IWM has announced the winners of IWM Short Film Festival 2017, the UK’s only film festival which explores the causes, course and consequences of conflict. Thirty seven shortlisted films have been whittled down to three winners, who have produced extraordinary films exploring complex themes from the Calais Jungle, to the untold story of a military hospital in the First World War run solely by suffragettes.

The three winning films include Beauty of a Stateless Mind, a film exploring the lives of three artists living in the Calais Jungle refugee camp; Deeds not Words: The Suffragette Surgeons of WW1 unveiling the suffragettes who founded and operated a military hospital in the First World War; and Lula which follows the dilemma of a pregnant woman in German-occupied Poland who is confronted with undesirable visitors in the midst of the Second World War.

From this Friday, visitors to IWM London will be able to see these winning films for themselves, with free screenings running daily from Friday 17 November until Sunday 26 November. By rating the films they have seen, the viewing public will also determine the final award, the Audience Vote Award, which will be revealed on IWM social media channels after the close of the Festival on 26 November. The winning films will also be screened at Picturehouse Central in London on Wednesday 6 December, combined with other hard-hitting, relevant and inspiring films from the shortlisted selection.

Richard Melman, a judge for “Best Student Film” says, “"This year I have had the privilege of being asked to be a judge for the Emmys, the BAFTA Short Film category and IWM Short Film Festival. The greatest challenge was IWM's “Best Student Film” category due to the extremely high standard of filmmaking shown across the board. From cinematography, to music, to direction and editing, the range of skill shown was remarkable and made choosing a winner extremely difficult. If these are just students, I am beginning to worry for my job when they graduate!”

Beauty of a Stateless Mind has won both the Annie Dodds Award for Best Documentary and IWM Special Category: Age of Terror awards. Sensitive and compassionate, the film delves deep into the lives of three artists living in Calais ‘Jungle’ refugee camp. Their day-to-day struggles and dreams of a different future are interwoven with reflections on art and creativity that challenge our assumptions on what it is to be a refugee. Filmmaker Lutia Swan-Hutton is a recent filmmaking graduate who uses creativity to address humanitarian and environmental challenges. Lutia has won use of one of King’s College London's historic venues for a film premiere alongside an archive and restoration package worth up to £5,000 with R3Store Studios.

Deeds not Words: The Suffragette Surgeons of WW1 has taken home the Best Use of IWM Archive Material Award. As part of the broader campaign for women's right to vote, suffragettes Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson founded the Endell Street Hospital, run entirely by women. Skilfully using rarely seen photographs, letters and archival film, the film tells the remarkable story of the women who tirelessly worked at the hospital. Crafted by Digital Drama and director Alison Ramsey, the short documentary intends to reveal hidden stories from the Suffragette movement. Alison has won an archive and restoration package worth up to £5,000 with R3Store Studios.

Lula has secured the Best Creative Response Award alongside “Best Student Film”. Based on a true story, and set in the German-occupied Poland during the Second World War, it follows the dilemma of the pregnant Lula who receives unwelcome visitors searching for her husband. As the encounter unfolds and the tension mounts, Lula is faced with a moral dilemma. Writer-Director Aoife O'Kelly combines striking visuals to convey truthful and unusual humanistic stories. Lula was completed as the final part of Aoife's MA in Directing Fiction at Goldsmith's University, and she has since worked in TV and film production for the last number of years. Aoife has won both a 12 week paid internship with October Films, along with 5 day access to London South Bank University's impressive film studio facilities.

In addition to the free screenings, a rich programme of evening events is also on offer, from a hostile environment workshop on 23 November to enable the public understanding of the dangers that journalists can face. The experience will dispel Hollywood myths about weapons, reveal techniques of blending in whilst in a conflict zone, and responding to a trauma situation, including how to potentially save lives.

A panel discussion charting the impact of terror on reporting conflict in the media will also be held on 22 November. The effect of technology, fake news and social media on news consumption will be explored by a panel including the first person to film virtual reality in a warzone and chaired by the journalist who first tracked down details of the terrorist who shot Malala Yousafzai.

Soon, IWM Short Film Festival will open its 2018 Call for Entries. Interested filmmakers who would like to try their hand at success by responding to past and contemporary conflict through the medium of film can keep updated by signing up to the mailing list

If you would like to have your films screened at IWM like these winners, register your interest in Call for Entries 2018 here