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The Garden wins A&E Short Filmmakers Award in the NSI Online Short Film Festival

Mohawk language film Tsi Tkahehtayen (The Garden) wins A&E Short Filmmakers Award in the NSI Online Short Film Festival
Winnipeg, MB – Mohawk language film Tsi Tkahehtayen (The Garden) is the latest winner of the $2,500 A&E Short Filmmakers Award in the NSI Online Short Film Festival. In Tsi Tkahehtayen three women, who desire things of the most primal nature, go to a mystical gardener for help but don't quite get what they bargained for.

Tsi Tkahehtayen was written and directed by Zoe Hopkins and produced by Laura Milliken.

Jury members had this to say about the film:

Cavan Campbell: "For it's gentle humour and deconstruction of clichéd Aboriginal solemnity, as well as its playful use of language and attention to detail, this film was, for me, the clear leader for the A&E Short Filmmakers Award."

Adam Trozzolo: "In a style entirely its own -  with humour, beautiful art direction and a subtle, delicate script -  Tsi Tkahehtayen is able to simultaneously balance myth and joke, comedy and drama, and the old and the new, while commenting on language and miscommunication in a timeless fashion. Funny and bittersweet have seldom sat so closely together."

Kathleen Mullen: "Tsi Tkahehtayen is a humourous and insightful look at interpretation, language and expectations."

Writer/director Zoe Hopkins says, "I had two thoughts when I was informed I won this prize. The first was, 'Yay! Now I have enough money to buy a car!' and the second was that this is the first award I've received for my work. And how wonderful that it's for my first Mohawk language production."

About the director: Zoe Hopkins
Zoe Hopkins is Heiltsuk from Bella Bella, BC, and Mohawk from Six Nations, Ontario. Her short film, Prayer for a Good Day, premiered worldwide at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Another of her shorts, One-Eyed Dogs Are Free, premiered at the Worldwide Short Film Festival in Toronto.

Based out of Vancouver, Zoe is currently directing several short film projects for Knowledge and NFB. Hopkins graduated in 1997 from Ryerson University with a B.A.A. in Film.

She was a Fellow at the Sundance Institute’s Filmmaker’s Lab with her feature script, Cherry Blossoms, which is now in development with a Vancouver-based production company.

About the jury
Cavan Campbell is an award-winning writer and director. His most recent film Hangnail (created through NSI Drama Prize) premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival and has been described by Academy Award®-winner Paul Haggis as 'very powerful, wonderful filmmaking.' Cavan is a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (I.A.T.S.E), and makes his home in Toronto, Canada.
Adam Trozzolo manages acquisitions and programming for Movieola - the Short Film Channel, involving himself in all aspects of maintaining high-quality content for the channel. He spent his 20s watching two features a day, but now prefers screening twenty shorts every two days.

Kathleen Mullen is the director of programming at Planet in Focus, a year round environmental media arts organization and annual film festival. For over 15 years Kathleen has programmed for festivals internationally including the Toronto International Film Festival and Museum of Fine Arts Film Program. For five years she was the director of programming at the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival. Kathleen has directed several films including her latest Breathtaking.

Current call for films

The NSI Online Short Film Festival currently has a call out for new films. Submit films for free by 4:30 p.m. CT, Monday, August 15, 2011. Films must be no longer than 30 minutes. Drama, comedy, animation, sci-fi, horror, short documentary, experimental and music video are all eligible and must be Canadian.

NSI is proud to acknowledge the continued support of A&E Television Networks in the funding of the A&E Short Filmmakers Award. As a founding sponsor of the NSI Online Short Film Festival and through this prestigious award, A&E has shown their commitment to the growth of Canadian filmmakers and the development of quality film.


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