Our festival line-up is all ready to roll out, along with that ‘ol red carpet!
We gotta say, we’re tickled pink over this year’s roster. We’ll be showcasing an enormous amount of talent from all around the world — as far as Australia. And, of course, we’ve got a ton of local films. We’ve got more film fest parties than ever before, and our [Interactive] Film Industry Forum will have you rubbing shoulders with the likes of Aisling Walsh and Brigitte Berman.
Here are some highlights.
ExxonMobil Opening Night Gala
The River of My Dreams: A Portrait of Gordon Pinsent
The St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival’s EXXONMOBIL OPENING NIGHT GALA will begin with a red carpet welcome at the Scotiabank Theatre (Avalon Mall) on October 19th, 7PM. Oscar-winning filmmaker Brigitte Berman’s film The River of My Dreams: A Portrait of Gordon Pinsent will open the Festival this year.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Brigitte Berman turns her talents to one of our most beloved local heroes, the world’s most charming rowdy man. It takes at least a full-blown feature to capture the life and time of such a performer, and The River of My Dreams delivers. Berman managed to draw from Gordon Pinsent a most intimate portrait of what makes him tick. Growing up in Grand Falls didn’t exactly present a life of promise and fame, but the young Gordon had big ambitions and untapped talent, and, unlike so many who dream, he found a way out. Call it fate or design, Pinsent ended up living the dream over seven decades of performing. Whether stage or screen, Pinsent always gave his all, building a rich legacy with which many of us are so familiar, including but not limited to Quentin Durgens, M.P., The Rowdyman, of course, John and the Missus, and notably the films The Shipping News, Away from Her, and The Grand Seduction. There’s a lot revealed in this documentary, for all the world’s stage and some, like this still mischievous octogenarian, know how to own it.
Emera NL Closing Night Gala
The Festival will wrap up at the Scotiabank Theatre (Avalon Mall) with the EMERA NL CLOSING NIGHT GALA screening of Maudie, a stunning film directed by Aisling Walsh. Check it out on October 23rd, 7PM.
With a bravura performance by Sally Hawkins as the titular figure, Maudie is an uncannily brilliant profile of the much-revered folk artist. Nova Scotia-based Maud Lewis famously suffered from crippling arthritis. The loneliness such a condition must have imposed on her found a large measure of relief in painting. Lewis’s colourfully naïve images drawn from gardens and fields surely animated the dullness of her domestic environment. But what began as a pastime grew into something much larger once the world more or less accidentally discovered her work. Also more or less accidental was the way Lewis’s gruff husband entered Lewis’s life. Played with uncharacteristic crustiness by Ethan Hawke, Everett Lewis changed everything. Not the world’s favourite bachelor, he nonetheless gave Lewis a new life and a teeny weeny home in which she could colour her world. With a script by our BFF Sherry White and production credits shared by the indomitable Mary Sexton, Maudie is a gripping story made more powerful through its understated treatment of a rather unusual figure in the Canadian imaginary.
We are very excited to be opening Maudie with the 2015 RBC Michelle Jackson Emerging Filmmaker Award winning film Crocuses by Wanda Nolan.
You get the tickets; we’ll bring the popcorn. Check out our titles — this year we’ve got lots of locals!
Learn about everything from the lifestyle of old school burlesque dancers to what the seal hunt means to the Inuit. Read the full lineup here.
This year’s CBC Friday Night at Heart‘s feature is Boundaries, a fresh and powerful drama shot almost exclusively on Fogo Island and with an all-women crew. We don’t think we know of another film quite like Boundaries—that is, one that so profoundly explores politics and power from a woman’s point of view. Well, not just one woman’s point of view: several women are implicated in an ongoing negotiation between Canada and a financially desperate remote island nation. This is 2016, not 1949, but echoes of confederation are inevitable. That said, the real focus is how the three women featured here must cope with the demands of family, isolation, male privilege, and so on.
Nearly 40 shorts are on the schedule this year! That means you’re bound to find at least a dozen films to love. Cancel your calls and grab a cup of coffee to settle in for a good read of our shorts program.
[Interactive] Film Industry Forum
There’s another amazing [Interactive] Film Industry Forum in store this year, allowing industry folks to come together to learn, educate, and inspire. Sign up for pitch sessions (limited space!) or learn about creating web video content — all this, and so much more, at this year’s SJIWFF.
Also, meet this year’s IIP winners!
Film Lover’s Lottery
We’re still selling tickets for the Film Lover’s Lottery! The prizes are outstanding, including an Adventure Canada Cruise valued at $15,000. Get all the details here.
The RBC Michelle Jackson Emerging Filmmaker Award
Congratulations, Emily Bridger!
Emily Bridger is the winner of the 2016 RBC Michelle Jackson Emerging Filmmaker Award! Emily was selected for her riveting script, Waste It, which will premiere in the 28th annual SJIWFF.
The RBC Michelle Jackson Award Emerging Filmmaker Award is facilitated by the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival in memory of Filmmaker and Student Mentor, Michelle Jackson who passed away suddenly in 2008. The award is made possible with the help of the RBC Foundation, the Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation, CBC Newfoundland and Labrador, MO Entertainment, the Newfoundland Independent Filmmakers Co-Operative, Casting by Maggie, Atlantic Studios Cooperative, Ruth Atkinson, and Anita Reilly Mcgee.
Meet Our New Staff
We’re gearing up for another great festival, and we’ve got some new faces onboard. Get to know us!
From the top (left to right):
Jenn Brown – Executive Director; Victoria Wells – Technical Director; Liz Burt – Guest Services; Phil Winters – Projectionist; Devin Shears – Volunteer Coordinator; Heidi Wagner – Production Manager; Candice Walsh – Communications Coordinator; Grace King – Program Coordinator; Megan Kendell – Forum Assistant; Jackie Hynes – Forum Coordinator; and Anna Swain -Technical Assistant.
Get Your Tickets!
Festival veterans, we have a few venue changes this year and, as a result, some new box office info. Please check out our Box Office Info page for ticket purchases!
THANK YOU TO OUR AWESOME SPONSORS!
None of this would be possible without your help.
If you have any questions, please drop Candice a line at candice [ at ] womensfilmfestival.com. See you in the movies!