WIFT Vancouver Announces Vancouver International Women In Film Festival Award Winners

WIFT Vancouver (WIFTV) has announced the awards winners for the 2023 Vancouver International Women in Film Festival (VIWFF).  The winners were selected by a jury including Alisa Luke, Liesl Lafferty, Nhi Do, Rosie Choo Pidcock, Sabrina Roc and Shasha McArthur. The awards were announced on the closing day of VIWFF’s in-person celebration and were presented to the winners by Taiwanese-Canadian stand-up comedian and comedy writer Joanne Tsung.  

VIWFF proudly presents a range of awards that champion established and emerging cis women and Two-Spirit, trans and nonbinary filmmakers from around the world. This year the amazing filmmakers honored are:


Screenplay Competition Awards

Best Feature, Sponsored by Birns & Sawyer

  • Winner: Valentina Sierra Weil for Ruth

Best TV Pilot, Sponsored by LintBucket Media

  • Winner: Becca Blackmore for Republic of California


Short Film Awards

Special Mention: Costume Design Short Film

  • Winner: Cassandra Phillips-Grande for N’xaxaitkw 

Impact – Short, Sponsored by Capilano University

  • Winner: Meet the Sky, directed by KJ Edwards

Best Performance, Sponsored by Lucas Talent 

  • Winners: Suwinya Kungsadan as “Grandma Lovely” and Deedee Piamwiriyaku as “Juice” in Young People, Old People & Nothing in Between

Best Cinematography, Sponsored by Keslow Camera 

  • Winner: Kaayla Whachell for Send The Rain

Best Editing, Sponsored by Cinelease Vancouver

  • Winner: Sarah Hedar for N’xaxaitkw 

Best Direction, Sponsored by DGC BC

  • Winner: Asia Youngman for N’xaxaitkw

Best Short, Sponsored by MBS Equipment Canada

  • Winner: N’xaxaitkw directed by Asia Youngman


Best of BC Awards

Sponsored by Matrix Production Services

Matrix Best of BC awards are being awarded to four BC filmmakers across both feature and short films for their outstanding work.

  • Winners: N’xaxaitkw, Meet The Sky, Send The Rain, and Broken Angel.


Feature Film Awards

Impact – Feature Film, Sponsored by Elevate Inclusion

This award is presented to a film that best captures the spirit and intent of social impact filmmaking. The award is presented to a filmmaker and story from an equity-deserving community. The director, and ideally key creatives, involved with the project are members of the community that the film is about or for. 

  • Winner: Quen Wong for Some Women

Best Performance, Sponsored by UBCP / ACTRA 

  • Winner: Melanie Bray for Rosie

Best Cinematography, Sponsored by SIM International 

  • Winner: Erin Joy Nash and Sanjana Sekhar for Expedition Reclamation

Best Editing, Sponsored by Canadian Cinema Editors and Vancouver Post Alliance 

  • Winner: Andrea Munoz for Among Us Women

Best Screenplay (Festival), Sponsored by CFA Law

  • Winner: Gail Maurice for Rosie

Best Documentary, Sponsored by Pacific Backlot 

  • Winner: Laura Seltzer-Duny and Victoria Bruce for Las Abogadas: Attorneys on the Front Lines of the Migrant Crisis

Best Direction, Sponsored by DGC BC 

  • Winner: Best Direction is Gail Maurice for Rosie
  • Special mention: Jules Koostachin for Broken Angel

Best Feature, Sponsored by IATSE 891

  • Winner: Las Abogadas: Attorneys on the Front Lines of the Migrant Crisis Producer Laura Seltzer-Duny


“I’m so grateful to the audience of this year’s festival and for the films we got to showcase. They were all incredible and each and every one of them deserves an award. I’m really proud of the films the jury selected,” says VIWFF’s Lead programmer Tristin Greyeyes. “I want to give a special shout out to Las Abogadas: Attorneys on the Front Lines of the Migrant Crisis which won both Best Documentary and Best Feature. The story, the impact and the relevancy grabbed the jury’s attention. What’s happening at the colonial borders is heartbreaking but the story captures hope and the small wins. The film made me feel inspired to want to do something more and I think we need to continue the discussion around that.”

The Vancouver International Women in Film Festival’s five day celebration began with a sold out screening of BC writer/director Jules Koostachin’s dramatic feature BROKEN ANGEL and closed on Saturday with the gala and screening of STELLAR from Darlene Naponse. The annual event took place from March 7th-11th, 2023 at the VIFF Centre in Vancouver, and featured in-person screenings, receptions, filmmaker panels, and an International Women’s Day Advocacy Panel, featuring major players in diversity and inclusion efforts. The in-person component of VIWFF may have just ended, but is followed by a virtual festival from March 12th-25th, 2023.