Q&A with Justine Hart

Justine Hart


Justine Hart
The Pitch Industry Judge

What do movies mean to you?

Human solidarity. Whether that’s laughing or gasping with strangers at the cinema or being immersed in the lives of characters from another time or place and feeling empathy with their conflicts and passions. I love that escape from my own headspace to walk in someone else’s shoes.

What are three of your favourite films and why?

Lukas Moodysson’s Show Me Love. I’m a sucker for a rites of passage film and this one, though Swedish, perfectly captured the small-town life that I recognised. Beautifully observed, heartbreaking and hilarious. Up In The Air for the thematic integrity of the writing, its cynical wit, and its refusal to give George Clooney’s character a happy ending. Tremors, because ridiculous creature features are my guilty pleasure.

What do you think makes a great short film?

A great short film has to feel truthful. I love short films that focus on a tiny incident in a character’s life but leave you knowing that the ripple effect of their choices in that moment will be huge.

Why did you agree to be a judge for The Pitch?

I was told that people would tell me stories all day and then, in the evening, there might be dancing on tables. Sounded like a perfect day.

What are you most looking forward to – or dreading! – in the process?

The energy of being with a group of talented, passionate filmmakers. I’ve been a judge for the last two years and have been blown away each time by how the finalists’ ideas have been honed and improved over the pitch competition process.

Quick-fire round:

Lean or Loach?

There’s a quote from Brief Encounter on the wall behind me so I’m going to have to say Lean.

Beatles or Stones?


Pacino or De Niro?


Star Wars or Star Trek?

Neither, sorry.

Dame Judi or Dame Helen?

Dame Judi

Finally, what is your tip for anyone who pitches this year?

Don’t be too ambitious in how much story you are trying to tell, it’s not a feature. And definitely don’t waste time with character back story. Just focus on what we’re actually going to see in your film and how you want to make us feel.

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