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ITN Source Short Film Competition for Archive Specialists. Three Finalists. £1,000 Prize. Winner Announced at Sheffield Doc / Fest

Three finalists have been announced for the 1st ITN Source Short Film Competition.

The competition is an imaginative new way of recognizing emerging talent:

  • Entrants were challenged to create a one-minute film using solely archive footage from ITN Source and music from Audio Network.
  • The films had to use at least 10 archive clips, but had no other creative constraints.
  • The winner will be announced at the Sheffield Doc/Fest Awards Ceremony on June 10.
  • There is a £1,000 prize.

Here are the finalists’ one-minute films, wth bios below:

‘HM UNITED’ by Xavier Perkins

‘THOSE WHO DANCE’ by Daniel Cantagallo

‘THE BELLOWING BLUE’ by Caroline Apichella


  • Congrats to the 3 finalists, 70 entrants, ITN Source, Audio Network and Sheffield Doc/Fest.
  • Its a really great competition idea: disciplined, affordable and accessible.
  • I hope it grows to become a big event in the History niche.

Finalist Bios

Caroline Apichella is a 25 year old filmmaker based in Cambridge.

She is an assistant at Cambridgeshire Film Consortium which delivers film-related activities to benefit students and the wider community. Caroline is currently making a self-funded feature-length documentary called Living with Artists, which is about the struggles of a young painter forging her path in the art world.

This is the first film competition she has entered.

She said: “I found my subject for the ITN Source Short Film Competition as I was half watching Dara O’Brien and Ed Byrne trailing the adventures of the ‘Three Damn Fools’ in 1941. I started to pay attention when Dara and Ed watched divers in Mazatlan throw themselves into the sea from a fifty-foot cliff. It’s been said that the divers, who live off of tips from tourists, time their decent with the approaching waves to gain depth. I was struck by the skill of these people, and it reminded me of Esther Williams, a 1940’s Hollywood actress and swimmer. She’s like an underwater ballerina. With all these thoughts in mind, I wanted to invite my audience to respond to the sublime beauty and terror of man and nature. I didn’t expect to find such beautiful footage in the archived news reels, but I did. I discovered a multitude of talented men, women and children from all over the world and throughout history. Matching the video with the right music took time, and the film would have been quite a different story if I chose anything other than the uplifting, life affirming piece which I found.”

Xavier Perkins is 41 and from London.

He is an audio visual artist and freelance editor.

He said: “I am self-taught, learning direction / filming / editing / sound through watching talented people, trying things out, and working on my own projects. I have been making visual loops under the name EXCEEDA for VJing for over 10 years, and started making narrative short films /documentary stories about 3 years ago.”

Describing his film he said: “I wanted to make something that highlighted the scope and breadth of British history.”

He said: “I worked on instating a poignant narrative through Her Majesty the Queen which helped form the structure of the film, as well as allowing the exploration of a hundred years of history. For the soundtrack the national anthem seemed to be the best suited to my idea, punctuated with select synched sound from the footage clips themselves.  This was re-enforced when I found 8 different versions available in the sound library that I could blend together in the sound library, and appropriate soundbites to mix in. I really enjoyed exploring what it means to be British, and working with the relevant footage contained within the ITN archive library to tell the story.”

Daniel Cantagallo is 35, originally from Philadelphia.

He is a documentary sales agent in NYC and is a graduate from London Film School. He has been working in the documentary film industry in different capacities for around ten years.

He said: “My short film ‘THOSE WHO DANCE’ is derived from a quote: “Those who dance are thought insane by those who can’t hear the music” often attributed to Nietzsche, but there are many variations passed down through the ages. My film is dedicated to those in society who we are too often quick to label, judge, or dismiss as different or mad, because maybe we can’t hear the music that moves them.”

He added: “My inspiration came from an old college friend I met down in Austin, Texas recently, but who I hadn’t seen in a few years. I walked into a dingy bar in the afternoon, and there he was, dancing away, lost in the moment, blissful. And I thought of my Italian-American grandmother, a kind and mild-mannered soul….though at family events, when the music plays, man, she really knows how to cut loose.”