Short film competition, Yarns, has announced the four finalists that will compete for top spot at this year’s premiere.

Completely not-for-profit, Yarns gives the next generation of directors the chance to create their own professional short film. Now in its eighth edition, this year’s brief asked entrants to create an ending for their film based on three poetry excerpts. Taken from work by renowned spoken-word poet Miss Yankey, competitors took elements from these passages to make their own tale.

This year saw double the entries submitted compared to last year, with many top-quality scripts in the mix. Thirteen shortlisted directors met the Homespun panel. Homespun decided to select four finalists to make the films for November’s finale.

Tim Hardy, Co-owner of Homespun commented: “Yarns is the highlight of the year at Homespun, and we’re really excited about this year’s competition. Working with Miss Yankey has added a whole new dimension to the process, and we loved seeing how our directors have been inspired by her work. We got some truly exceptional entries, and we simply couldn’t narrow it down any further than the four finalists we have selected. They’re fantastic ideas, provided by aspiring directors from Cumbria to Scotland. With two of our finalists also making their directing debuts, we’re looking forward to seeing how they develop throughout the process.”

The Yarns finalists for 2023 are: 

Holly Hunter

Holly has always loved the characters of the world and writing stories that bring them to life. After several years in advertising, she left last year to pursue writing her own comedic stories. In the process, she did stand-up comedy, wrote a TV series she hopes to make and worked as a stage manager for some renowned comedians. Holly says: “I feel like everything I’ve done thus far has been leading to this Yarns submission. It’s an opportunity I can’t wait to grab by the horns and bring this story into the world.”


Juliet Klottrup

Juliet is a multi-disciplinary artist, Shortflix alumni and winner of Beaverton Creatives Untapped 2023. Her short film and photographic series ‘Youth of The Rural North’ was Nominated for Best British Short Doc with the British Short Film Awards and portraits from the series made her a Winner of Portrait of Britain with the British Journal of Photography and shortlisted for a Portrait of Humanity. Klottrup is currently working as a Research Fellow at the University of Cumbria for her social and environmental documentary work. Juliet comments: “I am so excited to be a Yarns Finalist. It’s an incredible opportunity. I can’t wait for the adventure to begin!”


Tom Gentle & Sam Brain

Tom is a Scottish Writer/Director from Glasgow. His work has been shortlisted by Disney and the National Film and Television School, and he’s a graduate of the Directors UK Inspire programme. His short, In the Fall, won Best Scottish Film at Edinburgh Short Film Festival.

Sam Brain is a writer and producer. Sam produced short film For People In Trouble, written and directed by Alex Lawther, with executive producers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, which recently made its world premiere at the Tribeca film festival in New York. Previously, Sam produced short film Acrimonious, which played at London Short Film Festival and BFI Flare, as well as being nominated for the UK’s premier LGBT+ award the Iris Prize. The film was broadcast on Film4 and subsequently played on Channel 4 online. Previous projects as a writer include ‘Angels n Bandits’, a short film/teaser for a tv show of the same name (Whizz Kid/eOne), and ‘Our World’, a Gen Z political thriller. Sam is a BAFTA Connect member and an alumni of Newcastle’s Live Theatre writers group.

Tom states: “I was really thrilled to get the nod on this year’s Yarns. It’s exactly what Sam and I needed to get Do You Have Kids off the ground, and I can’t wait to start collaborating with everyone involved. Thanks so much for having us”.


Joe Roberts & Doug Redfern

Doug and Joe met making animations at university, before breaking into the London advertising scene, currently working at Havas London. Over their career, they’ve made films for the military, master brewers and more. But their real passion lies in comedy writing, filling notebooks with vague ramblings that eventually find their way into script form. They said: “It looks like that chubby red elf, Santa, came early this year! On a real though, thanks Yarns, we can’t wait to make this thing.”

As with previous years, the finalists will benefit from the support of the industry’s foremost talent. Partners Freefolk, nineteentwenty, Absolute and Sine Audio have all volunteered their services to guide the finalists through the post-production process. Leo King, co-owner of Homespun comments “We’re so excited to be working yet again with the best post-production houses in the business, including a couple of new faces. Our partners are vital in helping our finalists navigate the filmmaking process and we’re so grateful for their help. With our partners using their own junior talent alongside the directors, Yarns is again proving itself as a great platform for up-and-coming talent across our industry”.

Jon Creamer

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