Alumnus filmmaker wins short film competition

Alumnus Ben Cohen (Geography, 2011) recently won The Pitch competition for 2017. Sponsored by the Bible Society, the competition requires filmmakers to submit a two-minute pitch for a short film based on a Biblical story. The pitch is then judged by a panel of industry professionals, as well as going to a public vote. You can watch the trailer that Ben made to get through these first two rounds, here. Of his film, Ben said: “My story has actually changed quite a bit since the original film that I made. I now use the character of the Elder Son from the parable as my protagonist. The trailer still gives you a flavour of things, though.”

In the final round, Ben pitched his story to industry professionals at Pinewood Studios, and ultimately won £30,000 funding towards making his short film a reality. Announcing the winner, Pitch Director Luke Walton said: “Very occasionally at The Pitch we have a moment where there’s a silence in the boardroom, you can hear a pin drop, and you know that someone has knocked it out of the park – this year’s winner did that.”

Ben said: “It’s amazing to get funding like this for a short film, as it’s very tricky to convince people to give you money for a short. I’m looking forward to shooting the film over the summer this year. At the moment, I’m gearing up to shoot a short film at the end of January about a celebrity sex tape broker.”

Since leaving St Catz, Ben has set up film company Zoya Films, who make promos and commercials for online audiences. At Zoya, Ben has directed commercial work for clients including Amazon, Just Eat, Stowford Press, Old Rosie and Spotify, and produced pieces for Nike, New Look and Stylist.