Kwak Ji-Min receives Brian Linehan Actors Award for and the sun


Kwak Ji-Min (pictured) has won the $1,000 Brian Linehan Actors Award for her work in 북쪽 바람 (and the sun) in the latest round of awards in the NSI Online Short Film Festival.

The jury had this to say about her work:

Hot Docs/Toronto After Dark Film Festival programmer Shannon Hanmer: “Ji-Min’s charismatic and subtle performance makes her stand out as a solid and memorable actor.”

Film promotion and exhibition expert Joy Loewen: “Kwak Ji-Min’s quiet yet bold intensity in a supporting role leaves an indelible and pleasing impression.”

Recent winner of the A&E Short Filmmakers Award Aidan Shipley: “Ji-Min delivered a beautiful performance filled with subtlety and quirkiness [in] a role that could have easily been overshadowed.”

Kwak Ji-Min said, “Firstly, I was surprised at winning this award – thank you! I appreciate the support for Korean films and actors, and a special thank you to director Samuel Kiehoon Lee.”

Visit the NSI Online Short Film Festival for more great Canadian short films.

Ambrose Liao and Tyler Parr win $1,000 Brian Linehan Actors Award


Ambrose Liao and Tyler Parr both won the $1,000 Brian Linehan Actors Award for their work showcased in the NSI Online Short Film Festival.

Ambrose Liao (pictured above) won for her work in Home. The jury had this to say about her work:

Media executive Tara Ellis: “Ambrose Liao’s beautiful performance has a delicacy that draws us into her intimate world and makes her emotional journey ring so true to the audience.”

Programmer Laura Good: “Ambrose Liao is captivating in this complex yet understated portrayal of a young woman on the brink of adulthood.”

Recent winner of the A&E Short Filmmakers Award Aaron Mirkin: “Ambrose Liao’s naturalistic performance is the centrepiece of this wonderful film.”

Ambrose Liao said, “It’s a big surprise to me because this is the first prize [I’ve won] in my life and it’s really appreciated. Thank you NSI!”


Tyler Parr (pictured above) won for his work in Ironied.

The jury had this to say about his work:

Programmer Agata Del Sorbo: “Tyler Parr conveys a vast range of emotions playing two roles in Ironied, skilfully navigating both comic and dramatic moments.”

Harold Greenberg Fund President John Galway: “Writer, director and performer in two roles … needless to say a real (and dedicated!) talent here. Tyler’s transformation to play both Donald and Charlie is amazing.”

Recent winner of the A&E Short Filmmakers Award Athena Han: “Tyler Parr’s performance delicately shows the internal struggles and vulnerability of the character Charlie in this poignant short.”

Tyler Parr said, “I am truly humbled! Brian Linehan was an exceptional human being and receiving this award in his name is an honour. Thank you, most sincerely.”

Visit the NSI Online Short Film Festival for more great Canadian short films.

Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation celebrates 10 years of partnership with NSI


The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation has announced an extension of its partnership with the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI), which officially marks their 10th anniversary.

Since 2005, the Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation has been a program partner of the NSI Drama Prize and NSI Features First courses.

Last year, the Brian Linehan Actors Award was added to the quarterly prize offering in the NSI Online Short Film Festival. The $1,000 award recognizes lead actors in films programmed as part of the festival.

The Foundation’s investment also supports NSI’s other programs and website.

“What a milestone to share with the Foundation,” said John Gill, NSI CEO. “Across this last decade dozens of writers, directors and producers in NSI courses have benefited from Brian Linehan’s legacy and are becoming media stars in Canada.”

In the first year of the partnership, Jeffrey St. Jules was developing Bang Bang Baby through NSI Features First. That film won the City of Toronto award for best Canadian first feature film at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, Panavision Spirit Award for independent cinema at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and Jeffrey received the prestigious Claude Jutra Award at the 2015 Canadian Screen Awards.

“Our connection with NSI has evolved each year to recognize the talent of amazing Canadian screen artists, including with the Foundation’s website, and the Brian Linehan Actors Award as part of the NSI Online Short Film Festival,” said Michael Levine, Foundation Director. “The Foundation has two goals: keep the legacy of entertainment journalist Brian Linehan alive and continue his quest for a star system in Canada.”

