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Film Awards 2024

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The VIMFF 2024 Film Awards have been announced!

Each year we bring together an expert jury to view films from our Fall Series in November as well the films selected for the VIMFF festival in February. The jury had their work cut out for them, with close to 100 amazing films from around the world. We want to congratulate and thank everyone for sharing their stories with us at the VIMFF!

Explore the award winning films below! Make sure to click through to the film page to see where/when the film will be playing and get your tickets before shows sell out.

Want to know more about the jury? Scroll down to view their bios!

VIMFF 2024 Award Winning Films

vimff grand prize x

500 Days in the Wild

Festival Grand Prize
124 mins |
Canada |
2023
DIRECTOR:
Dianne Whelan
500 Days in the Wild is a feature documentary that weaves intimate moments of reflection with adventure and stories of the people and communities that she encountered along the way.

Jury Quote

Like the landscapes she travels in, Dianne Whelan’s film is vast and ever-changing, yet rooted in community and reconciliation. Despite the grand scale of the journey, Dianne’s successes and challenges are relatable, and inspire the viewer to seek out their own version of such an adventure. The tenacity to complete the full Trans-Canada Trail, and then make a full feature film about the journey, shines through in this documentary.

– Megan Cotterell, VIMFF 2024 Jury

vimff best mountain culture film x

Slides on the Mountain

Best Mountain Culture Film
30 mins |
Canada |
2023
DIRECTOR:
Seth Gillis
Talon and Riki, two brothers from the Lil’wat Nation, decide to ski Ts’zil and set off to learn the skills they need to ride the mountain safely.

Jury Quote

Slides on the Mountain is more than just a ski film; it is a celebration of culture, community, and the deep connections rooted between land and people. This stunning film did an excellent job of capturing the brothers’ journey to gain the skills and courage to face the mountain, while also exploring the broader significance of their endeavor within their community and culture.

– Alec Suriyuth, VIMFF 2024 Jury

vimff best bc film x

Keepers of the Land

Best BC Film
29 mins |
Canada |
2023
DIRECTORS:
Deirdre Leowinata, Douglas Neasloss
In the heart of British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, one Nation is reclaiming the power they held for millennia.

Jury Quote

Keepers of the Land provides a deeply moving and thought-provoking exploration into the intersection between environmental stewardship, cultural preservation, and the enduring strength of community. The film’s excellent direction, cinematography, and storytelling creates a profound experience, fostering a deep sense of empathy and understanding that impressed the entire jury.

– Alec Suriyuth, VIMFF 2024 Jury

vimff best canadian film x

Subterranean

Best Canadian Film
41 mins |
Canada |
2023
DIRECTOR:
François-Xavier De Ruydts
Two gritty teams of hobbyist cavers are poised to break records for the longest and deepest caves in Canada.

Jury Quote

Can you imagine a more hardcore adventure than exploring the deepest and longest caves of Canada? And can you think of a more demanding and unforgiving environment for a filmmaker than completely dark, often squeezy, wet or muddy underground passages? This film has it all: the real challenges, great characters, visually stunning shots, gripping story and sense of humour.

Kasia Biernacka, VIMFF 2024 Jury

vimff best climbing film x

Soundscape

Best Climbing Film
14 mins |
United States |
2023
DIRECTOR:
Timmy ONeill
Erik Weihenmayer, a blind athlete ascends a massive alpine rock face in the Sierra Nevada.

Jury Quote

At the root of empathy is being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, but sometimes it can be hard to imagine a lived experience that is vastly different from your own. Soundscape masterfully uses graphics, narration and sound to show the audience the reality of climbing outdoors with a visual impairment. The jury felt they were right there in the moment with Erik, finding each handhold and celebrating on the summit.

– Megan Cotterell, VIMFF 2024 Jury

vimff best mountain sport film x

Streets to the Peaks: The Alpine Run Project

Best Mountain Sport Film
29 mins |
United Kingdom |
2023
DIRECTOR:
Andy Ashworth
City youth from diverse backgrounds across Europe are introduced to trail running to change the face of the sport.

Jury Quote

Imagine taking a dozen diverse urban youth to their first ever trail running race in the mountains of France. Trained, mentored, and championed with compassion and commitment by a former inmate, the group blossoms as a cohesive team. I was biting my nails, wiping my tears, and cheering them on!

– Tracey Friesen, VIMFF 2024 Jury

vimff best short film x

The Blackcountry Journal

Best Short Film
10 mins |
United States |
2023
DIRECTORS:
Mallory Duncan, Patrick Elmore
Discover the correlation between jazz and skiing—an expression of art, skiing, and black culture.

Jury Quote

The shots and style of editing of this film keeps you hooked, it took a surprising turn for the best. Beautifully done, dialogue or no dialogue the story has a strong visual motion. A sense of gratitude arises when watching this film. Always proud to see black filmmakers create well thought out pieces.

