Rushes Soho Shorts are both excited and delighted to welcome British film writer and director Paul Andrew Williams as spokesperson for this year's Festival.
Paul Andrew Williams, writer and director of the recent Brit gangster-horror The Cottage featuring Andy Serkis and Jennifer Ellison, is probably best know for his first feature film London to Brighton for which he received huge critical acclaim and saw him collect the coveted New Director's Award at the 2006 Edinburgh International Film Festival. The film has also won the Jury Prizes at Dinard and Raindance and earned three nominations at the British Independent Film Awards as well as a BAFTA nomination.
Paul began his career as an actor but over recent years has become a prolific writer and director, working on a number of successful pop-promos, viral ads and short films.
In 2001 Paul wrote and directed the short film Royalty which would later inspire London to Brighton. Royalty premiered at the London Film Festival in 2001, screened on UK television and later at BAFTA. In 2003 Paul was the only UK-based director to be picked up by the Fox Searchlight Director's Lab. His short film, It's Okay to Drink Whiskey, made through this programme, premiered at 2004's Sundance Film Festival. His UK TV debut, Naked, was pick of the day in Time Out and was well received by audiences and critics alike.
Currently in pre-production with BBC Films and Pathe on A Song For Marion which he has written and will be directing, Paul is determined to help support and encourage fellow filmmakers in getting their projects off the ground:
"The chance to be involved in the festival is great. Soho Shorts and other similar events are so important to new filmmakers, in the way they can inspire, educate and be an introduction to the "glamorous" world of media. I have only been in the industry a short time and feel I am continuing to learn. Being in an environment such as Rushes just gives me the chance to carry on that process and pass on a few of the great, and some of the horror, stories I have experienced thus far. On a more serious note, I am positive I will get a nice T-shirt out of this thing, an invite to a couple of parties and the odd free lunch, and in this day and age, who can refuse that?"
Festival Director, Joe Bateman, is delighted to have Paul on board:
"Paul and I were chatting, a while back, about our ongoing efforts to support short form work and I asked Paul if he'd be up for being spokesperson, he said 'Yes' with no hesitation and was very willing to join in as much as possible. Just fantastic. It was only a while afterward that he then mentioned his short films back in 2001 and 2002 had not made the shortlist for Rushes Soho Shorts, of course I denied all responsibility but we hope to make reparations this year! It's really tough programming so much good work but it just goes to show we don't always get to shortlist everything that we'd like to."
Rushes Soho Shorts is currently calling for festival entries. The entry form can be downloaded at www.sohoshorts.com until 23rd April 2009.