It's good to talk, according to marriage guidance counsellors, even if couples can only manage a tweet instead of a face-to-face conversation.

Relate Oxfordshire, which has branches in Oxford, Abingdon, Witney, Bicester, Banbury and Thame, has launched a film festival called Love in the Time of Twitter.

Young film-makers and experienced directors are being urged to submit films reflecting the recent revolution in social networking and the impact it has on relationships.

Mum-of-two Sue Trevor-Wilson, 69, from Iffley, Oxford, a trustee for Relate Oxfordshire, said: “People from any walk of life can experience relationship problems when communication breaks down.

“But a tweet or a text could be a way forward if people aren’t ready yet for a face-to-face meeting.

“Social networking sites can be a very positive thing if couples have a long-distance relationship and they can stay in touch regularly on Facebook or Twitter.

“Advice sessions can cost £40, and Relate Oxfordshire wants to support anyone in need, regardless of their ability to pay.

“The proceeds of this film competition will help pay for extra advice sessions.

“People communicate in different ways these days but you could say that social networking sites have freed up relationships and made them more flexible.”

Ms Trevor-Wilson said Relate Oxfordshire wants the film competition to become an annual event. She said: “The films can be between two and 20 minutes long and anyone can make one, from film students to experienced film-makers.

“We want to communicate what we do in a fun way to a wider audience.”

The deadline for submissions for the Short Film competition is July 30 and screening and judging of shortlisted films will take place at The Theatre, Chipping Norton, on Friday, October 12.

Anyone interested in taking part should visit