creative challenge

This year we introduced a two part Audio and Visual Creative Challenge… for people who want to create a film OR a film soundtrack from scratch!

Here at fisheye film festival we are keen to inspire and encourage creativity in the production of digital film and media. We offer our International Film Competition for filmmakers who have already made a film, but this new challenge was aimed at those who wanted a spur to get their ideas into action.

The Challenge was in two parts: The first was designed to appeal to visual creators; filmmakers and other visual artists – whether into moving image, visual effects or animation. The second part was for audio creators – sound artists and designers, and composers of sound effects and music.

part one: the silent movie

We invited filmmakers and visual creators to make a silent film (no audio at all), which has a strong impact on the audience in some way whether that effect is narrative, dramatic, artistic, conceptual or entertaining. All of this was to be completed in a month! The film duration had to be no shorter than 2.5 minutes and no longer than 10 minutes (including title and credits).

The final work had to be submitted via before midnight on 31st March 2018. The films that were submitted were put forward for participation in Part Two.

part two: the soundtrack

Sound audio and musical composers were then invited to create a sympathetic and enriching soundtrack to accompany one of the silent films in Part One.

The film was to be chosen by 17th April and the film, with completed soundtrack, submitted by 17th June 2018.

For this competition there were no entry fee or cash prizes. The aim was to highlight the experience and reward of the creative and collaborative journey and the chance to compare notes with fellow participants at the awards screenings.

Silent films and soundtracks selected by the Judging panel will be screened at the festival over the final weekend 20-21st October and winners announced at the Awards night.

international film competition

2018 brings the 3rd fisheye international film competition

Since it began in 2016 the competition has received hundreds of entries from countries around the globe and screened a selection of excellent films. This year we are looking forward to screening an equally high standard of entries.

Films will be judged for the following Awards:
Best Short Film, Best UK Short Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Music, Best Sound Design, Best Production Design, Best Documentary, Best Young Narrative Filmmaker (Under 25), Best Micro-Short Film (under 4 minutes.)

We are also open for the submission of feature films this year, a new category judged for the award of Best Feature Film.

The final date for submissions was 31st August 2018.

need inspiration?

Why not have a look at the 2017 awards page or trailers to previous competitions? Just click on one of the buttons below!

need inspiration?

Why not have a look at the 2017 awards page or trailers to previous competitions? Just click on one of the buttons below!

awards panel

With the addition of this years exciting Creative Competition, we have invited a few more judges to help us:

International Film Competition

James McConnel – Award winning composer for more than 100 TV documentaries and dramas
Linda Mason – Independent filmmaker and editor
Glen McCoy – Award-winning screenwriter
Mark Jones – Producer and writer
Tony McHale – TV writer, director and producer
Vivian Zheng – Blogger and Chinese film distirbutor
Jo Southwell – Award Winning Film Director

Creative Challenge

Alan Green – Lecturer in Sound Design at Bucks New University
John Lenehan – Celebrated pianist, chamber and jazz musician
John Keane – Award-winning film and television composer
Nikolas Labrinakos – British film composer

panel biographies

Alan Green

Now lecturing in Sound Design at Bucks New University, Alan’s background is as a location sound recordist and a sound editor working for broadcast clients such as the BBC, Sky TV, and Discovery.

Following his training at the NFTS Alan has been involved with sound on a wide range of material from film drama, to comedy, to adventure travel and documentary, to computer games. He is also currently working on an interesting sound design project producing spatial audio mixes for 360 VR simulations.

Glen McCoy

Glen McCoy started out writing film scripts for small independents when he was 20 with two productions Where are you going, Simon Jones? and Ricochet. However it was seven years later before he began writing for television with the successful BBC medical drama Angels coinciding with getting his first book published entitled Ambulance! in the 1980s.

He was subsequently asked by Tony Holland and Julia Smith at the BBC to be part of the original writing team to launch their new series EastEnders. One of Glen’s early episodes became iconic featuring the rescue of ‘Angie Watts’ by an ambulance crew after a suicide attempt with over 20 million viewers at that time. After a break for a few years, he returned to the show again in 1999. In 2000 the EastEnders writing team enjoyed the shared success winning the BAFTA award for Best Soap.

