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Direct Line teams up with Raindance to launch film competition

14th June 2011

Insurance company Direct Line has joined forces with Raindance, the UK’s largest independent film organisation to uncover the UK’s hottest filmmaking talent.

The 40 Seconds Straight film competition is looking for short film entries – no longer than 40.0 seconds – that look at one of life’s overly-complicated situations and makes it straightforward. The judging panel for the competition is headed by actor and comedian Chris Addison, star of the recent Direct Line television adverts where he plays a frustrated salesman trying to make the public understand that insurance really can be straightforward.

The panel of industry experts who will be judging the competition also includes:

  • Alex Zane, film critic for The Sun and TV presenter
  • Elliot Grove, founder of Raindance and Raindance Film Festival, the UK’s largest independent film festival
  • Jane Crowther, Associate Editor for Total Film
  • Kerry Chilvers, Marketing Director at Direct Line

Films can be submitted from today (14th June 2011) for eight weeks until 8th August 2011.

The prize for the winning film as selected by the judging panel – the Critics’ Choice – includes a trip to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and a screening of the winning film at the Raindance Film Festival in September.

In addition to the Critics’ Choice award there is also a People’s Choice competition up for grabs. The top ten shortlisted films – as chosen by the critics – will be hosted on the campaign’s YouTube page for two weeks for the public to vote for their favourite. The film with the most views at the end of the two weeks will win tickets to the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) after-show party.

Matt Owen, spokesperson for Direct Line, commented:Direct Line aims to make everything about insurance straightforward, so this competition is a natural fit for us. We are very excited to support the UK’s up-and-coming filmmakers to showcase their talent and help our winners get a foot in the door of the film industry.

Elliot Grove, founder of Raindance, commented:We’re delighted to be teaming up with Direct Line to present the filmmaking community with a fantastic opportunity to create something straightforward from something complicated. It could be the chance of a lifetime to put your film in front of key people in the film industry and win some fantastic prizes.

Follow the competition on Twitter at @forty_seconds

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides car, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting

About Raindance

Raindance exists to discover, foster and champion new talent and audiences, the lifeblood of the industry. Since 1992 it has promoted all aspects of independent cinema in the UK, from guerrilla style low-budget shorts to international indie blockbusters.

Raindance Film Festival is Europe’s largest independent film festival. Premières have included Memento, Ghost World, Blair Witch Project, and Pulp Fiction. We satisfy the public’s thirst for bold, original filmmaking through diverse international programming.

Created in 1998, the British Independent Film Awards celebrate excellence and achievement in independently funded British films, honour new talent and are dedicated to maximising promotion of British independent cinema here and abroad.

Raindance Film Training takes filmmakers from first principles to post-production and beyond. Our intensive masterclasses and evening classes are taught by working industry professionals. Thousands of students each year leave informed and inspired, with the confidence and knowledge to embark on their first film or script. is our latest venture, hosting over 500 films and providing quality content for over a dozen partner platforms. As well as promoting filmmakers and their films, we support them through viewing royalties.