Dan’s film could be just the tonic for new career
A FILM editor who grew up in South Kilworth is in the running for a £30,000 prize after making his first foray into directing.
Dan Smith’s quirky film short The Best Medicine is in the final 12 of the Virgin Media Shorts film competition.
It will now be judged by industry heavyweights including Julie Walters and The Iron Lady director Phyllida Lloyd, with the winning film maker receiving £30,000 funding for future films as well as invaluable mentoring from the BFI (British Film Institute).
It is all al long way from Mr Smith’s first stab at film making - a movie called Good Cop, Dead Cop which he made with fellow students while studying at school in Lutterworth.
Since leaving school he has studied at Bournemouth University and worked in London, first as a runner on TV productions, and later as an assistant editor and for the past 12 years as editor.
His latest editing project sees him working on David Attenborough’s new wildlife series about the Galapagos Islands, but Mr Smith told the Mail he is keen to move into directing.
“I want to be directing feature films so this is a chance to give my career a real boost,” said Mr Smith.
The Best Medicine - an offbeat, fantastical tale about the results of a woman’s attempt to buy herself a new laugh - was a six-month labour of love for Mr Smith, who called in several favours to get the equipment needed to shoot it.
Mr Smith said: “I’m always thinking of weird ideas and that concept of someone buying a laugh - I always found it quite funny.
“I am so thrilled to have been shortlisted for Virgin Media Shorts. It’s always been my dream to work with the BFI and team up with a brilliant script writer.”
Director and judge, Mat Whitecross commented: “I know exactly how challenging it can be to break into this industry and so being there to reveal the shortlist was a truly special experience.
“The hard part now begins for us judges in choosing from the wealth of talent submitted this year.”
Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media, said: “We are extremely proud of the launch pad Virgin Media Shorts provides for great British film makers, with so many over the past five years going on to achieve international success.”
As well as a chance of winning the main prize of £30,000, Mr Smith’s film is also in the running for the People’s Choice Award, which comes with a £5,000 prize.
To see the film and vote, visit www.virginmediashorts.co.uk.
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