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By Posted on: Friday, August 22nd, 2014

SJIWFF25 Does the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

*BURRRRRRRRRR*

A big thanks to our dear friend, and former co-worker Maggie Keiley for nominating all of us for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge! We completed the challenge at 5pm on August 22nd outside of our office, and had a wonderful audience of passersby watch as we drenched ourselves with cold water.

We have nominated Jon Montes, Pat Foran and Mary MacDonald!

We’ll be donating to the ALS Society of Newfoundland & Labrador. We hope that everyone enjoying these videos donates to this cause!

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By Posted on: Monday, August 18th, 2014

Walrus Subscription Contest!

The Walrus, Canada’s favourite general interest magazine, wants you to have a subscription for free!!

Enter for a chance to win a free one-year subscription to The Walrus!
Leave a comment below with your name! A winner will be announced on Friday, August 22, 2014 at 5pm.
Only comments made on this blog post will be eligible for the draw.

Also, The Walrus is coming to town!!

This September, The Walrus has organized a special event at The Rooms (9 Bonaventure Ave.) in partnership with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

As part of The Walrus Talks series, The Rooms in St. John’s will be hosting an event on The Art of Conversation featuring Walrus Talks by:
Former host of Canada AM Seamus O’Regan
General Rick Hillier
Fixt Point’s Lisa Marie DiLiberto
Author Lisa Moore
Poet and writer Michael Crummey
War Child’s Samantha Nutt
Poet Mustafa Ahmed
And more!

This event is taking place on Septeber 25, 2014 at 7:30pm.
For more information about the event itself or getting tickets for the event, visit the Walrus Talks page.

….Oh, and you can drop by the office here at 28 Cochrane Street to pick up your Film Lover’s Lottery Ticket… Just sayin’.

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By Posted on: Friday, August 8th, 2014

[Interactive] Industry Film Forum + Call for submissions for the Incubator Project

Interactive Industry Film Forum Logo

August 7th, 2014, St. John’s - In celebration of their 25th anniversary, and in response to the changing film and television industry, the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival (SJIWFF) has revamped their Industry Film Forum, the province’s flagship industry event.

Taking shape this year as the [Interactive] Industry Film Forum, the SJIWFF is working with the Newfoundland & Labrador Interactive Alliance to unite the film and interactive communities, and expand the reach of their professional development workshops to people making films, web series, apps, video games, and everything in between.

Audiences are reaching to new platforms for their favourite stories. In response, many new funding opportunities in the film and television sector now require interactive and digital components. Web-based interactive films, web series, and companion apps for films and television shows are quickly changing how audiences are engaged, and how stories are told.

From October 14th to the 18th, 2014, the [Interactive] Industry Film Forum will bring some of the country’s leading film, television and digital media creators to St. John’s for a series of panels, workshops, networking opportunities, pitch sessions and project consultations. The groundbreaking event will help bridge the gap between the local filmmaking and digital content industries, and strengthen those industries’ connections and skills.

The SJIWFF will also be soliciting four interactive or web-based projects created by women from across Atlantic Canada for the inaugural [Interactive] Incubator Project (IIP). The creators of these projects will come to St. John’s to participate in the [Interactive] Industry Film Forum, where they will be matched with local and visiting industry experts for project consultations, networking and advice. At the end of the Forum, the creators will have the option to pitch their projects to producers from organizations like NFB/Interactive and iThentic.

They will also participate in the Women In the Director’s Chair Career Advancement Module (WIDC CAM), facilitated by award-winning WIDC Producer, Carol Whiteman. Through the WIDC CAM, they will receive tailored pre-coaching to help them articulate their career goals and project concepts in preparation for their meetings with selected interactive experts and mentors throughout the festival. The CAM is part of the WIDC OutReach Initiative Program powered by NBCUniversal.

William F. White International Inc. will give selected creators a certificate for $1,000 towards the rental of their equipment. Winners will also receive passes for the Collide Creative Technology Conference (October 21-24) and an invitation to participate in their Women In Tech Networking Event and Birds of a feather mini-presentation.