– Margit Neto, VIMFF 2024 Jury

vimff best environmental film x

Silvicola

Best Environmental Film
79 mins |
Canada |
2023
DIRECTOR:
Jean-Philippe Marquis
A film about the complex web of cultural and economic forces which compel and constrain modern forestry practices.

Jury Quote

Thoughtful, well-paced and diverse in perspective, Silvicola invites the viewer to meet those for whom the forest is an integral part of their lives. The vignette style set this film apart, making space for reflection, while the sound design created an immersive experience of the forests and industries that rely on the trees.

– Megan Cotterell, VIMFF 2024 Jury

vimff best adventure film x

With the Tide

Best Adventure Film
25 mins |
United States |
2023
DIRECTORS:
Chelsea Jolly, Ryan Cortes Perez
A story documenting the exploration of how surfing can increase health, wellness and value for nature in a community.

Jury Quote

This film is touching and inspiring, but also FUN! It was an honour to bear witness to Indigenous children and youth in a remote northern community take to the water, surfboards in hand. The participants are authentic and compelling, the filmmakers sensitive and talented, and the resulting documentary clearly award-worthy.

– Tracey Friesen, VIMFF 2024 Jury

vimff jury special mention x

Cycles

Jury Special Mention
13 mins |
Austria |
2023
DIRECTORS:
Johanna Brunner, Anjuna Hartmann
Through an artistic and action-packed freeride film, Cycles portrays the four phases of the menstrual cycle.
vimff jury special mention x

Moyo

Jury Special Mention
14 mins |
Tanzania |
2023
DIRECTOR:
Henry Kamara
A raw and poetic portrait of the children that call the Jipe Moyo and Musoma home in Tanzania.
vimff jury special mention x

Kid Rock

This film was part of Fall Series 2023 and is no longer available for viewing.

Jury Special Mention
17 mins |
Canada |
2023
DIRECTORS:
Tadros Eyob, Leroy Hirkala-Maarhuis
Full of nostalgia and charm, Kid Rock is an exposé of a young black man, Tadros Eyob’s journey into rock climbing in BC.

VIMFF 2024 JURY

vimff jury tracey friesen x

Tracey Friesen

As CMPA-BC’s managing VP, Tracey represents and supports BC-based independent production companies, plus leads efforts to engage with government agencies and industry leaders across the province. She also provides strategic input to CMPA National on a number of key files, including sustainability and climate action. Tracey has over 30 years’ experience in Canada’s cultural sector. She spent more than a decade at the National Film Board, where she earned producer or executive credits on dozens of projects. Other contracts include major research papers for DOC and Inspirit Foundation, and 2 years as director of communications at the David Suzuki Foundation. Tracey is also an author and founder of Story Money Impact, the charitable organization advancing education and practices around media impact. She currently sits on the board of MPPIA and SCALE’s Mission Circle.

vimff jury megan cotterell x

Megan Cotterell

Megan is passionate about creating great experiences that inspire positive change. She has a background in environmental science, and worked in the community engagement space in Perth, Australia. In 2016, her love of the outdoors brought her to Canada, and shortly after, she joined the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival and World Tour team. Currently Megan is the Festival Manager, overseeing the logistics for the festival in Banff and the online film platform. With the strong belief that the outdoors are for everyone, she has also been involved in a variety of events and associations in Canmore including the Plaid Goat Mountain Bike Festival, Canmore and Area Mountain Bike Association and Rocky Mountain Adaptive.

vimff jury alec suriyuth x

Alec Suriyuth

Alec Suriyuth is a Thai-Canadian mountain biker and photographer based out of Vancouver, British Columbia. His work has been displayed at a number of galleries in British Columbia and Ontario, showcasing his love of movement and light through outdoor lifestyle and sports photography. His passion for the outdoors led him to move to the Sea-to-Sky corridor where he volunteers as a coach and mentor, supporting new riders to the sport and focusing on DEI in the mountain bike community. Alec also brings with him a climate impact lens, drawing on his professional experience working on sustainability policy development.

vimff jury kasia biernacka x

Kasia Biernacka

Kasia is an expedition caver and cave photographer. Her favorite destinations are North, Central and South America. Kasia works as Film Programming Director for the Ladek Mountain Festival in Poland. She also translates outdoor films from English, French and Spanish into Polish, gives talks about her expeditions and does cave photography workshops.

vimff jury margrit neto

Margit Neto

Margit is an up and coming filmmaker, with a big passion in everything visual art. Ranging from a still image to a motion picture, she has a keen eye and creative mind. While she is completing a certificate in Video Production and Editing at BCIT; her free time is spent learning to play the drums and writing. In the last 2 years Margit has done portrait, event and concert photography, created short films, and taken film courses with much more to come. With everything she has done, she always expresses immense gratitude for the community that it has brought her and their help alongside her journey.

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