Above: Long Branch and Travels With My Brother
Short film Long Branch, directed by Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart, won the A&E Short Filmmakers Award for best film and the Bite Comedy Award for best comedy in the NSI Online Short Film Festival run by the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI). Travels With My Brother, directed by June Chua and Christine Alexiou, won the Shaw Media Fearless Female Director Award.
The Long Branch filmmakers will receive $1,250 for A&E Short Filmmakers Award and $750 for the Bite Comedy Award. And the directors of Travels With My Brother will receive $2,500 for the Shaw Media Fearless Female Director Award. Read more about the awards.
The jury also gave honorable mention to Do I Come On Too Strong? directed by Brenda Kovrig
Jury members had this to say about the films:
– “Long Branch is that perfect mix of comedy and heart. A fantastic script brought to life by excellent performances and the precise direction of Linsey Stewart and Dane Clark. I loved it!”
– “Travels With My Brother is truly fearless in its telling of this very personal journey. A captivating story.”
– “Long Branch had such a funny and, in turn, slightly sweet premise that it maintained right through to the end. Well done!”
– “Travels With My Brother took a difficult subject matter–autism–and presented it in a way that somehow normalized it for the rest of us.”
– “Long Branch is a touching tale that throws an hilarious light on how your expectations can unexpectedly change when presented with a big challenge!”
– “Travels With My Brother points a finger at every sibling relationship by showing the sometimes funny and poignant ways brothers and sisters deal with each other.”
On receiving news of their success Dane said, “Holy sh**balls! That’s AMAZING. We are so happy and proud of the win. More than anything, we make these films to reach out and grow our audience, and the internets are a great – really the best – place to do that.”
“Is there anything the internet doesn’t do? Awesome. A huge thanks to A&E and Bite and the NSI and the jury and everyone else. That’s so cool to have been part of the program. My mom might now be proud of me. Might. Humbled and happy. It means a lot to us,” added Linsey.
About Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart
Dane and Linsey met during their stint in the Writer’s Lab at the Canadian Film Centre in 2008. Then they fell in love, got engaged and now they spend a lot of time together. Oh God, a lot of time together.
After years in development hell on several films and television projects, they decided to direct their first short together to see how it would go. The film was Long Branch and miraculously it won Best Short at Calgary, Best Short at the Canadian Film Festival, Best Directors at Yorkton and was nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award. Their next short, Margo Lily premiered in Telefilm’s Not Short On Talent program at Cannes.
Individually, Linsey worked on the hit CBC series Being Erica, and Dane’s Praxis-winning script Old Stock was produced through CFC Features and is currently starting it’s festival run.
They’re currently gearing up to shoot their next film entitled I Put A Hit On You with the same fabulous team that made their last shorts watchable. When they’re not collaborating together, it’s usually time to go to sleep.
Travels With My Brother
On receiving news of their award, June Chua and Christine Alexiou said, “We are ecstatic and honoured to be handed this award! Especially as it is called the Shaw Media Fearless Female Director prize. We feel it’s a great celebration of Travels With My Brother. We had hoped audiences would be captivated by our documentary, which used nonlinear storytelling and 2D animation. Our team (camera, animator, sound) worked with passion to create an experience that would be distinct and unique from other films about autism. With this accolade, you are also paying tribute to Vas, our star, who struggles constantly with his condition but continues to see the world in the most extraordinary way.
This prize helps propel our new project Citizen Autistic – an immersive and interactive website about the experience of autistic people. Thank you very much NSI for providing a venue for shorts – these beautiful, little gems from filmmakers that would otherwise be lost. We’re so fortunate to be featured in your festival and so gratified that your judges selected our film for this wonderful prize.”
About June Chua and Christine Alexiou
Christine Alexiou is a writer and filmmaker who has produced and directed the documentaries, Telling Lives: Portraits of Immigrant Grandmothers (SCN), Hello Dolly? (SCN) and Who’s Afraid of Happy Endings? (Bravo!/SCN/Ovation Channel). Her television writing credits include the documentary series The Family Restaurant and X-Weighted; the drama Degrassi: The Next Generation; the animated series Chilly Beach and The Very Good Adventures of Yam Roll in Happy Kingdom; and the docu-drama series, Exhibit A: Secrets of Forensic Science, Forensic Factor and 72 Hours: True Crime.
Christine is graduate of Carleton University’s School of Journalism and was a winner of the Canwest Global Writers’ Apprentice Program for BANFF 2010.
June Chua is a Canadian filmmaker with a journalism background who has worked for CBC as a reporter, announcer, writer and producer. Her articles (arts, food, travel) and commentaries have appeared on CBC’s website as well as national newspapers and magazines. June’s essay on multiculturalism, I Am Canadian, was published in the anthology Strangers in the Mirror (Tsar). Her first independent documentary, Twin Trek, was archived by several Norwegian institutions. It screened in 2008 at the Oslo Documentary Cinema and the Kathmandu International Film Festival in Nepal.
June was also one of two fellows of the 2009/2010 Documentary Organization of Canada/Quebecor Fellowship.
About the jury
Jordan Canning is a filmmaker from St. John’s currently living in Toronto. In September 2012, Jordan’s film Not Over Easy won all three awards in the NSI Online Short Film Festival.
Lia Rinaldo has been deeply involved in the film industry for the past 22 years and has served as festival director at the Atlantic Film Festival for the past 10 years in Halifax.
Robert Hardy is a Vancouver-based writer and producer working in scripted and reality television.
The NSI Online Short Film Festival is made possible through the support of Presenting Sponsor Shaw Media, Program Partner Telefilm Canada, Comedy Award Sponsor Blue Ant Media, Female Director Award Sponsor Shaw Media, Overall Best Film Award Sponsor A&E Television Networks, and Supporting Sponsor Netflix.
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