Flankers, Kate Yorga and Hayley Carmichael win cash 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 recently.

  • Flankers, directed by Justin Oakey, won the $1,250 A&E Short Filmmakers Award for best film;
  • Kate Yorga won the $1,000 Corus Fearless Female Directors Award (formerly the Shaw Media Fearless Female Directors Award) for best direction by a female for When It Is Dark; and
  • Hayley Carmichael won the $1,000 Brian Linehan Actors Award for her work in Phone Box.

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

The award selection was made by an independent jury: film critic and programmer Kirk Haviland, distribution and industry professional Inga Diev and filmmaker Andrew Moir, the most recent winner of the A&E Short Filmmakers Award for best film for Just As I Remember.

Our jurors had this to say about the films:

A&E Short Filmmakers Award for best film: Flankers

Kirk Haviland: “Flankers delivers an atmospheric trip into rural Newfoundland. Exploring a side of the fishing community that doesn’t always see the light of day, director Justin Oakey crafts a fascinating tale of struggle, anger, loss and, in the end, brotherhood and respect.”

Inga Diev: “A skilfully crafted cinematic nod to human perseverance and resilience that brings rural Newfoundland and its talent into the spotlight. Best of luck to Justin with the production of his debut feature that will be incorporating some of the same ideas from this short film.”

Andrew Moir: “From the beautiful cinematography to absorbing performances, Flankers is an amazing example of a cast and crew coming perfectly in sync to tell a cinematic story. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

Director Justin Oakey said, “I’m very grateful for this award, and humbled to be included in the National Screen Institute’s fine selection of Canadian talent.”

Corus Fearless Female Directors Award: Kate Yorga for When It Is Dark

Kirk: “Kate Yorga’s When It Is Dark is a brilliantly conceived piece of art that looks stunning. Also filled with great performances as well as being expertly handled behind the camera, When Its Dark is a wholly entertaining and visceral experience that shows Kate is a filmmaker worth keeping an eye on.”

Inga: “A director’s voice that’s both fearless and bursting with creativity.”

Andrew: “Kate Yorga’s distinctive visual approach to storytelling shines in When It Is Dark. I can’t wait to see what she does next.”

Director Kate Yorga said, “It’s insanely empowering to be anointed a Fearless Female Director – to receive recognition for having the cajones to believe and follow a singular vision despite the challenges and perils.

A tip of the cowboy hat for my fearless nature goes to my departed dad, Nick, whose maverick genes live on in me. It is gratifying that the anguishing event inspiring this film led to artistic beauty. Thank you to the cast and crew, who went to the cliff edge of risk with me, and to the jury, the NSI and Corus for this incredible honour.”

Brian Linehan Actors Award: Hayley Carmichael for Phone Box

Kirk: “Hayley Carmichael delivers an inspired performance that is not only the concrete holding Phone Box together, but elevates the entire film with her mastery.”

Inga: “A portrayal of vulnerability that is equally powerful and subtle; Hayley’s performance drew me in instantaneously.

Andrew: “Both heartbreaking and inspiring, Hayley Carmichael brings an unforgettable dignity and grace to Phone Box. Her performance is a humble reminder that everyone we encounter shares a deep need for love, including those of us our society tends to overlook.”

Hayley Carmichael said, “Thank you so much for this award. I am delighted not only to receive the award itself which is unexpected, but also because it reminds me of the journey a film makes.

I work mostly in theatre where the story is experienced by actors and audience at the same time and then it’s over. It’s a different pleasure to be going about my day in London springtime and suddenly in comes this message from Canada, and this award … it is as surprising and delightful as making the film itself. Thank you Alan [Powell, director of Phone Box] and thank you NSI.”

About the jury

Kirk Haviland (aka Movie Junkie TO) is a film critic with reviews published on many online outlets including Dork Shelf, Examiner, In The Seats, Addicted Online Magazine, Scene Creek and Movie Junkie TO. Kirk is also a senior film programmer for the Blood in the Snow Canadian Film Festival.

Inga Diev serves as general manager of Ouat Media, an Academy Award®-winning film sales and distribution company, where she is responsible for the company’s business operations and oversees all the film sales and acquisitions.

Andrew Moir is a Toronto-based filmmaker. His documentaries include Uprooted, a short about a tobacco farmer giving up his crop forever; Just As I Remember, a personal documentary about two young fathers living with ALS; and Babe, I Hate To Go, a feature-length documentary currently in production about a Jamaican migrant worker forced to return home after a terminal cancer diagnosis.

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