The recent Royal College of Art graduate Suzie Templeton won in the professional category for her short film Dog, while the US-born Eric Lynne scooped the top prize in the non-professional category with three comedic test commercials for Centrum Vitamins and his short film Neighbour.
The judges, who included Graham Fink, the founder of the Fink Tank, Tony Davidson, the creative director of Wieden & Kennedy, and the Harry Nash director Ringan Ledwidge, singled out Dog for its powerful emotive content and outstanding animation. Templeton is currently signed to Passion Pictures.
Lynne was seen to demonstrate greater maturity and professionalism than other entries in the non-professional category. Entries were up by 50 per cent this year to a total of 138.
The competition has led to a new training initiative, which will be overseen by Campaign Screen, after some jury members were disappointed with the overall standard of entries.
Ledwidge said: "A lot of people were caught up with techniques rather than story telling. It's clear that most of the directors were doing what they thought people wanted to see rather than finding their own voice and trying to be original."
The training workshops will take place next year with details to be confirmed. "The initiative aims to kick start the careers of talented individuals in an increasingly tough climate," Lisa Campbell, the editor of Campaign Screen, said.