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Short Film – Tufty



TITLE: Tufty

Funded by: Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Award scheme

Director: Brendan & Jason Butler
Writer: Brendan & Jason Butler
Producer: Dave Leahy
Production Company: Warrior Films

Running Time: 9mins
Year: 2009
Language: English

Key Cast: Brendan McCormack, Una Kavanagh, Brendan Conroy
Puppet Design: Asumpta Sweeney
DOP: Ivan McCullough


Maybe if you knew where your Teddy Bear came from you wouldn’t hug him so tightly.


Best film – FREAKEMACINE: Festival de cine fantástico, terror y ciencia ficción, A Coruña, 2012
Joint-winner of the Audience Award for Best Short at the Dead by Dawn Horror Festival, 2010.
BEST ORIGINAL MUSIC Composer: Louise Heaney, Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival 2010
BEST DIRECTION: Jason Butler & Brendan Butler, Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival, 2010.
Shortlisted for the Cinematography Award, DOP: Ivan McCullough, Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival, 2010
Special mention, Best of Fest category, Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival, 2010.
Special commendation for Best Short Film at the at the BELFAST FILM FESTIVAL, 2010.
Kinsale Sharks Award for Best New Director, 2009.

More Information:

Tufty was written and directed by brothers Jason Butler and Brendan Butler and produced by Dave Leahy for Warrior Films through the Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Award Scheme in 2007. This was the first film funding that brothers Jason and Brendan Butler had received. The film has won an array of awards including Best Director at the annual Shark awards. Since completing the film, Jason and Brendan were selected for RTÉ’s Storyland competition and were overall runners up with the Butchers series. They also run the popular filmmakers forum

Described as “Apocalypto with teddy bears”, Tufty, stars Una Kavanagh and IFTA winning actor Brendan Conroy. The film has been screened around Europe at various prestigious Festivals including the 43rd Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia and the 17th Dead by Dawn Festival, Scotland’s International Horror Film Festival. It has also been screened at Clermont-Ferrand 2010 and Curtocircuito 2010, Santiago De Compostela, Spain. Nationally it has been shown in competition at the Belfast Film Festival and Galway Film Fleadh.

Fully funded through the scheme, the film was also selected for the Film Scoring workshop in 2008 which led to the film’s original score being performed and recorded by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. This workshop was facilitated by the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in association with Filmbase, FÁS Screen Training Ireland and the Contemporary Music Centre.

Special thanks to Jason, Brendan, Dave and all of the team behind the film Tufty for letting us post this information online as a resource.

For more information on the film visit:

Tufty Script:

212 scripts were submitted for the January round of the Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Award Scheme in January 2007. You can download here the original script for Tufty which was submitted for that round. Initially when applying for the award, this is all that the readers would have received (note that the writers contact details were NOT on the copy that was sent to the readers). The project was shortlisted based solely on the script.

(Note that this script contains no dialogue.)
Script for Tufty (pdf 10kb).

Tufty Test Footage:

Early test footage from Jason Butler on Vimeo.

Based solely on the script submitted, Tufty was shortlisted for the first round of the Filmbase/RTÉ short film award scheme in 2007. Nine other projects were also shortlisted and the teams behind all ten projects were invited to attend for interview at Filmbase.

In advance of the interview, the teams were required to submit their production notes which included the following:

  • The full and final script
  • Director’s Notes on Style / Treatment
  • Full budget
  • Sources of additional finance (where applicable)
  • Biographies or CVs of key creative crew, including director, producer and writer
  • Cast and crew ideas
  • A production and post-production schedule
  • Any additional relevant information

Tufty was an unusual project in that it involved teddy bears roaming the countryside in a life-like manner. Therefore to demonstrate to the interview panel that the team would be able to recreate the script in that manner, they shot test footage which they brought with them to the interview. By supplying this additional material they were able to demonstrate that they had the technical ability to create the type of work outlined in the script.

With a different project the cast might be key or a location for instance. By supplying additional information like that it might help to strengthen your pitch to the interview panel.

Tufty Photo Shot List:

As an additional resource, we have included the photo shot list that the team behind Tufty created in advance of the shoot. This was not supplied as part of the application process, this was a document used by the team after they had received funding as a resource for their crew to use. We’ve included it here as a useful document.

Download Tufty photo shot