For more information or to apply, visit our IIP page or contact:
Jenn Brown, Industry Liaison
St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival
jenn@womensfilmfestival.com
709.754.3141.

 

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By Posted on: Thursday, May 29th, 2014

New Film Industry Mailing List

NL Film Industry

The St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival wants to connect filmmakers and the arts community via our new Newfoundland & Labrador Film Industry Mailing list.

People can sign themselves up to be sent regular newsletters, informing them of ways they can advance their filmmaking skills and focus on professional development. For more information or to sign up, visit out NL Film Industry mailing list page!

Please feel free to share and sign up!

 

 

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By Posted on: Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Updated Job Posting: Administrative Assistant/Office Coordinator

Administrative Assistant/Office Coordinator

Date posted: April 14th, 2014
Application deadline: May 9, 2014 *Extended deadline*
Start Date: TBD

This job posting deadline is now extended and the job requirements have been adjusted. Please read below for more details.

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By Posted on: Monday, May 5th, 2014

Win Tickets to the VIP screening of THE GRAND SEDUCTION

TheGrandSeductionPoster

You can win a chance to join us &  eOne Films at the St. John’s red carpet premiere of THE GRAND SEDUCTION with special guests Brendan Gleeson, Mark Critch and director Don McKellar! 

Win a pass for two people to attend this VIP screening on Monday, May 12, 2014 at 7pm at Cineplex Cinemas, Avalon Mall, St. John’s. 

*All you need to do is go to our Facebook page  post telling us WHY you love Newfoundland films! We’ll pick a winner this Friday at 4pm! Good luck!

For an extra chance of winning, please subscribe to our newsletter (find the link on the top right of our website here)

Nominated for four Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Picture. Winner of Best Supporting Actor (Gordon Pinsent). 


SJIWFF25

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By Posted on: Friday, April 11th, 2014

FRAMED West April 28- May 3 in Corner Brook

 

That’s right! FRAMED West is back and heading to Corner Brook April 28-May 3! Join award-winning filmmaker and producer, Allison White (Crawl Space, Decoloured) and spend six days learning how and making your own short film!

Get hands-on, professional training on script breakdown, directing 101, camera operation, film lighting, sets, design, makeup, sound work and more. This workshop is open to everyone and will be a great way to learn more about how to turn your ideas in a film.

The entire workshop is only $25.
To register or for more information, please contact Eilish at eilish@womensfilmfestival.com

*We are also looking for volunteer actors! Check out the casting call below.
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By Posted on: Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Politics suit women, too.

sausagestroll

Our first female premiere has just stepped down and St. John’s has its first all-male council since 1969. Why should we care about the lack of women in government and what should we do about it? I asked Sheilagh O’Leary, former St. John’s City Councillor at Large, what she thought and talked to her about an upcoming Equal Voice St. John’s forum on women in politics.

I just saw on Twitter that you’re organizing a forum for women in politics. Can you tell me about that?
It’s the local chapter of Equal Voice. Equal Voice is a national non-partisan organization that aims to encourage women to get involved in the political sphere. They’ve been on the go for quite some time and we’ve had a local chapter that’s oscillated back and forth for quite some time and it’s mostly been inactive, but there seems to be a new wave of interest in getting it going again. The beauty of Equal Voice is that it is non-partisan, so you get people from all different parties. And it’s all different levels of government: provincial, federal, municipal, it doesn’t matter.

I would never vote for somebody just because they were a woman or man, but you need to have more people encouraged to actually put themselves forward for that call.

Why should we even care if there aren’t many women in our governments?
Women do have a different perspective. When a woman steps up to the plate, [she] brings different life experiences. Not just about being a mother, but certainly women who are mothers and juggle childcare and balancing work and family life, it’s a big issue. So we know that those kinds of issues are going to be dealt with in a different way when you’ve got women in those roles. Maybe daycare’s not as huge a priority for the male sector as it is for the female sector, I’m not saying yes or no, but I’m saying there are many issues that affect women that don’t get represented if they’re not at the table.

