This will be the last year ZenFri’s team is eligible to compete at the University of Winnipeg Film Fest, but it’s shaping up to be our best year thus far with eight nominations including two for Best Film, doubling our former best of four nominations.

The last time we were in the festival was 2009, where our only film to screen, Long Lost Lovers, was nominated for four awards including Best Film. Long Lost Lovers was the first film to be completed as part of a two picture deal between ZenFri and Shadows Within.

We walked away empty handed that night.

The second film made between ZenFri and Shadows Within, Anniversary, seems to have shown that the collaboration was fruitful for both films, as it received six nominations this year:

  • Best Editing – Steven K. Johnson
  • Best Actor – Matthew Stefanson
  • Best Actress – Natalia Langley
  • Best Screenplay – Steven K. Johnson & Corey King
  • Best Director – Steven K. Johnson
  • Best Film – Infinite Struggles & Anniversary

The other film with nominations this year is our experimental short Infinite Struggles, which received Best Animation (Danielle King) and Best Film nominations. Whereas we made Long Lost Lovers and to some degree, Anniversary with performing well at this festival in mind, we didn’t expect anything like that from Infinite Struggles.

Infinite Struggles is an unconventional film structurally, musically and visually so we were very surprised to see it fitting in the awards roster this year. The biggest surprise of all though was its Best Film nomination. Rarely do films without at least a few other nominated categories make the Best Film slot, and we’re not sure an experimental of any capacity ever has either.

Never in our history have we had two films competing in the same category, and while we wish the best to both films; it will add an interesting dynamic to the evening.

The Festival will take place Wednesday, April 27 through Friday, April 29, 2011 in Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall (3rd Floor Centennial Hall) at the University of Winnipeg. All Festival events are free and open to the public, and all events / screenings start at 7 p.m.

The award will be handed out during the festivals Friday evening Gala on April 29th and will begin at 7:00 p.m. For more information see the festivals website.