Peak Oil by Dylan Rhys Howard wins best film in NSI Online Short Film Festival

Peak Oil by Dylan Rhys Howard

Congratulations to director Dylan Rhys Howard whose film Peak Oil wins the $1,250 A&E Short Filmmakers Award for best film in the NSI Online Short Film Festival run by the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI).

Dylan also receives a complimentary Friend membership to the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.

The NSI Online Short Film Festival is a year-round Canadian short film showcase with new films added every week. Since launching in 2008, the festival has programmed hundreds of films and awarded over $125K to Canadian media artists. Many of the films are available to watch in the festival archives.

The current award selection was made by an independent jury: actor and filmmaker Lisa Rose Snow, Cinéfest Sudbury managing director Patrick O’Hearn and recent A&E Short Filmmakers Award winner Hannah Cheesman.

Our jurors had this to say about Peak Oil:

Lisa Rose Snow: “Layered and striking, this short film excels with strong visuals, poignant acting and an unexpected burst of music. A story that sticks with you long after it’s over.”

Patrick O’Hearn: “The performances are tremendous, and the dialogue feels so natural. The production quality, storytelling and overall intensity of Dylan’s film make it so impactful. It is a very deserving winner.”

Hannah Cheesman: “Dylan’s short gives a glimpse into a cross-section of Canadian life, but his story is so incisive and specific (and expertly, beautifully performed by his actors) it’s hard not to wonder whether we’re watching truth or fiction.

“With fresh, nuanced storytelling and imagery that is evocative in its simplicity and intimacy, Dylan deftly weaves a tale that quietly draws you in while hitting hard with an achingly human conclusion. An imaginative and heartfelt take on the ‘relationship drama’ that is wholly unexpected and yet entirely relatable.”

Director Dylan Rhys Howard said, “Thank you very, very much to the jury of the A&E Short Filmmakers Award; I am so happy the film resonated with you. As always, thank you to my small-but-mighty cast and crew for the vulnerability and trust you displayed during the making of this gritty little movie, and to my second family at The Film And Video Arts Society – Alberta.”

About the jury

Lisa Rose Snow is an award-winning writer, director and actor inspired by stories that smash stereotypes, celebrate courage and inspire hope.

Patrick O’Hearn is managing director of Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival and associate managing director of Cultural Industries Ontario North.

Hannah Cheesman is an award-winning filmmaker, actress and writer. She is best known for her hit web series Whatever, Linda, and can currently be seen on the bridge as a Star Fleet member of Star Trek: Discovery season 2.

Call for films / submit by March 11

Film submissions for the NSI Online Short Film Festival are being accepted through FilmFreeway until Monday, March 11, 2019.

If your film is programmed, you have a chance of winning the $1,250 A&E Short Filmmakers Award. We accept films released after January 1, 2014.

All NSI Online Short Film Festival winners receive a complimentary Friend membership for the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television and non-acting award winners are qualified to be nominated for a Canadian Screen Award (if award criteria are met).

Submissions must be less than 30 mins. Drama, comedy, animation, documentary, sci-fi, horror, music video and experimental are all eligible and must be made by a Canadian writer, director or producer.

Submit your film

The NSI Online Short Film Festival is made possible through the support of Festival Partner Telefilm Canada; Supporting Sponsors Corus EntertainmentBlue Ant Media and Breakthrough Entertainment; Award Sponsor A&E Television Networks; and Industry Partner the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.

All media enquiries

Laura Friesen, Manager, Communications & Alumni Relations
Phone: 204.957.2999 or email:

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