Local Film Director is Finalist in Competition to Win £1m Investment

Award winning local film Director, Jo Southwell is one of seven finalists in the “That Film Festival” to compete for an incredible £1 million investment.

That Film Festival launched their quest to discover the next best film director in early 2018 with hundreds of aspiring filmmakers from around the globe submitting their short films to be showcased at Cannes, London and Marbella film festivals. The best shorts were picked from each festival.

Jo secured her place in the final with short film ‘Entrance No Exit’ which she filmed in Henley in April 2018.  Running a crowdfunding campaign, the budget was just £8,000.  The film, written by another local talent, Sophie Dix, is a comedy set on an aeroplane and follows the journey of Helen (played Michelle Fahrenheim), and her experience in the plane bathroom.   The film has won Best Comedy in the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards and Best Women Short in the Independent Shorts.

The winner of the “That Film Festival” competition will receive an incredible £1 million investment to fund the production of their feature film and this win also includes a year’s worth of marketing from festival sponsor The Agency, and a year’s international sales and distribution support courtesy of Carnaby International.

Equipped with a challenging script from writer Kevin Langdon Ackerman, the finalists have been given under one month to shoot, edit and turn this script into a show-stopping new short film.

The 7 films will be screened and judged by a panel of film professionals and active film investors at this year’s Berlinale (Berlin International Film Festival) with the winner being announced at the That Film Festival Official Awards Dinner on Saturday 9 February 2019.

In addition to the above the winning director will also star in a 9-part TV docuseries that will follow their journey as they embark on the making of the feature film.

Jo is the only female selected as one of the seven finalists.  She said, “I am delighted to have my work recognised and place me in the final as the only female director. As a filmmaker, I am striving to direct my first feature with a budget, so this opportunity is one I need to go for.  It has also created the opportunity to direct another short film, which whilst a huge amount of work, is always great fun.”

The new short final film will be shot this weekend and actor Bhasker Patel from Emmerdale has accepted a role in the film.  The film is being produced by Rachel Gold.  Also based in South East England, Rachel was a 2018 awardee of the prestigious John Brabourne Awards receiving a grant towards a feature film that is currently in development. Rachel added, “I am absolutely thrilled to be working with Jo on this project, she is a very talented, passionate and dedicated director and as testament she is supported by a wonderful cast and crew, not to mention the service companies and industry organisations, all to whom we are indebted. It is notoriously hard to secure finance for films and whilst times are changing, there are still very limited routes and opportunities for female filmmakers especially those with families trying to carve a career in the industry, so this really could be a life changing opportunity. Jo and I have a number of projects in the pipeline so we have no doubt this short film will mark the beginning of a long term working relationship.”

The production would be keen to hear from anyone who would like to support Jo and or the production in any way, please email your interest to rjmgold15@gmail.com


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