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THE PROGRAMME - Directed by Antony Spina

All the prison systems around the western world are being pushed to the brink. One by one they are failing. Now in the US, one man says he has solved the ever-growing issue that the underfunding, the lack of staff, the drug-fuelled violence, and the gang culture has made of every jail, lock-up, penitentiary, and correctional institution around the world.

But what price must be paid for his solution? Must we all look the other way as some sin to save the sinners? Does the end justify the means? Or have we simply reached the point where this is what must be done?

A fictional film based on an ever-present element of truth. THE PROGRAMME takes a blunt look at what we have now, where we're going, and a possible future that may be yet to come.

Director Biography

Antony Spina

Hi, I'm Antony from London, England. I'd like to think I'm one of the most creative and imaginative people I know. I've been writing stories since I was a wee nipper. And just love coming up with ideas that I try to turn into interesting scripts, full of suspense, thrills, and laugher. 2 of which I managed to turn into films that both got fantastic reviews, and 1 of them, I was brave enough to enter into the festival circuit. And was utterly blown away that it won a bunch of awards, I'm very pleased to say :). All in all, I just love telling stories. And I think I've managed to prove to myself I don't completely suck at it, which of course is great. But I'm looking forward to learning more as I go and becoming the best writer/director I can possibly be.

Director Statement I don't really know what to write here and have had to take a bit of a guess. So I'll settle for how I like to approach making my films. What I always try and do is, at any stage, whether writing or shooting, no matter how much I'm loving what idea I've come up with at that point, I try and remember to not have too much ego in it. And stop and ask me, how real does this part of this scene feel? If I couldn't imagine it happening like that in real life, then it needs to be changed. Every bit of fiction comes from an element of truth, I simply try and remember that.


QUOTES by: Darida Rose @ Universal Cinema

“Spina does an excellent job of building suspense”

“All this is an impressive feat and we’re sure to hear a lot more from Mr. Spina in the future.”


QUOTES by: Chris Buick @ UK Film Review

“Antony Spina follows up his impressive 2017 debut Sad Little Boy with The Programme, a thought-provoking documentary-style thought-experiment choc-full of hard-hitting moral conundrums and ethical dilemmas”

“But while it’s one thing to simply make such issues the core of your film, it's another thing entirely to ensure they are handled with the grace, sensitivity and when required, impartiality they deserve which is what Spina does here and also what elevates him from a good filmmaker to a great one”

“The Programme makes it two hits in a row for Spina and we can’t wait to see what he delivers for his hat trick.”


QUOTES by: N.Khouri Ph.D @ Monthly Indie Shorts

“much more than just another documentary with a twist”

“a real winner”

“the way its script is tightly woven reflects the level of mature writing that “Spina” enjoys, especially in the smooth flow of scenes and events by which he was able to transport the audience into the world convicts and the morality of the issue at hand.”

“It is obvious when one looks at all the elements of cinematography and of the “mise en scene” that we are dealing with a final product that reflects real maturity and understanding of how to manipulate all these factors that would allow the viewer to live the experience as if he is part of what is going on.”


QUOTES by: Somayeh Hezavehi @ Fullshot Cine Mag

“riveting pseudo-documentary ‘The Programme’. Written and directed by the talented writer, director and editor, Antony Spina”

“Award-winning ‘The Programme’ is Spina’s second short film and benefits enormously from his writing and editing experiences. ”

“He says he loves turning his ideas into “interesting scripts, full of suspense” and this is exactly what he has successfully done in The Programme. ”

“To generate and establish an atmosphere of suspense, entrapment and bewilderment, Spina has manipulated the elements of cinematography masterfully.”

“The performances are fervent”

“‘The Programme’ is no doubt a showcase for Spina’s talents and skills in filmmaking”

“the fundamental questions and moral dilemmas it puts forth along with some poignant scenes will linger in one’s mind for quite some time.”

  • Project Type: Documentary, Feature

  • Genres: Documentary, Thriller

  • Runtime: 37 minutes 15 seconds

  • Completion Date: June 26, 2020

  • Production Budget: 2,000 GBP

  • Country of Origin: United Kingdom

  • Country of Filming: United Kingdom

  • Language: English, Portuguese

  • Shooting Format: Digital


◉ Pure Magic International Film Festival - Best Short Film AND Most Important Short Film

◉ OTB | Only The Best Film Awards - Winner of Special Award for Best Director

◉ Monthly Indie Shorts - Special Mention Award

◉ Toronto Independent Film Festival of Cift - Best Short Script Award

◉ Florida Shorts - Best Actor

◉ Austin International Art Festival - Best Short Actress

◉ Roma Short Film Festival - Special Jury Selection AND Best Director

◉ V.i.Z. Film Fest - Best Short Crime/Thriller Award

◉ Arthouse Festival of Beverly Hills - Best Experimental Short Award

◉ Phoenix Shorts - Best Narrative Short Film Award


◉ Cooper Awards - All Categories

◉ Rotterdam Independent Film Festival - Short Film AND Male Director

◉ V.i.Z. Film Fest - Best Short Film Screenwriter

◉ London Director Awards - Best Director

◉ Roma Short Film Festival - Best Short Film

◉ New Wave Short Film Festival - Best Short Film

◉ Vancouver Independent Film Festival - Best International Narrative Short

◉ Tokyo International Short Film Festival - Best Short Film


◉ Cult Movies International Film Festival

◉ San Francisco Indie Short Festival


◉ London International Monthly Film Festival

◉ Athens International Monthly Art Film Festival


◉ New York Tri-State International Film Festival

◉ Onyko Films Awards

◉ Fullshot Cine Mag Fest

◉ Berlin Shorts Award

◉ Austin International Art Festival

◉ London Indie Short Festival

◉ Vienna Indie Short Film Festival

◉ Montreal Independent Film Festival

◉ Hollywood International Golden Age Festival

◉ Hong Kong Indie Film Festival

◉ LA Indies

◉ Paris International Short Festival

◉ UK Film Review Festival

◉ Venice Shorts

"You can watch THE PROGRAMME and Antony Spina's first film SAD LITTLE BOY now on Amazon Prime, Apple TV and Google Play"


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