Creative Brand Communications


June 9, 2024

M&M’S Short Film Festival 2024: Winner Announced.

Funke, Fatima and Madame Bunmi, directed by Christine Ubochi has been named the winner of the M&M’S Short Film Festival 2024 following its premiere in London’s Leicester Square last night (5th June).

More than a third (34%) of Brits don’t think that there is enough funding for young film makers to realise their dreams in the UK.


Jordan Banjo hosts the premiere event for M&M’S Short Film Festival at M&M’S London, Leicester Square.

The initiative champions a more diverse entertainment world and supports the next generation of filmmakers via access to funding and expert mentorship.

The M&M’S Short Film Festival is a new initiative to help the next generation of filmmakers create their own short film via access to funding and expert mentorship, giving them a kickstart in the industry.
Budding directors were invited to submit film concepts inspired by the theme of ‘Belonging’, following research that 41% of Brits still feel underrepresented within mainstream films.

To foster this world of belonging, M&M’S has also launched The M&M’S FUNd which is a global initiative intended to track the brand’s impact on its mission to increase the sense of belonging for 10M people by 2025.

Three directors were selected to receive mentorship and funding to create trailers for their stereotype-smashing films:

• Solers United by Sara Harrak
• Anders the Dogman by Tom Oxenham
• Funke, Fatima and Madame Bunmi, by Christine Ubochi

The three film trailers were then put to the public vote with Funke, Fatima and Madame Bunmi receiving 39% of the vote. As a result, Christine Ubochi was awarded £25,000 to fund the full creation of her short film.
The trailers were created following research conducted by M&M’S, which found 59% of adults say that misrepresentation of minority groups ruins a movie. Examples include Hugh Grant as an Oompa Loompa in ‘Wonka’ and Johnny Depp as a Native American in ‘The Lone Ranger’ both deemed inappropriate castings according to 19%.

Director Christine Ubochi premiered her film for the first time last night at M&M’S London in Leicester Square to attendees including Hope Ikpoku Jnr. from hit show Top Boy, Kedar Williams-Stirling from Sex Education, and Kola Bokkini from the acclaimed series Ted Lasso.

The winning film, Funke, Fatima and Madame Bunmi, depicts two best friends who enlist the help of a traditional witch doctor, Madame Bunmi, to achieve their dream bodies before their 18th birthday party, which is just a day away.

The story is one of self-acceptance and explores the festival’s theme of ‘belonging’ through the characters’ journey towards feeling they belong in their own bodies. Best friends Funke and Fatima also find belonging through their friendship, despite being from different backgrounds.

The young director is a rising star of the British Film industry, having recently worked with the BBC on her short film, The Skin I Move In – a portrayal of women existing beyond their relationships with men – and her BBC 4 Radio drama En Justice. M&M’S study of 2,000 film watchers found 39% believe it’s unacceptable that minority characters are often played by actors in majority groups – for example, a disabled character being played by an able-bodied actor.

For this reason, 54% think there should be more effort made for diverse actors to play diverse roles, but 44% think this would improve if there were younger film directors.

Winning director Christine Ubochi said: “It’s been an incredible journey and winning the funding to make my short film is unreal. I made a promise to commit myself to writing and telling stories this year, especially those which amplify the underrepresented groups in society. I love that the M&M’S Short Film festival has given me a platform to help bring that ambition to life.

Ubochi also reflected on the obstacles she has encountered before now. She said “I remember speaking to a career advisor at university about pursuing a career in the arts. She sat me down very earnestly and told me to consider something else, because it’s incredibly hard to get into the industry”.

“She was right – I know it’s an industry that’s hard to break into, and a challenge I’ve faced is getting back up after the rejections and carrying on. I’m taking the journey day by day, and would love to encourage other aspiring film-makers to keep on going. There are opportunities out there, like the M&M’s Short Film Festival, and we all deserve for our voices to be heard in film.”

The event was hosted by Kiss Breakfast presenter and Diversity dancer, Jordan Banjo, who said “Whether it’s on the big or small screen, everyone deserves to feel part of the story they’re watching. It’s always been important to me that film and television speaks to people from all walks of life, and represents them for who they are, rather than stereotypes that can be perpetuated. M&M’S Short Film Festival has empowered new talent to create some truly authentic films, and I’m proud to support the initiative”.

Kerry Cavanaugh, Business Unit Director at Mars said: “Huge congratulations to Christine on her triumphant film Funke, Fatima and Madame Bunmi. We loved her story and the characters she brought to life. The M&M’S FUNd offers resources, mentorship, opportunities and financial support in the arts and entertainment space to connect people and ensure they have access to experiences to increase a sense of belonging for 10 million people around the world by 2025. We are proud in the UK that we can support initiatives like these to recognise emerging film talent in the film industry and help grow a world where we all feel like we belong.

We hope the finalists of The M&M’S Short Film festival inspire the next generation of British Film Talent with their work and championing of a more inclusive industry”.


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