Our short films in competition are judged by a panel of industry insiders. The categories we award in are: 

Best Short Film
Best Action Choreography
Best Cinematography
Audience Choice (Short Films)

Best Short Documentary
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Director


the fighting spirit film Festival awards panel

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Mike Fury

Mike Fury is a journalist, author and fight choreographer. He wrote the book “Life of Action” which includes interviews with names from the action and martial arts film genres including Scott Adkins, Donnie Yen, Cynthia Rothrock, Dolph Lundgren and many more. He is currently working on the second volume in this book series. Mike’s work has been featured in magazines like Martial Arts Illustrated, Combat, MMA Uncaged, Jade Screen: The Ultimate Asian Movie Magazine and Screen Power: The Jackie Chan Magazine. He also works as a fight choreographer and action performer on a range of productions.


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Christopher Chow

Christopher Chow is an award winning editor with over 10 years experience editing feature films, documentaries, and promos. His last film "White Colour Black" was very well received when it premiered at the 60th London Film Festival.  Christopher is a member of the Guild of British Film and TV Editors and an exclusive member of BAFTA Crew for emerging talents in the industry recognised by BAFTA. Christopher has recently set up "British East Asians Working in Media" aiming to build a strong community to support and encourage more diversity in the media industry.


Joaquín Ortega

Joaquín Ortega is one of the most prestigious Spanish stuntman and works both domestically, and internationally. He is also an actor, film director, and the founder/director of NIAFFS (NOIDENTITY - International Action Film Festival - Spain). He holds a degree in Dramatic Arts from the School of Dramatic Art of Seville (ESAD) and also studied a masters at Cinecittà (Rome) where he trained as a stuntman and stunt coordinator.  He is one of only 3 Spanish members of the Taurus World Stunt Academy, and he also runs his own Stuntmen academy, called NOIDENTITY, and his production company- NOIDENTITY Films. Joaquin has been in over 50 films, TV series, and commercials combined, and has written, directed, and produced four feature films with his production company, the most recent being 'El Mate De Morphy'.


sindy campbell

Sindy Campbell heads up Film Birmingham – the city’s film & TV office. She’s responsible for strategic planning, developing & supporting the local industry, promoting the city as a destination for film, attracting inward investment and the daily running of the film office. Under her management, the annual economic impact has risen, reaching a record £12.5 million. She has worked with 1000’s of production including Steve Spielberg ‘Ready Player One’, Kingsman The Golden Circle, The Girl With All The Gifts, Dancing On The Edge, Line of Duty, BBC Doctors – to name a few. She is a director of ‘Project Aspie CIC’, Chair of Film Offices UK and a founding member of the West Midlands Screen Bureau. She is fiercely passionate about the growth & sustainability of the industry in Birmingham and West Midlands region. 

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richard duffy

Richard is a core part of the team behind Terracotta Distribution and Terracotta Far East Film Festival, an independent label and film festival specialising in East Asian cinema from a wide range of countries and genres, spanning contemporary drama and cult horror films to retro martial arts classics. He is also an independent film maker and has produced and directed several short documentaries and promos, most notably a 30 minute documentary on the Salvadoran civil war entitled 'The Past is Not History'. 


Jon Perry

Jon Perry has been in the cinema industry for over 30 years, running both multiplex and independent cinemas across the UK and Ireland. He is currently the Head of Operations for Picturehouse cinemas, and is responsible for the strategic operations across 26 sites in UK. He also runs a successful outdoor cinema screening programme with various showings across 12 locations over the summer. A very passionate fan of Asian cinema but with a love of martial arts movies since a young age, Jon knew he would always end up working in exhibition - the very first screening he put on was a Betamax video showing at his parents’ house of ‘Streetfighter’, starring Sonny Chiba. He has also practised Muai Thai for 20 years, and has a previously practised Tae Kwon Do and Aikido.