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Holly Hunter wins Yarns 2023 with comedy short Banana Boat

Holly Hunter wins Yarns 2023 with comedy short Banana Boat

Promonews - 17th Nov 2023

Stitch and Homespun's annual short film competition Yarns climaxed last night in London with the premiere screening of the four finalists' films, and the crowning of the winner of Yarns 2023 - Holly Hunter, for the entertaining comedy Banana Boat.

Hosted by film critic and broadcaster James King, the four finalists' films were screened to a packed-out crowd at Prince Charles Cinema in London's West End. The audience later moved to the nearby Phoenix Arts Club for the after party, where after a public vote by the audience, Hunter was crowned the winner.

Banana Boat is a screwball comedy which tells the story of a stand-off over the final 'banana boat' ride of the summer, in a holiday resort. The film sees two sets of mothers and sons square up to each other in a bid to secure the last tickets, putting a new twist on a classic source of comedy, the British class system.

The other finalists and their films for this year were: Travelling Home, a documentary directed by Juliet Klottrup; Mr Biscuit, a comedy directed by Doug Redfern and Joe Roberts; and Do You Have Kids? an impressionistic drama-cum-dance piece, directed by Tom Gentle and Sam Brain.

For this year's Yarns competition, titled The Ends, each finalist were given resources from Stitch and Homespun and other Yarns sponsors to make their films, having written screenplays inspired by the endings of one of three poem by spoken-word artist Miss Yankey. The screening of the films at the Prince Charles was preceded by a marvellous performance by Miss Yankey of two of the poems and a third, specially written for the evening.

Each finalist was also mentored by an established figure in advertising and music video production world - Stink Films' Keith McCarthy mentored Holly Hunter throughout the process - and their films were edited by an editor on the Homespun emerging talent roster. Laura Zvarikova worked on the winning film Banana Boat, while Laura Reyes edited Mr. Biscuit, Chris Hutchings cut Do You Have Kids? and Luke Anderson edited Travelling Home.

An entirely not-for-profit initiative, Yarns consistently identifies the next wave of directing talent and provides finalists with a unique platform to turn their idea into a fully formed short film with the support of the industry’s foremost talent.

Yarns also sees the finalists’ partner with some of the industry’s foremost talent to create their film. Those involved in creating the films this year, through their time, expertise and sponsorship are Kodak, Slingshot Intergalactic, Sine, Freefolk, nineteentwenty and Absolute Post.

Holly Hunter comments: “I am incredibly grateful for the whole experience, the talented team I got to work with, the support from Yarns and the honour to make a film about morals and Banana Boats! It was so much fun to create and that’s what it’s all about!”

Meanwhile Tim Hardy, co-owner at Stitch Editing, says he is delighted with how all the films turned out at Yarns 2023.

“We wanted this Yarns final to be our best yet, and it surpassed our expectations," says Hardy. "We were blown away at the turnout, which made for a brilliant atmosphere throughout. The directors produced one of our strongest collections to date, with some truly amazing shorts, any one of which could’ve taken home the prize. Holly is such a worthy winner, and we can’t wait to see what she goes on to achieve off the back of this.”

• Watch Banana Boat, and other Yarns 2023 finalist films here and here

Promonews - 17th Nov 2023


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