Our second British Short Film Competition is an exciting celebration of characters defying convention and finding their own stories, style, and purpose, through passionate filmmaking and the exploration of new and exciting ideas. From the anthropomorphised depiction of salmon fighting for their own existence and survival in the mesmerising yet haunting Wild Summon, to the ultimate fight for life from the grave and beyond, for a lovable rogue in the fantastical black comedy, Meeting Mr Samuel, these characters defy expectations and hopefully inspire the audience along the way.

Essex Girls | Yero Timi-Biu | United Kingdom | 2023 | 15mins

This fantastic coming-of-age drama follows British-Nigerian Bisola who is plunged into a journey to discover a whole new side of herself and push against the familiar stereotype of an ‘Essex Girl’ whilst trying to maintain her current existence.

Echo | Ross McClean | Ireland | 2023 | 12mins

We’re very pleased to welcome back filmmaker Ross Maclean (British Shorts Competition winner LIFF 33), with his new documentary. Damaged vocal cords are no obstacle to Allister’s desire for communication, as he finds community and connection through an unusual solution.

Wild Summon | Karni Arieli, Saul freed | United Kingdom | 2023 | 14mins

This beautiful and surreal docu-drama, narrated by Marriane Faithfull, follows a female salmon’s journey from her spawning grounds in the Scottish Highlands. Through dangerous and polluted seas, and back again, nature finds a way, in an environmentally and gender-charged thriller.

The Golden West | Tom Berkeley, Ross White | Ireland | 2023 | 24mins

November, 1849. Having fled the Great Famine, two warring Irish sisters seek their fortunes in the gold rush. But with winter fast approaching and nothing to show for their efforts, their age-old feud soon threatens to become deadly.

Meeting Mr Samuel | Rob Leggatt | United Kingdom | 2023 | 16mins

Christian wakes to find himself in a vast waiting room for the afterlife, staffed only by his former school geography teacher, Mr Samuel. As their conversation unfolds, can he persuade Mr Samuel into an audacious plan to escape back to reality?

Repair | Bertil Nilsson | United Kingdom | 2022 | 11mins

A hit at BFI Flare this year, Repair is a sweet, under-stated romance. Ramin repairs electronics in his shop, but an embarrassing encounter with Marc at the market forces him to confront the one thing he can’t seem to fix: himself.