Each team behind the short films will now go through a supported development process, before pitching again in March for up to seven production funding awards.
From queer period romance to surreal, Brexit-themed black comedy, this selection of shorts reflects the diverse voices and broad visions of the emerging talent Wales has to offer.
BFI Welsh Talent NETWORK Manager Alice Whittemore comments: "I’m so excited by the range of voices represented in this slate of projects; particularly that over half are helmed by female directors. The shortlist spotlights LGBTQI stories, champions the Welsh language and emboldens interdisciplinary creative talent to bring a strong, visual approach and fresh ideas to the medium of film. Supporting them through this new development phase will allow these filmmakers to build confidence in their vision, as each of them chooses to express their Welsh identity in a very singular way."
The shortlisted projects are:
Writer/Director: Mac Nixon
Producer: Ed Casey
A precocious and fearless six-year-old girl roams the streets of her industrial Welsh town, desperately searching for her missing cat before the day’s end.
Director: Hanna Jarman
Writers: Hanna Jarman, Mared Jarman
Producer: Alice Lusher, Ie Ie Productions
A Welsh & English language psychological thriller that juxtaposes audio-description with abstract visuals to explore the complexities of the 'horror-esque' hallucinations experienced by a young woman with Charles Bonnet Syndrome.
Father of the Bride
Writer: Rhys Marc Jones
Producer: Alexander Polunin
Delivering the Best Man speech at your brother’s wedding is never easy, but Christian must try to do so after an awkward propositioning by the father of the bride.
Writer/Director: Zillah Bowes
A single city woman goes to buy a dog from a married hill farmer in remote mid-Wales.
Writer/Director: Sam O'Rourke
Kerry is bored. This small town routine is suffocating her. But then one day she follows a path to an underground escape filled with jelly, board games and hope.
Writer/Director: Efa Blosse Mason
Producer: Amy Morris, Winding Snake Productions
An animated short film exploring the joy and fear experienced in the early days of a relationship.
Men I Trust
Writer/Director: Thomas Chetwode-Barton
Producer: Jenna Cedici
A dark romantic drama that tells a story of gender, ghosts and a budding love between two boys.
Writer/Director: Nan Moore
Producer: Bethan Jones
On the overnight bus home to Wales, Lili tries to decipher whether the driver is an ex-convict. Could he teach her a lesson in forgiveness?
Writer/Director: Leyla Pope
Producers: Sophie Francis, Greg Mothersdale
A young Syrian refugee visits Big Pit, a Welsh mining museum, and is forced to confront a trauma she is trying to forget.
SALLY LEAPT OUT OF THE WINDOW LAST NIGHT
Writer/Director: Tracy Spottiswoode
Producer: Kathy Speirs, Up Helly Aa
Ireland, 1788. To escape the fate their families plan for them, two women flout convention and scandalise society by eloping. Based on the true story of The Ladies of Llangollen.
Writer/Director: Griff Lynch
A Welsh and Japanese language documentary that follows Takeshi Koike on his journey to embracing Welsh culture through learning and lecturing in Tokyo.
Funded through Ffilm Cymru’s BFI Welsh Talent NETWORK, Beacons invests in emerging writers, directors and producers from Wales to develop bold and unique voices, explore diverse forms of cinematic storytelling, and establish flourishing careers as feature filmmakers.
Short films previously produced through the Beacons scheme include Ewan Jones-Morris’ This Far Up, which won Best Short Film at the 2017 BAFTA Cymru awards, and Medeni Griffiths’ historical thriller Beddgelert, which was broadcast on S4C in November 2017. Meanwhile, Claire Fowler’s BFI Welsh Talent NETWORK-supported short film Salam premiered at Tribeca in 2018, before being selected for the BFI London Film Festival.
Welsh filmmakers that went on to make their debut features with Ffilm Cymru after being awarded Beacons funding include BAFTA-winning writer-director Rungano Nyoni (I Am Not a Witch, selected as the UK’s Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film), Catherine Linstrum (Nuclear), and Ryan Hooper (The Toll).