The FOCUS Award 2023

Presented by EVCOM for young diverse filmmakers

Are you an aspiring film maker but finding the industry hard to break into? Did you know that there’s whole companies who are dedicated to producing short films and adverts for businesses, governments and charities?

EVCOM is an organisation which represents this part of the film industry, and this 2023 we are excited to launch the FOCUS Award for its third year running! Designed to celebrate young, diverse creative talent, the FOCUS Award is an award for young Black filmmakers and filmmakers of colour.

We recognise that Black people, and People of Colour are massively under-represented throughout our industry. The FOCUS Award is designed to foster, nurture and grow talent, as well as open doors. EVCOM is committed to addressing racism and race-related barriers to access and inclusion within the corporate film sector, to work towards a more inclusive and representative corporate film industry. Find out more here.

Key Dates

22nd March 2023: Open for entry

26th April 2023: Entry deadline

Judging will take place

6th June 2023: Shortlist Announced

The winner will be announced at the EVCOM Clarion Awards in June. The mentorship opportunities will begin in September 2023.

If you have any questions about the award and how to enter, please get in contact with Amelia at coordinator@evcom.org.uk

The FOCUS Award 2023

Presented by EVCOM for young diverse filmmakers

Returning for it’s third year, the FOCUS Award is calling for people to send in their short films for the chance to win invaluable mentoring sessions and to have their film screened in front of professional filmmakers!

What are we looking for?

  • Creative energy
  • Storytelling ability
  • A passion for filmmaking

Can I apply?

The award is open to filmmakers who are 18-25, Black or a Person of Colour and not already working in the film and TV industry.

How do I apply?

Please submit a short film you have made that is up to ten minutes in length. In the application form we will ask you to give us some background about the film and what you were trying to achieve with it.

Applications will open in March.

What do I get if I win?

The shortlisted entrants will receive free tickets to the summer awards ceremony and have excerpts from their films screened to all our guests! All shortlisted entrants will receive a mentorship session with a top corporate film company, where they can ask their questions, get feedback on their film and learn about the industry.

The winner will receive a trophy, and be part of a year’s worth of mentorship opportunities, provided by three of the top corporate film companies. Over the course of the year, they will have access to mentorship sessions, feedback on their work, and the chance to spend a day at a film shoot.

The FOCUS 15-18 Award 2023

Presented by EVCOM for young diverse filmmakers

Great films aren’t all about the fancy equipment and the big budgets, so that’s why the FOCUS 15-18 Award is calling for short films made on your phone. 

What are we looking for?

Give us creativity, exciting shots and compelling narratives. 

Films can be up to 5 minutes long.

Can I apply?

This award is open to Black filmmakers and filmmakers of Colour between the ages of 15-18 years old. 

How do I apply?

Submit your film via the form below and answer the questions. This is a chance for us to get to know you and find out a bit about where you are at in your filmmaking journey. 

Applications will open in March.

What do I get if I win?

The winner will be invited to attend the EVCOM Clarion Awards ceremony in the summer, where their film will be shown to an audience of professional filmmakers. 

They will get to spend two days doing work experience with a corporate film company, with the chance to go on a shoot and see what a day in the office looks like! They will also have the chance to get feedback on their film, and ask questions of the team to find out more about the industry and how to succeed in it. 

Hear from our mentors:

Gorilla Gorilla!, who are also kindly sponsoring the award, says, “We’re delighted to be a mentor company for the FOCUS Award for the second year running. We very much enjoyed judging the entries to the competition and providing advice and guidance to the winner and the runners up. It’s also been a pleasure to see their careers take positive steps forward since. We look forward to meeting this year’s new talent and unlike last year being able to meet up in person too!”

The Edge Picture Company continues, “Addressing racism and race-related barriers to access and inclusion within our industry is top priority for us at The Edge. Last year we met some incredible, talented creatives, two of which we’re delighted to say now have full-time jobs at The Edge. We were impressed by the talent who entered last year and really look forward to mentoring some of the young people involved again this year.”

Media Zoo adds, “We are so proud to be supporting the EVCOM Focus awards and are honoured to be one of the mentors for this year’s winner.

We know how important it is for young people to have the right mentoring and opportunities to gain the experience they need. This will really shape their careers and help them make their mark in our industry. We are absolutely delighted to be supporting these fantastic awards and can’t wait to see all of the entries and meet this year’s winner.”

The FOCUS Award is sponsored by Gorilla Gorilla! – thank you so much!

Dean Beswick, Founder & Creative Director, Gorilla Gorilla! says, “Inclusion and diversity is a key topic for much of our film and animation work and for us as a business as we continue to build our own diverse team of talented filmmakers. We’re delighted therefore to be supporting the FOCUS Award to help EVCOM champion talent from under-represented backgrounds.”

The FOCUS Award 2022:

We ran this award for the second time in 2022. The shortlisted entrants, who all received access to a mentorship conversation, were:

Dinah by Pierre Niyongira

I Didn’t Dare to Speak by Aileen Ye

L’appel du vide by Annabelle Angeline

The Cave by Rong You

THE HIP HOP MENTALITY: A UK HIP HOP DOCUMENTARY by Montel Vernege

And the winner was:

I Didn’t Dare to Speak by Aileen Ye

The shortlisted entrants received free tickets to the EVCOM Clarion Awards ceremony and had excerpts from their film screened to all our guests. They received mentorship conversations with top corporate film companies, and our winner was enrolled on a year long mentorship programme! Thank you to Gorilla Gorilla!The Edge Picture Company and Media Zoo for providing these mentorship opportunities. Thank you to Gorilla Gorilla! for sponsoring.

The FOCUS Award (15-18) 2022:

We ran this award for the first time in 2022, to offer work experience to school and sixth form aspiring filmmakers.  The shortlisted entrants were:

daydream by Alison Chang

RED by Kunza Khan

And the winner was:

daydream by Alison Chang

The winner received access to work experience with corporate film companies Pukka Films, Verity London  and TFI Lodestar. 

The FOCUS Award 2020:

We ran this award for the first time in 2020. The shortlisted entrants, who all received access to a mentorship conversation, were:

56 Black Men by Esther Rennae Walker

Conscious by Loren Alleyne

Happy Birthday by Jigyasa Anand

Magpie by Hamza Pool

STRANDED IN NIGERIA – THE ROAD TO ENUGU by Godgift Chidinma Emesi

And the winner was:

Magpie by Hamza Pool

“With the FOCUS Award, EVCOM have set up an amazing opportunity for filmmakers to have their voice heard. Since being the recipient of last years FOCUS, many great opportunities have opened up for me as a direct result of the award,” says Hamza, 2020 Winner!

The shortlisted entrants received free tickets to the virtual November awards ceremony and had excerpts from their film screened to all our guests! They received mentorship conversations with top corporate film companies, and our winner was enrolled on a year long mentorship programme! Thank you to Gorilla Gorilla!The Edge Picture Company and Plastic Pictures for providing these mentorship opportunities. Thank you to The Edge Picture Company for sponsoring this award.

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