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Shakespeare Shorts Competition

Shakespeare Shorts: Crossing Borders

Shakespeare Shorts is a global celebration of Shakespeare on film, returning for our fourth year of competition. Submissions are welcomed from film-makers of all ages and abilities. We’re looking forward to it already!

The theme of this year's competition is 'Crossing Borders'. Film-makers may address this theme in any way they like and are invited to explore the full breath of meanings to be found within it.


Winners from each category will be chosen by our patron Sir Kenneth Branagh, who will also provide personal feedback to our finalists.

  • Best interpretation of a passage from Shakespeare (up to 10 mins)
  • Best film inspired by Shakespeare (up to 15 mins)
  • Best Shakespeare themed Animation (up to 3 mins)

Three extra prizes that will be awarded across all categories as follows:

  • Best local filmmaker (entrant to be living in the West Midlands region)
  • Best young film maker UK (entrants must be aged between 16-24 on 23 September 2017)
  • Best new filmmaker over 60  (entrants must not have entered any other film competition)  

Winners for 2017 

We have now selected our winning entries for 2017 from over 200 entries. 

Best film inspired by ShakespeareOphelia by Caterina Picone, Caterina’s film explores what happens when method acting takes over the actor.

Best interpretation of a passage ShakespeareRichard III by Mona Zaidi, Mona’s entry is a surreal adaptation of Richard III mixing film and animation

Best Shakespeare themed animationShakespearean Women Part 4 by Fin McMorran this is one of a series of short witty commentaries on Woman in Shakespeare inspired by woodcuts of the time. 

Best local film makerOphelia by Savanna Spika, Savanna’s film is a hard hitting look at the struggles a modern day Ophelia might face.

Best young UK film maker - Et Tu by Emma Parkinson – Emma entry which explores the use and misuse of power wins the chance to participate in Chanel 4’s Random Acts programme with our partner Rural Media

All these films plus a selection of highly commended films will be shown at the Film Festival on the evening of 23 September at an outdoor screening at Shakespeare's New Place when the overall winner as chosen by our Patron Sir Kenneth Branagh will be announced. Book your tickets here


Prizes include  - 2 days in the Herbert Media recording studio with their in house engineer; 3 days of hire on lighting and grip equipment from Herbert Media; Opportunity to participate in the Random Acts Commissioning Project with Rural media and Channel 4; behind the scenes tour from Yamination.

Find out more about our partners.


Shakespeare Shorts 2017 is now closed for entries! 

Entries closed on August 1st 2017. The competition is free to enter. By submitting a video you agree to abide by our full entry guidelines.

Did you know?

There have been many direct adaptations when it comes to Shakespeare on film such as Baz Lurman’s well known Romeo+Juliet (1996), which uses Shakespeare’s original language in a strikingly modern setting, but there have also been some more unexpected adaptations. The Lion King (1994) is based on Hamlet and popular American teen classic She’s The Man (2006) is based on Twelfth Night.  

We're looking forward to seeing your adaptations and interpretations of Shakespeare. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. You don’t need to have your cast recite soliloquies and dress in period costume, quirky entries are definitely encouraged alongside more traditional adaptations.

For simple tips to get young filmmakers started, take a look at these resources by Into Film.

This is where the story began Walk in Shakespeare's footsteps The home of Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna Relive Shakespeare’s love story Experience the sights, sounds, and smells of a working Tudor farm