Just As I Remember, Kwak Ji-Min and Ashley McKenzie take home prizes in NSI Online Short Film Fest

The National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) handed out the latest round of awards for its NSI Online Short Film Festival earlier this week.

  • Just As I Remember, directed by Andrew Moir, won the $1,250 A&E Short Filmmakers Award for best film;
  • Ashley McKenzie won the $1,000 Shaw Media Fearless Female Directors Award for best direction by a female for Stray;
  • Just As I Remember won the new $1,500 Blue Ant Media Documentary Award for best doc; and
  • Kwak Ji-Min won the $1,000 Brian Linehan Actors Award for her work in 북쪽 바람 (and the sun).

All winners also receive a complimentary Friend membership to the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.

The award selection was made by an independent jury: filmmaker and programmer Shannon Hanmer, programmer and industry professional Joy Loewen and filmmaker Aidan Shipley, the most recent winner of the A&E Short Filmmakers Award for best film for Dorsal.

Our jurors had this to say about the films:

A&E Short Filmmakers Award for best film: Just As I Remember

Shannon Hanmer: “A sincere and poignant look into the psychological battle that two men and their families face when dealing with the effects of ALS.”

Joy Loewen: “Moments of joy and pain are sensitively captured and provide new understanding which makes Just As I Remember a film that lingers long after the last scene.”

Aidan Shipley: “Just As I Remember showed it was not only deserving of the of the best documentary but the best film as well. A beautiful character study with equally fascinating visuals to match. A striking cinematic element to this film made it stand above the rest. ”

Director Andrew Moir said, “The trust that Brad [one of the film’s subjects] placed in me to make this film was incredibly humbling. He would be proud to know that his story has inspired so many people and I dedicate this award to his memory.”

Shaw Media Fearless Female Directors Award: Ashley McKenzie for Stray

Shannon: “Ashley McKenzie proves that she has a sharp sense of style and subtlety in this hauntingly beautiful portrait of loneliness and isolation.”

Joy: “Ashley McKenzie’s directorial star continues to rise and shine brightly in this evocative piece which convincingly captures the tenderness of youth in what is said and left unsaid.”

Aidan: “Stray was carried out with a very unique directorial vision to tell this haunting yet beautiful story. Credit to Ashley for the fantastic and hyper-natural performances from all of her actors, especially the young nine-year-old girl whose performance was simply breathtaking. This mixed with the entrancing imagery created quite a magnificent piece.”

Director Ashley McKenzie said, “Three years ago I moved back to the area where I grew up on Cape Breton Island to make Stray and I’ve stayed put ever since to keep bringing stories from this place to the screen. Sincere thanks to the jury for affirming the film and to NSI and Shaw Media for their continued support of my work.”

Blue Ant Media Documentary Award: Just As I Remember

Shannon: “Andrew Moir manages to capture the essence of what an illness such as ALS can do to not only your body, but your philosophy, your psyche and your family.”

Joy: “Andrew Moir bravely and competently shares a personal story of his father’s struggle with ALS objectively and with insight.”

Aidan: “Just as I Remember is a beautifully executed personal story. This doc parallels two families who are dealing with having a father struggling with ALS. It is handled with insight, sensitivity and many of the moments captured visually are simply unforgettable”

Director Andrew said, “Making documentaries can be discouraging sometimes; I’ve had to get used to hearing a lot of ‘no’s’. Awards like this not only provide vital financial support but, perhaps more importantly, they also serve as a welcome reminder that viewers continue to appreciate thoughtful, risky, cinematic and challenging documentaries. This award represents so much to me as an emerging documentary filmmaker and I would like to thank Blue Ant for their support.”

Brian Linehan Actors Award: Kwak Ji-Min for 북쪽 바람 (and the sun)

Shannon: “Ji-Min’s charismatic and subtle performance makes her stand out as a solid and memorable actor.”

Joy: “Kwak Ji-Min’s quiet yet bold intensity in a supporting role leaves an indelible and pleasing impression.”

Aidan: “Ji-Min delivered a beautiful performance filled with subtlety and quirkiness [in] a role that could have easily been overshadowed.”

Kwak Ji-Min said, “Firstly, I was surprised at winning this award – thank you! I appreciate the support for Korean films and actors, and a special thank you to director Samuel Kiehoon Lee.”

About the jury

Shannon Hanmer is a Toronto-based filmmaker and programmer for Hot Docs and Toronto After Dark Film Festival.

Joy Loewen is a passionate supporter of the production, promotion and exhibition of Canadian programs and has worked at CBC, Gimli Film Festival, On Screen Manitoba and NSI.

Aidan Shipley is an actor/director and the most recent winner of the A&E Short Filmmakers Award. He is currently embarking on co-directing his first feature through the Telefilm Micro-Budget Production Program.

The NSI Online Short Film Festival is made possible through the support of Festival Partner Telefilm Canada; Supporting Sponsors Netflix, Entertainment OneSuper Channel Corus Entertainment, Blue Ant Media, The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation and Breakthrough Entertainment; Award Sponsors A&E Television NetworksThe Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation; Shaw Media and Blue Ant Media; and Industry Partner Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.

All media enquiries

Laura Friesen, Manager, Communications & Alumni Relations
Phone: 204.957.299 or email: laura.friesen@nsi-canada.ca

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