2020 Awards Ceremony

April 25, 2020

Congrats to all the winners! 


Awards: Wed, April 22, 8:30PM


We publicly hosted the 2020 Images Awards Ceremony on our website prior to Closing Night: Nimtoh (Invitation) by Saurav Rai for the 33rd Images Festival Live Stream. Thank you to our sponsors, funders, and the 2020 jury, and our brilliant winning titles! 


The 2020 Jury includes: Toronto-based film programmer and graphic designer Rupali Morzaria, multidisciplinary artist Francisco-Fernando Granados, and curator Kathleen McLean.


2020 Winners


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 $500 cash.


Simultaneously figurative and abstract, the winning film is bright and swirling with pleasure. It narrates solitary and collective moments of transformation, tenderness, sex, and self-doubt with raw honesty and a keen eye for contour and colour that brings forward the materiality of the moving image while giving a sense of contemporary life.


The award goes to Cheng-Hsu Chung for ADORABLE!


Steam Whistle Homebrew Award

LOUIS ESMÉ, Loose Lips


Honours excellence and promise in a local artist. The recipient receives $500 cash and a Steam Whistle prize package.


The winning film draws on the landscape with line and poetry as a way to open up our imagination to histories and futures where colonial logic has capsized. Here, the shoreline becomes a site to honour the Indigenous knowledge carried forward. What emerges is an artwork with rich visual, conceptual, and political points of access. A gift.


The award goes to Louis Esmé for Loose Lips!


AstroLab x Future of Film Showcase Production Emerging Canadian Award


With an Honorable 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 2 of Astrolab Studios, valued at $900.

The winning film evocatively combines sound and moving image to explore memories of a lost home and the disruptions of forced displacement.


The award goes to seth cardinal dodginghorse for Nisguya Chu, with an Honourable Mention to Danielle Peers & Alice Sheppard for Inclinations!


Overkill Award

THIRZA CUTHAND, Less Lethal Fetishes


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 $500 cash.


We were drawn to this really pretty, smart, funny, diaristic video because it explores a complicated situation and lands in a similarly complicated place—there is no easy resolution to the situations the filmmaker describes: for example, what to do when your work is instrumentalized as a tool to launder the reputations of the ultra-wealthy?


So, come for the smoke bombs and gas masks, and stay for the deeply personal and extended consideration of desire, complicity, fetish, and risk.


For her incisive wit, critical engagement, and deep fearlessness, the award goes to Thirza Cuthand for Less Lethal Fetishes!


More With Less Award

NAZLI DINÇEL, Instructions on How to Make a Film



Sponsored by CFMDC, Charles Street Video, Dames Making Games, Gamma Space, LIFT, Reel Asian, SAW Video, Trinity Square Video, 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. The recipient receives $1,500 cash.

*This year, our jury decided to split the award between two artists that they felt best embodied the mantra More With Less.


1. For her generosity in form and content— in exploring humour and play within layers of image, found text, and narrative voice over.


The first half of the award goes to Nazli Dinçel for Instructions on How to Make a Film!


2. The radical simplicity of this filmmaker's approach belies the complexity and infinite variability of his film. Of all the films we viewed, we found this one most aligned with the spirit of “More with Less”


The second half of the award goes to Miko Revereza for Biometrics!


Meet our 2020 Jurors


Rupali Morzaria is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary designer and film programmer. Her creative practice is rooted in traditional forms of graphic communication and print media, repurposing the dazzle of consumerist culture to critically engage with the bullshit. Rupali’s fascination turned obsession with Indian Cinema has manifested itself in the ongoing film series Sanghum at the Royal Theater, and an upcoming film program of Indian experimental and animated shorts with Pleasure Dome. Most recently, her work was included in the exhibition “Architecture After the Asylum'' at Trinity Square Video, and will be part of the upcoming edition of NANG Magazine.


Kathleen McLean is a Toronto-based curator currently working as Assistant Curator of Talks, Programs & Screenings at the Art Gallery of Ontario. She holds a master’s in Art History from York University. Previously she was Assistant Curator at the Art Gallery of York University.


Francisco-Fernando Granados is a Toronto-based artist. His practice spans drawing, performance, installation, cultural theory, digital media, public art, and communitybased projects. He has presented work in galleries, museums, theatres, artist-run centres, and nontraditional sites since 2005 and currently works as an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Art at OCAD University.


Thank You

This year's awards presentation was generously sponsored by CFMDC, Charles Street Video, DamesMaking Games, Gamma Space, LIFT, Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, SAW Video, Trinity Square Video, Steam Whistle, Akimbo, Frame Discreet, York University Department of Cinema & Media Arts, Astrolab Studios, and Future of Film Showcase.


Image: 2020 Awards Presentation, imagesfestival.com.