Emerging Director Marshall Axani Wins the Inaugural MPPIA Short Film Award
Writer/director Marshall Axani emerged from a field of four talented young filmmakers as the first recipient of the MPPIA Short Film Award on December 2 at the Whistler Film Festival.
Axani won the Award based on his script for The Light of the Family Burnam, pitched to a jury of Canadian directors on Friday, November 30 during the Whistler Film Festival Industry Forum. The pitch competition featured four finalists selected in the first adjudication phase in October 2007. Axani’s co-finalists for the MPPIA Short Film Award were: Cal Garingan (The Lake Story), Katie Yu (The Evolution of Emeric) and Ryan Galletta (Lucky Shorts).
Guided by moderator Whistler Film Festival Board President Rob Egan, the three jurors for the final pitch competition were film directors Carl Bessai (Normal), Lynne Stopkewich (Kissed) and Trent Carlson (The Delicate Art of Parking).
Said Carlson following the jury’s decision, “This was a difficult choice to make, as all of the finalists competed with passion and conviction in their respective short film projects.” “Marshall’s project prevailed with a compelling storyline that treats human drama with sensitivity and humour. I look forward to seeing his completed film at the Whistler Film Festival next year,”
A partnership initiative of the Motion Picture Production Industry Association (MPPIA), BC Film and the Whistler Film Festival to support the career development of emerging BC filmmakers, the prestigious Award comprises $15,000 in cash plus in-kind services up to $100,000 for the production of a short film project. This inaugural prize has been established to recognize the contribution of film and television as the Province of British Columbia celebrates it 150th Anniversary in 2008.
MPPIA Chair Peter Leitch commented, “The MPPIA Short Film Award is one of the largest prizes in Canada and represents our industry’s commitment to supporting the development of a strong domestic film sector in BC. Based on the talent we saw in the competition for this Award, I’m confident the future of the industry is in good hands if we support BC’s emerging filmmakers.”
The completed MPPIA Short Film Award project will be screened at the 2008 or 2009 Whistler Film Festival depending on its date of completion.
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