Hi Everybody! The St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival (25th year!) is underway. It runs from October 14-18th, at venues throughout the city. It’s a banner week for filmmakers and film lovers in NL since we get to see films from around the world. We’ll also get a chance to bond as a community, and celebrate the vibrant arts scene in our province. We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and we’ve forged a unique culture on this island, so it makes sense that thoughtful visual art is created here. This year’s festival showcases 4 local features, and 15 local shorts/ docs (see here http://www.womensfilmfestival.com/the-festival/2014-film-schedule/).
The SJIWFF is one of the longest running Women’s FF in the world. Each year just keeps getting better and in 2014 they launched a new program called the [Interactive] Incubator Project (IIP). I was lucky enough to be chosen for this exciting endeavour, with an interactive project I am calling Out in the Cold: The Story of Newfoundland’s Sealskin Boots. Other women chosen for the IIP are Jenna McMillan (PEI) for her project Gran Bandit, Annie McEwen (NL) for The Girls of Sheshatshiu, Christine McLean (NB) with The Wild, Wild East, and Heather Rumancik (NL) for Little Theatre/Big Ideas (Heather also worked on Sadie). Check out more info here: http://www.womensfilmfestival.com/incubator2014/
These five transmedia/web-based projects will receive expert advice on how to develop, focus and network our projects. Jenn Brown is the industry liaison at SJIWFF and the point person for this incredible opportunity, and she also organizes the annual film forum (i.e. daily workshops, pitch sessions, panels etc). We’re thankful to have such a capable and cordial individual at the helm of this important part of the festival. Check out the inspiring schedule we’ll be keeping during the days – WOW (Jenn for Prime Minister!):http://www.womensfilmfestival.com/film-forum-2014/
By now you’re probably thinking what a great experience, but wait…. it gets EVEN better. Enter, Carol Whiteman, from Women in the Director’s Chair. She’s a two-time Governor General’s Award-nominee and an award-winner for promoting women’s equality in Canada’s screen-based media industry. Carol’s pretty busy, but she came to St. John’s to guide us through the Women in the Director’s Chair Career Advancement Module (WIDC CAM), as part of the IIP. She’ll also help make sure we get the most of the week. Yesterday at NIFCO, she formed a most dynamic duo with Garwin Sanford, together they taught us a master class on pitching ideas and concepts, as well as the importance of being yourself, and knowing yourself. It was such a great 6 hr workshop/discussion; we didn’t want it to end. For more details on the WIDC CAM see here, http://www.widc.ca/programs/widc-career-advancement-module/
The IIP will be happening again next year and all the women in film/tv should apply, Apply, APPLY! We had our first meeting yesterday, and it was great to have Carol and Garwin hear our ideas, give us feedback on them, as well as give us tips on how to navigate through what sometimes feels like ‘the grind’ in this business. The comradery of the group, and the support of the SJIWFF staff, was also wonderful. They gave us Thanksgiving dinner and a $1000 gift certificate from WF Whites (and to think I usually have a glass of wine with my turkey, this pairing is way better). A huge shout out needs to be given to the SJIWFF board and staff, who have, over the years, taken this festival week from a time to watch films, to an integral event that fosters growth for female AND male filmmakers locally and country wide.
Before I go, I have to link/list names of the people that make this week come together:
Staff/Technicians: Sarah Smellie, Jenn Brown, Eilish Mc Brearty, Tiffany Martin, Sherri Levesque, Victoria Wells, Marie Jones, Laura Huckle, Riel Warrilow, Mary Germaine and Philip Winters.
Names and Bios of the accomplished Board members who watch/select the films: http://www.womensfilmfestival.com/about-us/board/
See y’all at the events, and if you run in to any of these people, congratulate them on their hard work! Happy Festival Week to all.
Post by Latonia Hartery