The festival features 14 films including Steff Gundling’s Year of the Living Dyingly

The festival features 14 films including Steff Gundling’s Year of the Living Dyingly

Island films screened

NANAIMO - Festival celebrates the work of filmmakers from Vancouver Island and beyond including three flicks created by Nanaimo directors.

One man is obsessed with nurturing his plant to obtain his social status in a futuristic world where water is scarce.

Another is kidnapped and taken to a remote forest and hunted like an animal. And then there is the young man, holding a single quarter, facing a choice between two girls at a kissing booth.

These are some of the characters people will encounter at the screening of 14 films at the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival on Friday (Feb. 1) and Saturday (Feb. 2). The majority of the films were created by Island directors, with three films from Nanaimo.

For Steff Gundling, a Vancouver Island University student, it’s the first time her work will be shown.

Her film, Year of the Living Dyingly, is about a couple and focuses on their nervous ticks. It runs about five minutes and shows how disconnected the two are in their romantic and sexual interactions.

“I really wanted to focus on small nuances, that is why there is no talking,” she said. “It’s my first one and the first one ever showing so it’s my baby.”

She’s a little nervous and excited about showing her first film.

“Like any kind of art if there is no nervousness you aren’t pushing yourself enough,” she said.

Originally Gundling created the film for her class project and for the Victoria based band Versa that created the sound track. She’s majoring in digital media and said she knows film making will be a strong part of her career path in the future.

The Mark of Cain, by Nanaimo based directors Linley Subryan and Ken Diewert is about a man who is taken captive and driven to a remote forest where he is hunted. Subryan said he doesn’t want to give away too much because the film runs just shy of seven minutes.

The title alludes to the Bible story of Cain and Abel. In the story, Cain murders Abel but no one is supposed to punish him but God who puts a mark on him. Subryan said the mark is a metaphor in his film.

“Punishment is involved in this film,” he said.

The work was created in 2011 when Subryan and Diewert both shot separate footage in Chemainus to test a crane arm camera. Subryan filmed new scenes and added a third character to his film for this year’s submission.

Subryan’s work has been shown at the festival before. Last year he was nominated for three awards, including best film and best actor. He won the best music award and hopes to snag best film this year.

“Everybody wants to win best film award,” he said.

The third Nanaimo filmmaker Gem Chang-Kue, who is a student at VIU, created Open. The film is surrealist and is a story of a poem that is written, cut into pieces and preserved in canning jars.

The film festival starts at 7 p.m. both days. Tickets are $15 and are available at the door or in advance from the Nanaimo Arts Council Gallery, The House of Indigo Boutique, Elephant Room Creative or online at the film festivals website.

Descriptions are also available on the website,