Writer/Director: Nicholas Connor



  • Leanne Best ('Star Wars: Episode 7', 'Cold Feet'  'Home Fires', 'Line of Duty')

  • Crissy Rock ('Ladybird, Ladybird'. 'Benidorm', Under the Skin')

  • Kate Rutter ('I, Daniel Blake', 'Oranges and Sunshine', 'Peterloo')

  • Max Vento ('The A Word')

  • Gemma North ('Peaky Blinders', 'No Offence', 'The Syndicate', 'In the Club'.)

  • Jason Ricketts ('Hamlet', 'Peter Kay's Car Share')

  • Katie Quinn ('Northern Lights', 'Think Of Me')




  • Running Length: 38 Minutes

  • Status: Released on 'Prime Video' (UK Only)

  • BBFC: 12A

  • Budget: £50,000 (Estimated)

  • Production Company: Cherwell Productions Ltd.

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35: 1

  • Camera: Red Epic Dragon (Digital) Arriflex 435 MOS (35MM)




Represented by Lift-Off Global Network at Cannes Film Festival.


73 Nominations, 46 Wins and 28 Festival Selections


London Film Awards 

Winner - Special Jury Award

European Independent Film Awards 

Winner - Best Director, Best Drama, Best Actress (Leanne Best)

UK Film Review - Annual Awards 

Winner - Best Short Film of 2018

Nominated - Best Director

British Independent Film Festival 

Winner - Best Supporting Actor (Max Vento), Best Supporting Actress (Katie Quinn)

Nominated - Best Short Film, Best Music

Los Angeles Film Awards 

Winner - Best Picture, Best Drama, Best Actress (Leanne Best), Best Supporting Actress (Crissy Rock), Best Young Actress (Katie Quinn)

Los Angeles Film Awards (Annual - Best of 2019)

Nominated - Best of the Festival 2019, Best Actress (Leanne Best)

Winner - Best Ensemble Cast.

New York Film Awards (Monthly)

Winner - Best Picture, Best Young Filmmaker, Best Ensemble Cast, Best Editing, Best Supporting Actress (Crissy Rock), Best Young Actress (Katie Quinn)

New York Film Awards (Annual - Best of 2019)

Nominated - Best of the Festival 2019

Winner  - Best Director, Jury President Award, Best Actress (Leanne Best), Best Narrative Feature, Best Duo (Katie Quinn and Leanne Best) Best Ensemble Cast, Best Editing.

New Renaissance Film Festival 

Winner - Humanity Award for Film (Previously won by Oscar Winner 'The Silent Child)

Nominated - Best Actress (Leanne Best), Best Young Talent Narrative Short (Sponsored by Goldfinch Studios)

Global Independent Film Awards

Winner - Best Drama, Best Featurette, Best Actor Under 18 (Max Vento), Best Actress Under 18 (Katie Quinn)

IndieFlicks Short Film Festival

Winner - Director’s Choice Award

Indie Short Mag - Short of the Year

Winner - Best Short of the Year

Madrid Independent Film Festival

Nominated - Best Featurette

Lift-Off Season Awards 2019

Nominated - Best Director

Gold Movie Awards 

Winner - Best Featurette of the Year, Film of the Month, Feature of the Month 

Nominated - Film of the Year

Unrestricted View Film Festival 

Winner - Best Actress (Leanne Best)

Nominated - Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Short Film

Out of the Can Film Festival 

Winner - Judge’s Choice Award 2018, Best Drama

Nominated - Best Screenplay, Best Lifestyle Project, Best Supporting Actress (Crissy Rock)

Little Wing Film Festival

Winner - Best Director

Nominated - Best UK Film, Best Screenplay, Best Actress (Katie Quinn)

Manchester Screenplays and Shorts Film Festival

Winner - Best Actress (Leanne Best)

Manchester Lift-Off Film Festival 

Winner - Special Mention

The Monthly Film Festival

Winner - Best Short Film, Best Cinematography, Best Score, Best Actress (Leanne Best)

Nominated - Film of the Year, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Editing

Birmingham Film Festival

Nominated - Best Young Director

Southampton International Film Festival

Nominated - Best British Short Film, Best Director




British Independent Film Festival (Empire Leicester Square)

Los Angeles Lift-Off Film Festival

New York Film Awards

Newcastle International Film Festival

Scottish Mental Health Film Festival

Derby Film Festival

Los Angeles Film Awards

Birmingham Film Festival

European Independent Film Awards

Global Independent Film Awards

Newark International Film Festival (NJ) 

New Renaissance Film Festival (London)

Manchester Lift-Off Film Festival

Indie Short Mag - Short of the Year

Madrid Independent Film Festival

Bristol Independent Film Festival

Unrestricted View Film Festival

London International Motion Picture Awards (L.I.M.P.A)

Manchester Screenplays and Shorts Film Fest

MancMade 53Two Film Festival

The Monthly Film Festival (Glasgow)

