VISFF Dazzles Audience with Diversity


People's Choice Award Winner, Nanaimo's John Gardiner

People’s Choice Award Winner, Nanaimo’s John Gardiner

The 8 Goldie Awards

The 8 Goldie Awards

For Immediate Release

February 14, 2017

Vancouver Island Short Film Festival Dazzles Audience with Diversity

NANAIMO— The 12th annual Vancouver Island Short Film Festival (VISFF) dazzled audiences with a diverse selection of 16 local and international films, but it was a homegrown comedy that won the coveted Goldie award for People’s Choice.

Nearly 600 people flocked to Vancouver Island University’s newly-renovated Malaspina Theatre for three screenings on February 10th and 11th,  featuring short films from Canada, the United States, Spain, Ireland, China, Iran and the UK. The varied lineup was the result of a record-breaking number of submissions from 14 countries.

“Many audience members said they were really impressed by the quality of our films this year,” said VISFF Director Karla Duarte. “The festival is growing and putting Nanaimo on the map for the quality that the volunteer organizing committee delivers. We can’t wait to incorporate more films for next year.”

While the judges picked ‘Ingrid & the Black Hole’ by Canadian director Leah Johnston for Best WritingBest EditingBest Technical and Best Film, ‘Reproductive Cycles’ by Nanaimo filmmaker John Gardiner proved to be the favourite among festival-goers.

“It was such an honour to have my film shown at this year’s VISFF,” said Gardiner. “Winning the People’s Choice award was an unexpected thrill and I am very proud of my team!”

The other awards went to ‘Difter’ by Langara College’s Olivia Lindgren for Best Student Film, Pol Fernandez of ‘Croissant’ for Best Performance, and ‘Me, Baby & the Alligator’ for Best Music.

The winner of VISFF’s new Pitch-A-Flick contest was Charlotte Zhang of Nanaimo, for her pitch idea ‘Christine at Night’. Zhang will get $1000 to turn her vision into a reality, with support from local filmmaking mentor Raymond Knight of Knight Studio Productions.

Check out more pictures on the VISFF Instagram or Facebook page!

This year’s VISFF Awards Judges

This year’s VISFF  judging panel are incredibly experienced and talented and we are very excited to have them involved in our 12th annual festival. We received 112 entries this year and our judging panel will be choosing award winners from the 16 films that made it into the festival.

GavinBooth_FBprofilepicGavin Michael Booth is an award winning filmmaker, writer, director, producer, cinematographer and editor in the entertainment industry with fifteen years experience working within the film medium. His latest film “The Scarehouse” was distributed by NBC/Universal (USA) and D Films (Canada) in 2015 with international releasing including the Philippines, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Italy and more. The Scarehouse was funded in part by Telefilm Canada and the film won Best Feature at the New York City Horror Film Festival in 2014. Booth was runner-up for Director of the Year via Toronto’s NOW Magazine and Best Director in 2015 & 2016 via Windsor Independent. This past October Booth broke new filmmaking ground teaming up with power producer Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity series, The Purge, and Oscar winning Whiplash) to create the world’s first movie broadcast live using Twitter’s Periscope App. The film was a success with worldwide media coverage.

ErinLinnMcMullan_photoErin Linn McMullan is a screenwriter and story editor for IMAX Humpback Whales 3D and Cold Paradise (OMNI TV, Dawson City and Available Light Film Festivals). Her feature screenplay Lotus, a Romeo and Juliet adventure set in 12th Century Japan, was an official selection of VIWIFF 2016. She is a recent graduate of UBC’s MFA in Creative Writing with a focus on screenwriting.Her background includes work as a writer-editor for TV’s high school quiz show, Reach for the Top. She also spent 6 years on the production side of the Toronto film industry including as a member of IATSE Local 667’s Camera trainee program, and as camera second on Detroit Rock City and Canadian Film Centre productions.


helenaHelena Marie most recent on screen credits include Supernatural, A Wife’s Suspicion, and First Response. In 2013 she co-founded What’s On Tap
Productions and produced, co-wrote, and starred in CRAZY LOVE, the production company’s first film, which premiered at the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival in February of 2015. The film took home 4 awards for Best Technical, Best Writing, Best Film, and Best Performance for Helena’s portrayal of a woman suffering at the hands of her abusive boyfriend. The film also screened at the Montreal Fantasia Film Festival, the Toronto Blood in the Snow Fest, took home the prize of Best Short Film at the Montreal Actra Film Festival, and won Best Cinematography at the International Film Festival of Cinematic Arts in
Beverly Hills, California. In the spring of 2016 Helena landed a supporting lead role in the feature period Western called Stagecoach: The Texas Jack Story, shooting
her pistol alongside powerhouses Kim Coates, Judd Nelson and country-singer superstar Trace Adkins. The film was released in theatres across the US in November of 2016 and will be available worldwide on DVD and Blu-ray in December 2016.


2017 Official Selection

January 2, 2016 – For Immediate Release

16 Films Selected for 2017 Vancouver Island Short Film Festival

Sixteen short films from around the world have been selected for the 12th annual Vancouver Island Short Film Festival (VISFF) in Nanaimo on February 10th & 11th at Malaspina Theatre.

The festival received a record 112 entries from 14 countries. The VISFF Selection Committee settled on a diverse array of films from Vancouver Island, the United States, Spain, Ireland, China, Iran and the UK.

This year’s films:

Me, Baby and the Alligator (Jean Faucher) Canada

Leonore’s Lullaby (Quentin Paquignon) China

Drifer (Olivia Lindgren) Vancouver

Found (Sunny Bahia) UK

Reproductive Cycles (John Gardiner) Nanaimo

Women’s Christmas Night (Oonagh Kearney) Ireland

Fish (Saman Hosseinpuor) Iran

Mia (Amanda Strong & Bracken Hanuse Corlett) Canada

Cradle (David Holechek, Jake Hart) US

Ingrid and the Black Hole (Leah Johnston) Canada

Croissant (Marius Conrotto Diaz) Spain

Lemonade Mafia (Anya Adams) US

Isolamento (Carmelo Zucco) Canada

It`s All In Your Head (Greg Jeffs) Canada

Descrambled Eggs (Kayla Jeanson) Canada

Sweat (Kristin Snowbird) Canada

“The VISFF Selection Committee worked hard to narrow down the most entries we’ve ever had”, said VISFF Director Karla Duarte. “the result is an impressive and unique combination of local, Canadian and international films.”

The selected films will be screened on Friday, February 10th at 7:00pm (followed by a filmmakers Q&A) and Saturday, February 11th at 2:00pm and 7:00pm (followed by the Awards Ceremony).

Tickets for the VISFF are $15 or $10 for students. They’re available at and through The Port Theatre. The Vancouver Island Short Film Festival is a Nanaimo Arts Council event. For more information, visit or email