Stitch Editing has launched the 2023 edition of its short film competition, Yarns, collaborating with spoken word poet and writer Miss Yankey.

Titled The Ends, the brief asks competitors to think about the end of their short film first. Taking inspiration from three excerpts of Miss Yankey poems, entrants will be asked to use these to create the ending of their film. This could be in the form of dialogue, script direction or any other creative idea, and how the story leads us there is entirely up to them. With everything from the tragic to the comic possible, there’s plenty for hopefuls to sink their teeth into.

Miss Yankey is one of the UK’s leading spoken word artists. Known for her work on BBC Radio 1XTRA, BT Sport and BAFTA winning show Life and Rhymes, she has selected the excerpts for the brief from her catalogue of work.

Miss Yankey says: “I paint pictures with words, and bring them to life with Spoken Word performance, with much of my work beginning as free writes written in response to prompts. Yarns have created a space for up-and-coming talent to do something remarkable, and to know that this year’s prompts have been taken from my work is an absolute honour. I am incredibly passionate about bringing Spoken Word into new spaces, so to have an opportunity to inspire filmmakers to create from the seeds of my poetry blows my mind. I cannot wait to see what comes from this year’s talent!”

In association with Kodak and Sling Shot Intergalactic, Yarns will again look to uncover the country’s best unsigned directors. Giving entrants the chance to launch their career by creating a professional short film, the competition has regularly discovered new directing talent.

Last year’s winner, Emma Parkinson, signed with Blink Productions after taking part in the competition. She comments: “Without sounding super cheesy, Yarns quite literally changed my life. It enabled me to take some massive steps forward in my career as a director, and importantly, you get the means to actually make a film with some of the industry’s best (And have fun in the process).”

Owner of Stitch Editing, Leo King comments: “We’re so excited to launch our brief for Yarns this year and to be collaborating with Miss Yankey is a real privilege. We have long been fans of her work, so to be using her pieces as our brief is such an exciting new avenue for the competition. We had an amazing group of finalists last year, so we’re looking forward to continuing that momentum and uncovering the next generation of directing talent. Yarns is unique in that our entrants get to experience every stage of filmmaking, from writing their script to the final edit and premiere at the cinema. With the industry’s best and brightest again helping us to create the films, including our up-and-coming editing talent, it’s the perfect launchpad to a directing career”.

Entrants have until 11:59pm on 5th May 2023 to submit their idea, in the form of a script, treatment and short video about themselves. Three finalists will be shortlisted, and Stitch will provide £2000 funding, plus production and post-production support to make each film from concept to final edit. Finalists will be announced in June, following in-house judging from the entire Stitch team. An awards night will take place in November where the final three films will be screened and winner announced.


Pippa Considine

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