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Our first ever shortlist announced

Stills from shortlisted films
Seonghoon Eric Park, In Cod We Trust; Jacob Redman, Subversive; Pietro Venier, The Hook; Alexander Sworik, Seawolf; Alfie Barker, Hanging On; Dumas Haddad, Flowers; Ishan Vaidya, Puffin Island; Pedro Furtado, The Good Dolphins

Today marks a key moment in the Sony Future Filmmaker Awards’ history as we reveal the program’s first shortlist! 

Celebrating 30 filmmakers from across the globe, the successful short films demonstrate an impressive range of skills, techniques and stories. All shot in 2021 or 2022, from topicality to unique perspectives to imaginative film scores and suspense-driven scenes, this shortlist is a real insight into the film industry’s future visionaries.  

Shortlisted films - Filmmaker
Thanh Tran, The Voice of the Wind; Dan Thorburn, Salt Water Town; Julianna Jimreivat, Letting Go of the Grade; Saul Abraham, Enjoy

Chosen from films submitted by more than 3,000 filmmakers from 140 countries, the shortlist highlights how the short film is one of the most creative mediums in filmmaking, holding the potential to explore a single concept and service that story in a succinct, powerful way. 

Speaking about this year’s shortlist, award-winning theatre, television and film director and Jury Chair Justin Chadwick says: “The global response has been truly exhilarating. New voices from all over the world have sent in films in all categories in huge numbers. Films that are original, diverse and fresh, filled with passion and originality.  It’s been a brilliant and inspiring honor to be a part of this and a totally enjoyable experience and one that gives me great hope for the industry. The films chosen are a wonderful window into the future of filmmaking and storytelling and the discovery of a rich seam of talent. “

The Filmmaker competition is full of dynamic, innovative stories. A thrilling tale of a young woman seeking revenge on her ex-boyfriend is a highlight in the Fiction category while the absorbing story of four women climbing the summit Las Agujas (The Spires) of El Potrero Chico. A documentary on how dolphins help local fishermen is a charming depiction of how man and nature can have a synergistic relationship. 

Student Filmmaker shortlisted films
Alisha Mehra, Match Point; Theo-Ziny Joel, Read my Body; Lubeera Saphina, Ghetto Fist; Shiao-ya (Maggie) Huang, Farewell Chang Chun; Catalina Fonseca Arango, Stories of a Dancing Mind

The Student Filmmaker competition, comprised of two categories, welcomed students studying film at a diploma or degree level. With a student from one university per continent, the shortlist is international in its subject matter. Topics explored by the students include family and rural heritage ties in conflict with the lure of the unknown and the sudden loss of a son to a paramilitary organisation. 

Based on a technical brief, Future Format challenged filmmakers to submit their best short films shot on a smartphone. From the joy of making celebratory food for Chinese New Year to an artist reflecting on his life, his art and the process he undertakes, the shortlist shows a fresh perspective on storytelling through the immediacy that the smartphone can bring.  


Stills from Future Format shortlist
Pan Tianhong, Homework for Winter Vacation; Ria Nalavade, Magic Eraser; Jacob Redman, Subversive; Jose Jacob, My India

All winning and shortlisted filmmakers will be flown to Los Angeles next month for an awards ceremony at the historic Sony Pictures studio lot in Culver City, California. Following the awards night, all 30 winners and shortlist will attend a two-day program of workshops, screenings and panel discussions. 

Guided by Sony Pictures executives and top experts in their fields, filmmakers will learn a vast range of topics including pitching to legal, to working with talent agencies and using cutting-edge technologies including animation and CGI. 

This exceptional prize is an unmatched opportunity. Filmmakers will have the chance to see the film industry in action - how it makes, produces and distributes films. To see the business side of Hollywood filmmaking, and to be immersed in that machine, is sure to benefit all of the lucky shortlisted filmmakers. 

Speaking about the benefits of programs like the Sony Future Filmmaker Awards, Jury Chair Justin Chadwick says: ‘These awards really do provide a platform for filmmakers. It connects a filmmaker with someone who can really see something in their work. It can help build careers and also build an audience, which is ultimately what storytellers want, for people to connect with their films.’  

Empowering creatives within the filmmaking industry, the Sony Future Filmmaker Awards is focused on elevating the original voices wanting to take the next steps in their careers.