Festival celebrates short films

More dramatic films entered in Vancouver Island Short Film Festival

More dramatic films than ever were chosen for the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival.

The two-day event sees 13 films from Vancouver Island and Vancouver-based filmmakers telling their stories in 12 minutes or less.

“This year we got some of the most interesting and original films,” said Johnny Blakeborough, festival organizer. “We have a good mix of comedy, drama and some animation.”

A screening of all 13 short films is set for April 13-14 at Malaspina Theatre. The first night will see a question-and-answer panel following the films, while the second will see awards handed out to the best films.

It’s the seventh annual festival and more than half of the films selected by the three-person jury are by directors who’ve never submitted previously, said Blakeborough. That includes two high school students from Dover Bay Secondary.

In the past, the festival was dominated by comedy and animated films, but this year saw an increase in dramas, possibly because of the time-limit increase from 10 minutes to 12.

“It’s difficult to tell a good, dramatic story in 10 minutes – in any time limit, actually,” Blakeborough said.

One of the goals of organizers was to have the festival act as a networking opportunity to bring directors, writers and actors together.

More collaborations are happening through connections made at previous festivals, with the Nanaimo Film Group established and growing.

“I can do more to facilitate that but I do see it happening,” Blakeborough said.

The film screening begins at 7 p.m. Tickets $15 at Nanaimo Arts Council gallery, House of Indigo, the campus Nanaimo Art Gallery and online at www.visff.com. Tickets will be available at the door, but the event typically sells out.