Last night, at the closing night award ceremonies of the 8th Annual Vancouver Island Short Film Festival, my mother Shirley Goldberg (age 89) was awarded the Film Paragon Award for her lifetime of dedication and passion for teaching, exhibiting, and reviewing film, and for inspiring others to produce, exhibit, watch, and love film.
Way to go, mom!
The award itself is called a “Goldie” and was named in honour of Shirley. Eight Goldies were awarded last night in various categories.
For decades, Shirley taught English and Film Studies at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo (formerly Malaspina College). Upon arriving at Malaspina in 1973 (shortly after the college opened), she started a weekly international cinema series, which continues to this day with Shirley and her film cohort Ron Bonham hosting the event each Friday night.
In 2008, Shirley received a Western Magazine Award for her ongoing film column in Humanist Perspectives magazine. Some of her columns can be read on her blog: The Big Picture.
Shirley has attended film festivals the world over as a juror or member of the press including festivals in Vancouver, Victoria, Mannheim, Edinburgh, Havana, Figueira da Foz, and beyond.
For Shirley, film literacy and appreciation go hand-in-hand with global humanist causes. “Film is the most deeply humanistic art form today,” she says. “I love the way film effortlessly crosses cultural boundaries. It offers fresh new ways to interpret, understand, and deal with the issues of our time. Film enriches our lives by offering revelatory glimpses into the beauty of our world and of human potential itself.”