Virgin Media Discovers Short Film Competition in association with Screen Ireland selects 10 promising new development submissions

Ten new submissions have been shortlisted to participate in the 2021 Virgin Media Discovers in association with Screen Ireland Short Film Competition which has an overall fund of €150,000.  

This year, the competition is even bigger through a partnership with Fís Éireann / Screen Ireland, offering support to develop scripts and bringing new film concepts to a wider audience, which is at the heart of the prize fund this year.

The Prize

From a total prize fund of €150,000, 10 shortlisted projects will be given €9,000 each for the development of their scripts from Screen Ireland. Two winners will be selected from these final scripts by the judging panel in March and will win €30,000 each for the production of a 10-minute short film.

The winning films will be broadcast on Virgin Media Television and on Virgin Media on Demand as part of the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2021 programme of events.  

The Judging panel:

The judging panel for this year’s competition is made up of award-winning director and screenwriter Lenny Abrahamson, known for directing such acclaimed independent films as Adam & Paul, Garage, What Richard Did and Room; Derry Girls creator and screenwriter of The Deceived, Lisa McGee; Mullingar-born actor Niamh Algar who stars in Ridley Scott’s major new HBO Max series, Raised by Wolves; Screenwriter and Executive Producer Ursula Rani Sarma whose work includes Delicious and Red Rock and representatives from Virgin Media Television, Screen Ireland and the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival.

10 shortlisted projects are:

Nannie (Drama) Writer/Director: Louise Lowe

An up close and personal meditation of those at the frontline of addiction and homelessness.

Ahmed & Ayomide (Thriller) Writers: Aoife Kelleher & Bulelani Cornelius Mfaco

A tragic love story set in a direct provision centre.

Adagio (Drama) Writer: Hana Hall, Director: Fiona Aryan  

A teen violinist desperate to make an audition falls foul of a Garda whose harshness stems from his own heartache.

Superhuman (Drama) Writer/Director: Mícheál Fleming

After being rejected from professional football and diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, an African Irish Leaving Certificate student is guided towards the Paralympic games; all while learning to deal with his new identity and the discrimination that has surrounded him all his life.

Water Under the Bridge (Drama) Writer/Director: Rehan Ali 

After a long journey, Bilal and his mother have come so close to tasting freedom. Now the restrictions of hostel life keep him from true liberty.

Pediment (Drama) Writer: Derek Ugochukwu

A precocious biracial boy embarks on a day’s journey to reconnect with an estranged relative, unaware of a long-existing dispute between both sides of the family. 

Punch Line (Black Comedy) Writers: Allie O'Rourke & Becky Cheatle 

On the night of a transphobic attack a transgender comedian processes her feelings the only way she knows how, via stand-up comedy.

Slip Away (Fantasy) Writer/Director: Mark Cantan

A girl with no gravity struggles to find her place on the world.

Goodnight Girl (Drama) Writer: Hiram Harrington, Director: Janna Kemperman

A group of queer friends reunite at the funeral of their trans friend, only to find her conservative family is burying her under her dead name and refusing her last wishes. They team up to concoct a heist to steal her ashes, and have their own funeral for her.

Headspace (Drama) Writers: Aisling Byrne & Mark Smith

As the frustrations and tensions of living in a shared community house begin to close in on him, a young man with Down Syndrome, seeks to end a nightly disturbance, by any means available.