(Interesting tidbit from Equal Voice’s Fundamental Facts: “The United Nations says that a critical mass of at least 30% women is needed before legislatures produce public policy representing women’s concerns and before political institutions begin to change the way they do business.” – Ed.)

For me, personally, we’ve had a lot of interesting comments lately because we had our first female premiere and a number of female premieres across the country which has given a bit of false security about the numbers of women that are actually in politics… Oh, can you hold one second?

[No kidding: she pauses to take a call from her son’s school, as he is home sick and she’s in charge of the child care.]

But the stats actually show that we’re still so far behind. Having a couple of women that have risen to premiere is phenomenal, but it’s not really representational of the full scheme. And as we can see on the local level in the city, we have no female presence on our city council. If you look at the provincial government, it’s the same thing. The numbers [of women in government] are extremely low. Look right across the country, you’ll find the same thing.

My personal feeling is that we are in a regressive time right now and it is our responsibility to encourage young, vital women — and they are out there — to get involved in politics.

And that’s what Equal Voice is about, it’s about encouraging young and older women who have something to offer, and to be a supportive organization to let them know that there are learning tools out there, and that everyone has to start from scratch. Often times women are the ones in the communities who are behind the scenes working on boards and committees and they need extra encouragement to actually be the front runners.

Why do you think this is a regressive time?
That’s my personal feeling, I don’t say that as a representation of Equal Voice. Look at the federal scene, under a Harper government. We’re certainly not seeing much in terms of extra supports to women, we’re not seeing a lot of women represented in the federal government. Again, same thing at the provincial level it’s and certainly now on our doorstep in St. John’s. It seems like it’s gone backwards. And that concerns me greatly. I’d like to see more multi-cultural representation, as well.

What will happen at this forum?
It’s in the formative stages right now, but there seems to be a lot of new energy: I’ve had a lot of younger women come up to me and tell me that they’re doing political science, that they’re really involved and really interested, but that they don’t know where to start. I guess the first thing is demystifying the process, so that people aren’t fearful, and letting them know that everybody has to start from zero but that there are supports out there.

Ultimately, one of the things that happens with Equal Voice is mentorship. For me, personally, the former deputy mayor Shannie Duff was an important mentor for me and I was fortunate enough to have some encouragement from her to push myself forward. And I know that I’m not the only one that she encouraged. But to have strong female role models like that, I think, is crucial. So I think that will be the focus. And to have representatives from all political parties come in and talk about their experiences, and share their experience, I think there’s nothing greater than that: mentorship is it.

The Equal Voice St. John’s forum will take place on April 26th in the E.B. Foran Room at City Hall. Times and more details TBA. Main photo by Adrian Wyld / CP files, taken from this National Post article.

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By Posted on: Friday, February 7th, 2014

Get your film on

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St. John’s seems to be exploding with excellent film-related opportunities right now. Here’s Jenn Brown, the mastermind behind the kickass SJIWFF24 Industry Film Forum, and she’s back in the office plotting our Scene & Heard workshops. Stay tuned for big news about those. In the meantime, here’s a quick round-up of what’s on the go right now.

Screenings

“So Right, So Smart” is an award-winning doc profiling eco-smart companies like Patagonia and Seventh Generation. The film looks at how environmentally sustainable business practices can yield social and financial rewards. David Suzuki makes an appearance. The St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival is co-presenting this film on February 5th (tomorrow) at the Hall with the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industries Association, and Cox & Palmer is sponsoring the event. All proceeds will be donated to the St. John’s Farmers’ Market. Show starts at 8pm and tickets are $10 for regular admission and $8 for students and seniors.

On Valentine’s Day, swoon with “Gabrielle,” a film about a young singer who has fallen in love with her choir director. Gabrielle has Williams Syndrome, a genetic disorder characterized by intellectual disability, and director Louise Archambault masterfully uses a non-professional cast, many of them with Williams Syndrome, to explore Gabrielle’s relationship with her teacher, as well as her own sense of independence, self and sexuality. The film was Canada’s nod for the Best Foreign Feature Oscar, for which it was shortlisted. The screening starts at 8pm, and tickets are $12 for regular admission or $10 for students and seniors.

