1st Annual Stinger Awards

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Date: 28 November 2018

On Saturday, November 24th, 2018, CSIF welcomed Southern Alberta’s independent film community to our first annual Stinger Awards ceremony held at Festival Hall. Named for filmmaker slang for A/C extension cords on a film set, the Stinger Awards were envisioned as a way to inject a little electricity into the independent filmmaking scene.

We couldn’t be more proud of how the event turned out, the independent film spirit was truly alive on Saturday night. The Stinger Awards represented the very best of what CSIF has to offer; we are meant to be an inclusive gathering place for filmmakers of all backgrounds and skill levels to connect, learn, and share with one another. We were so happy to see so many new and familiar faces there to celebrate the incredible work that our community has produced over the past year. The event would not have been possible without the Stinger Awards Committee, the Rozsa Foundation, our sponsors, and CSIF staff, board, and amazing volunteers. Read on for a recap of the night’s highlights!

“The whole event was absolutely astounding, with the level of thought and production put into it the show was super engaging to be a part of and left everyone feeling inspired and empowered. Thank you so much for showcasing Alberta filmmakers in this way. It really meant a lot to us and Sam to be nominated along with our peers. We are so grateful that we got to share in this night with you and everyone in our community. Its events like this that help bring those affirming moments that push us to keep telling stories, even when it gets so hard we want to walk away from it.” -Director Brock David Mitchell.

The show kicked off with some sick, thick beats by Sinziere and the Gang, whose soulful and bohemian style set the tone for the evening.

Stinger Awards
CSIF Executive Director Kizzie Sutton provided opening remarks, and Board Member Scott Westby gave a passionate appeal for members to get involved on the CSIF board and committees.

Quickdraw’s Peter Hemminger presented the very first Stinger Award for Best Animated Short to directors Simon and Vinson Chan, and producer Kevin Dong for The Legend of the Bunny Phantom.

Winners for Best Animated Short

The second award of the evening was Best Student Production. CSIF’s Production Director Nick Haywood was a fitting presenter for this award, as an alumnus of the SAIT Film & Video Production Program where so many CSIF members get their start. This category contained some tough competition, but Thomas Geddes was announced as the winner for his WWI drama Pluck.

Winner for Best Student Production

Best Music Video was presented to Brett Connors and Brett Ferster for their work on Shred Kelly’s Don’t Ever Look Back. Ferster was pulling double duty at the Stingers, mixing our signature “Scene Stealer” cocktails and running the bar. 

Winner of Best Music Video

Morgan Ermter accepted the Stinger for Best Web Series for Abracadavers

Winner of Best Web Series

Director Reamonn Joshee thanked his partner and producer Bonita Schoenleber after winning Best Short Film for A Memento of Life.

Winner for Best Short-Form Narrative

One of the night’s most powerful moments took place when Philip Letourneau received the “Friend of the Community” award. Following a tribute video that highlighted Philip’s dedication to the Calgary film community, he received thunderous applause and a standing ovation. In Philip’s acceptance speech, he asked all former SAIT students in the audience to stand- an impressive visualization of the film family that SAIT’s Film & Video Production program creates. #Philm

Winner for Friend of the Community

Best Short Documentary went to Being There: Helping Caregivers See Their Side in the Story. Producer Jillian Lee shared some well-deserved thank-yous for this impassioned doc series. 

Stinger Awards

ACTRA Alberta President Blair Young presented the acting awards. Crowd favorite Stacie Harrison took home the Stinger for Best Actress for her compelling performance as Paige Tennant in the Storyhive web series Faultline.

Winner for Brest Actress

Directors Brock Davis Mitchell and Sarah Hutchings tearfully accepted the Stinger for Best Actor on behalf of Samuel Duke for their film A Gentleman, sharing with the audience the intense emotion and hard work that went into their project focused on sexual misconduct.

Winner of Best Actor

Best Long-Form Documentary went to No Roads In, a musical journey for singer/songwriter Blake Reid, sound engineer Adam Naugler and the musicians of the Blake Reid Band.

Winner for Best Long-Form Documentary

The evening’s final award was Best Long-Form Narrative, which was awarded to Ice Blue, directed by Sandi Somers. This was an extra special win, as Sandi Somers leads the Herland mentorship program for female and female-identifying filmmakers. Although Sandi couldn’t attend the ceremony due to her busy schedule, it’s no doubt that her win was inspiring to all who look up to Sandi as a role model.

The night ended with celebratory drinks in the lobby and an afterparty at Swan’s.

Stinger Awards

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Stinger Awards. We are so humbled and grateful to be at the center of such a thriving community of artists and filmmakers. Next year’s Stinger Awards will be bigger and better!

CSIF thanks our event partner the Rozsa Foundation, our sponsors William F. White International Inc., ATB Financial, I.A.T.S.E. Local 212, SAIT's Film & Video Production Program, and ACTRA Alberta, as well as our prize sponsors The Camera Store, CJSW 90.9 FM, and Local on 8th. Cotton candy provided by The Sugar Cube, donuts by Pretty Sweet, cider by Big Rock Brewery, and beer by Village Brewery and Common Crown Brewing Co.