Primeval star Andrew Lee Potts wins Britain’s biggest short film competition

Primeval star Andrew Lee Potts has revealed he is a major talent behind the camera as well as on screen after winning the £10,000 top prize in Britain’s biggest short film competition.

Potts, 35, who played quirky Connor Temple in ITV’s sci-fi drama, took the Grand Prix prize at the reed.co.uk Short Film Awards with Photo Finish, a film set and shot in a photo booth, starring his sister, Sarah-Jane Potts, from Casualty, and her husband, Joseph Millson, most recently seen in Jimmy McGovern’s Banished.

He was thrilled to have been honoured in a ceremony at Bafta. “Just because I’m an actor and in the industry doesn’t mean it’s any easier to make a film so it was lovely to be recognised for something that came out of my head.”And he said he would love to direct a full-length movie on the back of his short film success. 

A feature would be amazing. But I would like to do a feature that I had quite a lot of control over,” he said.“The passion for directing has always been there since I was young but acting took over and I was in front of the camera all the time. But the acting’s just not enough for me. I love it but I always need to be doing something else as well. I’m addicted to film-making.”

He has been directing short films and music videos since 2006. Photo Finish was based on a film Potts made for his sister’s wedding.

He will use his award winnings to buy new equipment and cover the costs of his current project, a four-part online sci-fi series, Wireless, which explores if artificial intelligence had a heart.

The Bradford-born actor, who now lives in Richmond, started his career in children’s television and got his big break playing a witch in Pete Postlethwaite’s Macbeth. He was most recently seen in Channel 4’s The Mill.

For more information: reed.co.uk

@Louise_Jury

REED.CO.UK SHORT FILM COMPETITION WINNERS ANNOUNCED

London based actor and director, Andrew Lee Potts, was presented with the Grand Prix prize by writer and producer Allan Cubitt (The Fall) and Filmmaker and Comedian Danny Wallace for his film ‘Photo Finish’ at the reed.co.uk Short Film Awards last night - at BAFTA in Piccadilly, London. Now in its sixth year, the reed.co.uk Short Film Competition creates career changing opportunities for up and coming British creative talent to showcase their work to industry professionals and compete for the chance to win the top prize of £10,000.

L-R James Reed, Nicola Reed, Actor and director, Andrew-Lee Potts with the Grand Prix prize for his film Photo Finish, and comedian Danny Wallace at the reed.co.uk Short Film Awards. The competition received 572 entries this year, the highest ever in its history, as filmmakers took on the challenge to create a three minute short film based on an original idea around the theme ‘The Question.’

Paul Weiland writer and director arrives at the reed.co.uk Short Film Awards at BAFTA in Piccadilly, London. ‘Photo Finish’, which is set in a photo booth at a wedding and depicts a heart-warming way to pop the question, was created as a gift to his sister and her fiancée who both star in the film.

The entries were shortlisted to 12 films, with the winners selected by a high profile judging panel of industry experts including Lisa Bryer,Tim Bevan and Molly Dineen.

Finalists unveiled for fifth Virgin Media Shorts competition

Phyllida Lloyd CBE, 2010 Star of Tomorrow Luke Snellin [pictured] and Julie Walters CBE among judges for the short film prize.

Thirteen shorts are in contention for the fifth Virgin Media Shorts competition, which gives filmmakers the opportunity to have their work showcased nationwide at cinemas and on TV, mobile and online.

Among the shorts up for the grand prize of £30,000 funding towards their next film are Alice Seabright’s Dream Girl, about a chance meeting on a tube journey, Carolina Giammetta’s Man Up, which sees three men discuss how to be ‘the boss’ in life, and Paul Dingwall’s Without Saying, a story set in the opening stages of a romance.

For the first time this year, there is also a ‘Lucky 13th’ on the shortlist, the entry most ‘liked’ and shared online, belonging to PJ Liguori’s PJ, Tiny Planet Explorer which is centred around a boy’s journey through the universe.

Also new this year is the People’s Choice Award which gives fans the chance to vote for their favourite online, with the winner receiving a prize fund of £5,000. One short will also pick up the TiVo Award, as voted for by Virgin Media TiVo customers.

On the jury this year are Phyllida Lloyd CBE and Julie Walters CBE, along with director Mat Whitecross, film critic James King, winner of the 2009 competition - and 2010 Star of Tomorrow - Luke Snellin, Sundog Pictures founder Sam Branson, Virgin Media executive director of digital entertainment Cindy Rose and BFI Film Fund director Ben Roberts.

Rose commented: “We are extremely proud of the launch pad Virgin Media Shorts provides for great British filmmakers, with so many over the past five years going on to achieve international success. We can’t wait to discover the next generation of British film talent and I am sure that this year’s shortlist will be no exception.”

Southbank in November, with exact date to be confirmed