Honiton filmmaker flies flag for East Devon at 2020 London Film Festival

A short film created by a Honiton filmmaker – shot entirely in Sidmouth – was one of only 47 screenings at this year’s London Film Festival.

Comedy sports film Shuttlecock was shot in Sidmouth College’s old sports hall and features macho man Carl, who is forced to confront his idea of masculinity when an obsession with a mysterious new member of his badminton club spirals out of control.

Tommy Gillard’s 13-minute comedy, of Devon cast and crew, was shown at the 2020 London Film Festival in October, in the Best Short Film category.

Filmmaker Tommy said his film was a ‘tongue in cheek exploration’ of what being a man in the 21st century was like.

He said he was ‘genuinely mind-blown’ when he learned his film was one of 47 to be showcased at his favourite festival – in previous years more than 150 have been screened.

Tommy said: “When making films in Devon, London and the film-industry can feel a million miles away. “

The film was commissioned by Exeter Phoenix – its first assignment to be screened at the London Film Festival event.

Luke Hagan, Exeter Phoenix digital coordinator said it had been ‘a real privilege’ for the entertainment venue to be able to support regional filmmaking talent.

He said: “Seeing the success of Shuttlecock on the festival circuit has been very exciting for everyone involved.”

Using ‘a whole host of talent’ and crew from Devon, the film was produced by Exeter-based Simeon Costello.

It was shot across three days, and entirely within the walls of Sidmouth College’s now-demolished, old school, sports hall.

Shuttlecock, filmed in 2019, won the Exeter Phoenix Two Nights Festival 2019 Audience Choice Award.

It is Tommy’s second award-winning short film.

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