Last week we live-streamed our 2020 Funny Women Awards Presentation from the Groucho Club in London, where the winners of our other Awards categories were announced. We were delighted to invite 2010 Funny Women Awards winner, actor and author Andi Osho to announce Nikola McMurtrie and her film Karaoke: Behind the Lyrics as the winner of this year’s Comedy Shorts!
Funny Women: How does it feel to win the 2020 Funny Women Comedy Shorts Award?
Nikola McMurtrie: I’m absolutely thrilled. Can’t quite believe it. Every round I got through I thought “this is it, I’m going no further”, so to say I’m surprised is an understatement, especially since watching the other entries in this category. It’s been a highlight in a dreadful year and I’m so thankful.
FW: Tell us about your film?
NM: It’s a mockumentary set in the 90s’/early 00s, following somewhat self-important filmmaker called Abigail Baumfister (I don’t know why I decided that was her name but it stuck) who makes Karaoke music videos. She goes into some detail explaining her process – filming water features, pedestrians and most importantly pigeons. It is a pretty specific topic and a short no one asked for, but was made anyway.
FW: Can you share a little about your creative process?
NM: I think like a lot of people an idea will just come, usually from random places. Sometimes I’ll think of something and write it immediately, other times I need to play with the idea a bit longer. When I start making something, I do typically know what I want from it though. With this short, I had the idea ages ago but had no real motivation to make it, then in the midst of lockdown I saw the deadline for the awards and it prompted me to make it.
FW: Any words of advice to comedy film makers?
NM: Don’t overthink. If you like it and it makes you happy, then go for it. Try to dissuade that judgmental voice that tells it’s not any good. I honestly thought my karaoke short was too niche a concept to get anywhere, but I made it anyway and geez – I’m glad I did.
FW: And lastly, who are your favourite funny women?
NM: Julie Walters (my comedy hero), Victoria Wood (the woman was a genius), Diane Morgan (I mean Philomena Cunk, c’mon), and Amy Poehler (if I could have a smidge of her comic timing, I’d be happy). I could name a lot more but I’ll keep it concise.
Watch Nikola’s winning comedy short here!