Commonwealth Shorts gives emerging writers and directors an opportunity to make a film that highlights issues affecting them and their communities.

The first round of films was produced in 2013 by filmmakers from the Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Kenya and New Zealand. At the start of the project we announced an open call for short film ideas, across the Commonwealth. From 800 entries, eight ideas were selected for further development. Treatments for both drama and documentary, they explored issues of migration, indigenous rights and same-sex relationships.

We entered into an intensive process of development with the eight filmmakers. Within a year, five films were produced by local teams in each originating country, in partnership with Commonwealth Writers, B3 Media and CBA Worldview.

The filmmakers met for the first time at a private screening of the finished films in Auckland, New Zealand, in association with Documentary NZ Trust and with support from the New Zealand Film Commission. The films were premiered Bristol Encounters Film festival in the UK in September 2013.

“It’s been wonderful working with Commonwealth Writers and B3 Media, developing our local story with expertise and empathy from like-minded spirits from way across the waters. Just feeling part of a bigger international family gives the story a lovely weight.”
— 2013 Shorts filmmaker, Oscar Kightley

Passage by Kareem Mortimer, Bahamas

Tom’s Dairy by Oscar Kightley, New Zealand

Auntie by Lisa Harewood, Barbados

New Year’s Eve by Wanjiru Kairu, Kenya

PLACenta by Jules Koostachin, Canada