NSI announces shortlists for Features First and Drama Prize programs

Twenty-one films make the cut for the National Screen Institute's features and shorts development programs.
Film reels (Photo: Lisa Eglinton, Flickr Creative Commons)

The National Screen Institute has announced the shortlisted projects for the NSI Features First program and the NSI Drama Prize.

Nine projects were shortlisted for the NSI Features First program, which provides feature film development training for first or second-time writers, directors and producers.

Films shortlisted include Catch it Early by Toronto’s Jordana Aarons and Sara Warren, a comedy about cancer, a love story in a graveyard, and a meeting of cultures and odd families; Dinosaur Dreams by Toronto’s David Widdicombe and Courtney Graham; horror film Fragments, from Marsh City and Whitehorse’s Michael Vernon, David Hamelin and Neil MacDonald, and The Marksman by Toronto’s Brad Horvath and Stephen Dunn, about a young fishmonger obsessed with winning over a hunter’s daughter, and desperately tries to prove himself as a marksman by using enchanted bullets that act on their own accord.

Other films that made the Features First shortlist include:

  • Small Balls by Winnipeg’s Jean Du Toit and John B. Lowe
  • The Happy People by Rajvinder Kaur Uppal and Meghna Haldar (Vancouver, BC)
  • Marks by Alex Molenaar and Peter Genoway (Toronto)
  • Synapse by Matt Watterworth and Scott Westby (Calgary, AB)
  • Ocean City by Ben Silverman, Matthew Bass and Jason Stone (Richmond and Vancouver, BC)

Up to four teams are accepted into the program each year, with successful teams receiving over $15,000 towards a feature film development budget targeted at customized training. The next deadline for the Features First program is summer 2012.

Also announced are the 12 projects shortlisted for the NSI Drama Prize, a year-long training and professional support program for emerging filmmakers while they develop and produce a short film.

Computer Potato by Marc Vandergraaf and Todd Kipp from Calgary and Canmore was one of the shortlisted projects. The two also worked together on Blue-Eyed Boy, which was an official selection at the Edmonton International Film Festival.

Also selected was Late Bloomer by Vancouver’s Simona Atias and Cameron Grierson. Atias recently coproduced Afternoon Tea, which was an official selection at TIFF 2011 and Whistler 2011. Also out of Vancouver, Green Green Grass by Arthur Maughan and Mona Grenier; Land of the Sun by Melissa Flagg and Brie Koniczek; and Beautiful Gun by Jordan Carew and Gabriel Correa made the list.

Toronto’s Cockroach by Marcia Nickerson and Michelle Latimer; The Dame And The Game by Sandra Paolucci and Chris Agoston; and With Truelove Showers by James Musselman, Georgina Lopez and Jeremy Beal were also selected.

Also shortlisted for the NSI Drama Prize are:

  • Floodplain by Jeremy Lutter and Daniel Hogg (Vancouver and Victoria, BC)
  • Promise by Dion Telesky, Cory Quinn and Holly Marchuk (Lorette and Winnipeg, MB)
  • The Elastic Collector by Sebastien Croteau and Carlo Ghioni (Montreal, QC)
  • The Goodbye Girl by Amber Ripley and Michelle Kim (Vancouver and Surrey, BC)

Up to four teams will be chosen in mid-January. The deadline for the next round of applications is fall 2012.

Photo: Lisa Eglinton, Flickr Creative Commons