Update: All Dead North Film Festival short films are now available to view online.
Saturday several local filmmakers took home coveted Zombear awards, at a celebration of the blood, guts and talent of the 40 films created for this year’s Dead North Film Festival.
The Zombears were presented at a full house at Yellowknife’s Top Knight Saturday. Many made-in-Yellowknife short films took home a Zombear, and some more than one. Andrew Silke’s post-apocalyptic animated short Bearlord received the honours of best film, best screenplay and best original music.
“The winner was just all around hilarious, me and Jay both called each other right away and were just like ‘did you just read that? Yes.’ It was crazy, funny, but also you could just picture the whole thing right away when you’re reading it. Which is super important, especially for this category,” Pat Kane says of the Bearlord screenplay.
Audience favourite Long Story Short: The Mad Trapper took home the audience choice award, best editing and the NWT location award.
Mitchel Wiles’ won best director for Lily, a film judges say impacted them deeply. The Changeling, a film by David Hamelin and Neil MacDonald of Whitehorse, was selected by Telefilm Canada to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival as part of the Canada: Not Short on Talent showcase.
Several youth films were a part of the festival and two films by the Kaw Tay Whee School students in Dettah took home Zombears for best marketing and best youth film. Eight-year-old Sadee Walden’s film The Magic Snowball was a runner up for best youth film, and Kay Walden received an honourable mention for best actor.
NWT film commissioner Camilla MacEachern says she’s inspired to see the festival grow so much since its inception seven years ago. “Right from the very start, I remember sitting at the board room with Pablo and Jay and it’s amazing to see how much it’s grown over the past seven years. You’ve created a monster, so good luck with that.”
And the Zombear awards went to:
Best NWT location – Long Story Short: The Mad Trapper
Best poster – Ice Worm
Best marketing – Snack Time and Flight of the Tentacle (tied)
Best youth film – Flight of the Tentacle
Best use of Indigenous language in a Dead North film – Jeige
Best sound design – The Unloving
Best original music – Bearlord
Skill in practical effects – The Wishingwell Man Has a Toothache
Skill in visual effects – The Changeling
Best use of visual element (the element was fur or taxidermy) – More than One Way
Best use of audio element (the element was silence) – More than One Way
Winner of Face Off photo competition – Samantha Stuart
Best cinematography – The Unloving
Best screenplay – Bearlord
Best editing – Long Story Short: The Mad Trapper
Best villain – Trash
Best death – Surprise Party
Best actor – Andrew Dewling, The Unloving
Best actress – Catherine Pigott, This Little Piggy
Best director – Mitchel Wiles, Lily
Audience choice – Long Story Short: The Mad Trapper
Best film – Bearlord
Winner of the Artless Collective pitch competition – Mason Mantla