What's On


Hidden Beast Award

The Hidden Beast Award 2021 Winner:

Victoria Barber - Sweet Apples.


After the long process of reading through over 300 scripts that were sent to us The Hidden Beast Award 2021 was awarded to Victoria Barber and her short film script 'Sweet Apples'. Victoria is a French-British writer and 'Sweet Apples' is a beautiful story exploring the relationship between a mother and daughter as they struggle with contrasting illnesses. It explores the themes of the love of food, caring for someone with a terminal illness, and the power of maternal love to be stronger than physical and mental illness. We cannot wait to start making it.


Our four other selected finalists were awarded script development sessions with our producer along with passes to the Raindance film festival. They were as follows:


Ed Kear - Tale Of The Tape

Annabel Brightling - Pepperoni Pizza

Chris Williams - Movie Night

Charlotte Alexander - Girls Will Be Girls


The Hidden Beast Award is the chance to win script development and then production of your short film script in collaboration with Gentle Beasts and our friends at Rio Cinema and Raindance. This is an award worth £4000 that is invested to produce the winning script.  The winner also receives a £1000 voucher to redeem on Raindance filmmaking courses. 

It is an exciting opportunity for a writer wanting to get their work produced and screened. This award is open to all writers from under-represented backgrounds. Gentle Beasts champion diversity and inclusion - and this award for writers from under-represented backgrounds reflects that.

The rules that we set:

  • Submissions should be no longer than 15 pages ( scripts will not be read if they are over this page limit).

  • Gentle Beasts is looking to produce a short film which is no longer than 15 minutes.

  • The main award consists of development, production and screening of the winning script. We will also want to put this film forward for film festivals around the world. It will be screened at the historic Rio Cinema in Dalston along with any other film work we have made that year before going on to do its own film festival circuit. The film will be streamed on the Raindance Player and the winner will also receive a £1000 voucher to redeem on Raindance courses and a digital pass to the Raindance Film festival.

  • There are four runner up prizes, which includes one to one development workshops with a Script Editor and digital passes to the Raindance Film Festival. 

  • Please note that this was not a cash prize. The funding behind this award is spent on development, production and screening of the winning script, with full details of expenditure provided to the winning writer.

  • Scripts do not need to be written with any particular software, it does not require perfect spelling, punctuation and grammar.

  • If you are a writer/director, and should your script win, we may offer you the opportunity to direct the short, with the support of our dedicated team and network.  

  • The winning script will form part of the Gentle Beasts catalogue of films, where we have the right to screen the film where we see fit.

  • In return, we are offering to nurture a new writer and build a relationship that will continue to grow to produce more great content together. We will also be offering the winner and the four shortlisted writers exclusive collaboration and support from Gentle Beasts.

Please make sure that you read the eligibility criteria carefully.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • This award is open to anyone from an under-represented background. This includes ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, and any underrepresented demographic. We are especially keen to hear from writers from a lower socioeconomic or working class background. 

  • You do not need to be formally trained as a scriptwriter or know the formalities of writing a script. A passion for storytelling is what we are interested in. Therefore, your 

script can be of any genre but must have been written for screen. The script must have a strong sense of what you want to write about and give us an idea of who you are as a writer.

  • Script submissions must be no longer than 15 pages. This is a short film award for shorts with a 10-15 minute run time. 

  • As of this date, any writer submitting must have had no more than two film scripts produced and/or screened

  • One submission per candidate. 

  • Candidates must be aged over 18 and a UK resident.

We hope to repeat the award anually and will update next year with any news on the next award. In the meantime however it's time to get to work on Sweet Apples in order to screen it ealry in 2022. :)