About the film
In her final year, Lauren, a serial beauty pageant contestant, is given one last chance to win when the frontrunner is sent into a coma. Always the runner-up, and never the queen; this could be her year! Well... it was... until stylish newcomer, Meghan, joins the contest and they find the pageant under alien attack. Unable to know who they can trust and terrible at working together, the contestants must form an uneasy alliance. The fight for the crown has become a fight for survival in this female-led The-Thing-meets-Mean-Girls apocalyptic comedy.
From the director
"After being traumatised by Little Shop of Horrors and The Blob at a young age I've always had a fascination with the sci-fi genre. With Miss Universe I loved the premise of having this unlikely group of women be the answer to saving earth. A film where they could be kickass and still feminine (inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Night of the Comet) and not just playing the girlfriend or fighting as a lone warrior but as part of a team. Some of my favourite comedies use humour to satirise the female experience (Heathers, Death Becomes Her) and I think Miss Universe will be a funny and honest look at female competitiveness and friendship (with a great deal of alien blood thrown in, obviously)."
Meet the team
Writer/Director Kate Herron
Kate Herron is a writer-director from South East London. She is passionate about making female-driven films that are as cinematic as they are funny. She is was named a Screen International Star of Tomorrow 2016 and is one of Forbes 30 Under 30 2017. Her films have screened internationally at festivals including Palm Springs Shortsfest, Encounters, Flickerfest and London Short Film Festival. Her work has been featured by Vimeo StaffPicks, Comedy Central, the BFI and Londonist. Her film Fan Girl was nominated for the Grand Prix Prize at the 2016 Encounters. Healey's House, which she co-wrote, won Best UK Short at Raindance Film Festival 2016, and Rest Stop, on which she was mentored by LOCO London Comedy Film Festival and Sky Comedy, won the Grand Prize for Best Comedy at the 2015 BAFTA and Oscar-qualifying Rhode Island Film Festival. Her mentors at Sky Comedy described Kate as "A huge comedy voice in years to come" (Ben Boyer, Commissioning Editor at Sky Comedy). She has just finished directing her first TV project, Five by Five, for which she was handpicked by Idris Elba to direct. Produced by Elba's production company Green Door Pictures and BBC Drama. It will air on BBC Three at the end of March.
Writer Briony Redman
Briony is a writer and comedian who regularly performs improvised comedy with The Free Association. She was shortlisted for the BAFTA Rocliffe Comedy Script 2016, shortlisted for iFeatures 2014 (with Kate Herron), shortlisted for the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum at the NYTV Festival 2012 and was a finalist in the Red Planet Picture Prize 2010. Briony wrote and acted in short Forget-Me-Not, which screened internationally at festivals including Palm Springs Shortsfest, was nominated for Best Comedy at Aesthetica Short Film Festival and won SICFF People’s Choice Award. Briony met Kate when she was tied up in a bath in Kate's short Open House (picked by judge Robin Gutch as Film of the Month on Shooting People). They discovered they had a shared love of Joss Whedon and Hitchhiker's Guide and have written together since.
Producer Douglas Cox
Whilst working as a producer and production manager in commercials and TV, Douglas founded Shadowhouse Films in 2014 to proudly champion exciting new filmmakers. Since then he has produced a slate of predominantly genre-based short films, all of which have been independently funded and have screened internationally at festivals around the world, including BFI London Film Festival, Toronto, Fantastic Fest, Fantasia, Sitges, Uppsala, Raindance, and many others. Films completed thus far include Absence (nominated Best Short Film, National Film Awards), Healey’s House (winner Best UK Short, Raindance), Abandon and Dawn of the Deaf (winner Best European Short, Sitges; winner Best Short, Monsters of Film). With a host of other shorts in various stages of development and production, including two further films with Kate Herron and Briony Redman, Smear and Exit Pursued by a Bear, Shadowhouse Films is growing its reputation as an independent production company within the UK.
Watch the short Rest Stop.