Get your own Little Black Book.

Build your own personal news stream. Discover the latest work created that intersts you, share your favourite stories and follow your favourite people and companies

Already have an account?

  • 122

Just So and Sheffield Doc/Fest Announce Film Fund Winners

Just So, 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Selected from more than 300 entries, development has begun on the first four films of the year to be hosted on the Postcards platform

Just So and Sheffield Doc/Fest Announce Film Fund Winners

Throughout the year, the Just So Film Fund in Association with Sheffield Doc/Fest award twelve grants of up to £5,000 to film-makers with untold stories. The first four winning treatments of 2016 have been selected from over 300 online applicants.

The brief for the competition is simple; submit an idea for a short documentary that concerns itself with both content and form.

Founders of Just So, Jonny Madderson and Jono Stevens comment: “Short documentaries are on the rise and we want to stoke the fires of the genre. In 1925, Grierson defined documentary as ‘creative treatment of actuality’ and we want to give film-makers the opportunity to test that and make films with as much focus on form as on content.”

A panel of 7 judges, including; Claire Aguilar, Head of programming at Sheffield Doc/fest; Brian McGinn, Director and executive producer on the Netflix hit Chef’s Table; Mark Russell, managing editor for GQ, and Jordan McGarry, Director of curation at Vimeo; whittled down the thirteen shortlisted entries last week. Three of the films from Eleanor Mortimer, James Newton and Joris Debeij will go into production with a fourth project by Jade Jackman going into development.

Previous winning films have gone on to be featured in Short of the Week, Esquire, Nowness, Cork Film Festival, It’s Nice That, i-D & Vimeo staff picks.  

 “I have never seen such a wonderful and unique opportunity that Just So provides for filmmakers to create short films which stretch the boundaries of form and require creativity and vision.  The slate of films selected promise to be fresh and exciting, reflecting innovative modes of production as well as showcasing diverse film-makers,” said Claire Aguilar, Head of Programming, Sheffield Doc/Fest.

Brian McGinn, Director/Exec Producer, Chef’s Table (Netflix), commented:“We're in an exciting time in the documentary world as the form becomes more widely embraced and the genre evolves. What Postcards is supporting is a movement of documentarians towards more and more creative aesthetic choices -- using the form to push boundaries. All of the submissions had a unique take on the idea of documentary film-making. As a director myself, it's exciting that there's a place where people that care about the way their stories look can get support.”

 “I was thoroughly impressed with the general standard of the short list of 13 treatments, particularly in the breadth of subject matter tackled. There were so many stories that I knew either nothing or very little about and, in most cases, immediately wanted to learn more of - in short, some great journalistic pitches. The scale of ambition and desire to make it work was also very notable,” said Mark Russel, Managing Editor, GQ


Eleanor Mortimer


Winning Project Title: Seafarers

Project Logline: What's it like to travel everywhere but visit nowhere?


Eleanor is a documentary maker from Suffolk. Her first short, The Price of Freedom (2013, Italy/UK) won best web doc at the IAWRT Awards 2013. She went on to do a masters at the National Film and Television School, where she directed Territory (2015), winning her Best Short at Hot Docs. The film was screened at festivals internationally, including Sundance, True/False, and Cinema du Reel. She lives and works in London as part of Glow in the Dark Films.’



Jade Jackman


Winning Project Title: Letters To Home

Project Logline: How do you make a film about women who the Government no longer wants you to see?


Jade Jackman is a 22 old old journalist and documentary storyteller who firmly believes in the use of artistic techniques to engage her audience in contemporary political issues. A combination of her unique approach and dedication to human rights has seen her featured in the ASOS magazine, IndieWire, Topshop blog and screen work at the BFI. She is also the co-founder of Eye Want Change a mobile phone film competition that aims to improve access to the media and privilege innovation over the use of expensive equipment.


James Newton (Co-directed by Edward Edwards)


Winning Project Title: Black Snow

Project Logline: A tale of two cities - a film told through the eyes of children, who see a life of colour in a city where the snow is black and the air tastes of sulphur.


After winning a David Lean scholarship, James Newton graduated from the National Film and Television School in 2007 with an MA in Documentary. His talent and passion for documentary cinematography had already been spotted when he won a Kodak commercials award a year earlier. 

James has a distinctive style, shooting unpredictable observational scenes using prime lenses. The result is a cinematic, filmic look that is akin to feature films or drama.  James’s talent as a self-shooting director was best exemplified in last year’s critically acclaimed BBC 2 series The Detectives for which he shot and directed the entire series.



Joris Debeij


Winning Project Title: W-A-T-T-S

Project Logline: Whilst growing up in his beloved hometown, Watts, a young man finds himself addicted to the fast life. Breaking from his gang lifestyle, he fights for a second chance.


Joris is the founder and director behind “I Am Los Angeles” which in turn spawned the festival renowned shorts “The Bull Rider” and “Making it in America.” His directing style combines visual storytelling with detailed character study. His short documentary “Making it in America” was selected to screen at the Sundance Film Festival 2015. 


All winning films will be hosted on, a dedicated short documentaries platform.

The next round of submissions is also now open until July 1st 2016. Entrants can submit their ideas at Just So will also be hosting a round table commissioning panel at Sheffield Doc/Fest this June with details to be announced shortly. 

Genre: Documentary , People