About Brian Linehan

Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Brian’s lengthy interviews with such Hollywood icons as Barbra Streisand and Paul Newman made him even more celebrated when CityLights was syndicated around the world. After the series was cancelled in 1989 he hosted several award shows and network specials before returning to the small screen in 1996 with a self-titled interview show.

Diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2002, he donated his personal files including 30 years’ worth of research material, correspondence, photographs and recordings to the Toronto International Film Festival Group’s reference library. Sadly, Brian passed away in 2004.

About The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation

The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation was established from the proceeds of the estate of the late Brian Linehan, one of Canada’s great journalists and on-air interviewers.

Brian left his entire estate for the purpose of creating a star system in Canada including training, providing work opportunities and promoting young Canadians of exceptional talent.

To date, its range of activities have included support for various programs at the National Screen Institute, scholarships at Humber College, support of the Soulpepper Academy, the Company Theatre, the Toronto International Film Festival Group (TIFFG), the Canadian Film CentreCanStageCompany TheatreRepublic of DoyleSheridan College and Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

In 2012, a partnership between The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation, NSI and TIFF (home of the Toronto International Film Festival) launched, a place to rediscover some of the most popular and influential of Brian’s interviews, plus information about the Foundation.

About the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI)

Renowned for having given many emerging filmmakers, television writers and producers their first breaks, the National Screen Institute provides training and production support through courses like NSI Totally TelevisionNSI Drama PrizeNSI New VoicesNSI Features FirstNSI Lifestyle & Reality Series ProducerMovie Central Script to ScreenShaw Media Diverse TV Director and NSI Aboriginal Documentary.

NSI also offers exposure through the NSI Online Short Film Festival and provides vast resources and support to those in the film, television, and digital media industry at

All media enquiries

Laura Friesen, Communications Coordinator
Tel: 204.957.2999 or email

Oliver Becker wins Brian Linehan Actors Award


Oliver Becker recently won the $1,000 Brian Linehan Actors Award for his work in Bridges, in the NSI Online Short Film Festival.

The NSI Online Short Film Festival jury had this to say about Oliver’s work:

Kristyn Stilling (Whistler Film Festival shorts programmer/director of Vancouver Short Film Festival): “Oliver Becker delivers a touching and layered performance as a grieving father searching for comfort. His journey through myriad emotions is engaging and moving.”

Kire Paputts (award-winning filmmaker): “Mr. Becker brought great subtlety to a serious and delicate role that could have easily been played more over the top.”

Oliver said

Having always been a fan of Brian Linehan it is an honour and a joy to receive this award in his name and as part of the NSI Online Short Film Festival.

Heartfelt thanks to NSI and those who made this unexpected and pleasant surprise possible!

Audiences will recognize Oliver for his work in Rookie Blue, Reign, Republic of Doyle, Rent-a-Goalie, among other roles.

Latest Brian Linehan Actors Award announced


Patti Allan (above) won the $1,000 Brian Linehan Actors Award for her work in Mimi and Me, in the latest round of the NSI Online Short Film Festival.

Comments from the NSI Online Short Film Festival jury:

Sonya Davidson, Channel Zero: “Patti Allan stood out as this unconventional character. Her performance is engaging, hilarious and, yet, believable as this foul-mouthed, chain-smoking grandmother.”

Karilynn Thompson, Calgary International Film Festival: “Patti Allan plays a very unique grandma with a gruff and well-acted lack of tact. You can just feel the years of cigarette stained fingers, poker and booze but, also shining though, a love for her granddaughter.”

Terry Miles, filmmaker: “Patti Allan stood out for her dynamic performance, moving from beat to beat and moment to moment with perfection.”

Patti Allan said:

It’s so inspiring that NSI honours filmmaking in such an active and significant way. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have been cast by our amazing director, Marly Reed, and am so very happy that her obvious talent, skill and storytelling have been recognized.

Actors can often feel isolated and insecure in our roles and this kind of acknowledgement is extremely uplifting. Thank you to Brian for his visionary desire to inspire and encourage people. What a truly amazing value and legacy to have left us very fortunate recipients.

Patti was also nominated for a Leo award for her work in this film. Audiences will recognize her for her work in Ramona and Beezus, Good Boy!, Dead Like Me and Cold Squad, among other roles.

Watch Mimi and Me

Mimi & Me from Marly Reed on Vimeo.

Read the full awards news release.