UNBROKEN Short Film Prize

About us

Small London-based theatre company Shadow Road Productions founded the UNBROKEN Mental Health Awareness Festival in 2016 with the main aim of increasing awareness of the issues, reducing the stigma surrounding them by opening up the conversation, and confounding expectations as to what a production about ‘mental health’ might involve!

In 2017 we launched the UNBROKEN Short Film Prize, so that we could encourage the exploration of the vital issue of mental health via yet another art form. The range and quality of entries we received was very exciting and has continued to grow since then.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the 2020 UNBROKEN Short Film festival took place digitally, with audiences being able to view the selected shortlist online and vote for their favourite! Opening up this festival so more people could see the final shortlisted films was a huge success, with over 1,000 people watching and voting for their favourite.

The festival has since continued with this digital element – as this has meant we’ve had submissions and audiences from around the world!

We hope that a number of film makers – young & not so young, first timers & old hands, those with experience of the issues & those with an interest – will once again feel inspired by the subject matter and the freedom they have to explore it.

Awards and Prize

The winning film will receive £100 and the runner up will receive £50. A £25 Audience’s Choice prize will also be awarded – audience members will be able to watch the shortlisted films and vote for their favourite. 

Rules and Terms

The short film has to be concerned in some way with mental health.
Duration: Under 10 minutes.

Terms and Conditions:

1) We reserve the right to disqualify any competition entries that we deem to be derogatory, unjustifiably disrespectful or offensive, or in any other way inappropriate for inclusion in the festival.

2) By entering this competition you are giving us permission to screen your film as part of the UNBROKEN mental health awareness festival. You are also agreeing to take part in certain activities to publicise the UNBROKEN festival and film awards or to complement the screening itself. These may include but are not limited to providing us with a photo and a biography for the website &/or programme, taking part in an interview or Q&A, and writing a guest blog post. Such material as is generated this year may also be used in following years as part of the publicity for future UNBROKEN festivals and Short Film Prizes.

3) The judges’ decision is final. We will not enter into any discussion regarding either the decision made to shortlist (or not) any particular film, or the choice of Winner and Runner Up.

4) In the event of a tie for the Audience’s Choice award, the Festival Director – or, in their absence, their chosen representative – will have the casting vote and their decision will be final.

2023 UNBROKEN Short Film festival!!

We are delighted that the 2023 festival will see the return of the UNBROKEN Short Film Prize, allowing us once again to explore the issues surrounding mental health through yet another art form. 

Our festival is currently live and you can view our 12 shortlisted films here:

 Link live from 17th October

Submissions for our 2023 festival are now closed!!

We are delighted that the 2023 festival will see the return of the UNBROKEN Short Film Prize, allowing us once again to explore the issues surrounding mental health through yet another art form.   Our previous four Shortlists set the bar pretty high but we hope that a number of film makers – young & not so young, first timers & old hands, those with experience of the issues & those with an interest – will again feel inspired by the subject matter and the freedom they have to explore it.  

Submissions currently open!!

The deadline for submissions is August 31, 2021.

Applicants will be notified on September 9, 2021, whether or not they have been chosen and will be shown as part of the UNBROKEN 2021 Short Film Festival.

The Winner, Runner Up and Audience Choice Awards will be announced on 10th October, World Mental Health Day.

Criteria for Short Films

We are looking for short films of anything from less than a minute to 10 minutes maximum in length, all concerned in some way with mental health.  The particular subject and the approach that you take, however, is entirely up to you.  Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!

For full terms and conditions see below.

The 2021 Short Film Festival

We are delighted that despite the ongoing pandemic the 2021 Short Film Prize will still be able to go ahead! It was held online for the first time in 2020, with international audiences invited to watch and vote for their favourite shortlisted film, we had a staggering 877 individual votes last year and are excited to increase our audience participation this year. The winners, and the recipient of the Audience’s Choice Award, will then be announced on October 10th: World Mental Health Day.

We hope to offer an in person screening this year, something we greatly missed in 2020, as being able to interact with our shortlisted filmmakers and hold interviews and Q&As with our audience is one of the highlights of the festival. However this will greatly depend on the ongoing pandemic, the safety of our audience and filmmakers are our top concern. 

