By Sharon Katz
So what about the films?
... after all this is a film festival.
First of all I want to say that it's really hard to make an excellent film.
I'm just completing my fifth film, and believe me it's very easy to fall in love with your work, not so easy to see it with some objectivity.
All the films that made it into competition are here for a reason - there is something about them that is excellent. It could be the story, or the animation, or a unique voice and style, perhaps it's the way the story and music interplay, it could be an unusual technique, or a particularly superb sense of timing.
Out of all these excellent films, only a small number will receive the awards. Which is a shame because every one of the filmmakers should be celebrated for what is excellent in their individual work.
As a jury member I can't discuss the films themselves. But I can say that it's not an easy task to choose just one for each category. We are four jury members and each has their own taste. What we do agree on is that the award winners will be the films that are excellent in not just one but all the categories that we believe are important (some of which are outlined above.)
It's a difficult task and one we take very seriously. Each and every one of these films is here because someone had a dream. And through hard work, courage, and sacrifice, they made that dream into a reality. And then they took the risk of sharing it with the rest of us, allowing us the privilege to judge it not as an authority but as a peer.
There would be no festivals without this rich abundance of talent and risk takers. Right now, before the awards are granted, we salute every filmmaker whose work has something of excellence.
Sharon Katz is a visual artist working in still and animated imagery. Her award winning animations screen at art and film festivals around the world, and her drawings and paintings are held in art collections in Canada and abroad. You can visit her website at www.sharonkatz.net/about  and reach her by email at email@example.com .