Realising original dream

A MannIn Shorts Exhibition, with Laurence Skelly MHK (Arts Council), Christy DeHaven and Dave ArmstrongPicture: Mike Proudfoot

A MannIn Shorts Exhibition, with Laurence Skelly MHK (Arts Council), Christy DeHaven and Dave ArmstrongPicture: Mike Proudfoot

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MannIN Shorts has announced a ‘significant development for 2014’, with news that Isle of Man Film and the Isle of Man Arts Council will commit to support the scheme through to this year’s Film Festival.

Three projects will be chosen from the filmmaking scheme’s second Screenplay Competition, (closing date for entries is January 24). Films – fiction or documentary – must be no longer than 15 minutes and must be made on the island. MannIN Shorts has already held a number of events to help those interested develop their ideas.

The Arts Council, along with Manx Heritage Foundation and several local businesses, have assisted in funding short films made within the scheme in the past two years, while PokerStars sponsored workshops on all aspects of film craft. Local production company DAM Productions has sponsored all other aspects to date. With Isle of Man Film’s additional support, the scheme’s founders Dave Armstrong and Christy DeHaven aim to run the scheme in the way they had first envisaged.

‘When we devised the training scheme in 2010, we had very grand plans!’ explained Dave. ‘Despite operating on limited resources for quite some time, we’ve been thrilled to see not only a constantly growing group of passionate, creative people, but also the high standard of films being produced by those brand new filmmakers.’

Isle of Man Film’s Mike Reaney added: ‘MannIN Shorts have achieved a great deal in just three years and the filmmaking skillbase on the island has expanded significantly. Like MannIN Shorts we see the importance in developing talent.’

MannIN Shorts will be adding to the growing calendar of Island of Culture 2014 events, with regular workshops in all areas of film making and, from spring onwards, look to producing the three short films.

‘The projects will be selected from our screenplay competition and will qualify to seek 50 per cent of their budgets from Isle of Man Film. Producers will be challenged to think commercially as well as creatively, developing their skills in finance and new funding models,’ explained Armstrong.

Previous films made within the scheme include Solace, Closet, Barry Brown, I Do and Hide and Seek, all of which are heading for the international festival circuit, with high hopes to bring home awards, following on from the success of Armstrong’s own Ghostgirl, which inspired the training scheme and was itself selected for several festivals, including the highly-praised New York United Festival.

Christy DeHaven added: ‘The films are of extremely high quality and we hope that, with a few awards attached to them, they will begin to get people thinking differently about film making on the island - that it is not just about visiting crews and productions, but independent low budget movies, produced on-island using primarily indigenous talent.’

Christy said a key to success has been that the MannIN Shorts scheme encourages trainee crews to work alongside and under the guidance of seasoned professionals, from Hollywood talents Lynda Reiss (American Beauty, SWAT) and Sally Black (Body of Lies, Kingdom of Heaven) to new, homegrown talents such as John Craine, cinematographer on recent BAFTA nominated film Blackbird.

Emma Callin, on behalf of Isle of Man Arts Council, said: ‘We are already seeing successful results from the work MannIN Shorts has done. The continued support and development of the scheme is very important and the Arts Council are proud to be associated with the industry standard training and high quality films being produced. We look forward to seeing what exciting plans they have for Island of Culture 2014.’

Those interested in entering the screenwriting competition should email or visit

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