We are delighted that we received our largest number of entries ever last year, with submissions from countries as far-flung as Denmark, Sweden and Spain to Canada, Bulgaria and Thailand! We are delighted that the UNBROKEN Short Film Festival has become international and cannot wait to see this years submitted films!

The winning film will receive £100 and the runner up will receive £50.  A £25 Audience’s Choice prize will also be awarded.

Follow us on Facebook (UNBROKEN and/or Shadow Road), Twitter (@unbrokenfest or @shadowroad) and Instagram (@unbrokenfest or @shadowroad_) for more information about the Short Film Prize and the festival in general!  For any other enquiries, feel free to get in touch via our CONTACT page.


Previous Winners

“Thank you so much, Unbroken Film Festival! It has been a wonderful experience to be part of this year’s edition. We’re not only humbled but very honored to receive this award. Speaking on behalf of my entire cast and crew, we can’t be more grateful for the opportunity of showcasing mental health issues among teenagers like the ones we portrayed in From the Dark
Thank you to the jury and the team behind Unbroken Film Festival for putting together such a great list of short films. We all share a deep love for filmmaking and raising mental health awareness is our common goal. Let’s keep telling stories that everyone needs to watch.”
“We’re all overwhelmed and overjoyed to accept this award from Unbroken. We were in esteemed company and couldn’t be more proud that we’ve managed to make a film that resonates with audiences. It means the world. With Little Things, our message is one of cherishing those around us and the unique micro facets of our most important relationships which, I think, after the events of the last couple of years, is something that we’ve all realised is vital to our mental health and survival. Our film was only made possible by everyone in front and behind the camera giving their full hearts to the production and I thank them all with the whole of mine. Thank you to Unbroken for foregrounding the issue of mental health and I hope we’ve managed, in our own small way, to further the conversation. I’d like to dedicate this award to my late grandad Eric, my grandma Sheila whose selfless companionship throughout her husbands’ last years represents humanity at its most generous and to all carers of the elderly and disabled. You make the world a kinder place every day.

“Thank you UNBROKEN festival, for choosing Perinatal Positivity as this years winner.  It is such an honour to win! We made perinatal positivity to help families in early pregnancy to be aware of their mental wellbeing, so that they know that mental health issues in this time are common.  We wanted people to know what to do for self-care and where to find support should they need it.  We created a film, short edits, a manifesto poster and postcard for Perinatal Postivity, which are all free to use and to embed from www.perinatalpositivity.org. The resources are already being used by many CCG’s, charities and specialists in this country and around the world (it is currently being translated to 10 more languages) – and we are excited that your festival will have introduced the project to more people who may share the film/resources and find them useful. 

The film couldn’t have been made without our brilliant clinical team, our talented creative team and funders who made the production possible.  We are especially thankful to the 225 people with lived experience of maternal mental health issues, who took part in our workshops, surveys, focus groups and who agreed to be interviewed to share their experience and advice.  All of these real peoples story’s and voices are what make the film authentic and powerful.  We are very proud to share this award with all of the people involved in Perinatal Positivity.”

“I am extremely honored to win this award.  This film was made by a small group of passionate filmmakers who wanted to tell a story that is very much about love. In this case, loving someone who is struggling with mental illness. We tried to give a voice to millions of people who are making sacrifices on a daily basis, just because they want to help. And by winning this award, we know their voices are being heard. I would like to thank the jury for this amazing honor and by helping us to raise awareness of the issues. Thank you so very much.”


“James and Joel wish to thank all of those who supported the film, whether they were wading through the freezing mud with us on the shoot or simply spreading the word on social media – any involvement, great or small, means a great deal to us as filmmakers. Winning this award is a wonderful achievement and the recognition means so much more given the subject matter behind the festival. We really hope that UNBROKEN becomes a big player on the festival circuit, as the values it represents are of great importance.”


To see which films received Runner Up and Audience Choice awards please visit the individual year pages:

UNBROKEN 2020 Shortlisted Films

UNBROKEN 2021 Shortlisted Films