Cardiff, United Kingdom | Film Short

Comedy, LGBTQ

Sarah Smith & Phillip Guttmann

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $10,370 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

37 supporters | followers

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After the last year and a half, we all need some laughter - and CARDIFF tackles not only comedy in the short film genre, but is an entirely LGBTQ focused story dealing with love, infatuation, family, loneliness and the tricky task of being human.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

Sarah & Phillip bring their own unique perspectives as a female director and a queer writer to tell honest stories about underrepresented characters. Using comedy, Cardiff explores universal struggles found in complex family & love relationships, isolation, and fluid identity.

The Story

Perpetually single Frederick is envious of his fabulous gay friend Joe, who enjoys a never-ending supply of paramours, despite being happily married. But when Frederick’s meddling mother arrives to crash on his couch, she thrusts him into an unexpected and forbidden romance, and a series of unforeseen secrets will either send Frederick running from Cardiff - or - just possibly discovering the home for which he's always longed.

Cardiff is a 22 minute fast-paced, live-action short comedy about friendship and betrayal. Whether you are married, living a double life, or perpetually single, being human isn’t easy.


In 2019, Sarah and Phillip’s short film Black Hat won the Iris Prize, a £30,000 film award, and the world’s largest short film prize, to shoot their next film in the United Kingdom. That project is Cardiff


Cardiff will be produced with the Iris Prize team in Cardiff, Wales. Previous Iris Prize winners include acclaimed director Dee Rees.


Currently, we're in pre-production: casting, location scouting, testing lenses, crewing up, and getting ready to go into production at the beginning of September 2021.

Post-Production will be in the fall, and we plan to hit the festival circuit and a theater near you in early 2022.


The good news is that due to winning the 2019 Iris Prize and some additional contributions, we’re about 80% funded, so what costs remain? First, this is the longest script we will have produced. It’s roughly double the length of our last film, Black Hat, and therefore requires two extra days of shooting. Additionally, we’re taking a small team overseas. We are almost there. Your contribution has the power to complete our funding and take us over the finish line.

Your support will help us with the following costs: 

  • Accommodation and food for the US creative team
  • External hard drive storage for editorial and backup
  • Post Production sound
  • Score
  • Wigs (3x)

FOLLOW OUR PAGE! Follow us with a heart and the more followers we have, the more Seed & Spark will reward us. We'll unlock filmmaker rewards! Everything counts. Everything helps.

SPREAD THE WORD! Tell your friends, family, co-workers, anybody! Share our Seed & Spark page on social media, share it in an email - share it everywhere!

Feel free to cut and paste this language to help get the word out:

Check out Cardiff, a charming new short comedy about love, betrayal, and being human. Help support the Cardiff Seed & Spark campaign here:

#cardiffshortfilm #beinghumanishard #perpetuallysingle #radicalacceptance #loveislove #lgbtq #lgbtqia #lgbtqfilm #independentfilm #liveactionshort #gaybearlead #gaybear #mothersandsons #specialrelationship #ukusa #cardiffwales #la #seedandspark #irisprize#preproduction #comingsoon #pridemonth #beproud #showyourpride

CONTRIBUTE! If you're able, any amount will help us get closer to the finish line and turn these lovely drawings into live-action.


Drawings courtesy of artist Nikki McCauley, on insta @artisjustyourheart


Thank you for taking the time to check us out, you're helping make dreams come true.

We hope you join our team. We can't do it without you!


Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Accommodation for US crew

Costs $3,000

This will help defray the cost of housing the US based crew traveling to Cardiff, Wales for 2 weeks.

Post Sound Mix

Costs $2,000

This is for our post-sound mix.


Costs $1,000

This will help defray cost to feed the US based crew for 2 weeks.


Costs $1,000

This will help defray cost to hire musicians to preform the score.

External Hard Drives

Costs $700

2x 10T hard drives for editorial and backup.


