On Sunday, March 4th, 2018, the 11th Annual Kamloops Independent Short Shorts Film Festival took place in conjunction with the ten day Kamloops Film Festival. Filmmakers of all ages were welcomed and encouraged to submit a short film (with a maximum of five minutes in length). This was an opportunity to see their film on a big theatre screen and a chance to win prize money, and a mini Oscar of their own to take home.

These cash prizes are supported by the Thompson Nicola Film Commission, Kamloops Arts Council, Joy Factory Films and Mastermind Studios. Overall, this event was a wonderful way to celebrate the hard work and passion of our regional talent.

To paraphrase Kathy Sinclair (Executive Director of the Kamloops Arts Council) who presented a youth award to Phoenix Guzzo, 16 year old Kamloopsian, “You CAN make a career in the arts.” Yes, it can be a terrifying experience to bear your soul, to create something from absolutely nothing but some very big ideas. But to be brave enough to share what sets your soul on fire with your peers and a broader audience on the big screen of a theatre, is a feat all on its own. For Guzzo, he found a creative outlet for his stressors of high school and the everyday life of a teenager in his filmmaking.

We’re sending high fives to all nineteen filmmakers who submitted a short film this year! Don’t stop creating. Keep breaking down your own barriers and trying new techniques. There is always an opportunity to learn something new – no matter at what age you are. Just look at Shelley Joyce, of CBC Kamloops, who submitted a documentary along with Ken Matheson that followed a courageous story of a Kamloopsian woman with Lupus who cycles the eight kilometre trek up and down the hill in Juniper Ridge. This film received an honourable mention for showcasing the TNRD region – totally rad!

Other noteworthy films including “Descent Into The Maelstrom”, an animated Edgar Allan Poe film by Jody Tippett, Chris Bose’s satirical comedy “Outdoor Weather” and “Bike Life”, a laughable take on the term ‘thug life’ by Aly Couch and Kara Wright.

Let’s take a look at the winners of this year’s festival.

“Holy Dungarees” by Josef Perszon
First Place (Sponsored by Mastermind Studios)

“Methane Ocean By Gizbah” by Sean Luciw
Second Place (Sponsored by Joy Factory Films)

“Ode To This City” by Matt Brooks
Third Place & TNRD Award (Sponsored by Thompson Nicola Film Commission)

Again, congratulations to everyone involved, from filmmakers, to event sponsors, the Kamloops Film Society, and the endless support of amazing volunteers!

We are looking forward to next year’s event and we’re already thinking of our short film idea for 2019.