Monday, 28 September 2009


Nostalgia rules as Mixtape movie reigns supreme

Kevin Spacey, Gemma Arterton & Noel Clarke pick Virgin Media Shorts 2009 winner

Young film maker Luke Snellin was today crowned the winner of Virgin Media Shorts 2009 at an awards ceremony at the BFI on London’s Southbank. Luke’s short film, Mixtape, captures the innocence of young love and sees a boy create a compilation tape for a girl he likes. Attended by a host of big names including competition judge Noel Clarke and other famous faces from the world of film such as American actress Emma Roberts, Virgin Media Shorts shines a light on the best up and coming British film talent.

Luke was awarded the Grand Prize by host Johnny Vaughan at the awards ceremony where his film triumphed over more than 2,000 competition entries. His film was chosen from a short-list of 12 by a prestigious panel of film industry experts including Oscar-winning stage and screen actor Kevin Spacey, Bond girl Gemma Arterton and BAFTA Rising Star award winner Noel Clarke.

As the Grand Prize winner, Luke will receive £30,000 funding towards his next film from Virgin Media and the UK Film Council, as well as nationwide exposure to millions of people across the country. Each of the 12 short-listed films are currently being shown on over 200 cinema screens across the UK for a year, as well as on Virgin Media’s TV on demand service, on the Virgin1 channel, on mobile phone by texting Virgin Media to 80150 and online at

23 year old Luke Snellin is an up and coming writer and director and Mixtape is his second short film which was created specifically for this year’s competition. The film features Son of Rambow star Bill Milner, Charlotte Beaumont and Kate Miles, in a drama involving a young boy who makes a tape from his dad’s 1970s vinyl collection in an attempt to try and woo the girl of his dreams, Lily, who lives next door.

The winner of the People’s Choice Award, as voted for by the public, was also announced at the ceremony. This prize was awarded to 26 year old Andrew Gaynord for his film CGI-Brows, which received 22 per cent of the vote. The ‘mockumentary’, from Leeds film maker Andrew, features an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek into cinema's latest technological breakthrough, claimed to literally change the face of the motion picture industry.

For the first time, this year’s competition also featured a Mobile Shorts Award for the best film made on a mobile phone. This accolade went to 20 year old Michael Mann from Dining in Derbyshire for his film Rush 60. His film, inspired by a personal experience, sees a young man rushing to get from home to a student flat, only to realise he’s forgotten his keys.

Kevin Spacey commented, “I was once again hugely impressed with the quality and diversity of the 12 short-listed films in this year’s Virgin Media Shorts competition. It’s great to see so much new talent."

BAFTA Rising Star award winner Noel Clarke, who wrote Kidulthood and wrote and directed the sequel Adulthood said, “I always like to support young talent to keep the industry alive and vibrant and that’s exactly why I got involved in Virgin Media Shorts. The standard of entries was incredible and I loved Mixtape, simple yet perfectly executed.”

Gemma Arterton, star of Quantum of Solace and Tess of the D’Urbervilles said: "The quality of entries in this year's competition was really impressive. I'm sure Luke (Mixtape), Andrew (CGI-Brows) and all our short listed film makers have a bright future ahead of them and I look forward to our paths crossing in the future."

Film critic and broadcaster Jason Solomons commented: “Judging the many and varied talents on display was a pleasure and an adventure. The art of the short is hard to master but clearly there are plenty of British film makers out there who have their own, unique take on the best way to tell a story within such confines. It was fascinating to see the breadth of styles and stories. While the overall standard was impressive, three were truly remarkable and a couple just plain brilliant. Congratulations to Luke and those behind Mixtape – and to all who made the final selection - I look forward eagerly to seeing more of your work one day soon”

Dominic Eames, online content director at Virgin Media said “Mixtape conveys brilliant and effective storytelling, direction and performances. The perfect short film.”

Emma Clarke, senior executive in the UK Film Council’s New Cinema Fund commented on the Grand Prize winning film, Mixtape: “A smart, charming short with music and romance – what more can you want?”

15 year old Jordan Campbell, who won a competition to be on the Virgin Media judging panel, said “I’m over the moon that Mixtape won on the night as it was my favourite one out of the twelve! It has everything a good film should have, as it reminded of a Shane Meadows film and it was tinged with 80’s nostalgia.”

For more information about Virgin Media Shorts, visit


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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 one of the largest residential broadband providers 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 also owns Virgin Media Television (VMtv) which runs seven entertainment channels, including Virgin1, LIVING, Bravo and Challenge. VMtv is a 50 per cent joint partner with BBC Worldwide in UKTV, which consists of ten channels including Dave, G.O.L.D., Watch and Alibi.

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

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