For our fourth ever Funny Women Comedy Shorts Award we were lucky enough to hold a screening at the VAULT Festival in London, where our hosts Sooz Kempner and Suzy Bennett treated the audience to our top films as judged by comedian Roisin Conaty, Rob Aslett, Director of Avalon Entertainment and TV Exec Producer, Richard Grocock, TV Comedy and Development Producer at Wicked Little Critter, Baby Cow, Phil McIntyre, Clelia Mountford, Merman Co-founder and Executive Producer, Anna Bogutskaya, Underwire Film Festival Director, Kate Daughton, Commissioning Editor for Comedy at BBC, Kate Stone, Funny Women editor and creator of the Comedy Shorts Award and Becky Singh, Comedy Shorts Award director. Roxy Dunn and Alys Metcalfe were our runners-up with their film Habits, but Cam Spence and her fantastic film Polly got the top spot. We talked to Cam Spence about winning, filmmaking and why she got into comedy in the first place…
Funny Women: How does it feel to win the 2017 Funny Women Shorts Award?
Cam Spence: It feels gorgeous! I feel gorgeous!
FW: Tell us about your winning film.
CS: My film is called Polly and it is about a girl who can only communicate through spoken word poetry. I have always found spoken word poetry really funny because it is so earnest and sincere and takes itself so seriously, so I wrote something that makes a gentle mockery of it. I also love things that have a heart – because I’ve got one, thank you! And so I made the story quite sweet, with Polly desperately trying to find love in spite of her absolutely weird illness.
I loved doing the film because I made it with some of my favourite comedians including Ellie White, Patrick Turpin, Annie McGrath and also Stuart Laws who directed it. And also my mother is in it. I put her in it because Lena Dunham puts her mum in everything and she’s got a Golden Globe. Unfortunately, my mum steals the show and a violent rivalry has begun at home.
FW: How did you get into comedy?
CS: I went to the Edinburgh Fringe a couple of years ago and fancied all the comedians and realised I would be allowed to talk to them if I became a comedian too. So now I do character comedy on stage and I’m apparently tipped to pick up all the main awards in 2019 with my debut character comedy show… No, but seriously, I’d like it to okay, please come. Help me.
FW: Any advice for budding filmmakers out there?
CS: Don’t be a perfectionist, it will hold you back, but also, do be a perfectionist, it will make the film better.
FW: Who are your favourite funny women?
CS: I am an obsessive fangirl of Ellie White, Tash Demetriou, Lolly Adefope, Rosa Robson, Matilda Wnek, Emma Sidi, and Jayde Adams! But my ultimate favourites are Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie in the Simple Life. I think they were the world’s greatest double act and I wish I had written all the things that came out of their mouths. If they ever fancy getting the band back together, I think they would have a very bright future on London’s live comedy circuit.
You can see Cam Spence’s winning comedy short on Comedy Central!