media release

Grad nets best fiction film award — Canadian Student Film Fest

September 03, 2014

Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.9017;

Video (trailer):

Simon Fraser University film graduate Joel Salaysay, who received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in June, has won the Best Fiction Film award at the Canadian Student Film Festival (CSFF), a part of the Montreal World Film Festival.

There were 26 student films competing at the CSFF, which is the only competitive film festival in North America recognized by the International Federation of Film Producers Association based in Paris.

“That the award is for my grad film is a huge bonus,” says Salaysay, a Vancouver resident.

“My film, Lifers, is about getting stuck working in an unsatisfying job to pay the bills while your dreams pass you by,” he says. “In my case, this job was working in a kitchen, and I think the fact that I had actually worked there lent to the film’s authenticity.”

He used scholarship money, and earnings from a job as a dishwasher in a restaurant kitchen, to fund the $6,100 film, which took nine months to complete.

Salaysay hopes the award will improve his chances of landing a job as a writer/director in the film and television industry, but acknowledges that if he doesn’t work hard to attain this dream, he could follow in the footsteps of his film’s protagonist.

Lifers, will screen at the 2014 Vancouver International Film Festival on Sept. 30 and Oct. 8.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 130,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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