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BBFC RatingBFF Short Film Competition

CertificateNot Rated
Running Time2HR 17MINS
Extra InfoRec 18+
SeasonBelfast Film Festival

The Belfast Film Festival is proud to support the medium of short film, and this annual competition is made up of early-to-mid career and established filmmakers from the island of Ireland.

PROGRAMME 1 (10:00am)

Still Up There

Joe Loftus

An astronaut wakes up in outer space, struggling to piece together how he got there. Bold animated visuals and unsettling sound design bring his internal monologue to life.

Wednesday's Child

Laura O'Shea

Marie faces her first day on the job as a Social Care worker. Despite her optimism, a house call to a family in crisis quickly brings her back to reality.

Napoleon's Nose

Joanna McClurg

This refreshing coming-of-age story follows young carer Jenny as she balances her work life with her social life and the unavoidable realities of growing up. This authentic snapshot of life as a young person in contemporary Belfast is keenly observed by writer/director Joanna McClurg, anchored by a stunning smartphone sequence capturing a messy night out.

You're Not Home

Derek Ugochukwu

When an ominous mould appears in their room, two African brothers seeking asylum are faced with a dark entity lurking within their Direct Provision centre. You’re Not Home is a vivid and terrifying depiction of systemic racism, disempowerment and exile.

PROGRAMME 2 (11:30am)

Empty Little People

Josh O’Caoimh, Mikai Geronimo

Empty Little People is a dark fairy tale, strikingly animated with a nightmarish palette and narrated liked a twisted lullaby. It follows a horde of ‘empty little people’ whose insatiable thirst for tea leads them perilously towards the jaws of doom.

The Radio

Laura Kavanagh

An elderly widower depends on his radio to keep a foothold in his routine. When it breaks, his daughter is forced to pay more attention to her isolated father.


Michael-David McKernan

A young woman returns to the island where grew up, after many years abroad. She’s beckoned home to face the demons of her past and the crux of her unresolved pain, her relationship with her father. Foxglove is a story about healing, music and the transformative nature of forgiveness.

Shea and Hannah

Dean Conway

Shea and Hannah takes place the morning after a night out and focuses on the conversation between two young people as they ruminate on life and relationships. This sensitive and understated short is made by the performances and chemistry of lead actors Erin Coghlan and Nathan Quinn-O’Rawe who capture both the intimacy and awkwardness of a one-night stand.

PROGRAMME 3 (1:00pm)

Sour Milk

Mark Keane

This tight and impactful snapshot of a teenage relationship is brimming with tension and chemistry. Director Mark Keane captures a dynamic that feels truthful and nuanced, leading to a visceral and unsettling climax.

Flotsam & Jetsam

Felix Surplus

Flotsam & Jetsam is a stop-motion animation set on a far future Earth, frozen over and lost to civilization. It follows a lone robot on a journey in search of sanctuary, and to find out if it is truly the last of its kind. Strikingly hand-crafted, and rich in detail and atmosphere, Flotsam & Jetsam charts an odyssey of loneliness and wonder.

Safe as Houses

Mia Mullarkey

Aggie, a woman with Down’s syndrome living on a council estate, tries to be kind to young and neglected Lucy, only for the situation to spiral out of control. Safe as Houses is brimming with personality, featuring a lively score and warm cinematography, director Mia Mullarkey treats a complex story with nuance and humour.


Eimear Young

This experimental short explores the complexities of the human mind through a range of filmmaking styles, capturing fragmented memories and a longing for the past that shapes present identity.

Both of Us

Dominic O'Neill

Both of Us follows a woman returning to her childhood home and unearthing her haunted past, atmospherically portrayed through a striking use of VHS. Director Dominic O’Neill visualises the creeping fear of confronting one’s past in an effective and haunting way, recalling to mind the distinct aura of dread of classic British horror films.

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