Tees Valley Screen Microshorts Six new comedy gems from Tees Valley talent

Our BFI NETWORK team partner with Tees Valley Screen on a collection of bite-sized, belly laugh shorts.

Last week, Tees Valley Screen unveiled the online showcase of Microshorts: a series of 6 small but perfectly formed comedy vignettes platforming the region's new comedic talent - all in 3 minutes or less. The whole Microshorts collection is now available to stream online for free.

Microshorts' online release marks the culmination of a process that began in the summer of 2019, when our BFI NETWORK Talent Development team partnered with Tees Valley Screen to launch the Microshorts commission. This open call offered Tees Valley filmmakers the opportunity to develop ideas for short form comedy storytelling and build links with local collaborators. After a development period supported by our team and industry veterans like comedian Hal Branson, script writer Paul Fraser and producer Emma Lawson, the six selected ideas went into production. Each short was crewed locally, shot on a budget of £1,000 and produced in association with Northern Film + Media, Tees Valley Combined Authority and the European Regional Development Fund.

   We’re so happy that the Microshorts have been launched for the world to see. They really are a testament to the brilliantly unique comedic talent which exists in the Tees Valley region. We’re also very proud that Tees Valley Screen was able to nurture this talent so well, and partner with an organisation like BFI NETWORK, all within the first year of the project. Alison Gwynn, acting Managing Director at Northern Film + Media

The Microshorts series showcases the Tees Valley region's resident strain of absurdist, surreal comedy, and introduces viewers to a host of true North East eccentrics. There's "Boro's hardest poet" - the self-assured, though thematically limited, wordsmith star of Humans of Middlesbrough. Andrew (or is that Philip?) Hardmeat - an alleged working class traitor who has a run-in with the Department of Class and Social Standing in DCSS. And Jane - a brew fanatic who turns the tables on an intense hairdresser in 50 Shades. Elsewhere in the Microshorts collection we meet an unscrupulous influencer in Public Appeal, the titular oddball (and misguided tree enthusiast) of Dean, and a condescending pharmacist who gets his all-singing, all-dancing comeuppance in Mansplain.

   We were really excited to partner with Tees Valley Screen and Northern Film + Media on the development of these Microshorts. The films showcase the wealth of talent that exists in the Tees Valley and we are looking forward to seeing them reach new audiences online. Roxy Mckenna, BFI NETWORK Talent Executive at Film Hub North

You can find out more about the cast and crew behind Microshorts - and their successes in landing new comedy commissions following the series - in Tees Valley Screen's showcase announcement. Or take a closer look at the films' production process through Northern Film + Media's behind the scenes gallery. All of the films are available to watch now, for free, at the Vimeo showcase linked below.

Watch Microshorts now