Four St Albans-based writers turned filmmakers have won an award for their short film at a Hollywood film festival.

The small film unit was formed as J.A.B.S Productions after founder members including Anne Stafford Murray and Benita Cullingford got together in an outdoors ‘bubble’ during the COVID pandemic.

Their narrative shorts have since gained several accolades.

To view their films on YouTube visit

Their five-minute film 'Snatched' recently won Best Female Production (short film) at the Skiptown Playhouse International Film Festival in Hollywood.

The film was also selected for inclusion in the London Lift Off International Film Festival, and was previously a joint winner for Best Short Film for Children at the Bridge of Peace International Film Festival in Paris.

Anne, who directed the film, said: "I can’t believe we’ve come this far over approximately three-and-a-half years.

"We’ve known each other as local writers for a long time, but collaborating together has brought about our current successes.

"Initially, in the summer of 2020, we were going to film a short play of Benita's in her garden, on a smart phone.

"My daughter Larissa had just graduated from film school in London, and I suggested that she could shoot it on a more professional film camera/camcorder. So that’s what we did,  and it kick started our newfound passion for movie making.

"Subsequently adopting a cinematic approach, we have made five shorts with Benita as one of our screenwriters, and myself as director and editor.

"Benita is also our producer, Larissa our director of photography and Sharon our sound recordist and everything else. Some of us act in them as well."


J.A.B.S Production's second film, 'The Way We Were Valentine' won Best Mental Health Short at the Cotswold International Film Festival in September 2022, and was included in the Berlin Lift Off International Film Festival.

The group recently showed their four latest short films, 'Night Out', 'Caught Snapping', 'Snatched' and 'Zsa Zsa and Boo' in a premiere event at St Albans Library.

On Saturday, February 24, they attended the London Lift Off Festival's film gala at Pinewood Studios to celebrate their work.