CASHBACK WINS TOP PRIZE AT TRIBECA, WITH FEATURE VERSION TO SHOOT IN MAY
CASHBACK (2004), the second short film written and directed by Sean Ellis,
won the Best Narrative Short award at New York's high-profile Tribeca Film
Festival on 30 April. CASHBACK was chosen out of 93 short films in
competition in the festival, which received over 3,000 short film entries.
Meanwhile, pre-production is already taking place for Ellis to shoot the
feature-length version of CASHBACK in London in late May, encouraged largely
by the critical and popular success of the short. This will be the feature
debut of Ellis, an award-winning fashion photographer and commercials
The same cast will return to shoot CASHBACK the feature, including Sean
Biggerstaff (the Harry Potter films) and Emilia Fox (THE PIANIST). Also
attached are Michelle Ryan (EAST ENDERS), to play Sean Biggerstaff's
ex-girlfriend in her feature debut, Shaun Evans (BEING JULIA) as his best
friend, and Marc Pickering (SLEEPY HOLLOW) as his co-worker.
Like the short, the feature version of CASHBACK will focus on the young art
student Ben (Sean Biggerstaff), who imagines himself stopping time so he can
appreciate the artistry of the frozen world. However, the project can also
be seen as a quirky romantic comedy geared towards teen audiences, as a
relationship develops between Ben and his co-worker Sharon (Emilia Fox)
during their all-night shift at the local supermarket. Supporting characters
provide the same slapstick comedy which distinguished the short film.
Eligible for a 2006 Academy Award, CASHBACK the short film has now won the
top prize at six major festivals, a streak which began with winning the Gold
Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival last October. The short is
currently screening in competition at the Brussels Short Film Festival, and
will go on to the Seattle International Film Festival and Spain's Almeria in
Corto Film Festival later in May. The Tribeca Film Festival, founded by
Robert De Niro as a response to the attacks on the World Trade Center, is
now considered one of New York's premier cinema platforms.
The feature version of CASHBACK will be produced by Sean's long-time
producer, Lene Bausager, who heads Ugly Duckling Films in London. However,
the film will be the first feature produced under Left Turn Films, a
production company jointly owned by Ellis and Bausager. As with the short,
Daphne Guinness is on board again as executive producer of the project.