Parliament celebrates Britain’s best breakthrough film talent

The winners of Film the House 2018 were announced earlier this month at an awards ceremony in the House of Commons, attended by MPs, Lords and members of the film and television industries.

ALCS is thrilled to sponsor Film the House, a Parliamentary competition which seeks to find bright new talent in British filmmaking and helps support the next generation of filmmakers and scriptwriters. The competition is run annually by MPs, in conjunction with industry professionals, and provides a fun and engaging way to highlight the importance of intellectual property rights to both creators and MPs.

This year, the competition saw an influx of entries from around the UK, with submissions for Best Original Film Script (Under 16 and 16 and Over) and Best Short Film (Under 16 and 16 and Over). Upcoming filmmakers submitted original films and scripts for their local MPs to review, with entries received in over 70 constituencies. An expert industry panel of leading figures from across Britain’s creative landscape then chose the winners from a shortlist compiled by MPs.

Lord Dobbs, writer and executive producer of House of Cards, hosted the event and praised the awards for helping to ‘shine a light on the creative industries and the importance of intellectual property (IP)’. Also in attendance were Margot James MP, Secretary of State for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), who spoke on the value of the creative industries and IP respectively.

Margot James hailed creativity as ‘Britain’s calling card’ and commended the Government’s plans to implement ‘a number of initiatives to secure the future talent pipeline’. She shared the most recent DCMS figures which show that the film and television industry has been ‘growing at over seven times that of the rest of the economy’, making the UK’s cultural influence one of the best in the world. Her focus then turned to the shortlisted filmmakers in the room, citing them as the future of the growing, diverse creative industries and saying, ‘we now need brilliant new talent, our best and brightest, no matter what your background or where you’re from.’

Francis Gurry spoke about the importance of IP to the growth of the economy, suggesting one of the most important roles of IP is to ‘act as a balancing mechanism for ensuring we achieve the right balance in the interest of creators’. He encouraged the filmmakers in the room to keep creating, concluding his speech by saying, ‘nothing exists without the author or creator’.


The winners of Film the House 2018:


Best Original Film Script Under 16

Freya Hannan-Mills – The Iron Grotto

Two men take refuge from bad weather in a shelter where many happy memories were once experienced. When tragedy strikes, one is taken back to his childhood.


Best Original Film Script 16 and Over

Luke Andrews – Dearest Otto

A difficult reunion between an estranged father and son highlights the trauma of families who were forced to send their children away on the Kindertransport during World War II.


Best Short Film Under 16

Morgan O’Connell – The Help We Need

This short film takes place in the countryside where a man lives an isolated and lonely life. When something out of the ordinary occurs, a chilling truth about his life is revealed.


Best Short Film 16 and Over

Karen Turner – The Silent

The Silent exposes the stigma around male victims of abuse, and reveals how many men suffering in these relationships remain silent.


The winners received prizes including mentoring sessions from industry professionals, a private screening of their film for friends and family, and a certificate of classification by the British Board of Film Casting (BBFC).


Film the House enjoys widespread support from the film and TV industry and is sponsored by 21st Century Fox, Lionsgate, The Motion Picture Association, Sky, Warner Bros. Entertainment and Viacom, as well as ALCS.


Lord Dobbs, presenter of the awards and writer and executive producer of House of Cards, said:

“The UK film industry is a cornerstone of the creative industries, whose success relies heavily on the protection of intellectual property (IP). It’s essential that legislators help cultivate these industries by supporting IP rights, to ensure creators can confidently continue to produce outstanding work. Film the House is a brilliant Parliamentary competition that helps highlight the importance of IP to creatives and MPs alike, while awarding great prizes to fresh, artistic talent. I’d encourage all aspiring filmmakers and scriptwriters to get involved.”


Paul Powell, writer and judge for Film the House, said:

“The creative industries in the UK are booming right now, with bumper growth in Britain’s film, TV, music and digital industries. According to the DCMS, the creative industries are worth £101.5 billion to the UK economy. We need to protect that contribution by supporting new talent, guaranteeing fair remuneration, recognising the importance of Intellectual Property and ring-fencing copyright. From writers and directors through to musicians and games developers, creators are at the heart of the British economy.”


Take a look at the photographs from the event on the Film the House website.