Glen has also been commissioned for 12 episodes of Emmerdale over the years and a story for The Bill. Though his greatest love was creating original characters and a story for Doctor Who, which also included a novelisation Timelash and a more recent commission as part of the Big Finish publication The Centurions.

Unusually, Glen’s writing has also taken him into the realms of the business world and he was asked to write a mini soap for Vodafone for internal use. At the same time he was asked to devise and create the words for their retail team to use with customers in all their UK stores. This project won a Vodafone award and it led to a similar project in the Caribbean with Digicel. Similar projects followed with Dixons and their equivalent in the Ukraine.

Glen has created many corporate scripts over the years for a variety of well-known brands including The Home Office and more recently he’s been asked by ITV for original training content.

His business books are varied such as Extraordinary Customer Care, Guerrilla Coaching and Power Presenter with additional articles in various magazines like Harpers.

James McConnel

James McConnel has composed the music for over 100 television documentaries and dramas, including the Emmy Award winning Ten Days to D-Day (Channel 4), Adolf and Eva (ITV network) which won a Gold Badge at the New York Film Festival, The Brontes (BBC1), World War One in Colour (Channel 4), The Real John Betjeman(C4), Kings and Queens (C4), Last Train from Budapest (C4), Great Escapes (C5),Who Killed Marilyn? (C5), The Search for King Midas (C4) Timewatch: Exocet(BBC2), The Illuminator (C5), The Real Benito Mussolini (C4), as well as the feature films Another Life (2001), starring Ioan Gruffudd, Nick Moran and Tom Wilkinson – and Detention (2011) starring David Carradine in his final role.

John Keane

John E. Keane is a British BAFTA and BFI Award-winning film and television composer. He has been nominated for two British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards, for A Very British Coup in 1989 and Hornblower: The Even Chance in 1999.

John’s many credits include the 1993 miniseries Tales of the City, the 1998 film Hideous Kinky and multiple instalments of Hornblower between 1998 and 2003.

John Keane studied composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Edmund Rubbra, and piano with Geraldine Peppin. He went on to study sound recording and film music at the National Film and Television School. Here he scored numerous graduation films, and his successful career as a composer was launched in 1986 with his score for Careless Talk, winner of the BAFTA Short Film Award 1986. John quickly established himself in the Film and Television Music industry in 1987 when he scored The Kitchen Toto directed by Harry Hook. The film won the Tokyo Grand Prize, and John won a prize for Best Sound Track at the “Festival International du Film et de la Jeunesse”. The same year he won the 1987 British Film Institute prize for Young Composer of the Year.

John Keane’s first television commission was for the highly acclaimed serial A Very British Coup for director Mick Jackson. The serial received many awards, including an International Emmy for Best Drama, 5 BAFTA Awards and a BAFTA Nomination for Best Music, Best Drama Series from Broadcasting Press Guild, and at the Banff Festival, Toronto. Since then he has written the music for a host of high-profile television drama, including Tales From The City, Hearts and Minds, Kavanagh QC, Plotlands, Far from the Madding Crowd, Wives and Daughters, The Last of the Blonde Bombshells, Anna Karenina, The Russian Bride, Gunpowder Treason & Plot, Mansfield Park starring Billie Piper, the Emmy Award-winning Hornblower and Heroes and Villains: “Shogun and Cortes”.

He has written music for a number of award-winning documentary series, including Molly Dineen’s BBC The Ark, winner of a BAFTA Award, and The House, about London’s Royal Opera House. He has also written music for a number of feature films, including four films directed by Gilles McKinnon – Small Faces, Trojan Eddie, Hideous Kinky starring Kate Winslet, and Tara Road. Recent credits include the BBC crime drama series Case Histories, starring Jason Isaacs, and Inspector George Gently, starring Martin Shaw.

He began teaching at the National Film and TV School in 2015 and became Head of Composing.

John Lenehan

Praised by the New York Times for his “great flair and virtuosity” and the (London) Times – “a masterly recital”, John Lenehan has appeared in concerts throughout the World from Abu Dhabi to Zurich and from Aberdeen to Zimbabwe. As a soloist he has appeared with orchestras such as the London Symphony at the Barbican and the Royal Philharmonic in the Royal Albert Hall. John Lenehan has also collaborated with some of the leading instrumentalists of our time and is recognised as an outstanding and versatile chamber musician.

