BFI Future Film Festival announces 2022 Awards Jury and full programme

Feb 9, 2022

The BFI announce this year’s Jury for the programme of 50 short films that have been selected to screen in the 15th edition of the BFI Future Film Festival, which will this year be a hybrid format, with events taking place online and at BFI Southbank from 17-20 February 2022.

The films will be available to watch for free on BFI Player from 17 February – 3 March (UK only), as well as screening at BFI Southbank during the Festival. Newly confirmed speakers for the festival including actor and director Romola Garai (Amulet), actor and director Rebecca Hall (Passing), actor Callum Scott Howells (It’s a Sin) and producer Rebecca O’Brien (I, Daniel Blake, Sorry We Missed You) will join other key industry speakers such as Craig Roberts (Submarine, The Phantom Of The Open) and producers Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor (Blue Story, Boxing Day) and Ameenah Allen (Rocks, Ali & Ava).

The films in this year’s festival are also eligible for the BFI Future Film Festival Awards, the nominees for which were revealed last week. 3 of the 10 Awards, including Best Film and Best Director, and Best New Talent (which looks for the filmmaker with the most promise and raw talent), will be judged by an esteemed Festival Jury chaired by Mark Herbert, producer and joint CEO of Sheffield-based Warp Films, known for its multi award winning films and television including Dead Man’s Shoes, Four Lions and This Is England ’86, ’88 and ’90. Mark will be joined by fellow jury members actor Nicola Coughlan (BridgertonDerry Girls), filmmaker and actor Aml Ameen (Boxing DayYardie), director Runyararo Mapfumo (Sex Education) and documentary filmmaker Kyla Harris (It’s Personal).

BFI Future Film Festival Awards jury chair, Mark Herbert said: “I am honoured to be this year’s Jury Chair and look forward to deliberating with my fellow jurors on some exciting and original work from some truly gifted young filmmakers”.

The BFI also announce that Netflix return as the 2022 Festival’s Main Sponsor and year-round sponsor of BFI Festivals. They are supporting the BFI Future Film Festival Awards and presenting the Best Documentary Award, which includes a year of mentoring with Netflix’s Jonny Taylor, Director, Documentary Film – EMEA. The Festival would not be possible without the continued support of The Reuben Foundation, who are the Lead Supporter of the BFI’s year-round education programmes, including monthly BFI Film Academy Labs and the BFI Future Film Festival.

Award-nominees across ten categories will be in the running for prize money totalling more than £10,000 and further mentorships from industry leaders – the winners will be revealed at the BFI Future Film Festival 2022 Awards Ceremony supported by Netflix, which will take place virtually and in person on 20 February. All 10 BFI Future Film Festival 2022 Award winners will also receive 12-month mentoring support from BFI Film Academy.

This year’s Festival, which is aimed at aspiring filmmakers aged 16-25, is completely free of charge for those attending online, enabling young people from every corner of the UK, and across the world, to benefit from masterclasses and talks from the best in the business. Festival passes for BFI Southbank are available from £5 (Thursday only) – £15 (Friday – Sunday) per day. Full details of the events programme for online (which will be available globally) and in person events at BFI Southbank will be announced on 27 January.


This year’s programme of 50 shorts made by young filmmakers aged 16-25 are an extraordinary collection of films that tackle a broad range of subjects, from mental health and grief to toxic masculinity and race, as well as films inspired by, and made during, the Covid-19 lockdowns. These films, which are all available to watch at BFI Southbank during the Festival and online for free on BFI Player from 17 February – 3 March (UK only), all display phenomenal skill and creativity and no doubt feature many future stars of the film industry, both in the UK and internationally.

Nominees – BFI Future Film Festival 2022 Awards, supported by Netflix:

Best Director (Judged by BFI FFF Awards Jury)

Prize: £1,000

  • A rueful Girl thinks she’s found her match when she locks eyes with a coy Boy one night in PRANGOVER (Celine Buckens, 2021, UK). But this promising boy-meets-girl tale lacks one thing: a condom. Forced to wait 21 days for a reliable pregnancy test, Girl’s imagination runs riot – potentially changing her perspective of the unwitting Boy forever…
  • HEART FAILURE (Will Wightman, 2021, UK) is a musical, but not as you know it, following Frank and his relationship with Lizzie. From the one-night stand where they meet, to the day she tells him she loves him; from the week she ignores his texts, to the moment she says they need to talk. We’ve all been there. Breakups are the worst. Also nominated from Best Film and Best New Talent.
  • In BRATUS (Christian Schifano, 2020, Italy), when Lorenzo wants to play with the older kids his little brother Diego finds an unexpected new friend.
  • During a time where the whole country is on lockdown, and being on social media is the closest way of communicating, BEING BLACK (Michael Junior Onafowokan, 2021, UK) follows our narrator, Ekay, as he is locked down in his room scrolling through social media. A certain trending hashtag has caught his eye, #BeingBlack. He reads out tweets to himself that surprisingly resonates with him as a black man.

