Short Circuit Announces Short Film Fund Awardees

Short Circuit has unveiled the selection of six films set to come to life through their esteemed short film initiative, Sharp Shorts. Each of these projects will receive up to £25,000 to bring their cinematic vision to the screen.


Short Circuit is a film talent initiative for Scotland delivered by Film City Futures in partnership with Glasgow Film, and funded by The National Lottery through Screen Scotland and BFI NETWORK. The programme supports new and emerging filmmaking talent across Scotland through a combination of funding, events and training opportunities.


The Sharp Shorts scheme aims to identify and support through training, 1-2-1 meetings, funding and mentoring the most exciting filmmaking talent in Scotland in the early stages of their career. 


In April 2023, we extended an invitation to writers, writer/directors, and filmmaking teams comprising writers, directors, and producers to submit one-page outlines of their innovative short film concepts for the fourth iteration of Sharp Shorts. 12 ideas were selected to take part in further development, supported by industry experts and the Short Circuit Talent Executives, to take their project from idea to script.


In early October 2023, the 12 teams pitched their project to a panel that was formed by Short Circuit Talent Executives; Alice Ojha, Development Executive at BBC Film; and Alice Shone, Programmer at Tribeca Film Festival, for the chance to receive production funding to make their film.


The following 6 films are today announced as the selected projects:


Child’s Fare - Writer/Director: Kirsty McLean; Producer: Saffia Sage

  • Synopsis: Grappling to be the centre of her dad’s attention, ABBY (12) agrees to help him sell frozen microwave meals - but when he dumps her outside the pub to babysit SANDY (8), Abby’s feelings of rejection erupt into a violent outburst against someone who seems to have everything she doesn't.


Distance to the Moon - Writer/Director: Sacha Kyle; Co-Director: Victoria Watson; Producer: Rhona Drummond; Music Producer and Composer: Giles Lamb 

  • Synopsis: Embark on a captivating journey to the moon to discover the absurdity of our existence and the importance of human connection in this surreal dream-like animated adventure.


First Timer - Writer/Director: Hannah Kelso; Producer: Danielle Goff 

  • Synopsis: It’s Meghan’s first day on the job as a home carer. She’s left alone to visit the elderly Bonnie who has a refreshing, yet challenging approach to her personal care.


Poly Baggage - Writer/Director: Emma Ramsay; Producer: Michaela Barton 

  • Synopsis: Polly’s been dumped and she’s done something drastic: she’s cut out her own heart. Literally. Now, it’s up to best friend Yasmin to convince Polly to embrace her broken heart and swallow her own pain. Again, literally.


Sleazy Tiger - Writer/Director: James Ley; Producers: Jack Cowhig and Laura McBride

  • Synopsis: Alan and Blair’s first date is going so well that Alan goes to wash his willy in the gents in anticipation of a blow job on the way home, however doing so opens a portal to a terrifying speakeasy a mile under Glasgow from which there seems to be no escape.


This Desert Will Rust Your Bones - Writer/Director: Erica Monde; Producer: Isabella Bassett

  • Synopsis: Ainsley works at a thunderous factory by the sea, attempting to drown out the cacophonous chimes, groans, grinding, banging, and echoes their body makes seemingly without reason. However, their daily ritual is disrupted when a new co-worker Simon arrives.


The selected teams will each receive up to £25,000 each to produce their film. Teams will also take part in intensive production training, and will be paired with an established Producer, Director or Writer who will mentor the team to help them to deliver their final film. 


These talented filmmakers represent the bright future of Scottish cinema, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of their journey. With our support, they’ll receive invaluable guidance, mentorship, and resources to help bring their cinematic visions to life. 


Miriam Newman, Talent Executive at Short Circuit, said: “Along with the growing team at Short Circuit, we are delighted to announce the fourth year of Sharp Shorts production awards, supporting new and exciting Scottish filmmaking talent to collaborate and share their visually ambitious stories with audiences at home and internationally.”


Kieran Hannigan, Head of Scripted at Screen Scotland said: “The standard of applications this year was higher than ever. The six chosen projects are a rich and diverse range of high-quality projects that confidently announce distinct filmmaking voices with bright futures.”


