Students win New Voices category at Cinecity Film Festival

5 December, 2023

Screen and Film School Brighton proudly presented as a powerhouse at the Cinecity Film Festival 2023, showcasing the exceptional talents of emergent filmmakers.

In the New Voices category, which specifically highlights filmmakers aged 16-25, our graduates and students secured an impressive five shortlisted films, one award-winner and one honourable mention, making a notable mark in the festival’s fifth year of this award.

Among the shortlisted films were two captivating animation and fiction shorts, displaying a diverse range of storytelling encompassing elements of horror, comedy, and drama.

The judging panel, after careful consideration, awarded the winning title to Self-Portrait in Blue Overalls, directed by Harvey Cohen, while offering an honourable mention to Rabbit Hole, directed by Libby Grinham. Their assessments highlighted the distinct qualities of each film. 

Read more: Why it’s never too late to start a career in film 

Cinecity panellist comments 

Self-Portrait in Blue Overalls

Director: Harvey Cohen 

Winner – New Voices 2023 

Self-Portrait in Blue Overalls is an impressive new film. It understands the nature of the short film genre by very effectively introducing a character and her challenge and then working towards an unexpected and intriguing conclusion. The film possesses a confidence and an intelligence that it expresses through its strong script, casting, direction, cinematography, and editing. The multi-layered soundtrack is particularly important given the ways that it conveys the artist’s anxiety. Self-Portrait in Blue Overalls, much to its credit, also demonstrates an understanding of the metaphorical nature of self-portraiture. 

Self-Portrait in Blue Overalls – crew

  • Written by Jim Harman & Harvey Cohen 
  • Directed by Harvey Cohen 
  • Produced by Harvey Cohen, Jamie Davis & Jim Harman 
  • Executive Producers: Neil Williams, Amy H C Wilson, Isabel Steuble-Johnson 
  • Cinematographer: Jamie Davis 
  • Editor: Caitlyn Parr 
  • Production Design: Luke Winterburn 
  • Costume Designer: Frankie Abela 
  • Original Music by Charlie Knibb 
  • Supervising Sound Editor: Charlie Knibb 

Self-Portrait in Blue Overalls poster

Rabbit Hole

Director: Libby Grinham 

Honourable Mention 

Rabbit Hole conveys very effectively a sense of unexplained mystery. Well-conceived and executed sequences underpinned by a menacing soundtrack of loops and pulses drive this enigmatic work that tracks the rabbit-eared cyclist with a precious snake plant on an urban mission. Rabbit Hole is an accomplished short that could serve easily as an element within a much larger work. 

Rabbit Hole – crew

  • Director: Libby Grinham 
  • Written by Zac Haydn Jones 
  • 1st AC and Produced by Joel Eley 
  • DOP: Aiden Winspear 
  • 1st Assistant Camera: Ocean French 
  • Edited and Graded by Cameron Perry 
  • VFX and Compositing by Lewis Beford 
  • On Set and Post Sound by Grace Bartlett 
  • Sound Assistant: Laura Holden 
  • Post Sound Assistant: Shona Jarred 
  • Production Design: Libby Grinham 
  • Gaffer: James Burgess-Russell 
  • Spark: Ben Weeks 
  • Set Dresser and Makeup: Eloise Wakeley Harley 
  • Assistant Set Dresser: Vinnurva Shepherd 
  • Music composed by Adam Banerji 

Cinecity New Voices - 21st Cinecity

Shortlisted films 

In addition to the winning entries, three other Screen and Film School productions, including Mid-Youth Crisis directed by Fionnán Barrett, Touch Green, Taste Black directed by Jacob Clarke, and Where’s the Milk? directed by Joe Deacon, received recognition at the festival, being shortlisted in the New Voices category.  

Being recognised at a renowned festival like Cinecity isn’t just a pat on the back; it’s a game-changer. It opens doors and puts these up-and-coming filmmakers on the map, kickstarting their film industry careers. Huge congratulations to all the students and graduates involved – we can’t wait to see what the future holds for them! 


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