Jon Gann
Jamie Hardesty

Sunderland’s creative businesses to benefit from Shorts Film Festival Launch

Founder of the internationally renowned DC Shorts Film Festival, Jon Gann, is preparing to launch the Sunderland Shorts Film Festival at the University of Sunderland’s David Puttman Media Centre, on January 9, 2015 – signaling the start of a collaborative project that is set to shape, influence and grow the city’s independent film scene.

The Sunderland Shorts Film Festival, which is set to take place in July 2015, is the latest project to bring together creative professionals from Washington DC and Sunderland.

Inspired by the DC Shorts Film Festival, an annual event that provides a platform for filmmakers of every level to explore their craft and hone their skills, the festival will allow aspiring filmmakers in the city to showcase their work to audiences in the UK, Washington DC and beyond.

The highly anticipated launch event will feature 16 award winning short films from the DC Shorts Film Festival 2014, many of which are audience favourites and director selected works.

This will give budding North East filmmakers an insight into the calibre of work that was entered into last year’s DC festival and also give audiences a taste of what they can expect from the Sunderland Shorts Film Festival.

Selected films from the inaugural 2015 Sunderland Shorts Film Festival will then be shown at the next DC Shorts Film Festival later in the year, thereby opening up exposure to international markets and the rest of the USA.

Thanks to funding from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and support from Sunderland City Council via its Creative Industries and International strategies, Jon will work with Festival organisers in Sunderland to support the development of the event.

Formalised by a Friendship Agreement signed in 2006, the relationship between the City of Sunderland and Washington DC focuses on developing economic, educational and cultural links between the two cities – taking a unique historic connection and creating opportunities and prosperity through collaborative projects.

The Sunderland Shorts Film Festival will not only provide the city’s filmmakers with a unique platform to showcase their work to influential and international audiences, but it will also help to put Sunderland on the map as a forward thinking city that drives and facilitates ground breaking creative projects.

DC-based filmmaker and Programming Director of the DC Shorts Film Festival, Jon Gann, said: “I am really looking forward to bringing the film festival to Sunderland. Your City Council has a great focus on Creative Businesses and I think that this is really important.

“I have also always wanted to start a film festival somewhere outside of DC and this was the perfect opportunity to do so.

“Sunderland is a city that looks like it wants to have more arts and creativity. It also has very little going on with film right now, so if I can help create something that grows into something large and important for the region, then that’s a fabulous thing for me to do.”

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