On October 30th, Film industry experts, MPs and Peers flocked together in the swank surroundings of the House of Commons to celebrate British film-making talent. From over 1,000 hours of film entered into the competition, just 18 films had been short-listed for the final.

FILM THE HOUSE is a national competition for budding UK film-makers, directors and script-writers that aims to raise political awareness of the importance of intellectual property to the film industry. The competition invited members of the public to enter their films and scripts, the best of which were nominated by local MPs.
The winner of the first annual FILM THE HOUSE competition was announced by industry experts in the special awards ceremony, during which all sorts of delightful refreshments were served – complete with a glorious view of the river Thames and the adjoining Big Ben!

Patrick Ryder, 33, a film-maker from Harrow who shot his action film Cerberus on a £50 budget was the overall winner of the competition. He was nominated by Gareth Thomas, MP for Harrow West.

Patrick said: “My aim was to create an engaging, original and engrossing short film on a minimal budget but to the highest quality I could.”
Patrick won a place at a networking event where he can meet with film financiers; a week’s work experience at NBC Universal; a one-hour masterclass on music for film; an exclusive tour of the new YouTube studio and a chance to meet the YouTube team, as well as an HD video camera.

Five other runners-up won other prizes including hardware, film screenings for their friends and family, cinema tickets and DVD packages.

Founder of the competition, Mike Weatherley MP said: “I am delighted that the competition has attracted such spectacular entries and it has been an excellent night to see the best British filmmaking has to offer. The competition received over 1,000 hours of film from over 70 constituencies. It is clear that the UK is full of fresh talent, and it is more important than ever that we develop a sustainable market for film - we need to value those who create movies and those who invest in our film industry for the benefit of the UK economy.”

Susanna White, Director of PARADES END, BOAEDWALK EMPIRE, THE DIARY OF A NOBODY, NANNY McPHEE AND THE BIG BANG, GENERATION KILL, JANE EYRE and BLEAK HOUSE said: “The UK has a vibrant film and television industry, which I’m proud to be part of, but if we want this success to carry on we need to ensure there is a continued investment in British content and fair rewards for creators, including directors and writers. It’s not about lining our pockets it’s about being able to afford to go on to make more films and programs for audiences to enjoy. Protecting copyright is crucial to ensuring that this is possible. I hope that Film the House will help to raise awareness of this.”

The seven judges included:

- Nik Powell, Producer and Director of the National Film and Television School, who is famous for setting up Virgin Records with Richard Branson in the early 1970’s. He also co-founded Palace Video, Palace Pictures, Palace Productions and then later Scala which has produced films such as BACKBEAT, LAST ORDERS, LADIES IN LAVENDER and CALENDAR GIRLS. Amongst many other achievements, he is also Chairman of the BAFTA Film committee and a member of the BAFTA Board of Trustees.

- Jamie Graham, Deputy Editor of Total Film Magazine, who regularly writes reviews on the latest releases, and interviews some of the top names from within the film industry.

- European Marketing Director for You Tube, Jamie Dolling, who has also worked with music service Rhapsody and film trade weekly Screen International.

Emma Berkofsky is currently Head of Development at Lionsgate UK, who in the last year have produced diverse titles such as SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN and the KEITH LEMON FILM. Emma has previously worked as Head of Development at British Screen, where her role was to identify and develop new talent.

- Emma Loach is an observational documentary film-maker and is Head of Documentaries at CTVC. Her recent work includes IAN BRADY: ENDGAMES OF A PSYCHOPATH, which aired on Channel 4 this summer. She also directed and produced FIX MY FAMILY for BBC2.

- Sabine Henssler is Director of Communications for Europe, Middles East & Africa for the Motion Picture Association. One of her priorities is safeguarding and nurturing creative talent within the industry.

- Stephen Navin is the Chief Executive of the Music Publishers Association, with a career spanning more than 30 years in the entertainment business. Stephen has also worked as Music Adviser to the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport and was VP Operations for BMG Europe and then CEO of the V2 Music Group. In addition to his work in the music business, he has worked in film and television production and distribution for the Virgin Group and established a publishing company that specialises in limited edition books.