(L-R) Laurent Witz, director; Anna Konieczna, director; Geoff Thompson, festival organiser; Credit: Chronicle.lu

On Thursday 21 March 2024, the British & Irish Film Festival Luxembourg held a special Shorts Event at Ciné Utopia in Luxembourg-Limpertsberg.

Young Filmmakers Competition

The Young Filmmakers Competition drew to a thrilling conclusion, with 30-second excerpts from the eleven entries received for sixteen young filmmakers representing seven different schools. Their goal had been to create 2-5 minute short films on any genre, to be judged by storytelling, script, acting, lighting, sound and technical.

The jury had been composed of Lara Dieudonné, from the British Embassy in Luxembourg, Seth Ruef, retired teacher of Media Studies and Vide-President of Festival Events, the organisers of this film festival, Carole Kremer, Creative Europe Desk at Film Fund Luxembourg, Geoff Thompson, in his capacity of President of Festival Events and the festival organiser, and Liz O'Malley, Deputy Head of Mission at the Irish Embassy, the Jury's Chairperson.

Following an introduction by Geoff Thompson during which he stated that they showed a remarkable depth and range of creativity, and a welcome by the British Ambassador to Luxembourg, Fleur Thomas, the compilation was screened with loud applause greeting each and every clip, with lauder applause and appreciation greeting the screening of the Top 3.

• Luxembourg VS Transport, by Carlotta Thomas (Lenster Lycée)
• Heartbeat, by Marianna Berkun & Igor Sydorchuk (Lycée Michel Lucius)
• Summer Sky, by Marie-Alexandra Maracic Weber and Paula Zic (Lycée Athénée de Luxembourg)
• Oh yes...Amy Smith?, by Arianna Russo, Mia Serra Vassallo & Cliona Hickey (European School II)
• Travelling Through the Troubles, by Laura Fagan (St George's International School)
• Letter to Him, by Cathy Diagne (International School at Differdange, EIDE)
• A World in which Men are Inferior, by Julia Dec (European School II)
• The Vinyl, by Alexandro Castro & Nina Verrinder (ISL)
• Close, by Noah Piff & Sylvain De Bel (International School at Differdange, EIDE)
• Homo Sapiens, by Hanna Rajka (European School II)
• Red Disease, by Marianna Berkun & Igor Sydorchuk (Lycée Michel Lucius)

In 3rd place was Red Disease by Marianna Berkun and Igor Sydorchuk; in 2nd place was The Vinyl by Alexandro Castro and Nina Verrinder, with the winner being Close by Noah Piff and Sylvain De Bel.

The top prize was two Luxair flight vouchers plus €500 donated by Venkatapen Boutique Lawyers, with the invitation for the winners to make a short documentary film of their trip which would then be screened at the festival's autumn edition.

All young filmmakers received prizes for their efforts which were richly appreciated by a packed screening room.


After the culmination of the Young Filmmakers Competition, Geoff Thompson then explained that three short films would then be screened, all between 10 and 16 minutes long. Firstly there was Wild Reconnection, a documentary addressing the environment, one of the most pressing issues of today, the second "Shakes vs Shav" which used puppetry in a very clever way, and thirdly, Mr Hublot, the Oscar-winning short film from 2013, a Luxembourgish-French co-production using animation.

Directors Anna Konieczna (Wild Reconnection) and Laurent Witz (Mr Hublot) were both present and participated in a Q&A which drew interesting and thought-provoking questions from the audience. The discussion spilled over into the reception hosted by the British Embassy which lasted long after it had planned to end, with the directors eager to talk with the Young Filmmakers, passing on advice in bucketloads.

The organisers confirmed that they would repeat the competition next year.