Margo Lily, Seconds and Cat vs. Man score cash prizes in NSI Online Short Film Festival

The National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) doled out the latest round of awards in its NSI Online Short Film Festival last week.

Margo Lily directed by Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart won the $1,250 A&E Short Filmmakers Award for best film, Seconds directed by Jordan Canning won the $2,000 Shaw Media Fearless Female Director Award for best film by a female director and Cat vs. Man directed by Zia Marashi won the $750 Bite Comedy Award for best comedy.

This round’s independent jury was Joy Loewen, a marketing and exhibition consultant and longtime supporter of short filmmaking, Randy Goulden, executive director of the Yorkton Film Festival and Blackbird producer Marc Almon.

Our jurors had this to say about the films:

Margo Lily

Joy Loewen: “A deeply moving short film which packs a tender punch with its intimate story of loss and proves it is possible to feel joy in the midst of grief. Bravo!”

Randy Goulden: “A very emotional, intense film that showcased the solidifying of a relationship during a tragic loss. The film was poignant and intriguing.”

Marc Almon: “A tender and moving portrait of a couple confronting their grief together.”

Directors Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart said: “Wow, thank you! We’re so grateful to be recognized by an institute as fine as NSI. Big thanks to the jury and A&E. You guys have been so kind to our films and that means the world to us.”


Joy: “In a rich field of talent, Jordan Canning hits another homerun with Seconds. Every second of this short captivates and shines with creative genius.”

Joy also gave a shout-out to Michelle Swallow, the director of Pottery Wars: “A big bouquet of praise is also awarded to first time filmmaker, Pottery Wars’ Michelle Swallow, for revealing the magic of the ‘Black Friday’ sale of the North in a film I found engaging and delightful.”

Randy: “A very personal story that has the filmmaker reliving her memories and regrets. A poignant film with amazing shots of life.”

Marc: “A compendium of life moments and observations that are drawn together with genuine artistry and wit. Enthralling.”

Director Jordan Canning said of winning the Shaw Media Fearless Female Director Award: “It is such an enormous honour to receive this award. Thank you to NSI and Shaw Media for their continual support of female talent in this country.”

Cat vs. Man

Joy: “[This film] showcases all the good found in Canadian comedy and the independent film scene. You can’t stop yourself from laughing out loud at the absurdity of this unconventional love triangle created by a talented team within the challenging yet supportive confines of a timed film competition.”

Randy: “A love triangle: man, woman and cat – who knew this could be so funny?”

Marc: “Funny, irreverent and endearing.”

Bite Comedy Award winner and director of Cat vs. Man Zia Marashi said: “Winning the Bite Comedy Award is a great honour and a testament to the hard work of the talented Cat vs. Man cast and crew. This award is dedicated to them. I would also like to thank NSI and Bite for their constant support of the Canadian arts and for knowing that comedy is serious work.”

About the jury

Joy Loewen is a passionate champion of the production, promotion and exhibition of Canadian programs. Through her role as a programmer, producer and trainer Joy has the privilege to see and love a lot of Canadian film.

Randy Goulden is the executive director of the Yorkton Film Festival. The festival is the longest running short film festival in North America and has developed a tradition of recognizing excellent films and providing great professional development and learning opportunities.

Marc Almon is a filmmaker based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His credits include producing the award-winning feature film Blackbird, and writing/directing the Genie-nominated short film The Wake of Calum MacLeod.

The NSI Online Short Film Festival is made possible through the support of Presenting Sponsor Shaw Media, Festival Partner Telefilm Canada, Comedy Award Sponsor Blue Ant Media, Fearless Female Director Award Sponsor Shaw Media, Overall Best Film Award Sponsor A&E Television Networks, and Supporting Sponsor Netflix.

Media enquiries

Laura Friesen, Communications Coordinator
tel: 204.957.2999 or email:

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