we were happy to welcome our highest ever audience numbers across the week!

This year Sunderland Shorts received BIFA (British Independent Film Awards) Qualifying Status as well as entering the Top 100 Best Reviewed Festival on industry site FilmFreeway, these are huge honours for us and it really means a lot being recognised for our work in sharing the best films here in the North East.

Along with our dedicated volunteers who make the festival such a success every year, we were also joined by guest judges Mina Anwar (Actor & Director), Len Collin (Writer & Director), Samantha Castro (Filmmaker & Founder of the Newcastle Film Club), Frankie Francis (Musician & Presenter), Gavin Williams (Writer & Director), Carol Lynn (Filmmaker & Lecturer) and Andy Dawson (Writer & Podcaster), who we were delighted to have with us in helping pick our winning films. You can see which films were chosen as our 2023 winners at:

We’re excited to continue bringing exciting screen opportunities to the region along with Film Hub North as part of the Sunderland Spotlight project and as we continue to plan for next year’s edition of the film festival.

Until then, thanks kindly for your support and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

Chris J. Allan
Festival Director | Sunderland Shorts Film Festival

We had plenty on offer throughout the week, here’s just a few highlights!







  • (R)age
  • 101 Days of Lockdown
  • 54 years in Byker
54 years in Byker
  • A Big Day
  • A Matter of Choice
  • A Television Broadcast from Outer Space
  • A Walk Home
  • A90
  • Agape
  • All Girls
  • Ashnikko – Worms
  • Badger x extnddntwrk – Executive Outcome Remix
  • Barefoot Empress
  • Beltane
  • Between Body and Soul
  • Birds
  • Birdsong
  • Bitter Taste
  • Bloodshed
  • Blue
  • Borne
  • Brother Nature
  • Burnt Toast and Cigarettes
  • Callum Pitt – More Than This (Music Video)
  • Capture
  • Chicken Girl
  • Choked Up
Choked Up
  • City of Lost Souls
City of Lost Souls
  • Cost of Living
  • Cover your ears
  • CROOKS – Heart Of Vengeance
  • DAWKS – Be Someone
  • Dead Whistle Stop
  • Demon Box
  • Dinner With My Family
  • Dream Big
  • Dress Up
  • Drowning
  • Du Blonde: Message Deleted
  • egg and chips
  • Eggs
  • Everything Everything – Jennifer
  • Everything Is Out To Get Me
  • Farmed Out
  • Fist
  • Fitting
  • Fortissimo
  • From The Top
  • Garden of Eden: Imrich’s Last Years of Gardening
  • Geronimo
  • Glitter Electron
  • Gorka
  • Harton Moor
  • Head in the Clouds
  • Help! I’ve Stolen Amy Adams’ Nose!
  • High Levels (2023)
  • Holly Rees – Careless
  • Hope You Fail
  • Hounded
  • How to Build a Life
  • Hull?
  • I Don’t Need Adult Conversation
  • I Sometimes Maybe
  • Innerscapes
  • Internal Abyss
  • Into The Deep
  • Intrance
  • It Got Me In November
  • ITHACA – Fluorescent
  • Jeremy: A Nightmare
  • Kiddo
  • King of Sea
  • Kiss/Crash
  • Le Temps des Ronces
  • Liam Fender – Time Comes Around (Music Video)
  • Life on Chalkos
  • Limerence
  • Liminal Potential
  • Love, Dad and Daddy
  • Me Lost Me – ‘Festive Day’
  • Measure
  • Meditations Concerning Taxidermy
  • Memories of Yesterday
  • Météores
  • Miles Davis – What’s Love Got to Do With It
  • Monico Perseus
  • Morrow
  • Mr Windibank’s 1 o’clock
  • Muffled Existence
  • Mum’s Spaghetti
  • Musica Quarantena
  • Offended
  • Old Flames
  • On / Off
  • On Grief, In Memory Of
  • original skin
  • Our Home The Sea
  • Patricia in the Dark
  • Pattern
  • Pop Shot
  • Private View
  • Red Light Glow Music Video
  • Rest
  • Ruby
  • Safe Home
  • Salt Water Sympathy
  • Salvation Has No Name
Salvation Has No Name
  • Samuel Nicholson: Birthday Suit
  • She Weathers The Change
  • Short Change
  • Short Stay, Long Stay
  • Signal
  • Silvi
  • Slice
  • Smoking Dolphins
  • Sonder
  • Sparks – Escalator Official Video
  • Spiked
  • Stop This Party (Official Music Video)
  • That’s Our Time
That's Our Time
  • The Best Things In Life Don’t Exist
  • The Burning Days
  • The Closet
  • The Conqueror
  • The Contest
  • The Fell We Climb
  • The Fool’s Mate
  • The Foul
  • The Grafters – Metroland Comedy
  • The Illustrated History of the Teesside Parmo
  • The Island
  • The Last Gang video by Hi Fi Spitfires
  • The Lure
  • The Messengers
  • The Mummy
  • The Painter and The Poet
  • The Snip
  • The Star and the Scribe
  • The Un-Chaotic Cabinet That Wishes For Me To Sleep
  • The Union Choir – ‘The Settlement’
  • The Weenies
  • This Life: Moron-o-phonics
  • Three Windows on South West
  • Tiny Dreams
Tiny Dreams
  • Twenty Objects from a Sixties Childhood
  • Twofold
  • Un-spoken words of a Heartist – Je suis née dans un chaos
  • Unfinished Business
  • Universo
  • Vestige
  • We are the Earth
  • What Would Julie Do?
  • When I’m On A Log
  • Where The Magpies Fly
  • Where the Sun Always Shines
  • Yellow
  • 獅子舞 | SHISHIMAI