Tuesday, 7 April 2009


Gemma Arterton sizzles as fifties film siren
Bond girl recreates Liz Taylor scene for the launch of Virgin Media Shorts 2009

British film actress Gemma Arterton today launched Virgin Media Shorts 2009, the short film competition which champions undiscovered UK film talent. The 23 year-old Bond girl and star of current Brit flick The Boat That Rocked, recreated Elizabeth Taylor’s Oscar®-nominated role, Maggie, in the 1958 classic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to mark the launch of the competition.

Gemma commented, “I’m so excited that I got to recreate the iconic shot that made Elizabeth Taylor a household name. She is a complete goddess and my favourite actress in the whole world. I had such a ball on set and I hope that by taking people back to the Golden Age of cinema, we’re giving all budding film makers food for thought for Virgin Media Shorts.”

Now in its second year, Virgin Media Shorts is the only short film competition to give British film makers the opportunity to have their work showcased to millions of people across the country on four screens – on over 200 cinema screens, on TV, on mobile phones and online. The Grand Prize winner will win up to £30,000 funding, with a chance to work with Virgin Media and the UK Film Council’s New Cinema Fund to make their next short film, as well as the short-listed films being shown on Virgin1 later this year.

Virgin Media Shorts aims to shine a light on the best up and coming British film makers with the help of a prestigious judging panel from across the film industry. Gemma will team up with Oscar-winning stage and screen actor Kevin Spacey, who appears on the judging panel for the second year running. Together with representatives from Virgin Media and the UK Film Council, the two will also be joined by:

BAFTA Rising Star award winner, Noel Clarke
Oscar-nominated British short film director, Daniel Barber
Film critic and broadcaster, Jason Solomons

Kevin Spacey commented, "With the success of last year’s competition and the high calibre of entries, I’m delighted to be a part of the Virgin Media Shorts judging panel for the second year running. As it is increasingly difficult to get a break in the film industry, we're hoping to uncover and champion the next big thing in British film through this worthwhile competition. I've long been a supporter of emerging talent, and it's why I co-founded the TriggerStreet.com initiative eight years ago."

The competition opens today and film makers are invited to upload their entries through the website - www.virginmediashorts.co.uk. The deadline for entries is midnight on 22nd June 2009. Following this date, all entries will reviewed and short-listed down to just twelve, and the judging panel will go on to select the winning film.

In addition to the overall winner’s award, film makers are also eligible to win the People’s Choice Award, voted for by members of the public, or enter the Mobile Shorts Award - a brand new award for the best film made on a mobile phone. The winners of all three awards will be announced at a glitzy awards ceremony in central London on 22nd September 2009.

Last year’s competition was won by London-based film makers Phil Sansom and Olly Williams for their short film The Black Hole and the duo are due to start filming later this year with funding from the competition.

Ashley Stockwell, executive director of brand and marketing said, “For anyone who has ever dreamt of making it big in Hollywood, Virgin Media Shorts provides a fantastic opportunity to get in front of an audience of millions. This year’s competition promises to be even bigger and better, and we’re proud to be able to help uncover the hottest British film talent this country has to offer.”

To enter this year’s awards or for more information on Virgin Media Shorts visit www.virginmediashorts.co.uk


Media Contacts
Frank PR - 0207 693 6999

Notes to Editors

About Virgin Media

With almost 10 million customers, Virgin Media is the UK's first quad-play provider of broadband, TV, phone and mobile.

The company is the largest residential broadband provider in the UK, using a unique fibre optic cable network to deliver next generation ultrafast internet access of up to 50Mb to just over half of all homes. Combined with a high speed ADSL service and mobile broadband products, Virgin Media is able to offer broadband internet access to virtually the entire country.

Virgin Media has the UK’s most advanced TV on demand service and is the only TV platform to carry BBC iPlayer. It is the second largest provider of pay TV, was the first to launch a high definition TV service and offers a high-specification, HD-ready V+ personal video recorder.

The company operates the most popular virtual mobile network in the UK which, when launched, was the world’s first such mobile phone service. It is also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the country.

Virgin Media owns two content businesses – Virgin Media Television (VMtv) and sit-up. VMtv owns eight entertainment channels, including Virgin1, Living, Bravo and Challenge – and is a 50 per cent joint partner with the BBC Worldwide in UKTV which consists of ten channels including Dave, G.O.L.D., Watch and Alibi. sit-up runs retail TV channels bid tv, price-drop tv and speed auction tv.

With operations based entirely in the UK, Virgin Media Inc. is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market (VMED).

For more information, go to www.virginmedia.com.

No comments: