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director and producers

something about the director and producers

The film “Sylvia” is the result of a strong collaboration between director and writer, Richard Prendergast, producer, Rachel Prendergast, and exec producer, Benjamin Hartley. Richard’s vision for the film, and his vast experience as a cinematographer, forged a strong visual and narrative story which was then made real by the driving force of a producer that is Rachel. Benjamin used his experience and contacts in the film industry to help guide the project as well as access resources through Buckhart Productions. Find out more about the team below.

Richard Prendergast


Rachel Prendergast


Benjamin Hartley

Executive Producer

interesting details from the set

Principle Photography

The main shoot took place in the early part of 2018. Due to the talents schedule, and availability of key crew members, the principle photography was initially delayed by 4 weeks. With a very tight shooting schedule, Sylvia was wrapped in May 2018, with a subsequent 5 pick-up days allocated for second unit work.


The actual events of the story took place in the US Mid West. Whilst Sylvia was never meant to be replicating the actual location of the true story, the flat and barren landscape of Norfolk imitated the mid-Western states really well. The location was key to creating a somewhat lonely and desolate place, and very much acts as another ‘character’ in the piece.


It was decided in the pre-production phase that the film would be shot in 8k, to maximise the impact of the landscape shots. As much of the film is about the car itself, it was key to have equipment that allowed us to capture the moving vehicle in a number of scenarios. SubMotion house an array of equipment perfect for such scenarios and their tracking vehicle, cable camera system and cinematic camera setups were the sole production source behind the production of Sylvia. Along with their trusted crew of talented professionals, SubMotion pulled all the stops out to produce this beautifully cinematic and technically sophisticated film.

Film Festivals

Follow our film festival submissions here

Here are all the list of Awards, Nominations and Official Selections that the film has received through 2018-2019. We also have a list of upcoming film festivals that we are attending. Please follow our progress here and via our social media links:


Manhattan Short Film Festival 2019 – Gold Medal Winner *Oscar Qualifying
SCAD Film Festival 2019 – Best Editing
The American Pavilion at Cannes Film Festival 2019 – Best Short Film
Cordillera International Film Festival 2019 – Jury Award Best of Fest
Pittsburgh Short Film Festival 2019 – Best Narrative Audience award
New Renaissance Film Festival 2019 – Best Actress
Chelmsford Film Festival 2019 – Best Actress
Top Shorts 2019 – Annual Awards – Best Actress
Top Shorts 2019 – Annual Awards – Runner Up Best Short Film
Elba Film Festival 2019 – Silver Best Actress
Elba Film Festival 2019 – Bronze Best Screenplay
Show Low Film Festival 2019 – Best of Fest
Aguilar Film Festival 2019 – Young Jury Award – Best Film
Sydney Indy Film Festival 2018 – Best Film
Norwich Film Festival 2018 – Best East Anglian Film *BIFA & BAFTA Qualifying
Tri-Force Film Festival 2018 – William Bryne Award for Promising Director
Overcome Film Festival 2018 – Best Director
London Independent Film Awards 2018 – Best Short Film
Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival 2018 – Best Short Film
London Lift-Off Film Festival 2018 – Special Mention for Best Short Film

Nominations and Official Selections

Cannes Lion’s 2019 – Young Director Award
BAFTA’s 2019 – Best Short Film Long List (Top 20)
1.4 Awards 2019 – Finalist
Underwire Film Festival 2019 – Best Producer
Carmarthen Bay Film Festival 2019 – Finalist Best Short Film *BAFTA Cymru Qualifying
Chelmsford Film Festival 2019 – Best Short Film
Chelmsford Film Festival 2019 – Screenplay
Top Shorts – Annual Awards 2019 – Best Young Actress
Detroit Shetown Film Festival 2019 – Finalist Best Film
Lift-Off Global 2018 – Best Short Film
Gold Movie Awards 2018 – Finalist Best Short Film

Official Selections

Palm Springs International Short Fest 2019 *Oscar & BAFTA Qualifying
Indy Shorts International Film Festival  2019 *Oscar Qualifying
Flickers Rhode Island International Film Festival 2019 *Oscar & BAFTA Qualifying
Calgary International Film Festival 2019 *Oscar Qualifying
Edmonton International Film Festival 2019 *Oscar Qualifying
Cleveland International Film Festival 2020
Festival Angaelica 2019
Salut Your Shorts 2019
Foyle Film Festival 2018 *Oscar & BAFTA Qualifying
Aguilar Film Festival 2019

Upcoming Screenings

Sylvia has reached the end of her festival run. Stay tuned for general release info!

“‘Sylvia’ will break your heart to pieces.. Highly, highly recommended...”

Indie Shorts Mag

"Jolie Lennon gives a formidable performance… she sets herself free in 'Sylvia' and blew me away. "


"‘Sylvia' is a beautiful work that is well deserving of the numerous awards that it has won.”


"Richard Prendergast’s first film.. is absolutely brilliant in its presentation – both visually and emotionally.”


".. an incredibly emotional, moving and socially important film; also a stunningly performed one."

Just Celebrity Magazine

"..Richard Prendergast stitched all elements together with great taste, restraint and class... he judged the opening of the emotional tap to perfection."


"Every composition and every camera movement is a work of art. Beautiful performances all around”

Top Shorts

"A remarkable piece with a fantastic central performance”


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Sylvia: The Short Film
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