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Collection of Trophies


Films that were awarded by the Emerging Lens during the 2023 Festival season.

Inspirational Griot  Award -     

"Subjects of Desire" - Hungry Eyes Media

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Explores the cultural shift in North American beauty standards toward embracing Black female aesthetics and features, while exposing the deliberate, and often dangerous portrayals of Black women in the media.

Dir. - Jennifer Holness

Best Emerging Animation - "Dewie Decides" 

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Animation - Dewie is faced with a decision to make friends or not.

Dir. -  Jasmine Wongus

Best Musical Short - "Jacket of Blue" 


Set in the golden era of rail, Jacket of Blue is based on a play with music by Obediya Jones-Darrell about the struggles faced by Black train porters in the 1920’s. With original music inspired by Ragtime, Jazz, Folk, Gospel, and Broadway traditions, the story follows a dignified and conflicted porter who must face the best and worst humanity has to offer during a journey across generations that transcends culture.

Based on historical research this production shares a story about the Pullman Porters who traveled from coast to coast during Canada’s Golden Age of Rail. A precursor to the civil rights movement & labour unions, the Porters struggle for dignity and self-sufficiency inspired the generations who followed them.

Dir. -  Obediya Jones - Darrell

Best Music Video -

"Motivational Music " (I Been There)

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Dir. -  Randon Wright

Best Short Documentary -

"What Was Albert Up Against?"

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This film is about a son extending a hand to his father in hopes of learning more about the man with whom he shares DNA, and, by extension, he hopes to learn more about himself. Being one of 27 children, Shiquawn seeks to understand his place in this genetic quilt.

Dir. -  Shiquawn "Queezy" Downey

Most Inspirational Film - "Joseph: A Story & A Song"

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From pit to palace clothed in the remnants of her dignity.

Dir. -  Robin Cunningham

Most Inspirational Animation - "The Red Ball"


Clinging onto his red ball, Bamike leaves the big city of London for a small town where his family can get a fresh start after a family tragedy.

Dir. -  George Morgan

Best Short Film -     

"One Date" 

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One date can lead to love or disaster.

Dir. Andrew "King Bach" Bachelor

Best International Short - "Little T"

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Follow Alexis on the biggest day of her life - her dream job interview as an interior designer. She's armed with an impressive resume, design portfolio, and two trusted companions: her "inner critic" and "inner child." Join Alexis on a journey through the origins of comfort food, as she uncovers new depths to herself and her abilities, and finds the courage to showcase her potential in the interview. Can Alexis overcome obstacles and land her dream job?

Dir. Masha Ellsworth

Best Feature Documentary -

"The Rise of Afrobeats in the Prairies"

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The documentary follows the journey of African creatives in Alberta, who find a sense of belonging and community through Afrobeats. It showcases their stories, as well as the growing popularity of Afrobeats in the Prairie region, highlighting the fusion of cultures and the essence of immigration in Canada.

Dir. Ivan Touko, Fahad Suleiman 

Audience Choice Award - "A Walk in the Sun"


An interracial couple sees the struggle of their story mirrored in a painting as they try to find their way together across their racial divide.

Dir. Tobi Flemming / Israel Ekanem 

Audience Choice Award - "You People"

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Zamani's composition and production of a tribute to Viola Desmond.

Dir. Zamani Folade 

Best Animation -

"The Rainbow Bridge"


A young girl's cat passes away and awakes in a utopian afterlife. It finds comfort and companionship with other pets as it keeps tabs on the girl as she continues on with her life before being reunited in the end.

Dir. Brett Morreau

Best International Short - "Dead Water"

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The story is about a lesbian couple. One Iranian and the other Afghan. The Iranian government wants to execute them for the crime of homosexuality. They are forced to leave the country to escape the execution, but through the forest.

Dir. Kamran Mohammadi, Sahar Mirzaeianfar

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