Stars celebrate Triforce Short Film Festival at BFI Southbank

– Gurinder Chadha, O. T. Fagbenle, Elarica Johnson and Chizzy Akudolu among the guests at the annual short film festival –

London, Sunday 01 December 2019:  Stars from film and TV gathered last night to celebrate the TriForce Short Film Festival (TFSFF), which recognises and supports diverse talent and champions inclusivity.  

 Film and TV director Gurinder Chadha (Beecham House, Bend It Like Beckham, Blinded by the Light) was joined by O.T. Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale), former Strictly Come Dancing star Chizzy Akudolu (Holby City), Kellie Shirley (In The Long Run, EastEnders) Amanda Mealing (Casualty), Fola Evans-Akingbola (Siren, Black Mirror) and Elarica Johnson (A Discovery of Witches). The Awards were hosted by TriForce Creative Network Founders Jimmy Akingbola (In The Long Run, Cheat, Arrow), Fraser Ayres (Coronation Street) and TCN COO Minnie Ayres.

 The Awards were created by the TriForce Creative Network, which aims to readdress the balance of diverse professionals on and off screen in the film and TV industries, as a platform for new and emerging filmmakers to be introduced into the film and TV industry through showcasing their short films. The Festival provides a vital opportunity for underrepresented talent, helping them to access opportunities to further their careers. This year TFSFF showcased the diverse range of filmmaking talent with a high number of BAME and female producers, directors, cast and crew across all the shortlisted films. Building on last year’s gender balanced selections, over 60% of the 16 shortlisted films screened are directed by women, with half of the films having been made by BAME filmmakers.

The star-studded event held at BFI Southbank revealed the winners, which were judged by an esteemed panel including Idris Elba and Gurinder Chadha, at an evening Gala and Awards ceremony.

Winning the Best of the Fest Award and the award for Best Non-Scripted short film was Waves by Jessie Ayles. The short film was recognised for its beautiful cinematography alongside the shocking first-person account of three young girls growing up in one of South Africa’s most violent communities.

The Audience Choice Award, voted by the audience on the night, went to Grandma’s 80th Surprise directed by actor Fola Evans-Akingbola, who is normally seen in front of camera in sci-fi drama Sirens.  The short film told the story of a newly in love respectful young man who is forced to confront his family’s rigid traditions as he seeks the approval of the family matriarch, his formidable 80-year-old Grandmother.

Judge Idris Elba, whose credits include Luther, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Marvel’s Avengers franchise, said; “It’s an honour to be part of the TriForce Short Film Festival judging panel. There is a crucial need in the UK film and TV industry to include voices from every walk of life to ensure our community is one of inclusivity, which is why this festival is so important.”

Minnie Ayres, COO of TriForce Creative Network, said: It’s been an exciting year with the move to BFI Southbank helping us offer a bigger day time programme to support emerging filmmakers. Our judging panel agreed this year’s winning films were hugely compelling and original stories. It’s been an honour to have such a high-profile judging panel, and we can’t wait to get started on next year’s festival!”

Ahead of the evening gala, TFSFF welcomed the public for a day of filmmaking workshops, where aspiring filmmakers had the opportunity to watch the shortlisted films, be inspired by Q&As with filmmakers and industry professionals, and take part in practical filmmaking workshops.

TFSFF boasts a wealth of high profile patrons which include; writer, director and actor Kathy Burke, The Walking Dead star David Morrissey, Broadchurch’s Marianne Jean Baptiste, actor David Oyelowo (Selma), actress Kacey Ainsworth, (Grantchester), producer Hilary Bevan Jones (The Escape Artist), Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland), actor, writer and director Noel Clarke (Bulletproof), Nicholas Pinnock (Marcella), Zawe Ashton (Wanderlust) and award-winning playwright Roy Williams OBE.

— ENDS —

For further information please contact:

 Charlie Wainwright, Premier

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 About TriForce Creative Network

TriForce Creative Network was built on a strong ethos of inclusion and access, opening doors to the industry to people from all walks of life and providing a trusted and viable avenue for the industry to discover diverse talent. We provide opportunities for actors, writers, directors, producers and crew through the following initiatives:

  • MonologueSlam UK– supported by Spotlight, Equity and Channel 4, MonologueSlam UK is a renowned nationwide showcase for actors. For more info go to com


  • WriterSlam UK – supported by Channel 4, ITV, Sky and BBC, as well as production companies Hat Trick, Tiger Aspect and TriForce Productions, WriterSlam provides a platform for writers looking to break into TV. Prizes include paid development commissions and mentoring with top TV executives.


  • The TCN Talent Pool– a free service for those looking to work in TV and film behind the scenes. The Talent Pool works with Dandi (the Diversity and Inclusion Support Service) connecting crew and creative talent with production companies across the UK.


  • TriForce Productions– the production company was set up to create TV, film and online content that embodies our core ethos of inclusion and access. We delivered our first broadcast commission, Sorry, I Didn’t Know, a comedy panel show with a twist for ITV2 in 2016, with more projects in the pipeline.

For more info on TriForce Creative Network and its initiatives, go to

About The TriForce Short Film Festival (TFSFF)

TFSFF was established to showcase talent in contemporary film-making, helping emerging film-makers to develop skills and access opportunities to further their careers.

The festival has a strong focus on both diverse talent and career development, with all prizes supported by an industry partner who offers a career development prize to the winners, as well as a cash prize for their next project.  The TFSFF takes place at BAFTA, presenting a packed day of seminars tackling the key issues of the industry and offering invaluable advice from industry professionals, alongside a bustling expo and screenings of the shortlisted films. Concluding with a red-carpet gala evening attended by stars of stage and screen, the TFSFF is the place to see untapped and diverse talent, showcasing innovative story-telling and visually stunning short films.

The 16 shortlisted films chosen by a panel of renowned industry experts including Idris Elba and Gurinda Chadha,  Multi Story’s Head of Documentaries, Mark Ruben, talent agent Lola Williams, Metro’s Chief Film Critic Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Ten10 Films producer and MD Tendeka Matatu, Head of BFI Network, Jessica Loveland and executive producer Professor Stefan Allesch-Taylor CBE. The Non-Scripted Winner won £500 and a meeting with Mark Rubens at Multi Story as part of their prize.  The ‘Best of the Fest’ winner won £1000, a Panasonic DC-GH5MEB-K camera worth £1500 and a meeting with Allesch-Taylor to pitch for financing for their next project, as part of his continued relationship with the Festival. There were two further prizes of a £750 bursary supported by John Byrne and Lola Williams for the most promising director, as well as an Audience Choice Award of £250 chosen by the audience at the gala. All 16 shortlisted filmmakers won a year’s Raindance membership.

Each year, TFSFF partners each category screening of the 16 shortlisted films across the day with seminars and workshops led by leading industry professionals focused on current issues within the TV and film industry and career development. This year’s partners include Professor Stefan Allesch-Taylor CBE, BFI Network, Multi Story, Raindance, Mama Youth Project, Variety, Into Film, National Film and Television School, Creative England, Film London, The Film Festival Doctor John Byrne and Lola Williams, The Sea Containers and Panasonic.