Best Film (Supported by Chapman Charitable Trust – Judged by BFI FFF Awards Jury)

Prize: £1,000

  • THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO GAIL (Florence Winter Hill, 2020, UK) follows 17 year old Mia (played by ROCKS’ Bukky Bakray), who just wants to live life in the fast lane, but learning to drive with Gail (Harriet Webb) is so much more than a driving lesson, it’s a life lesson (also nominated for Best Writer).
  • HEART FAILURE (Will Wightman, 2021, UK) – see Best Director section.
  • HOMEBOUND (Lucy Werrett, 2021, UK) is an experimental documentary that takes a retrospective look at the collective mental shifts that occurred in the first UK lockdown; narrated by a patchwork quilt of anonymous voices, self-recorded from within their isolation during the first lockdown (also nominated for Best Documentary).
  • A minimalistic drama about the importance of communication in an increasingly volatile online world, LONE WOLVES (Elliot James Gaynon, 2021, UK) follows a widowed single father, who struggles with the growing distance between him and his agitative teenage son.

Best New Talent (Supported by Blackmagic Design – Judged by BFI FFF Awards Jury)

Prize:  £4,000 + a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro with DaVinci Resolve Studio.

  • THOUGHT CABINET (Xavier Wehrli, 2021, Canada) is an experimental short about a man trapped in his own mind who is forced to confront his most disturbing fantasies (also nominated for Best Experimental Film)
  • HEART FAILURE (Will Wightman, 2021, UK) – see Best Director section.
  • Following six individuals who differ in age, gender, and location, but united by a shared experience, EXHALE (Adekemi Roluga, 2020, UK) explores the mental and emotional impact of racial micro-aggressions.
  • In FART CAR (Fraser Scott, 2021, UK), a young man who is grieving his father, tells us the story of an eventful night where he kissed a boy for the first time. Haunted by the memory of his death, he tries his best to keep his mind, and ours, on something else for as long as he can, until a fateful encounter late at night.

Best Documentary (Supported by Netflix – Judged by Jonny Taylor, Netflix)

Prize: £1,000 + One-year mentoring package from Netflix’s Jonny Taylor, Director, Documentary Film – EMEA

  • The act of washing one’s hair and body serves as the touchstone for WASH DAY (Kourtney Jackson, 2020, Canada); as they get ready for the day, three young Black women discuss the public perception of their Blackness in its relation to their personal journeys in cultivating a strong sense of self.
  • THE LAST PAGE (Kota Nakamura, 2021, Japan) documents the final days of a bookseller specialising in antiquarian books in the Tokyo suburbs, after Kyosuke Ishida decides to close down his shop after 35 years due to the recession brought on by the pandemic (also nominated for Best International Film).
  • HOMEBOUND (Lucy Werrett, 2021, UK) – see Best Film section.
  • In JOYCHILD (Aurora Brachman, 2020, USA) a young child tells their mother, “I’m not a girl”, for the first time; this film beautifully captures the hesitancy, fear, and relief at revealing one’s innermost thoughts, as well as the unconditional love of a mother.
  • In the 16mm personal essay film, CARRY ME IN (Rebecca Penner, 2021, USA), a filmmaker living with a chronic tick-borne disease reflects on how their relationship with insects has evolved throughout their lifetime (also nominated for Best Experimental Film).

