A mum-to-be and her husband's animation inspired by their unborn daughter has been shortlisted in an international film competition judged by the cinematographer of Titanic and Avatar.

Teri and Michael Moran-Dawson, both 30, founded a production company in Ribchester in 2017 to champion local talent and support underrepresented filmmakers in the industry.

With a baby currently on the way, Teri, of Longridge, was inspired by her pregnancy experience so she and Mike created a short film titled, ‘Always’ to enter into Musicbed’s 30 day film competition, which has secured the couple a place in the top five finalists of the narrative category.

Teri studied an undergraduate degree in screenwriting before meeting her husband Mike, who studied photography and acting and then became self-taught in cinematography, animation and editing.

Lancashire Telegraph: A still from the couple's short animation film, AlwaysA still from the couple's short animation film, Always (Image: Teri Moran-Dawson)

Speaking on the inspiration behind their animation, she said: “It’s a reminder to never lose your imagination, even if we have to grow up.

“I’m really inspired by motherhood and childhood. The story is about the sad realisation that the older we get, the less we use our imagination, and we don’t want our little girl to lose her imagination and creativity.”

The film was created by just the pair and in less than 30 days so securing a spot in the top five is a huge achievement for the married couple.

Lancashire Telegraph: Teri and MikeTeri and Mike (Image: Teri Moran-Dawson)

Teri said: “We’re so excited that a tiny two man team in Northern England has entered a global contest and ended up in the same category as four other brilliant contenders.

"To know that Rob Legato (director of photography on Titanic, Avatar, and The Jungle Book) has watched our animation is amazing.”

“Looking into the statistics, it’s really shocking to see the underrepresentation of women I can’t understand why that is at all so as a female director and writer in the film industry, I want to shine a light on this issue.”

Teri also spoke about the underrepresentation of Northern filmmakers in the film industry and how Route Nine Studios aims to tackle this underrepresentation.

She said: “We work closely with friends and workers in the industry who share the same passions and vision as us.

"While Manchester is becoming a hub for TV now it’s very different for indie films, there’s a disparity between Northern and Southern based filmmakers but a lot of funders are wanting to support people outside of London now so more opportunities are becoming available and there is a shift happening.”

Speaking about the struggles of being a mother in a field where women are already underrepresented, Teri shared a positive outlook about the future of the filmmaking family.

She said: “I think how lucky we are that we are going to be with her a lot of he time and she’s going to be raised in a creative world.

“Our main priority is to let her know that it’s okay to chase your dreams and it might not be easy or financially fruitful in the beginning, Mike and I took a huge leap of faith deciding to do this full time in the beginning, but you’ve only got one life and one career.”

You can watch Teri and Mike’s animation, Always, here.