Current Winners

Fall 2014

1. Aerlan Barrett, "Elise"

A young mother who has put up with a lifetime of abuse has to learn to stand up to her partner.

Aerlan Barrett is a writer/director who recently completed the film program at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. His short films have screened in the Montréal World Film Festival and the Festival du Nouveau Cinema in Montréal.

2. Elizabeth Dancoes, "Killing Bob"

Three women, their shrink, her daughter, her daughter's current squeeze, a transvestite private investigator and his girl Friday all know Bob. It's a shrunken, Toffleresque world out there and Bob winds up dead in it.

Elizabeth Dancoes is a poet, playwright, dramaturg, script editor and actor in Vancouver. Her plays have been widely produced in Canada and her poems and stories published in many periodicals.

3. Josh Epstein & Kyle Rideout, "Monoceros"

A teen suicide triggers a naive unicorn-obsessed girl with her own sense of justice to help a mosaic of interlocking characters find love, forgiveness, and atonement.

Josh Epstein is a writer/producer/actor with a feature film Eadweard, in post-production, based on Kevin Kerr's celebrated play Studies in Motion. Josh has been involved with a number of film and theatre projects for CBC, Bravo, and the Arts Club Theatre. He has another feature, Public-Schooled, in development with Movie Central.

Kyle Rideout is an actor who has appeared at Stratford as well as major roles in television and film. He is the director of Eadweard and has collaborated with Josh on Public-Schooled and several short films. Monoceros is adapted from Suzette Mayr's novel, which won the ReLit Award in 2012 and was long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Monoceros was the NSI's Feature's First program in 2013.

4. Karl Hearne, "Touched"

An anxious landlord risks his life to discover the fate of a girl who has disappeared from his apartment building under strange circumstances.

Karl Hearne studied at McGill and the University of Nanjing, China. Based in Montreal, he has written and directed several award-wining shorts as well as TV shows for National Geographic, Life, and IFC TV. He is currently developing a feature.

5. Jake Howell, "Shoot the Moon"

Clubs, hearts, and spades: on the eve of a risky diamond heist, a pair of endearing criminals must trump fate by betraying their wrathful employer and steal the loot for themselves.

A graduate of the University of Toronto cinema studies program, Jake Howell writes for Los Angeles-based industry website where he regularly publishes criticism and international festival coverage as "The Torontonian". He has also been published in Screen International, The Toronto Star, University of Toronto Magazine, and a number of local film blogs. Outside of reviews, Jake is a director, screenwriter, and an award-winning playwright. Shoot the Moon is his first feature film script.

6. Eisha Marjara, "Calorie"

After many years, Monika returns to India with her troubled teen daughters Simi and Lila. As Simi gets into dangerous situations and Lila's anorexia worsens, the family struggles to hold together - but with devastating results.

Eisha Marjara is a Montreal-based photographer and filmmaker best known for her feature-length documentary Desperately Seeking Helen, which won awards at the Munich and Locarno film festivals. She has written and directed several short films, notably The Incredible Shrinking Woman and The Tourist, a German-Canadian co-production.

7. Daniel Rindress-Kay, "Frozen"

A brother and sister return home to Prince Edward Island to bury their father, only to uncover a conspiracy surrounding his death.

Daniel Rindress-Kay is a Montréal actor who has written, produced and directed several short films and a web series, Cubed. Frozen is under option with Max Walker and Christina Broccolini of Red Truck Productions.

8. Jordan Wilson, "Mack-Doe"

After making the basketball team, a fatherless class clown becomes torn between two emerging role models, and finds the crowd-pleasing antics he relishes may cost him the closest thing to a family he has.

Jordan Wilson earned a science degree at Huntington University and began his career in baseball as a scout for the Colorado Rockies and member of the coaching staff for the Toronto Blue Jays. He has studied screenwriting at the Seattle Film School and has had scripts placed in Final Draft and Script-a-palooza competitions.