Best Animation (supported by BlinkInk – Judged by Bart Yates, BlinkInk)

Prize: £1,000 + mentoring package

  • Compared to the bustling life of London’s City, in the quiet, static suburb, lurk foxes. SUBURB (Miles Jezuita, 2021, UK) is a glimpse into what mischief these enigmatic creatures wreak on their man-made surroundings.
  • In SILVERING (Eilidh Nicoll, 2021, UK) the discovery of a grey hair triggers a woman’s spiral into a panic. The sanctuary of her bathroom takes a turn for the sinister – and the hair becomes her tormentor.
  • Darkly comic and downright bizarre, DIVINATION DAVE (Georgia Madden, 2021, UK) tells the story of a crisp loving couch potato who finds himself on a journey of accidental enlightenment when his favourite flavour of salty crisps runs out.
  • The eponymous character in NESTOR (João Gonzalez, 2019, UK/Portugal) is a man with several obsessive-compulsive behaviours, who lives in an unstable houseboat that never stops oscillating.
  • In a fabric society, a young figure diverges from rigid gender binaries to explore where their identity lies in NUDITY (Jáchym Bouzek, 2021, UK).

Best Experimental Film (Supported by Black Dog Films – Judged by Martin Roker, Black Dog Films)

Prize: £1,000 + mentoring package

  • THOUGHT CABINET (Xavier Wehrli, 2021, Canada) – see Best New Talent section
  • PICKING UP ON THINGS (Hannah Tasker, 2021, UK) is a desktop documentary about a filmmaker struggling to make a desktop documentary; a lockdown induced film made in a time when all we had to interact with was our screens, this screen reflects something rather ugly back…
  • CARRY ME IN (Rebecca Penner, 2021, USA) – see Best Documentary section.
  • An experimental short about our love-hate relationship with Instagram and our photo-editing mania, and based on interviews with young people, @SCROLL_ALICE (Céline Ufenast, 2020, UK) is the director’s take on our anxieties cause by social media (also nominated for Best Micro Short).
  • In BLACKMAEL (Bradley Banton, 2021, UK) a happy-go-lucky postman happens to come across a person he never thought he would. Blackmael is about assimilation, an extension of self-preservation – a social tactic familiar to Black people yet far from exclusive to the Black experience; what would happen if we could go further than just changing our vocabulary, our posture or the way we speak? How far would we be willing to go in order to give ourselves the upper hand to fit in with our surroundings?

Best Micro Short (Supported by Digital Orchard – Judged by the Executive Team, Digital Orchard)

Prize: Grading + mentoring packages from Digital Orchard

  • Isn’t it suspicious that girls can’t go for a wee on their own at a party? And why are they in there for so long? THIS IS WHY GIRLS GO TO THE BATHROOM TOGETHER (Lydia Reid, 2020, UK) explains all.
  • Where do stolen items go? STOLEN. (Christina Giordano, 2021, USA) brings you on a journey from who and where stolen items could have gone.
  • @SCROLL_ALICE (Céline Ufenast, 2020, UK) – see Best Experimental Film section.
  • Sometime, somewhere a series of photos were taken, ending up in an old Bric-à-Brac shop in the south of England; the filmmaker compiled his favourites in SOMETIME, SOMEWHERE (Jaime Weston, 2021, UK), to tell a story of how he thinks the photographer’s day might have unfolded.
  • In +1 (Willy Suárez, 2021, Spain), Dante receives a call from his mother while partying during Covid-19 pandemic.

Best International Film + Special Mention (Supported by London School of English – Judged by Timothy Blake, London School of English)

Prize: £1,000 (Best International Film) / £750 (Special Mention)

  • After a series of let-downs, Edith, a budding young actress starts to doubt her abilities in THIS TIME WITH FEELING (Spencer Glassman, 2020, Canada). Desperation, embarrassment and a heart-breaking rejection launches Edith into a spiral of self-doubt; becoming a little more than unhinged.
  • In THE LAST SONG (Charlie Li, 2020, China) a female actor in Chinese Peking Opera has a desperate marriage, and finally one day in a quarrel with her husband, she impulsively kills him.
  • ONE CALL AWAY (Camila Marcano, 2021, USA) follows a young woman who, alone in a foreign country, meets virtually with friends and family who are in different parts of the world.
  • THE LAST PAGE (Kota Nakamura, 2021, Japan) – see Best Documentary section.
  • MIRRORED FAMILY (Evan Kerbage, 2021, Germany) offers a glimpse into the developing relationships of 5 family members in isolation during the first Covid lockdown.
  • Angge experiences an unfamiliar feeling during her day-to-day routine as a daughter, friend, and student in BACKPACK (Carlos Dala, 2021, Philippines). As she attends school, this feeling turns into weight, making her struggle to come home, carrying her heavy backpack.
  • CRIMINAL$ (Frank Welsh, 2021, Australia) – see Best Writer section.

