Shakespeare Film Competition Winner Announced

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust announces winner of first Shakespeare Shorts Film Competition

28 October 2013

The winner of the first Shakespeare Shorts Film Competition organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has been announced. Polish film-maker Agnieszka Slisz beat more than 40 entries from around the world to win the title and the £2,400 prize with her film Julia.  She was presented with the prize at a special awards ceremony on 25 October where her film was shown on the big screen at Stratford’s Picturehouse cinema.

The competition was launched last year as part of the first Shakespeare on Film Festival organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the charity which cares for Shakespeare’s legacy in Stratford and promotes the enjoyment of Shakespeare around the world.  Filmmakers of all ages were invited to produce a Shakespeare-related film using anyform of technology from a smart phone to camera equipment. Films were either a performance of Shakespeare or an interpretation of the work of England’s most famous playwright.

Julia, based on Romeo and Juliet tells the story of a young lonely violinist from Lithuania who finds love, but tragically looses it. The story is a dark and moody take on Shakespeare’s classic love story set against the backdrop of Warsaw’s violent streets. The 20 minute piece won the admiration of judges who included director Rupert Goold who has just finished filming True Story with American star James Franco, actress Kate Fleetwood who featured in this year’s Oscar hit Les Miserables, Sydney based award-winning film-maker Jason Wingrove, AJ and Melissa Leon of Misfit Inc who helped organise the competition and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Marion Morgan who organised the Shakespeare on Film Festival and competition.

The judges also commended two shortlisted entries. The Crackling Glade was written, directed and produced by Robert Williams from Northamptonshire, and inspired by the August riots. The film is about two wives and two soldiers divided by war who discuss the horror and conflict of the siutation and how it is affecting all involved and is inspired by the form of language Shakespeare used. The Eternal Not by Joe Spray from London was the other shortlisted entry and is based on Shakespeare’s All’s Well That End’s Well.

Marion Morgan, Event Officer at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said, “All of the entries were of such a high standard that it was really difficult to make a decision. However, the judges all thought Julia stood out.  It has been truly wonderful to see so many different treatments and responses to the work of Shakespeare – the many ways Shakespeare’s creative influence inspires new cinematic talent. What is also great is that it is creating dialogue and possible future collaboration between film-makers. The feedback we have had from all the entrants is really positive – and some have already started work on their entries for next year’s competition.”

Theatre student Agnieszka Slisz, said, “Winning the Shakespeare Shorts Film Competition is a dream come true. The film is part of a trilogy that we are working on all based on Shakespearian female characters. Julia is the first part and is followed by Kaska, based on Kate from Taming of the Shrew. Now, because of winning the competition, we can start work on the third and final film, Miranda based on the Tempest – and hopefully see them all played together one day.”

A selection of this year’s entries can be found on the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Facebook page – search for ShakespeareBT. Details of next year’s festival and competition dates will be announced shortly on the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust website –

Notes to editors:

Press release date: 28 October 2013

Pic: Shakespeare Shorts Competition winner 2013 Agnieszka Slisz with her boyfriend Filip Maskovic, who had flown in from Norway especially for the awards ceremony in Stratford on Friday.  

For more information please contact Press and Public Affairs Officer Nurinder Mantell on 01789 207136.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is the independent charity that cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites in Stratford-upon-Avon, and promotes the enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works, life and times all over the world. The charity runs formal and informal educational programmes for people of all ages. It holds the world’s largest Shakespeare-related museum and archives open free to the public, a collection which is designated as being of international importance. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust receives no public subsidy or direct government funding; it depends on income generated through the support of visitors, donors, volunteers and Friends.