Thursday, January 22, 2015

Vancouver Island Short Film Festival

Student filmmaker returns to VISFF

Steff Gundling is no stranger to the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival. The filmmaker, who was awarded two prizes at the 2013 VISFF for her very first short film 'Year Of The Living Dyingly' will be showing her new documentary 'Habit' on February 6 and 7 at this year's tenth annual show.

“For me, filmmaking is about experimenting, trying new things, and problem solving,” said Gundling. “I know what story and mood I want to get across in what tone, and then it's about organically finding your way through it..”

Gundling’s newest film will be screening at this year’s VISFF – one of 14 films selected from 65 entrants. This new film –‘Habit’ – is a documentary about the small habits everyone has.

“I was challenged in myfilm classes to do a documentary and at the time I was trying to quit some of my vices,” said Gundling. “I had cut down on caffeine, smoking and alcohol and that’s where the idea for the documentary came from. As I was looked inward about why I was doing certain things, I started to notice the habits of other people.”

Gundling’s first-ever short film ‘Year of the Living Dyingly’ won two awards at the 2013 VISFF for best Student film and best Technical. Being accepted into the festival that year was exciting for her, but winning awards was a shock.

“It was a complete surprise. I’d be lying if I said I don’t love the awards or that I’m not excited about my success, but for me, it was more about my personal achievement, going to the event, and having the film seen by the audience for the first time. That was a big thing. I remember when they called me up for the first award, I fell down the stairs. I slid all the way down and had to get back up there. I was so nervous. But walking away from it was such a great experience. That’s  one of the reasons why I was kind of scared to submit my new film this year. It’s always a bit scary. But it feels great to be involved in the  festival again and be selected.”

All fourteen selected films will be shown at the VISFF on February 6th and 7th at the Malaspina Theatre on the Nanaimo campus of Vancouver Island University.

The VISFF received 65 entries of short films from Vancouver Island, the  mainland, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and also Missouri, New York,  Ireland, Switzerland the Netherlands and Iran. This is the most diverse selection of films ever submitted to the festival.

This year, for the first time ever, the VISFF will have three screenings  of the selected films – two evening shows and a matinee on Feb. 7.  Tickets are available online at Tickets are $10 for  students and $15 for regular tickets. There will also be tickets  available at the door. All screenings will showcase the same 14 films.  The Friday show will be followed by a musical performance by Nanaimo’s  own Top Men, the Saturday matinee show will be followed by a filmmaker  Q&A, and after the Saturday evening show there will be an awards ceremony for the winning filmmakers.

The Vancouver Island Short Film Festival is a Nanaimo Arts Council event. For complete details, check out To purchase tickets go to, visit the Port Theatre (125 Front Street) or  call 250-754-8550.


1 comment:

  1. Great local event. I suggest you check it out if you never have.


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