"Shit Sponge" cleans up at Vancouver's Run N Gun 48-hour film competition

The Bruce Blain audience-choice award went to "The Better Forever", with second place going to "Untouched" and third place to "Netmare"

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      A short film about a female rapper with a history of substance abuse took three top honours in Vancouver's Run N Gun film competition on July 10.

      The judges awarded "Shit Sponge" as the best film at a raucous awards ceremony at the Rio Theatre.

      Brianne Nord-Stewart won best director for her depiction of a hotel desk clerk's visit to the room of a burned-out star, played by Arghavan Jenati (Faryad, Running Behind, Arrow).

      Jenati won for best solo performance.

      Run N Gun's awards ceremony is more profane and outrageous—and low budget—than what people are used to at other entertainment-awards events.

      After some people complained on the YouTube livestream about the sound disappearing for a short while, Run N Gun's Joel McCarthy jokingly exploded into a stream of expletives at them.

      And after the best film was announced, McCarthy gave director Nord-Stewart a cannabis plant. That was in addition to her other prizes, which included a $1,000 cash award for best film and $200 for best director.

      "Is it legal to give out a pot plant as an award?" McCarthy asked. "I don't fucking know."

      Nord-Stewart confessed that she's never owned a pot plant before. She also volunteered that making "Shit Sponge" was the best weekend that she's had in the past 18 months.

      Video: Watch the screening of the top 20 films at Run N Gun. "Shit Sponge" begins at 24:08.

      Bruce Blain remembered

      The audience choice for best film was "The Better Forever", with second place going to "Untouched" and third place to "Netmare".

      The audience-choice award was named in honour of film, TV, and voice actor Bruce Blain. A previous winner of the audience choice award for "Mad Santa", Blain died on May 15.

      As he talked about Blain, McCarthy expressed real remorse and sadness, marking a departure from his outrageous banter from the stage with cohost Sasha Duncan, who threw a few f-bombs herself.

      This year, there was a record 100 entries in Run N Gun, which requires filmmakers to create their short movies within a 48-hour period following specific rules.

      Every filmmaker had to include tape (and it could be a cassette) and a specific line, plus it had to have a theme to "serve the greater good". 

      In addition, they were prohibited from mentioning COVID, vaccines, quarantining, or unoriginal jokes about 5G. Directors received these prompts at the start of filming.

      Other winners at this year's Run N Gun included Belen Garcia ("Marsha's Knitting Club") for best cinematography, Robert Phaneuf ("Netmare") for best sound design, "Rule of Nine" for best ensemble and best writing, "Departed 2" for best editing, Alexander J. Baxter ("Untouched") for best production design, "Marsha's Knitting Club" for best makeup, and "Gig-Nickle" for best student film.