We’re very pleased to report that ZenFri won three awards at Friday night’s University of Winnipeg Film Festival. With a company record of eight nominations leading up to an awards ceremony that we’ve historically walked home empty handed from, we held our breath as each category was called out knowing that even with so many nominations, there was a good chance we’d return home once again with nothing.

In the end our biggest win was Best Animation, awarded to Infinite Struggles, followed by Best Actress (Natalia Langley) and Best Editor (Steven K. Johnson) both for Anniversary. Despite having two films nominated in the Best Film category, neither was able to stop the wave of awards given to Stalled by Ian Bawa & Markus Henke which won awards in the majority of categories.

By the end of the festival it was clear that there was a lot of strong contenders, and all five Best Film nominations were unique and interesting pieces that made us feel proud just to be placed next to such a diversity of talent. When one of the strongest student Documentary we’ve seen (Sisters by Jérémie Wookey) only wins in one category and the beautifully orchestrated, technically stunning, and yet simple in all the right ways Down (by Scott Fitzpatrick) goes home empty handed, you know it was a strong year.

Below is the entire film Down, and the Trailer for Sisters. Stalled is not yet available online, but if it was, we’d be sure to give you a look at that piece as well.

Down by Scott Fitzpatrick

Sisters Trailer by Jérémie Wookey

We had a lot of fun at the festival and made sure to stick around afterwards and mingle with the other filmmakers and curious members of the audience. It’s a shame we won’t be eligible to compete next year, but we’d like to take this time to formally thank the University of Winnipeg Film & Theatre Department for welcoming films from all of the post-secondary schools in the area and screening much of ZenFri’s best work to date.