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STUDENTS from across the region area embracing the North East’s largest small film festival.

Organisers of Sunderland Shorts have been thrilled with the quality of student entries to this year’s event, with most coming from media courses at two of the regions universities – Sunderland and Northumbria.

Always popular with students, Sunderland Shorts attracts a healthy number of entries from people at university and college, but this year has seen a noticeable rise in quality.

Sunderland Shorts organiser, Anne Tye, creative industries specialist with Sunderland City Council, said: “The very nature of short film means that we receive a lot of submissions from people at the very start of their careers in this creative industry. However, this year the entries we have viewed from students so far have been incredible.

“It is fantastic that we are seeing a raised awareness of Sunderland Shorts from budding regional filmmakers. The whole idea of the festival is to inspire creativity, provide a showcase of some of the world’s most exciting short film talent and establish Sunderland as a hub for this exciting genre of mini movies.

“We have always appreciated how strong the media courses are at our regional universities, and to be able to shine a small spotlight on some of our talented directors, writers, actors and camera crews is a real thrill.”

Around 40 students have submitted films for Sunderland Shorts 2018, and such has been the standard, organisers are considering putting on “students-only” screenings, providing a platform for North East celluloid talent.

Cllr Harry Trueman, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council, which delivers the festival, said: “It’s fantastic to see Sunderland Shorts striking a chord with young people, not just in Sunderland, but all over the region.

“It would be great to see a specially organised showcase screening of student’s short films – we clearly have so many gifted young people across the North East and it would be wonderful to see this talent turn into a thriving industry in the future.”

The festival, now in its fourth year, has attracted submissions from over 24 countries, including USA, China, Iran and many countries across Europe this year and is fast becoming known on the short film circuit as “the friendly festival”.

Kristian Foreman, who also helps organise Sunderland Shorts, said: “Last year, more people visited the festival than ever and I’m certain that will happen again in 2018. I think the student submissions from the city and region prove that we are starting to gain a foothold in the regional events calendar and more people are eager to experience and celebrate short film.”

“I have seen quite a few of the students’ submissions and some of them are absolutely brilliant. I can’t wait to see the reaction of people visiting Sunderland Shorts this year. I think they’ll be thrilled.”

Students submissions via the festival’s submissions portal, Film Freeway, is now closed but graduates who would like to have their film considered can contact the festival directly oninfo@sunderlandshorts.co.uk before Friday 9th February.

The bite-size blockbusters return to Sunderland in May, and for more information please visit: https://www.facebook.com/SunderlandShorts/

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