• sheilavanloo

Cornish Film Challenge Surpasses Expectations

The Roughcut 60 Second Film Challenge 2020


Cornish brothers Simon and Brett Harvey, with a little help from Cornish friends and colleagues, resurrected the Roughcut Film Challenge in 2014 after a six year break. Nobody could have predicted how quickly the Film Challenge would snowball from around 60 entries in 2014 to an incredible 618 submissions this year. Over the past few years the entry numbers have steadily grown, but this year’s huge numbers came as a happy shock to the O-region team who faced the task of watching every film and whittling them down to a final 50. The elimination process was not easy, but after many hours of watching and debating the merits of each film Simon launched the finalists online on Friday evening. There are simple rules to the competition - each entry runs for no more than 60 seconds, relates to this year’s given topic of ‘Secrets’ and is suitable for a 12A rating.

The creativity of the filmmakers never ceases to amaze, this year’s final 50 include a splendid pick n mix of animation, documentary, dance, sci fi, loneliness, deception, love, isolation and so much more. Some entries have been driven by the global pandemic, with writers and directors looking at the pandemic through different eyes and very colourful imaginations.

In ‘normal’ times we would gather at Truro’s Plaza cinema to enjoy the entries on the big screen; previous screenings have proved enormously popular and play to a full house. 2020 and the dreaded Covid forced Simon and the team to think differently which, although disappointing for those of us who enjoy the public screenings, allows a global audience to enjoy the 50 film feast. International entries have come in from as far afield as Russia and Korea which means the online streaming can be enjoyed by filmmakers who would struggle to join us at the Plaza.

One of the privileges of the Plaza screening is voting for the Audience Choice winner; in previous years the votes have been fairly unanimous, but the incredibly high quality of the entries this year will give an interesting result. Since Friday I have managed to create a short list of 8 films for my vote, but having watched each one several times I find myself with tough decisions to make – choosing an outright winner is proving difficult. My sympathies lie with the film professionals who are currently deliberating on their choice of best film, I am looking forward to hearing their decision.

Special mention must be made of the Young Persons’ category, which contains 10 finalists - two of which are included in my shortlist. The ideas, the quality and creativity involved in their films are fantastic and stand shoulder to shoulder as equals with the adult submissions.

Congratulations to the team involved in the Roughcut Film Challenge, what began as a tiny idea to run a film competition is now firmly fixed as an important part of our calendar, not just in Cornwall but across the world.

The Film Challenge finalists are available to watch online now and you can vote for your favourite up until Friday 9th October. Winners will be announced during an online screening on Friday 16th October.

To watch the films and vote for your favourite visit –


Sheila Vanloo

September 2020

63 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All