Costs $500

Our story requires 3 wigs.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team



Sarah Smith and Phillip Guttmann are Los Angeles based filmmakers. They have collaborated on several projects including the 2015 award-winning short D.Asian, which screened at over 30 festivals world-wide, including Iris Prize and Palm Springs Shortfest, and went on to win the AT&T Under-Represented Filmmaker Award. In 2018, Sarah and Phillip co-created a webseries pilot Tender Touches, which went on to win the 2018 AT&T Shape Creat-A-Thon. 2019, Sarah and Phillip debuted their latest short film, Black Hat, which screened at over 35 festivals around the globe, including the Tribeca Film Festival, FlickerFest, and won the 2019 Iris Prize. Black Hat can currently be seen in the US on PBS KCET as part of their Fine Cut series of emerging filmmakers, and can also be seen on HBO Europe,, Ficto, and Here TV.


JEFF MAKSYM (Director of Photography):

Jeff is an LA-based filmmaker who has worked with Sarah and Phillip as Director of Photography on several projects including their short film D.Asian. Jeff has over 20 years of experience as a DP, producer, director, and editor in various mediums and genres including comedy, commercial, fashion, music video, reality and industrial projects, in addition to writing / developing television and feature projects. Jeff served as lead editor of the 4th season of Illeana Douglas' Ikea-sponsored, Webby award-winning webseries, Easy To Assemble, and was also the Director/Producer/Co-Creator/Co-Writer of the ground-breaking, interactive, comedy webseries, The Mimi and Flo Show. Jeff has studied both Improv and Sketch-Writing at the Upright Citizens Brigade and is a graduate of Film/TV Production from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Jeff is a proud member of the Writers Guild of America East.


BRICE CAGAN (Composer):

Brice Cagan started his career as a session guitarist in Los Angeles, after studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.

While on tour he would write music for advertisements and production music between gigs and bit by bit started to become more interested in film and orchestration.

"Somewhere along the line I started introducing myself as a composer rather than a guitarist, but I still view the orchestra as just a REALLY big band. I get as much influence from Zeppelin as I do from Chopin, and I really hope that brings a lot of my attitude and personality into my sound."

Brice now operates out of a studio in London called Black And White Sounds, where he writes custom music for Advertisements, Video Games, Film, and Television.



GRANT VIDGEN (Producer):

Grant has a passion for putting things into alphabetical order and studying train timetables – which is probably just as well as it’s stood him in good stead to deal with the logistics of a film shoot. 

Since the birth of Iris, Grant has been fortunate to have worked with all the winners to help them produce their prize films in Wales.  

A lapsed librarian, Grant found himself in tv production in the 1990s before a term as Director of the Welsh International Film Festival. His only on-screen appearance was a cameo in BAFTA Cymru nominated “Spoilers” - the eighth Iris production. 


KRIS FRANCIES (Line Producer):

Kris is Cardiff born and bred and studied at the University of Glamorgan as a mature student. He graduated with a BA in digital video design and production. Since then he's been a regular member of Team of Iris – and has worked on nearly all the winners' films. Kris' career highlights have seen him twice working alongside Michael Sheen and Owen Sheers – in the ambitious The Gospel of Us and Aberfan: The Green Hollow.

Kris now works year round with Iris and at the University of South Wales where he shares his knowledge and passion for production with future creatives across vfx, media production and film courses.  Should he find himself on a desert island his dream companion would be Dean Kamen.


MATHEW DAVID (Casting Director / Co-Producer):

Mathew David is a Welsh actor, writer and producer. Since training at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Mathew has worked with BBC Worldwide, Starz, CBS, BBC Wales, Ffilm Cymru Wales, S4C and Welsh National Opera. 

In 2012, Mathew starred in the Iris Prize short Burger, directed by Magnus Mork, which went on to win a Special Jury Prize at The Sundance Film Festival 2014. Since then Mathew has worked behind the camera on over 9 Iris Prize produced short films and even co-produced a stage version of the festival called Iris On Stage in 2019. 

In 2020, Mathew was commissioned by BBC Wales, Ffilm Cymru Wales and Arts Council Wales to create his very first short Skinny Fat, which he wrote, directed and stared in. 

Current Team