2016 Selection Committee announced!

We are excited to introduce the members of VISFF 2016 selection committee.
All three judges are experienced and passionate film makers and storytellers, and are long term fans of our festival. 


Paul Arnell

Paul Arnell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design from VIU and is a 9 year veteran of Nanaimo’s own Van Isle Video. He has a deep and enthusiastic love of cinema and has devoted a great deal of time to sharing that passion with, let’s face it, anyone who will listen. Paul is a self-described “Really Big Geek” for almost all forms of media, and is a big believer that watching the right film at the right time can change a person for the better. In his not spare time, Paul can be found doing what he loves for a living as an art instructor with 4Cats Nanaimo.




Sarah Schwartz photo

Sarah Schwartz

Sarah Schwartz is passionate about storytelling and production design. Her education and background is in film production, make-up artistry and interior design.  She has worked in post-production as an editor and as film critic who has contributed to the popular film and pop culture website Ain’t It Cool News. This is her second time on the selection committee for the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival.






Terence Fitzgerald

Terence Fitzgerald is a world-renowned pioneer in the entertainment world. Terence started his career with the Spawn #1 comic book in 1992, selling a record 1.7MM copies. Five years later Todd McFarlane Entertainment was born in California, a development company creating work in film, television, music videos, animation, soundtrack, and video games arenas. 1997 saw the release of the New Line Cinema Spawn movie generating over $100MM at the box office. Terence was a producer and oversaw the soundtrack which was certified platinum in ten countries. Other film projects included The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, a 2002 Sundance winner, the documentary Todd McFarlane: The Devil You Know by the NFB of Canada, and OZ, a $200MM reimagining of the Wizard of Oz at Warner Bros. Animated series Todd McFarlane’s Spawn had a three-season run on HBO and garnered two Emmy wins. Music video work included Disturbed’s “Land of Confusion”, Swollen Members’ “Breath,” (2003 MuchVIBE Best Rap Video winner), Korn’s “Freak on a Leash,” (1999 Grammy Award and two MTV VMAs winner). This video was also #23 on MTV’s “100 Greatest Videos of All Time”. The 1998 video for Pearl Jam’s “Do the Evolution” also garnered a Grammy nomination. Spring 2009 saw Terence return back to Vancouver Island. He continues to consult in all entertainment genres as well sit on different boards for non-profits.

Local filmmaker to challenge VISFF with black comedy

Linley Subryan belongs to the class of filmmakers unafraid to step outside the box to promote their work. He seems equally relaxed when pretend-chasing our photographer with a gun replica in the hallway of his apartment building as he is wearing skin-baring caveman suit to the festival opening night. Subryan currently lives two lives, alternating between what he calls his “survival” job in Nanaimo, and pursuing his acting and filmmaking career in Vancouver. His newest short film, a black comedy Just Shoot Me, will be showcased at the 10th Annual VISFF on February 6 and 7.

linley subryan photo

Just Shoot Me is an autobiographical story which depicts a typical day in the life of an auditioning actor. Subryan allegorically portrays the relationship between the actor and his agent as a mobster-client arrangement, in which the client begs to be “shot”.

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An emotional ride with Todd Jones

One of the perks of local film festivals is the opportunity to see the familliar faces of returning artists.This year, The VISFF welcomes the return of award-winning filmmaker-multitasker Todd Jones showcasing his fifth short film, a twisted dark comedy At Death’s Door.


When asked about the beginning of his love of filmmaking, Todd Jones travels back 20 years in memory to his student days in a TV production school.

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