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 Writing, Best Editing, Best 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.