Saturday, February 09, 2013

VISFF Attracts Large Audience Of Film Lovers


Eighth Annual Vancouver Island Short Film Festival A Success

The 2013 Vancouver Island Short Film Festival held February 1 & 2 was highly successful, attracting one of the largest audiences of its eight-year history. Almost five hundred people enjoyed diverse films from across the country, representing a wide variety of genres. From the whimsical comedy of The Money Pet, to the dark and thrilling chase of Mark of Cain, to the beautiful and informative documentary Across the Way, fourteen films ranging from 2 – 12 minutes in length were chosen from talented independent filmmakers. Selections included 8 films from Vancouver Island, attesting to the quality of the Mid Island’s local film scene.

“The success of the festival was a combination of exceptional leadership from Director Johnny Blakeborough, who has been with the Festival since its start; the hard work of many volunteers, including Show Coordinator Matthew Lettington; and the informed film selection and judging of Sarah Schwartz, Brendan Tang, Gregory Ball, Terrence Fitzgerald and Marion van der Zon,” says Sarah Schmidt, Manager of the Nanaimo Arts Council, one of the event’s sponsors.

Audiences were also treated to a Question & Answer session after the first night’s screening, while the second evening finished with the Awards Ceremony and after party. The award for Best Student Film, awarded to a film of excellent merit submitted by a BC high school or post-secondary student, went to VIU student Steff Gundling for her film Year of the Living Dyingly. Gundling also took home the Best Technical Award, sponsored by Vancouver Island Student Union and awarded to the filmmaker who demonstrates exceptional technical aptitude in sound, camera, and editing. 

The Award for Best Original Music, sponsored by Arts BC, for the musician who composed music specifically for the short film, went to Alessandro Juliani for his contributions to the film Wait for Rain. Best Performance, sponsored by The Province of BC, was awarded to Haig Sutherland for his performance in Wait for Rain. Best Writing, sponsored by the Nanaimo Arts Council, was presented to Gary Hawes for The Money Pet, a story that was smart, funny, and well-told. People’s Choice, sponsored by The City of Nanaimo, and Best Film, sponsored by the Firehouse Grill, were also awarded to The Money Pet.

The 2013 festival also honored long-time contributor to the Nanaimo film community, Shirley Goldberg. Shirley was recognized with the first ever VISFF Film Paragon award for her more than 35 years of outstanding contributions to our arts and culture.

The Vancouver Island Short Film Festival is made possible with the assistance of the Nanaimo Arts Council, The Province of BC, Arts BC, and the City of Nanaimo.

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