18th Annual Festival Live In Nanaimo - April 21 & 22, 2023
Submissions Now Closed
Thanks for Your Submissions
On Sale Now!
Available for online and in person
Live & Streamed
April 21st & 22nd, 2023

About Organization

The Festival debuted in 2006 and held a sold out screening of short films by B.C. filmmakers at the Nanaimo Entertainment Centre. Since then, the Festival has grown, receiving entries locally and from around the world, placing Nanaimo on the map as a film festival host that specifically serves short filmmakers. By valuing quality and diversity, the festival showcases amazing short films in a multitude of genres and styles.

The Vancouver Island Short Film Festival creates opportunities for filmmakers, not only to screen their films, but to network with other film professionals and inspire growth in our film community. For more information contact us at admin@visff.com.


Zoey Heath (Festival Director)

Zoey Heath’s visual eye was honed while attending film school and developed into a career when Zoey was thrown into the role of photographer on film sets. From there, Zoey owned a successful media business, working alongside and managing a team of photographers, videographers and editors to produce various media content for both small and large-scale events. Zoey has worked with multiple high-profile clients including; Canada Council for the Arts, AOL Canada, the University of Waterloo, The Huffington Post, The Ontario Arts Council, Wilfred Laurier University, and Arts & Crafts Productions.

During the same period, Zoey received awards for scriptwriting and photography, helped organize classic film screenings for Cinematique Waterloo and helped establish an artist-run collective that provided affordable arts space to up-and-coming artists.

Since moving to Nanaimo in 2017, Zoey has served on the board of directors for Hub City Walls and currently works as the Communications Manager at The Old School House Arts Centre. Zoey is a passionate advocate for community art and works to promote accessible and inclusive arts programming in their work. In their free time, Zoey works in a community darkroom with alternative photography processes. zoey@visff.com

Greg Brown (Submissions Coordinator)

Greg Brown is a writer and educator based on Vancouver Island. He’s the recipient of the Roy Daniells Memorial Essay Prize, a 2018 Pushcart Prize nominee, the winner of the 2018 Grouse Grind Lit Prize for V. Short Forms and a finalist for the 2018 Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. His fiction and essays have appeared in Paragon, Postscript, Pulp Literature, Tate Street, PRISM International, Best Microfiction 2019 and The Journey Prize Stories 30: The Best of Canada’s New Writers. He teaches at the University of Virginia’s Young Writers Workshop and at the Creative Writing for Children Society in Vancouver. In 2014, he joined the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival as Show Coordinator and has been a member of the board. submissions@visff.com

Melissa Kahan (Promotions Coordinator)

Melissa is a social media marketing professional and is responsible for promoting the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival. promtions@visff.com

Board of Directors:

Johnny Blakeborough (President)

Johnny Blakeborough co-founded the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival in 2005 and was the Executive Director until 2015. He is an award-winning short film producer and podcaster. He is an educator and technologist at Vancouver Island University where he is also the Secretary Treasurer of the Faculty Association and a member of the University Senate. Johnny is also the Broadcast Producer of Desert Bus for Hope, an online, yearly telethon that has raised over 10 million Canadian dollars for Child’s Play, a Children’s Hospital Charity, since 2007. johnny@visff.com

Jocelyn Matwe (Secretary)

Jocelyn is a graduate from SAIT’s Cinema, Television, Stage, and Radio program. She was able to match her technical aptitude with a passion for storytelling when she accepted a videographer position at Shaw Spotlight in Nanaimo in 2004. Since then, she has produced, filmed, and edited hundreds of stories about Vancouver Island communities, people, and events. She has supported the VISFF over the last several years by editing the annual festival trailers, and by participating in several Selection Committees. jocelyn@visff.com

Sean Enns (Vice-President)

Sean is a writer and playwright, active in Nanaimo arts and culture. His plays have been read and performed locally, and nationally through the Playwrights Guild of Canada. He grew up in the Cowichan Valley and has lived in Nanaimo for 30 years. Committed to service and building community capacity, he’s active as an executive board member with the Nanaimo Fringe and the Nanaimo Craft Beer Society, and works for the Nanaimo Foodshare Society, where he supports high risk youth and people with disabilities. sean@visff.com

Helena Marie (Director at Large)

Helena Marie is an actor and producer best known for her role as Whitney Cortez in the family series My Perfect Landing (Netflix). Helena co-wrote, produced and starred in the short film Crazy Love, which garnered her several festival awards (including 4 Goldies in 2015) for her unflinching dramatization of domestic abuse and revenge. Following that, Helena’s performance as a gun-slinging bounty hunter in the western Stagecoach: The Texas Jack Story earned her an ACTRA nomination for Best Outstanding Female Performance in a Feature Film. Coming up in 2023 you’ll see Helena in the Dawn series, based on the novels by VC Andrews. Born in Montreal, Helena now happily calls Vancouver home and enthusiastically joined the VISFF board of directors in the 2022 season. helena@visff.com