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Short film at London Film Festival tackles toxic masculinity on the court

A short film created by a Belfast-based producer is one of only 47 screening at this year’s BFI London Film Festival.

Simeon Costello, who based between Exeter and Belfast, worked with writer/director Tommy Gillard on short comedy ‘Shuttlecock.’ The film centres on macho man Carl, who is forced to confront his idea of masculinity when an obsession with a mysterious new member of his badminton club spirals out of control.

Simeon said: We chose badminton because we felt it was the ideal way to explore the idea of toxic masculinity. It’s a game where an antagonistic approach can score you points, but where a delicate, lighter touch can also be your best form of attack. Carl is the antithesis of that, but instead of his aggression serving him well it becomes his biggest weakness.”

Its also the first time the festival has gone partially online, and that the award for Best Short Film is entirely in the audiences hands. Now until the 18th October, viewers can watch the film for free online at and vote for Shuttlecock at to win Best Short film!

Tommy Gillard said: "I really wanted to explore masculinity, sexuality and male mental health in a tongue-in-cheek way. The film champions delicacy and softness as masculine qualities, and hopefully presents the idea that being true to yourself is the best way to be.”

To watch for free, visit:

To vote for Shuttlecock as Best Short Film, visit:


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