OVER 150 ?lm-makers from the four corners of Britain and around the world, sponsors, judges, dignitaries and special guests packed the Winchester Discovery Centre on Saturday, November 11 for the black-tie award gala of the 6th Winchester International Short Film Festival.

The gala night rewarded the best short ?lm makers who were selected from more than 50 countries and was the culmination of a week of sold out screenings at venues across Winchester.

With champagne ?owing and live music from the south coast band Wild Front, the pre-gala ?lm-maker’s party kicked off at No.5 Bridge Street, which was commandeered by the festival to put up the visiting international ?lm-makers.

The gala proper was compered by Professor Lucy Mazdon, head of film at the University of Southampton, with director Peter Lydon as guest speaker, Jamie Petersen as accompanying musician and Flash Fires as entertainment. Among the special guests enjoying the awards night were the mayor of Winchester Cllr David Mclean, Hampshire county councillors Andrew Gibson and Elaine Still, Paul Spencer from Winchester BID, Rob Ferrin representing festival partner The University of Winchester, Kevin Gover from festival partner Winchester Today, Sally Ingram from sponsor SMUG magazine, Chris Polatch from sponsor English Naturally, Chris Buckingham from sponsor Lean Campaign, festival partner Dominic Carroll from C&CO and the esteemed members of the festival judging panel Lorne Guy, Lucy Mazdon and Paul Carter, plus a host of industry professionals.

According to festival director John Hayes, the key to the success of the festival is its “growing reputation for providing audiences with bold, original and thought-provoking ?lms that not only entertain, but also stir souls, widen horizons and re?ect the burning issues of our time.

At a moment in history when nations are rebuilding borders and technology is rede?ning personal boundaries, the curators of the festival selected a collection of ?lms that cross borders, challenge moral boundaries and test emotional limits, each screening offering a unique window into the global zeitgeist of 2017.

Mr Hayes added: “We also attempted to curate screenings that would appeal to a diverse audience, evidenced by ?lm lovers aged between 18 and 80 years old attending the screenings. The awards gala and the rewards we offer are our way of saying thank you to the ?lm-makers that allow us to do this for Winchester.”

Photos, interviews, ?lm clips and nomination reels from the award gala can be viewed on the festival website: winchestershort?lmfestival.com

The Of?cial List of 2017 Winners:

- Best British Short Film Winner – Geraint Reynolds, Catch of the Day.

Special Mention – Varun Raman and Tom Hancock, Transmission/ Jason Donald and Matt Portman, Passion Gap/ John Quarrell, The Gift.

- Best Foreign Short Film Winner – Michael Grudsky, The Transfer.

Special Mention – Bartosz Kruhlik, Adaptation/ Aleksandra Terpinska, The Best Fireworks Ever/ Patrycja Polkowska, Carousel/ Gonzaga Manso, Fortune Teller.

- Best Short Documentary Winner – Olivia Martinez de la Grange, Orchids Never Die.

Special Mention – Tom Huntingford, Dial-a-Ride/ Tom Oxenham for Skim for England/ Katharina Woll, for Exit.

- Best Animated Short Winner – Fx Goby, To Build a Fire.

Special Mention – Rafael Sommerhalder, Au Revoir Balthazar.

- Best New Director Winner – Jess O’Brian, Girl A.

Special Mention – Tomas Gold, The Enigma Duel.

- The Hampshire Prize Winner – Barnaby Boulton, A Place for Everything.

Special Mention – Will Nash, Somatic/ Oscar Ferguson, DDLN/ Aram Atkinson, Fire?ies.