Young Fil-Can’s work wins as best short documentary in U.S. filmfest

Community News & Features Aug 19, 2016 at 4:50 pm
Sasha Nakhai

Sasha Nakhai

By Mila Astorga-Garcia

There is every reason for Sasha Nakhai, Filipina-Canadian film producer, to be over the moon these days.

The short documentary film that she produced, Frame 394, just won Best Documentary Short at the Rhode Island International Film Festival in Providence, Rhode Island, USA last Sunday, August 14.

“The film festival is an Academy Award-qualifying festival in the Documentary Short category, meaning that now that we have won we are eligible to enter the film for the Academy Awards,” Nakhai excitedly announced to her Facebook friends shortly after she had learned about the win.

She was quick to clarify, however, that the film would still have to get shortlisted before getting nominated. “So we are not yet nominated (for an Academy Award); we have just qualified to enter for consideration,” she said.

Both the film Frame 394, and the producer, Nakhai, have been creating a buzz in the documentary film world.

Consider these:

Frame 394 won Best Canadian Short at NorthwestFest 2016 (Edmonton). It had its World Premiere at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival in Toronto in May 2016. It garnered the Official Selection at the Hot Docs, NorthwestFest, Sidewalk Film Festival, Rhode Island International Film Festival, New Orleans Film Festival, Short of the Week; and it was released on CBC’s Short Docs website shortly after its May 2016 World Premiere.

To top it all, Nakhai received the Telefilm Canada Emerging Filmmaker Award from Producer Ed Barreveld as part of the Don Haig Award’s Pay It Forward Prize.

Rich Williamson, director

Rich Williamson, director

Frame 394, directed by award-winning Rich Williamson (The Sugar Bowl, 2011; Joe, 2012; and Unsinkable, 2012), “follows a young man in Toronto who entangles himself in one of America’s high profile police shootings,” its synopsis describes.

“After coming across a viral cellphone video of the incident posted online, Daniel Voshart is compelled to dig deeper, hoping to use his expertise in image stabilization to find evidence in the shaky video that will help indict the police officer,” the synopsis continues.

“But in the glimmer of a shiny object, he finds something that could potentially help the man that he had set out to incriminate.
Will he get involved and help a man vilified in the court of public opinion?” asks the thriller-like synopsis ending.

Nakhai herself has an impressive bio for a young producer. Based in Toronto and working out of Compy Films, her award winning films have screened in festivals worldwide, among them, Hot Docs, DC Shorts, LA Shorts, Atlanta, New Orleans, Rhode Island, and Al Jazeera Film Festivals.

frame-394-397487-posterHer bio partly reads:

“Her work has been commissioned and supported by the CBC; Bravo Al Jazeera; the Toronto, Ontario, Canada Arts Councils; and the Reel Asian International Film Festival. They have aired on TV in the United States, Canada and Europe, been released on iTunes, gone viral and been awarded Vimeo Staff Pick and Short of the Week.

“She was selected as the inaugural recipient of WIFT’s Ubisoft Producer Mentorship program, and was one of eight high-potential emerging producers selected for the DOC Institute’s Breakthrough Program.” Nakhai is a graduate of Ryerson University’s Broadcast Journalism program. She has completed stints with Summerhill Entertainment, CBC Radio, CKLN fm, and Africa Independent Television.
Nakhai was born in the Philippines, grew up in Nigeria, and came to Canada as an international student in 2003.