Just So, in partnership with Sheffield Doc/Fest, are immensely proud to announce the 1st slate of short films to be commissioned from the Just So Film Fund. We received over 300 submissions in the first round and the 4 winners outlined below were selected by a panel including guest judges Brian McGinn (Director & Exec Producer for Netflix hit Chef’s Table), Claire Aguilar (Head of Programming, Sheffield Doc/Fest), Jordan McGarry (Director of curation, Vimeo) and Mark Russell (Managing Editor, GQ).
Three projects from Eleanor Mortimer, James Newton & Joris Debeij will go straight into production with a fourth from Jade Jackman going into further development. The four projects will take us from the cold heart of Russian Siberia to the cargo ports of Felixstowe; from dreaming about Hollywood in the largest west-coast housing project, to the struggle for identity in migrant detention centres.
We can’t wait to share these films with you in the coming months.
“I have never seen such a wonderful and unique opportunity that Just So provides for filmmakers to create short films which stretch the boundaries of form and require creativity and vision. The slate of films selected promise to be fresh and exciting, reflecting innovative modes of production as well as showcasing diverse filmmakers.”
Claire Aguilar, Head of Programming, Sheffield Doc/Fest
Picture courtesy Festival dei Popoli
Eleanor is a documentary maker from Suffolk. Her first short, The Price of Freedom (2013, Italy/UK) won best web doc at the IAWRT Awards 2013. She went on to do an MA at the NFTS, where she made Territory (2015), which won best short at Hot Docs and was screened at many festivals internationally, including Sundance, True/False, & Cinema du Reel. She lives and works in London as part of Glow in the Dark Films.’
Jade Jackman is a 22 year old journalist and documentary storyteller who firmly believes in the use of more artistic techniques to engage her audience in contemporary political issues. A combination of her unique approach and dedication to human rights has seen her featured in the ASOS magazine, IndieWire and Topshop blog. She writes & shoots regularly for Dazed & Confused, Refinery29, the Debrief and i-D magazine. Her films have been screened at the British Film Institute and she has collaborated with the Tate and soon the ICA. After receiving a scholarship in the form of a fee waiver, she went to complete her Masters in Documentary Filmmaking at Goldsmiths University. She is also the co-founder of smartphone documentary competition, Eye Want Change.
After winning a David Lean scholarship, James Newton graduated from the National Film and Television School in 2007 with an MA in Documentary. His talent and passion for documentary cinematography had already been spotted when he won a Kodak commercials award a year earlier. After directing a series of films, James is now blossoming as a self-shooting documentary maker. He has a distinctive style, boldly shooting unpredictable observational scenes using prime lenses. It’s a method that more established documentary DoPs find too challenging, preferring to stick to a zoom lens. The result is a cinematic, filmic look that is more akin to feature films or drama. His natural photographic eye, combined with the depth of field created by this style of shooting has brought a much needed injection of style back into observational documentary making. James’s talent as a self-shooting director was best exemplified in last year’s critically acclaimed BBC 2 series The Detectives. He self-shot and directed the entire series.
Joris is the founder and director behind “I Am Los Angeles” which in turn spawned the festival renowned shorts “The Bull Rider” and “Making it in America.” His directing style combines visual storytelling with detailed character study. His short documentary “Making it in America” was selected to screen at the Sundance Film Festival 2015.