Short Cut to Hell

With Film4’s FrightFest (27th – 31st August) approaching it seemed as good an excuse as any to look back at Weronika Tofilska’s necromantic film created for FrightFest’s Short Cuts to Hell competition.

Seeing the competition and its strict limits – maximum 6 lines of dialogue, 6 crew, £666 budget, 6 hours to shoot the film, 3 minutes long, tantalizing categories like ‘6 Feet Under’, ‘6 Shooter’ & ‘Sweet 6teen’, it seemed like an excellent creative opportunity to offer to students at the National Film & Television School as part of the Bridges to Industry programme.

Bringing in Corin Hardy, whose debut Horror feature The Hallow will be released 13th November, to advise the students as part of the development process and to help select the films to be made, meant everyone involved benefited from a mini Horror masterclass.

We were overwhelmed with delightfully dark submissions and it was tough to pick just four to go into production to become the NFTS’s entries into the nationwide competition.  But an absolute pleasure to contribute to helping the teams develop their ideas & see them into production.

As ever, the NFTS students created beautiful work and we were thrilled when one of them, directed by Weronika Tofilska, won the nationwide competition!

Frightfest judge, Movie Mogul MD John Shackleton, explained it had been an unanimous verdict by the 6 judges and said: “The judges felt that in many ways, Weronika had created the perfect short film, and given the audience reaction, it seems that her film would have secured an audience vote too, had there been oneIt is a perfectly formed and beautifully crafted short film.”

Short Cuts to Hell competion
Short Cuts to Hell winner being announced at Empire Leicester Square
Weronika Tofilska with judge John Shackleton
Weronika Tofilska with judge John Shackleton

The film, shot in the NFTS canteen, features a killer song and focuses on a young make-up artist nervously starting her first day working alone in a morgue.

Corin admired Weronika’s “Dark, sexy film which has a playfulness at its bitter-sweet core, making it very difficult not to fall in love with!”

There is a compilation DVD available of the Short Cuts to Hell films, including Weronika’s

Crew of Short Cut to Hell 6 Feet Under – Pink and Blue:

Writer-Director – Weronika Tofilska

Producer – Helen Gladders

DoP – James Blaan

Sound Designer – Luke Shrewsbury

Editor – Rory Gordon

Composer – David Pearce