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Short Film Scriptwriting Award 2023

Updated: Mar 14

Our annual award with a £1000 prize


We're delighted to announce the appointment of Laura McNicholas as this year's judge of our annual scriptwriting competition. 


Laura established and runs 925 Productions in Dublin. The 925 slate includes the feature film SPILT MILK currently shooting with the support of Screen Ireland, Coimisiún na Meán and RTE.


The 925 drama slate includes THE LIBERTIES and HONESTLY both developed with the support of Screen Ireland and YES! developed with RTE - these are all now financing, and the horror/ comedy feature film THE MOUNT which is in late stage development with the support of Screen Ireland. 


Laura is currently taking part in the Creative Leaders 2024 programme with Creative Skillset. A member of Screen Producers Ireland - she is also an alumni of TorinoFilmLab SeriesLab and the Rotterdam IFF Producers Lab.


Laura: "I am delighted to have been invited to judge the script entries for the Shark Short Film Scriptwriting Award. This free to enter competition is an incredible opportunity for emerging writers to create a script with a specific brief in mind. Recent winners at the Shark Short Film Awards have gone on to secure funding from other competitions and to then have them produced.


In crafting a short film script you can show how you can tell a story in an original and creative way that can be used in TV and on-line content for advertising, product placement and branded content"


This year's brief:

The following brief is based on nothing in reality and has been put together for one simple reason - in the hope that it stimulates those who choose to tackle it to come up with scripts/stories that are creative, engaging and imaginative. Our only ‘tip’ would be don’t get too involved or bogged down with the detail of the brief, simply find the very best story (solution?) you can.


The Bessingbarn Brass Band from Lancashire are the second oldest brass band in the world.


Since they were formed (1818), they have played thousands of concerts including at the Albert Hall, the Hamburg Opera House and The Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.


They play traditional brass band tunes but can turn their hand (trumpets, whatever) to just about any genre of music.


You won’t become part of this band unless you are a gifted musician.


The band are a happy band of brothers and sisters.




In their ranks is cornet player ‘Mo' and she has an itch that REALLY needs scratching.


That itch is Bessingbarn’s rivals, The Stalypont Brass band, who just happen to be the world’s oldest brass band in the world (formed in 1812).


Being in the SECOND oldest brass band in the world just doesn’t sit well with Mo, who spends far too many idle moments praying for the demise of Stalypont and daydreaming about ways of getting rid of them, so Bessingbarn can take the title of ‘the oldest brass band in the world’.


And then one day, Mo believes she has come up with a perfect plan that’ll get rid of Stalypont.


And…that’s where you come in.


We’re looking for a script (nb: no more than 5 mins), that describes how she goes about trying to get her way.


Her plan has to be something clever (ie: not simply blowing up her rivals or mass shootings etc).


Something that theoretically could lead to a (rival) band ceasing to be.


Could she set them up to be scandalised in some way?


We will leave it to you, but maybe worth remembering we live in a time when saying and/or doing the ‘wrong’ thing can end careers (as can things revealed about our behaviour in the past)


Be imaginative, be creative, be on brief and have your scripts with us for judging by the 30th November 2023 at the latest.


The winner will receive £1000 and one of our sensational and beautifully designed iconic black Sharks head trophies.



with his script entitled 'Bandstand'

Daniel is an advertising creative at agency Fold7, originally from South London, where he still lives. Daniel collected his Shark Trophy and £1000 prize at our Short Film Winners Screening Day at the Everyman Cinema in Hampstead on the 15th February.


Daniel on what it means: "It’s a fantastic result for me, this is the first individual accolade I’ve won since the sixth form German prize (and only about 6 of us studied it). It’s given me a world of confidence for all future writing endeavours. Massive thanks to Sharks for running the competition, it’s a great opportunity and I’m very proud to be scooping up the iconic Sharks Head trophy."

Laura McNichols on why she chose The Bandstand, "it felt really rooted in its community and had a black humour running through the story and characters and it layered in neatly the conflict between North & South and the challenges of dealing with modernity - its a fun story and believable".

We don't print the winning script due to copyright reasons, however we are happy to put you in touch with the writer - click to email



Congratulations to the finalists;

Isabel Harvey & Reuben Harvey - 'A Leap Year’

Eoghan Heneghan & Emma McKernan - 'The Awkward Cousin of Inspiration’

Eoghan Heneghan - ‘Lorem Ipsum’

Lydia Clarke - ‘Brass Neck’

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