John Lenehan has made over 70 CDs covering a huge range of musical styles. Duo sonatas by Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms rub shoulders with piano concertos by Michael Nyman and Vaughan Williams, chamber music with the Nash Ensemble and jazz repertoire with Emma Johnson. His four-disc survey of John Ireland’s piano music received great critical acclaim including a Gramophone award. His other solo recordings include three discs for Sony Classical of minimalist piano works and a disc of Erik Satie (for Classic FM).

John is increasingly drawn towards jazz and particularly early 20th Century styles including ragtime and stride piano and has recently been performing in a two-piano collaboration with the acclaimed improviser Jason Rebello. He also composes, with works published by Faber, Novello and Schotts. His Fantasy on Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker has recently been recorded by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra. He has written and arranged for a long list of soloists and orchestras including Nigel Kennedy, Nicola Benedetti, Leonidas Kavakos and Yuja Wang, the BBC Concert Orchestra, RPO and Hong Kong Philharmonic. Highlights of 2018 include a recording for Chandos with long-time collaborator Tasmin Little and an appearance with the RPO at Cadogan Hall.

Jo Southwell

Jo is an award winning film director with titles including “Holding On”, “Cover Me”, “Deirdre” and “The Gunman”. In 2017, she was selected by Directors UK to be a mentee to Jon East on Killing Eve (BBC USA). She is currently shortlisted with the BBC Directors Scheme for emerging talent. In May 2018, she was selected to pitch at Cannes as a breakthrough female director with feature film “Mac and Beth” by Sophie Dix.

Jo manages Aston productions, where she is developing “The Sleeper” by Emily Barr for TV, and “Deirdre of the Sorrows”, a feature film with Tara Fitzgerald & Jon Finn attached. She also runs Aston Management, a bespoke actors agency, offering its clients a personal service and individual career development.

She says: “Film has always been my passion, and, as such, I established Aston Productions and Aston Management with an aim to promote and support actors in the industry whilst creating film and TV content that inspires, pushes boundaries and allows me to tell compelling stories in a visual art form.”

Facebook: Jo Southwell
Twitter: @JoSouthwell
Instagram: @jo_southwell1

Linda Mason

Linda Mason has been an Independent filmmaker and editor since 2007 obtaining her MA in Documentary Practice at Brunel University in 2014. Her own short documentary, ‘Out Of Love’ was selected for BFI Flare Festival delegate programme and ‘I Filmmaker International Film Festival’ receiving a special mention in 2015.

In 2016, Linda co-finished her latest documentary, Ghost Towns which has screened at festivals, including Doc/Player at Sheffield Doc Fest and part of Doc Shorts at NorthWest Fest in Canada.

She has extensive experience working with (vulnerable) young people, offenders and prisoners, empowering them to use film and the arts to share their stories, a few even winning awards.

Linda is dedicated to creating films that have a real and lasting impact on people’s lives.

Mark Jones

Mark Jones was taught how to write a TV script by Gerry Anderson, the legendary British television producer of such iconic series as Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, Joe 90 and Space 1999. Mark worked with Anderson during the 1980s on the production of Terrahawks concentrating on licensing and merchandising activities.

During the early part of his career Mark produced a number of pilot programmes for children’s television including Odd Adventures (which utilised the special effects technicians who had worked on the blockbuster movies Alien and Flash Gordon), The Twitchies, Merlin’s Memories and Scott Saunders in Outer Space’which was written and presented by world famous astronomer, Sir Patrick Moore.

Mark was the co-creator of Starwatch, a major television science-fiction series which would have starred Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton (two former Doctor Whos). A pilot episode was produced and the project came very close to being commissioned by the BBC as a replacement for the then flagging Doctor Who series.

During the 1990s Mark developed a tourism business based on film and TV locations in the Chilterns and Thames Valley. This led him to writing the locally best selling book A Guide to Film & TV Locations in the Chilterns & Thames Valley and the production of the spin-off documentary, Quiet Please ….. We’re Turning, which will be shown during the Fisheye Film Festival in the lecture theatre at Wycombe University Campus on the evening of 13th October 2017.

During the last few years Mark has researched and written a documentary about the alarming decline of bees around the world, Beemageddon!, suggesting a possible paranormal cause for the phenomenon. He has written a number of project proposals for various documentaries, has a couple of sitcoms in development together with a major science-fiction project.