Since the launch of Sharp Shorts in May 2020 the Short Circuit team and pool of external readers have assessed over 1200 submissions for the scheme. 56 short film projects have received development support and 31 projects have been awarded funding.


For more details about the selected projects, and to stay informed of events and further opportunities, visit the Short Circuit website:


The National Lottery raises £36 million each week for good causes across the UK.



About Short Circuit

Short Circuit is an ambitious film talent initiative for Scotland delivered by Film City Futures in partnership with Glasgow Film, and funded by Screen Scotland and BFI NETWORK, running initially until the end of March 2023. 


The partnership between Film City Futures and Glasgow Film brings together two world-class film institutions based in Scotland, combining the filmmaking expertise at Film City with Glasgow Film’s leadership in film exhibition with a strong following from young, diverse audiences. Short Circuit aims to become a key hub for emerging fiction filmmaking talent in Scotland, supporting writers, directors and producers to develop creatively and professionally, and stimulating the creative and commercial success of Scotland’s film sector.


About Film City Futures

Film City Futures’ mission is to connect people, space and opportunity, enabling access and entry to the screen industries for all. We offer industry focused programmes that are creative, challenging, and most importantly meet the needs of the screen sector in Scotland, from the engagement of new and emerging talent, to personal and business development. Projects to date include Jump Cut, a talent development initiative for 16-25 year olds; Frontrunners, an Executive Coaching programme for business leaders from television, film and related media businesses; and FOCUS, a business development initiative for screen businesses in Scotland.  


Film City Futures is a not for profit organisation based at Film City Glasgow, a screen production facility which houses over 25 companies from across the Scottish production and post-production sector, which was co-founded by one of Scotland’s most successful film production companies, Sigma Films.  Film City Futures is the trading name of Jump Cut Crew, a registered Scottish charity with charity number SC031842.  


About Glasgow Film  

Glasgow Film is an educational charity which runs Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT), Scotland’s original independent arthouse cinema and the home of film in Glasgow; Glasgow Film Festival (GFF), one of the UK’s leading public celebrations of cinema; and Glasgow Youth Film Festival (GYFF), a fast-growing international three-day festival co-curated by teenage film-lovers in the city. Glasgow Film is also the lead organisation for Film Hub Scotland, a membership organisation that supports more than 200 exhibitors across the country.  

As one of the UK’s leading independent cinemas, GFT plays an important part in the cultural life of Glasgow, screening a wide variety of international cinema, classic films and documentaries, alongside locally made work and material aimed at a range of community groups. GFT also has a strong education programme of outreach, courses and school screenings.  

GFT was awarded Accessibility Champion at the SCoD Star Awards 2016 and became the first UK cinema to scoop the Autism Friendly Award 2017. GFF was named Outstanding Festival of the Year at The Herald Scottish Culture Awards 2019. Glasgow Film Theatre is a charity registered in Scotland. No. SC005932.


About Screen Scotland

Screen Scotland is the national body that drives development of all aspects of Scotland’s film and TV industry, through funding and strategic support. Screen Scotland is part of Creative Scotland and delivers these services and support with funding from Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Find out more at and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.



Made possible through National Lottery funding, BFI NETWORK exists to discover and support talented writers, directors and producers at the start of their careers. We collaborate with film organisations and leading cultural venues across the UK to provide funding for short films, support for the development of first features, as well as a range of professional and creative development programmes.

Find out more and watch supported work:




Made possible through National Lottery funding, BFI NETWORK exists to support and develop talented early career screenwriters, directors and producers. We collaborate with film organisations and leading cultural venues across the UK to provide funding for short films, support for the development of first features, as well as a range of professional and creative development programmes. 


Find out more and watch supported work:  



About the BFI 

We are a cultural charity, a National Lottery distributor, and the UK’s lead organisation for film and the moving image. Our mission is: 

  • To support creativity and actively seek out the next generation of UK storytellers 

  • To grow and care for the BFI National Archive, the world’s largest film and television archive 

  • To offer the widest range of UK and international moving image culture through our programmes and festivals - delivered online and in venue 

  • To use our knowledge to educate and deepen public appreciation and understanding 

  • To work with Government and industry to ensure the continued growth of the UK’s screen industries 


Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter.  

The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Tim Richards.