Both winners also receive a complimentary Friend membership to the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.
The jury also gave an honourable mention to A Typical Fairytale by Annette Rilley.
The award selection was made by an independent jury: content creator Lora Campbell, previous A&E Short Filmmakers Award winner Kyle McDougall and filmmaker Anand Ramayya.
A young boy struggles to accept the death of his mother while his sister copes through violence.
Lora Campbell: “A beautifully captured film with stunning cinematography and acting which makes the viewer join the ride within moments.”
Kyle McDougall: “A superbly crafted film that drew me in right from the start. Game combines all of the elements you’re looking for in a short narrative, which come together to tell a very realistic and haunting short story about a boy’s childhood as part of a broken family.”
Anand Ramayya: “Webster handles a delicate subject with maturity, maintains tension throughout and has created a film I couldn’t take my eyes off of.”
Filmmakers Joy Webster and Lucas Ford said, “We’re excited to be awarded the A&E Short Filmmakers Award alongside Just Another Beautiful Family. The support of NSI, A&E and the jurors is greatly appreciated!”
Just Another Beautiful Family
Just an ordinary suburban family, except that Dad’s transgender, Mom’s queer and there are five kids in this minivan.
Lora: “An authentic and inspiring film told by the community it’s about and is just the kind of film I want to see. The filmmakers have created a nuanced story of family, resilience and joy. Incredibly vulnerable filmmaking at its best.
Kyle: “A wonderful short documentary with an incredibly strong message. Katherine and Nick let us inside their lives as we follow their family’s journey and, in doing so, they share the importance of living an authentic life and finding your true self.”
Anand: “Katherine and Nick North being the subjects and filmmakers opened themselves to the process and have given us a brave, honest and intimate story of a modern family. It’s got a lot of heart.”
Filmmakers Katherine and Nick North said, “We are amazed! As first-time filmmakers, we wanted to tell our own story because it’s what we needed to hear ourselves a few years ago when Nick transitioned. Our goal is that this film brings hope and comfort to all sorts of families – because every family is a beautiful family!”
A Typical Fairytale
A young couple have a romance fit for a storybook. They live happily ever after until their child diverges from the classic narrative.
Lora: “The kind of film I wish had been around when I was younger. A film for all ages, it captures the hard moments parents and children can have as they come out as transgender with all of the romance and whimsy that has been portrayed by mostly cisgender people to date.”
Anand: “Writer, Jessica McLeod’s film takes an unconventional approach yet has created an extremely accessible film exploding with quirky humour, colour and insight into an exclusive parent-child experience.”
About the jury
Lora Campbell is a transgender non binary content creator from Newfoundland who currently lives in Toronto.
Kyle McDougall is a documentary filmmaker with a passion for telling authentic stories that explore the human condition. He is also the most recent winner of the A&E Short Filmmakers Award for his film You Will Survive Doomsday.
Anand Ramayya of Karma Film is a multiple award-winning scripted content producer and documentary filmmaker, committed to telling humanist, inclusive stories since 2001.
The NSI Online Short Film Festival was made possible through the support of Festival Partner Telefilm Canada; Supporting Sponsors Corus Entertainment, CBC Gem, Super Channel; Award Sponsor A&E Television Networks; and Industry Partner the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.
The NSI Online Short Film Festival, retired in January 2020, was a year-round Canadian short film showcase. After launching in 2008, the festival awarded over $125K to Canadian media artists. Over 1,000 films are still available to watch in the archives.