(From left) John Fray (Becoming Wigglesworth), Grace Glowicki (Her Friend Adam) and Mandy May Cheetham (Companionship) are the latest winners of the $1,000 Brian Linehan Actors Award in the NSI Online Short Film Festival.
Michelle Nolden-Szarka, award-winning film and TV actress: “John Fray’s character in Becoming Wigglesworth made me both cringe and laugh out loud. Deftly layered, perfectly timed, truthful and entertaining, it is most deserving of a best actor award.”
Barbara Hager, TV documentary producer and writer: “John Fray throws himself into the role of an unfulfilled man as if it was a feature film, not a short. When he finally gets the strength to reveal his inner dream to his girlfriend and parents, his honest performance has the power to make his family – and the film audience – touched and confused at the same time.”
Graham Folkema, producer and winner of the most recent A&E Short Filmmakers Award in the NSI Online Short Film Festival: “John Fray leaves our world to enter his own in a Chaplinesque performance that rises [to] the occasion, compelling us to love him as he risks it all.”
John Fray said, “A huge thanks to the Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation and the jury! I’m honoured to be receiving this award and so very grateful to have been a part of this film. I had a blast … becoming Wigglesworth.”
Kristine Estorninos, Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival programmer: “Grace Glowicki commands the screen with her well-delivered, confident performance.”
Anneli Ekborn, filmmaker: “Hats off to Grace for pulling off a complicated, confused, yet silently enlightened character all at once. She manages to keep us intensely engaged in every beat of her arc with her natural approach and her balance of thoughtfulness and explosive emotions.”
Daniel Boos, filmmaker and winner of the A&E Short Filmmakers Award for best film: “Grace delivers a vigorous, nuanced and never melodramatic performance as an out-of-love partner who must shed her destructive boyfriend and begin her life anew. She is clearly a talent to watch.”
Grace Glowicki said, “Thank you so much for this amazing honour. I feel incredibly supported by both NSI and The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation. I feel very encouraged to keep making films, so thank you for that too! I hope this role encourages writers and directors to portray more complex female characters in their films – women are interesting!”
Mandy May Cheetham
Jury comments for Mandy May Cheetham’s performance in Companionship:
Jessica Gyll, Hot Docs film programmer: “Mandy May Cheetham taps into a range of emotions in her performance in Companionship, really helping to ground the energetic futuristic feel of the film and allowing the viewer to connect on a human level.”
Mélanie Lê Phan, CBC Unscripted development manager “Mandy May’s performance lends itself perfectly to this impressive short on the precariousness of connection. She flows between the peaks and valleys of her character’s state of mind, and renders a sometimes difficult and self-centered character into a performance we can all relate to intimately.”
Zachary Russell, filmmaker and winner of the A&E Short Filmmakers Award for best film: “Mandy May’s character goes through a remarkable range of experiences in just a few short minutes. Throughout, she never struck a false note, and brought a deep humanity and honesty to every scene. An absolute delight to watch.”
Mandy May Cheetham said, “I’m very grateful to be receiving this prestigious award from NSI and the Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation for my work on Companionship. Awards like this are so important for artists such as myself to encourage us to keep taking risks and digging deeper with our work.
“It’s wonderful to know my work is being recognized alongside other incredible artists awarded through the 30+ year history of NSI.”
Visit the NSI Online Short Film Festival for more great Canadian short films.