(Januaty 29, 2016 – Toronto, ON) – Winter Hymns, a Canadian produced short film, has won the Jury Award for Narrative Short at the 2016 Slamdance Film Festival. This win means the film now qualifies for the Annual Academy Awards®. The people behind the film include Toronto-based writer/director/producer Dusty Mancinelli (former assistant to filmmaker Deepa Mehta) and producer Harry Cherniak of Inflo films.
Winter Hymns is a drama that explores the question of whether damaged relationships can be repaired, and if so, at what cost. Ten-year-old Joshua’s (Sam Ashe Arnold) dull afternoon is turned upside-down when his volatile older brother Cain (Kyle Peacock) shepherds him through the countryside in search of adventure. Striving to win his affection, Joshua breaks into a cottage to look for alcohol. But when things go horribly wrong, Cain is left to pick up the pieces.
During filming, the crew not only had to manage shooting outdoors with children in -30 degrees Celsius weather, but also had to contend with losing
power for an entire night at the farm (Cherniak’s grandmother’s) where they were staying. Nothing like huddling in front of a fire for a night to bond a crew.
Winter Hymns premiered at VIFF 2015, won the Golden Egg at the 2015 Reykjavik International Film Festival and will screen as part of Telefilm Canada’s “Canada: Not Short on Talent” program during the 2016 Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival.
In handing out the award, the jury called the film “A story where innocence, mischief and brazen confidence abruptly meet at a tragic crossroads. There is beauty and sadness here, and the director handles both with natural, unpretentious skill.” Cherniak was on hand to accept the award at the awards ceremony last night in Park City, Utah.