Student film director wins awards

Wednesday 20 March 2024

A St Catharine’s student has been winning awards for a short film that he co-directed last summer. Theo Shorrocks, a first-year Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (AMES) undergraduate, hopes to use the experience of directing the film and its reception at international festivals to carve out a career in the film industry after graduation. 

Theo was one of two directors on a character-driven short film called ‘Lemons’, which follows three cousins embarking on a nostalgic journey to recreate their late grandmother’s cherished lemonade recipe, which forces them to confront their personal ambitions and paths in life. ‘Lemons’ has been submitted to film festivals internationally, where it has attracted praise and awards. It has already been shortlisted for 15 awards and won five awards, including two best director awards for Theo at the Palermo International Film Festival and the Reale Film Festival.

Theo explains, “It was an incredible experience to spend a week in Sicily shooting ‘Lemons’ against the stunning backdrop of Mount Etna, and its reception has been even more incredible. It is undoubtedly the highest budget film that I’ve ever directed and it was important for me to make the most of this valuable opportunity. I’m continuously making film while I’m at Catz and hope to average three a year – a mix of fiction and non-fiction. My dream is to work in the film industry after graduation, ideally as a director.”

Theo Shorrocks
Theo Shorrocks
Theo Shorrocks directing on the set of Lemons
Theo directing on the set of Lemons

The film was made possible thanks to Project Paradiso 2023, a filmmaking project created by the Young Film Academy (YFA) to nurture its most promising students aged 16–20. YFA is the UK’s leading provider of filmmaking courses and supports over 15,000 young people each year. Theo participated in several YFA courses over the last 4–5 years before he successfully applied to join the 21-strong team working across a range of departments on ‘Lemons’ for Project Paradiso. 

During the first phase of the project, talented writing students crafted a compelling script for the actors and filmmakers to bring to life. In February 2023, the filmmaking and acting students travelled to Sicily to shoot the film in the space of a week. After shooting wrapped, the film was edited and post-produced to the highest industry standards.


Find out more about studying Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at St Catharine's.