Most recently he has written a short story, United in Blood, for Candy Jar Books as part of their Doctor Who spin-off range of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart novels, has written and compiled the official Lethbridge-Stewart Quiz Book and has a couple of other titles in the pipeline. Mark has also developed a brand new range of children’s stories which go under the umbrella title of Time To Sleep Stories which are designed to help children drop off to sleep at bedtime by encouraging them to use their imagination combined with gentle breathing techniques so aiding relaxation. The stories are also being made available as audio recordings using soothing music and tranquil sound effects.

Nikolas Labrinakos

In the year since his first full-length feature film score, “After the World Ended” (2015), was nominated for a Jerry Goldsmith Award, Nikolas Labrinakos has consolidated his standing as one of the Britain’s most versatile emergent composers by scoring two further, and utterly contrasting, features plus two shorts and a substantial suite of orchestral pieces evoking astronomical imagery. He will soon be scoring, Marcus Thompson’s years dramatized documentation – years in the making – of the life of the famous Bermudian actor Earl Cameron (Inception, Interpreter, Thunderball) currently 100 years old.

For the crime thriller ‘’Frank Phoenix” (2017), directed by Virendra Kumar Sahu, Labrinakos has composed music of fierce, fast-moving tension, with a decadent melodism for the film’s corrupt femme fatale. For the largely silent feature “The Biggest Thing That Ever Hit Broadway – Redux” (2017) written and directed by Marcus Thompson, he has created an extended and hugely inventive score exploiting traditional vaudeville and theatre orchestra idioms of the mid-20th century. The two short film scores of 2016 are equally distinct: to James Smith’s “A Real Peach”, he has brought a satirical Poulenc-like wit; to Talitha Stevenson’s “Tuesday”, a passionate Sibelius-like sweep.

And all of these differ from the dream-like mix of electronic and acoustic sound comprising the score Labrinakos had already composed for “After the World Ended”, an evocation of a dystopian future written and directed by Tony Ukpo – a score that was quickly released worldwide by Grammy-nominated Moviescore Media. In 2015, he also completed a symphonic score for the British independent feature “In Circles” starring Jon Campling. Dramatic and panoramic in its effect, the film is the second collaboration with director Jonnie Hurn after the short entitled “The Girl Who Ran Away (Scared) From The World” (2014) – when he also composed music for Ukpo’s comedy “Aliceville” (2014).

Among his earlier film credits, Nikolas scored the documentaries “Mkomazi: Return of the Rhino” (National Geographic), fronted by Edward Fox, and “Nuestro Abuelo” (Eye-Cue Films). His surround-sound score for the planetarium feature “Astronomyths” (White Tower Media) has been shown in planetariums around the world, including a nine-month run in Tokyo, while John Last’s short film of Shakespeare’s “King John Act IV” with Nikolas’s atmospheric music was shown at the 2013 AsterFest International Film Festival. And as an expert at evoking times and places, Nikolas has been taken on as an artist for Landscape Channel, which broadcasts on SKY 203 and via satellite around the world using the latest HD and Cloud technologies.

Nikolas Labrinakos was born and raised in Greece. After graduating in mathematics with distinctions in astrophysics, he relocated permanently to London where he studied musical composition with the celebrated pianist/theorist Susan Bradshaw and gained a PhD in composition at the University of Surrey. His doctoral dissertation on the “Partita for Orchestra” by Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, (who scored “Murder on the Orient Express”), was warmly praised by Sir Richard himself.

Nikolas’s first large-scale orchestral album “Celebritas” was recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra and awaits full release. That work impressed Bruce Broughton (Governor of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences) for its very well written character, orchestration and production. Among his other classical orchestral scores, his “Sinfonia Scenica” evokes epic panoramas while his elegy “The Last of England” conveys true depth of feeling. His choral output includes a hieratic setting of the Latin Mass commissioned by the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music 2013, and a setting of Caliban’s speech “Be Not Afeard” from “The Tempest” composed in celebration of 2016 ‘Shakespeare Year’. Meanwhile Nikolas’s Christmas chorus “En Bethlehem” (Part 1 of his “Nativity Triptych’) supplied the title and, was included in, an anthology of Christmas music published by Cadenza Music. In the digital domain, Nikolas has composed over 100 pieces in a dazzling range of styles and techniques for future release: ranging from the instantly memorable melody of his “Vendetta Waltz” to the fast and loose comedy of “Round the World in Eighty Ways” and the other-worldly “Martian Vistas” that received praise from Kevin Rohrer at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center.

