Alicia Sullivan




Plus X Brighton

“We would absolutely recommend hosting an event at Plus X Brighton – a seamless experience from start to finish” – Tom Staniford, Founder and Creative Director at

We spoke to Tom Staniford from, after the huge success of his latest Matchbox Film Awards hosted at Plus X Brighton last week. The brand new filmmaking challenge for 16-23 year olds was aimed at inspiring young creatives of the future.

“Hosting Matchbox at Plus X Brighton was a fab experience. It was particularly awesome for us to be able to celebrate the first edition of our annual film awards within the creative hub that we call home.”, a video production agency based in Plus X Brighton, launched the initiative earlier this year with one key goal: to encourage young creatives to ignite their passions into a dream career.

“I’ve always been a bit obsessed with getting people psyched up to use their talents to create an awesome life for themselves. The Matchbox Film Awards were devised as an initiative to spark that genius, whilst providing a platform for these young creatives to gain expert advice, inspiration and support in the process.”

On the industry judging panel with Tom [far left] was a selection of established industry faces:  Asatuurs Keim, an international cinematographer [second left], Kim French, Head of Marketing at Preen, [second to the right] and Max Clark, Creative Director at Shoot To Kill Studios [far right].

“We really did not know what to expect from the young filmmakers and how much they would throw themselves into it, but they really went to town, getting actor buddies in and custom scores composed by their mates… the level of effort and creativity was just brilliant. The other judges and I were so impressed!”

Responding to a creative brief, entrants were tasked with the challenge of creating a 60 second film in response to the theme: “end as it begins”. How they interpreted this, was left entirely up to them.

Up for grabs were a selection of exciting prizes to help support winners on their industry journeys, including camera equipment, editing software, studio hire and the opportunity to co-direct a project with the Gusto team themselves.

In a room scattered with film props and lit in ‘Matchbox purple’, the panel, along with entrants from across the Southeast enjoyed a countdown of the top ten shortlisted films played on the big screen, surprise bonus awards and discussions with the directors about the inspirations behind their work.

The pinnacle of the night was the judges Q+A, unravelling invaluable questions between the filmmakers and the experts like how to start charging for their skills, collaborating whilst remaining authentic to yourself and discussing fresh paths into the industry.

First place and Gold prize went to “Aeon” by Jake Sefton, a beautifully shot looping film showcasing the journey of a family heirloom through the generations.

Jake was just sixteen when he submitted to the competition, the youngest age permitted in the competition.

“It has given me such a boost in confidence and fuelled my passion even more.”, said shortlisted finalist Jay Taylor-Jones. “I can’t wait for the next competition!”

Interested in hosting an event at Plus X Brighton? Get in touch with our events team to see how we can make your help become a reality.

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