Kevin Spacey thrilled the winners of his short film competition by giving them the good news in a surprise video chat.

The actor launched a contest to give three budding filmmakers the chance to direct actor Willem Dafoe in a movie project as part of the annual First Shot contest, organised by bosses at Jameson Irish Whiskey.

Hanneke Schutte from South Africa, Anton Lanshakov from Russia, and Shirlyn Wong from the U.S. were picked as the winners, and they were given a video chat with contest organisers in the final stages.

During the online Skype call, the organisers hinted the budding filmmakers had been rejected from the competition before Spacey entered the frame to give them the good news.

Spacey said, "This is our way of saying to you... congratulations - you've won! You're going to have to come to Los Angeles to make your movie."

Spacey's surprise prompted a shocked response from all three winners.