It was his excitement over the film music he heard in his boyhood cinema-going that first inspired Nikolas to become a composer. Although he has acquired a mastery of the techniques of modern classical music, he continues to believe that commercial idioms handled with true artistry can produce music that combines wide appeal with genuine novelty.

Sarah @ Caution Spoilers

Sarah runs (and writes everything for) – a UK-based website filled with film reviews, interviews, and articles (including sections on indie film and stunts). The site has been going since 2016, but she has been a writer and editor since 1995.

Her favourite film is John Wick (she even has a dog called Daisy) but she also lovesblockbuster franchises, indies, documentaries, and shorts, as long as they’re well-made or have some kind of spark. And sometimes there’s nothing like an honourable failure that tried to do something different.

Reviewing films from different genres and with wildly different budgets can be tricky so she always bears in mind that: (a) the audience deserves a good return for their ticket money; (b) many people will have worked their butts off making a particular film, even if it’s got issues; and (c) the audience deserves a good return for their ticket money.

If she had a camera, an unlimited budget and unlimited stars, she’d probably make Mike Banning vs John Wick: Requiem.

Website: Caution Spoilers
Twitter: @cautionspoilers
Instagram: @cautionspoilers
Facebook: Caution Spoilers
Youtube: Caution Spoilers

Tony McHale

At the start of his career Tony worked extensively as an actor at various theatres such as the Birmingham Rep, the Belgrade Coventry, Chester Gateway, Chesterfield Civic Theatre and Windsor Theatre Royal. He appeared in a number of films, A Bridge Too Far, That’ll Be The Day, The People That Time Forgot and a wide variety of TV shows such as The Liver Birds, Terry and June, The Cost Of Loving, Game For A Laugh and Beadle’s About, as well as been known as the man who shot Ernie Bishop in Coronation Street.

As a stage director his diverse credits range from On Golden Pond to Laburnum Grove to Bent to Chekhov’s Three Sisters to musicals as varied as Skool’s Kool, Salad Days and Cabaret. He has also gained a reputation as a writer of radio plays, No Get Out Clause, Son of Soho, Get It Off Your Chest, Network and many more.

But for the last 35 years he has worked constantly as a writer, director and producer in TV with literally hundreds of screen credits to his name. He was one of the original writers on EastEnders and was also co-creator, Executive Producer, story consultant and lead writer of Holby City. His other credits range from Silent Witness to Waking the Dead to Trial and Retribution to Boon to Dalziel and Pascoe to Murphy’s Law and many more. His TV work also includes his award-winning thriller Resort to Murder and his highly original drama serial Headless. He has also worked all over the world creating new TV dramas in such countries as India, Dubai, Egypt and New Zealand. At present he is working on a number of TV and film projects as well as a new stage musical and a new stage play. Recently his company, Sanctuary Films, produced five commercials for Children with Cancer UK, which he both wrote and directed.

Tony lectures all over the world on screen writing, directing and producing.
He is also the proud recipient of a BAFTA for his work on Holby City, as well as being an Honorary Fellow of the Rose Bruford College and an Honorary Doctor of the University of Bradford.

Vivian Zheng

Vivian Zheng had her first professional encounter with film festivals in 2009 when she and her colleagues organized the China Classic Film Festival, which screened 12 Chinese films in various venues across Wales as well a hosting a filmmaking masterclass with director Lu Chuan (City of Life and Death) at the University of Wales. After returning to Beijing in 2011, she teamed up with Neil McFarlane to offer high-quality film subtitle translation services to Chinese filmmakers, and together they have translated 70 films and screenplays, many of which have won awards in top-tier film festivals such as Tokyo International Film Festival, Montreal World Film Festival, and Durban International Film Festival. At the end of 2015, she started a wechat blog introducing international film festivals to Chinese filmmakers. The blog’s readership has steadily grown and it currently has over 4,000 subscribers. Her company also helps submit Chinese films to various international festivals for competition and exhibition, and has recently started to explore the international distribution of Chinese cinema by setting up, a database of the latest Chinese films available for international distribution.

Twitter: @WeiZhen28805369
Facebook: CMIDB