Best Writer (Supported by Chapman Charitable Trust – Judged by Mike Williams, Editor Sight & Sound)

Prize: £1,000         

  • In YOU LOOK FINE (Katie Byford, 2021, UK), Syd attends a doctor’s appointment while coping with PTSD symptoms, following a recent incident of sexual assault.
  • TRAFFIC (Jack Darrer, 2020, Scotland) is an exploration of toxic masculinity and grief that follows Ryan who, after a loved one’s funeral, just wants to play pool, but his money-motivated friend has a few lifts to do first.
  • THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO GAIL (Florence Winter Hill, 2020, UK) – see Best Film section.
  • In BUD (Jack McLoughlin, 2021, UK) a man has to make a difficult phone call to his son, not knowing how long it will be until he sees him again.
  • Two bozos dissecting the concept of currency and trade with the vocabulary of seagulls; CRIMINAL$ (Frank Welsh, 2021, Australia) is an ode to banter (also nominated for Best International Film).


  • In UNTITLED PROJECT (Kacper Buratyński, 2021, Poland), two scientists are researching the discovered civilization of French fries.
  • An ageing director is making her final film: one delving into her past in THIS CAMERA IS BROKEN (Joshua Hext, 2020, UK); face to face with the embodiment of her younger self, the line between her present reality and the film’s blur.
  • In this storybook satire, THE BUTTERFLY (Dhara Wright, 2021, UK), a Butterfly seeks a flower as a wife, although, as pickiness gets the best of him he ends up paying the ultimate price.
  • THE BOY & THE BALLOON (Lucas James, 2021, UK) explores the mundane routine life of a 40-year-old supermarket employee just trying to keep it the way it is. But today is different. On his way to work he spots a young boy holding a white balloon across the road, mimicking his every action.
  • When a middle-aged childless couple donate to ‘adopt’ a penguin from a television advert, their lives are changed when the penguin actually arrives on their doorstep in PENGUGEE (Stephen Quenet, 2021, UK). While Olivia takes to the penguin immediately, Gavin is less pleased, near disgusted by this foreign invader, until he realises the impact of his prejudice and performs a fatherly act.
  • In SANTI (Harry Richards, 2021, UK) a young Colombian man receives a voice message from home while grappling with cultural differences at a London dinner party with his new English girlfriend.
  • In PERFECT. (Daniel Epega, 2020, USA) a stick figure realizes that “perfection” is more than what it seems.
  • A weather-tormented man who just wants to dry his underwear is forced to use the local laundromat each evening in WET & SOPPY (Cliona Noonan, 2020, Ireland), but another customer is watching him from afar…
  • Metamorphism is the change in a rock due to heat or pressure. Similar to rocks, humans change due to intense pressure or heat. For humans, these pressures may include family, school, wealth, fame, and ourselves. This experimental film, METAMORPHISM (Kate Saltel, 2020, USA) is an expression of the filmmaker’s own overwhelming pressures and how they may change due to them.
  • In ASTRALIUM (Lucie Andouche, 2020, France), a little girl meticulously builds up an ecosystem on a beach at twilight’s dawn. She intends to make her little world perfect. But soon, the tide is coming in.
  • BUTTERFLIES IN THE STOMACH (Miriam Lazrak, 2020, France) follows Marius, a meticulous barista. One day, following his meeting with Valentine, strange symptoms start to manifest, preventing him from doing his work. It’s hard to serve coffee when you see everything in pink and when butterflies are coming out your mouth.
  • COCOABEAN (Tanya Bittar Massally, 2019, UK) is a poetic, visual-narrative short embracing the nature of what it means to be of Black, Asian & minority ethnic origin, whilst questioning the validity of the umbrella term: BAME.
  • A woman cursed with foresight tries to change the course of fate. Inspired by 90s anime, 35mm double exposure film photography and Kubrick conspiracy, FORESIGHT (Jack S Lowe, 2020, Norway), experiments with the linear nature of film by superimposing the reverse of the film over itself to create a unique storytelling experience.
  • HOPE AND HER TWO DAUGHTERS (Tobore Dafiaga, 2021, UK) is an experimental short film that reflects on the revelations and racial atrocities of 2020, ruminating about the pertinent work that needs to continue.
  • LIFE’S MEETING ROOM (Becky-Lulu Dartnell, 2021, UK), which is based on interviews with people during lockdown, is a stop motion animated documentary exploring the question, ‘What is the meaning of life?’.

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