Southampton International Film Festival

IndieFlicks Short Film Festival

Little Wing Film Festival

Out of the Can Film Festival

Gold Movie Awards

London Film Awards

UK Film Review - Annual Awards


HOT LIST - Cleveland International Film Festival (Oscar Qualifying)

Film Shortage - Featured




UK Film Review

The Best Short Film of 2018

‘Deeply emotive and humbling’

[Leanne Best’s] ‘showstopper performance as

a stroke victim is superb’

‘Utterly enrapturing’

‘Affecting and heartbreaking’

‘A moving story with excellent performances’


ScreenCritix ★★★★★

‘A heartwarming and eye-watering short film’

‘Guaranteed to make many a viewer shed a


[Leanne] ‘Best is a revelation’

[Nicholas Connor] ‘does a wonderful job in the

directing department’

[Nicholas Connor] ‘is certainly cementing his

status as one of the UK’s hottest prospects’


Film Threat ★★★★

'Cotton Wool is a heartbreaking message about the struggle young carers face when tragedy strikes. It also gives a glimpse into the care and recovery process for victims of strokes.'

'Whether the story applies to you or not, it’s definitely worth watching.'

'As Rachel, Leanne Best painstaking physicality is incredible and all-too-real.'


Indie Shorts Mag ★★★

'4.7/5 Stars'

'If there is anything Connor has established with Cotton Wool, it is to imbue his characters with indispensable humanity. 'Every scene that has Rachel (Leanne Best) in it holds undeniable power'


The Monthly Film Festival ★★★★½

‘It is a celebration of love and family devotion, an exercise of admiration for the beauty of a world that we ignore in our continuous fleeing for more or less important goals.

Nicholas Connor proves through his project a great artistic and human sensibility combined with special directorial precision that gives him a balanced perspective on a tragic family destiny.

‘Cotton Wool’ is a short film that impresses with the force by which it surprises the deaf.


Caution Spoilers ★★★½ 

'Connor has crafted an absorbing film of wonderful performances that is searingly honest, yet finishes on a note of realistic optimism. '

'Vento had me in tears for vast chunks of the running time. '


Flip Screen ★★★½ 

'A fine piece of cinema that showcases the life of stroke victims'

'Leanne Best is a shining star, giving an unbelievable performance'


The Mancunion ★★★★

‘Nicholas Connor’s latest short film is his most

evocative yet’

‘Connor could rise up to take the place of the

ageing Ken Loach’

[Leanne] ‘Best is sublime’


100 Films in a Year ★★★★


‘It’s hard not to make comparisons to another recent British short film about a child coping with disability-related adversity […] The Silent Child. That, of course, won an Oscar, and I’d say Cotton Wool is at least its equal.’


Cinema 365

‘Ultimately Heartwarming'

'Best gives an outstanding performance'


Close-Up Culture

'It really is an in-depth look into the lives of a family where things go wrong. It shows us how life can change at any moment, not always for the better, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grow stronger and better. To see someone so young create something so powerful, it really is amazing. It shows how young people can do anything if they put their mind to it, whether that’s making a film or caring for a family member.'


Unseen Films

‘A very good film that makes me want to see what director Nick Connor will do next.’

‘Leanne Best […] has a star-making moment when we watch as the stroke hits her.’


The Independent Critic ★★★ (Alphabetical - B)

'Cotton Wool is an intelligent and emotionally resonant short film that benefits greatly from the fine performances of its ensemble cast led by Leanne Best's heartbreaking, remarkable turn as Rachel.'


Number 9 Reviews

'Gripping and Emotional'


Movie Reviews 101 ★★★★

'The performances in the film are brilliant, everyone in the family, Leanne Best, Max Vento and Katherine Quinn shine, making us believe they are all a real family, dealing with the struggles. This is a short film that you should check out, understand the changes people are going through and offering to help the people in need.'


The Second Shift Review - YouTube (Transcript)

'It threw me' ''I really love this film, for me, It's been a while since I've seen anything this gutwrenching' 'Very thought-provoking and poignant'



 'What Nicholas Connor has accomplished is impressive. Cotton Wool takes a tricky subject, managing to spin new cloth from old, bolstered by strong performances in a short feature that looks and sounds gorgeous.'

'Alan C. McLaughlin’s photography is cinematic and bold'

'Nicholas Connor tasks himself with striking a delicate dramatic balance with Cotton Wool. In the wrong hands, the sensitive subject matter could easily falter into maudlin, misery-porn. Instead, he has woven a story of hopefulness, of new relationships formed from old, of tectonic shifts in the family dynamic and enduring love.'

'An exceptional performance from young Max Vento'

'Leanne Best captures so much within a performance that is emotionally earthed and relatable. As someone who has seen family members suffer strokes, there is a sense of fear and hopelessness evoked in the opening scenes that is awfully palpable.'



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© Nicholas Connor 2020