Touch and You Will Survive Doomsday tie for best film in NSI Online Short Film Festival

You Will Survive Doomsday in the NSI Online Short Film Festival

An independent jury recently selected the latest award winners in the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI)’s Online Short Film Festival.

Touch, directed by Noel Harris, and You Will Survive Doomsday (pictured), directed by Kyle McDougall, tied for the A&E Short Filmmakers Award for best film and each won $625.

Both winners also receive 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 awarded over $125K to Canadian media artists. Over 1,000 films are available to watch in the archives.

The current award selection was made by an independent jury: filmmaker Sandi Somers, previous A&E Short Filmmakers Award winner Michael Clowater and documentary filmmaker and cinematographer Alexandra Tse.

A&E Short Filmmakers Award for best film: Touch

Sandi Somers: “A wonderfully nuanced film with a strong and engaging story. Noel’s ability to take us a on raw and natural journey is outstanding.”

Michael Clowater: “A superbly crafted film and story that drew me in from the very beginning and carried me through to the final moment. I loved the attention to detail that Noel brought to this. The little things like the fistfight in the background as the man drove his car helped set this world of poverty and made it feel gritty and real. A great film!”

Alexandra Tse: “A beautifully crafted vacuum of a film. It does the work in a sensitive and engaging way to look at life’s small moments and complexities and find the nuance and humanity within them. Touch is a film that gets better every time you watch it.”

Director Noel Harris said, “Co-winning the A&E Short Filmmakers Award for best film, selected by an independent jury of Canadian filmmakers, is an honour not lost on me.”

A&E Short Filmmakers Award for best film: You Will Survive Doomsday

Sandi: “Exquisitely shot, this film is a compelling journey into the life and story of a unique man. Kyle’s approach is thoughtful, respectful and insightful, bringing the mind of this man, his beliefs, and his life’s work of building a nuclear fallout shelter, into a very engaging form of storytelling.”

Michael: “Beautifully shot and edited. The bunker and Bruce’s story are fascinating subjects and I felt honoured to be let inside his world. I loved the sensitivity and dignity that Kyle brought to his approach as well.”

Alexandra: “You Will Survive Doomsday demonstrates vividly that documentaries can be incredibly cinematic and artistically driven. The film allows the audience to simultaneously embrace the humanity and empathy in one man’s preparation for the end of the world.”

Director Kyle McDougall said, “It’s an honour to have my film selected as a winner for the A&E Short Filmmakers Award, and I’m excited to be able to share Bruce’s story with a wider audience through this excellent online festival.”

About the jury

Sandi Somers is an award-winning filmmaker whose films have been presented worldwide. She is the founder of Herland, a mentorship program for the advancement of women in film, and is presently working on her second feature film.

Michael Clowater is an award-winning filmmaker best known for writing and directing the short film Four Eyes. By day, he directs commercials in Canada, the US, Europe and Australia. He currently lives in Toronto, Ontario and is gaining a strong sense of self-loathing as he develops his first feature film.

Alexandra Tse is a documentary director and cinematographer focusing on stories within the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities. She currently sits on the board of directors for Breakthroughs Film Festival, the only festival in Canada devoted exclusively to short films made by emerging women and non-binary directors.

Call for films / submit by December 2

The NSI Online Short Film Festival is currently accepting submissions through FilmFreeway until Monday, December 2, 2019.

If your film is programmed, you have a chance of winning the $1,250 A&E Short Filmmakers Award and the new $500 Directors Guild of Canada Award for best director. 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 Entertainment, CBC Gem, Super Channel; Award Sponsors A&E Television Networks, Directors Guild of Canada; 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:

Leave a comment