2021 Award Winners


AstroLab x Future of Film Showcase Production Award:

SABRINA RUOBING ZHAO, Nini, What Time Is It There?

With an Honourable Mention to



Awarded to an emerging Canadian filmmaker who showcases an exciting synthesis of curiosity, experimentation, and innovation. The recipient will receive a certificate valid for one day for production in Studio 1 of Astrolab Studios, valued at $2,000 CAD.


York University Award for Best Student Work On Screen:



Sponsored by York University’s Department of Cinema & Media Arts. Awarded to the best student work on screen. The recipient receives a $500 CAD cash.


Frame Discreet Film Transfer Award: 

SUNEIL SANZGIRI, Letter From Your Far-Off Country


Sponsored by Frame Discreet. Awarded to an artist whose work best showcases the synthesis of analogue and digital practices. $500 CAD in-kind transfer services courtesy of Frame Discreet + $150 CAD cash for print shipping.


Overkill Award:

KIDLAT TAHIMIK, Balikbayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment Redux VI


Sponsored by an anonymous donor. Established in 2000 to honour former Executive Director Deirdre Logue. To an artist whose work is impervious to constraints—willful, unruly and uncontrollable.The recipient receives $1,000 CAD cash.


More With Less Award:

KAMAL ALJAFARI, An Unusual Summer

DAROL OLU KAE, I ran from it but was still in it


Sponsored by CFMDC, Charles Street Video, Dames Making Games, Digital Arts Resource Centre (DARC), The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT), and Anonymous. Established in 2015 to honour Scott Miller Berry, this award goes to a work that best demonstrates a resourceful artistic intent, doing more with less. Each recipient receives $750 CAD cash.



Meet the 2021 Festival Jury!


Angela Tiatia is a Sydney-based visual artist who works within moving image, painting, photography, performance, and installation. She explores contemporary culture, drawing attention to its relationship to representation, gender, neo-colonialism, and the commodification of the body and place, often through the lenses of history and popular culture.


Marnie Parrell is a Métis filmmaker, writer, artist, and maker. Her work has been screened both nationally and internationally from Dawson City Yukon to Melbourne Australia. Parrell has received several awards and grants including a Chalmers Arts Fellowship. Parrell’s films are hybrids—short, experimental, narratives and documentaries. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Toronto and an MFA at York University in film production where she wrote, directed, and edited The Future. It’s so last week (2009), a half-hour femsploitaction sci-fi adventure. Parrell’s films are available through Vtape.


Jesse Cumming is a curator, writer, and researcher based in Toronto. He has served as a Consultant with the Berlinale Forum and Open City Documentary Festival, and as a Programming Associate with the Wavelengths section of the Toronto International Film Festival. His writing has appeared in Cinema Scope, Canadian Art, The Brooklyn Rail, MUBI Notebook, C Magazine, Hyperallergic, Another Gaze, and more.



Thank You to our Sponsors:

This year’s awards are generously supported by the following partners: 

Astrolab, CFMDC, Charles Street Video, Dames Making Games, Digital Arts Resource Centre (DARC), Frame Discreet, Future of Film Showcase, LIFT, and York University Department of Cinema & Media Arts.