Lights, camera, action … Short Films Awards are back

Tonbridge is launching its second Short Films Competition, this time with even more categories and glittering prizes.  

The competition is open to the whole school, with boys encouraged to submit an original three-minute film. 

In addition to the categories of best Drama, Documentary and Comedy films, this year prizes will also be given for Music and Poetry entries. 

The competition was devised by Oscar-winning documentary-maker and former Tonbridge pupil Vikram Jayanti (Sc 1968-72), who has been teaching filmic story telling at the School.

In 2020, a number of stars from the worlds of film and television took part in Tonbridge’s first annual Short Films Awards ceremony, which was an Oscars-style, online event, shown ‘live’ on Microsoft Teams in July. 

Vikram is planning something similar this time. He said: “The presenters of last year's awards show included actors Rosamund Pike, Emerald Fennell and Tonbridge School's very own Dan Stevens, as well as director Tom Hooper and Sex Education's star headmaster Al Petrie. We're expecting even more stars of stage and screen to join us for the awards ceremony in 2021, to celebrate the growing filmic talent of our students.” 

Each category winner will take home a state-of-the-art, mini video camera-equipped drone, the DJI Mini 2. The boys’ films can be shot on any device but must be in a landscape format.

Vikram has also recorded a short video about this year's competition.

Last year Ryan Ng (FH1) received the Grand Prize and was named the Overall Winner for his comedic work, Setbacks. Alex Dean (CH4) won the Drama category, Rory Dalton (FH1) the Documentary category, and Zac Ribbins (WW4) won for Comedy.

Vikram has made a number of well-known documentary films. Two of his works have received Academy Awards for Best Full-Feature Documentary: the 1997 blockbuster When We Were Kings, and Born Into Brothels (2005).

Tonbridge’s Headmaster, James Priory, said the School has ambitions to become a centre of excellence for film making. “It was an extraordinary experience last year to see stars from the worlds of film and television not only present the awards in a virtual ceremony, but also support our competition and take such an interest in the boys’ films. I’m hugely grateful to Vikram for his work in helping us to discover, and encourage, the creative talent that we have at Tonbridge,” he added.

The deadline for boys to submit their films is Monday 1 March. 

Pictured below: Vikram Jayanti, Oscar-winning documentary-maker and former Tonbridge pupil.