This Thursday, February 6th, MUN Cinema is showing Blue Is The Warmest Colour, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes last year. The Cannes Jury gave the award to the director and the two lead actresses, making them the second and third women to ever receive a Palme D’Or (Jane Campion was the first). We’re also looking forward to Wadjda (March 6th), the first film ever made by a Saudi woman. Go, MUN Cinema!

Awards

If you’re a member of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, you can vote for the Canadian Screen Awards. To name a few favourites, The Grand Seduction is up for Best Film, and Sherry White is up for Best Writing for her work on Saving Hope. The Telegram lists all of the Newfoundlanders and Labradorians up for CSAs here.

The NLAC has also just announced that they’re extending their nomination deadline for the NLAC Arts Awards. You’ve got until Valentine’s Day to show your favourite NL artist some love.

Workshops

Colette Johnson-Vosberg, veteran of Global TV, Telefilm Canada, the Canada Media Fund, ZoomerMedia Television, and Vision TV, is heading to NIFCO for a two-day workshop in Business Affairs on March 8th and 9th. She’ll be talking about pitching to broadcasters and distributors; creating budgets and finance plans; rights management; and the fine details of government funds and private funds from sources like Telefilm, Bell Fund, Rogers Fund Group and Shaw. This killer workshop will be co-presented by the Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation and St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival for Scene & Heard, our annual celebration of International Women’s Day. For more information or to register, give Laura Churchill (laura@nlfdc.ca) a shout.

Ladies Learning Code have set up a St. John’s chapter. They’re a women-led non-profit based out of Toronto that offers free or cheap workshops to women, men and children who want to learn stuff like HTML and C++. You can keep up with their workshop news by following them on Facebook.

Other cool stuff

It’s February and the RPM Challenge is on. Normally people record an album of music for the RPM, but you could record an audio doc, too. If it’s 35 minutes long, or if you record 10 short docs, it totally counts. If you’ve got a doc idea that you want to test out, make an RPM radio doc!

And, psst, here’s a little Scene & Heard hint:

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By Posted on: Monday, January 13th, 2014

Jenina McGillivray and the benefit of little miracles

jenina

Local filmmaker Jenina McGillivray, painted here by John McDonald, could use your help. And hey, couldn’t we all use a good night of dancing?

On January 18th, some of St. John’s finest musicians — Mark Bragg, Pilot to Bombardier, Green and Gold, and the Pathological Lovers with Tim Baker, to name a few — will hit the Rockhouse stage for Jenefit, a fundraiser for Jenina McGillivray. The Facebook event is here.

According to the event description, Jenina was admitted to the hospital just after Christmas with severe abdominal pains and dangerously low blood pressure. By morning, she was in critical condition and rushed to surgery where doctors figured out what was wrong and fixed her up. She’s out of the hospital, but will be out of both work and commission for the next few months as she recovers.

Jenefit organizers have also set up a silent auction and donation site here. Prizes include a private concert by The Once in your own home.

If you’re curious about just how brilliant and kind and generally awesome Jenina is, I caught up with her before Christmas to interview her about her short film “Boarding,” which she was just gearing up to shoot through NIFCO’s First Time Filmmakers program (a program you should really check out if you’re interesting in making a film). Here she is:

Tell me about the film that you’re heading off to shoot.
It’s a film that’s based on a true story that happened to my sister. It’s about a girl who is going through a bit of a breakdown and she’s at an airport and she’s trying to get home. She encounters some difficulties with that, and a random act of kindness from a stranger helps her get through that time.

You’re making this through First Time Filmmakers. What’s the process for that program?
Well, through NIFCO, you do a course where you learn basic filmmaking skills and you’re mentored by people in the community. You get support from NIFCO after you complete the filmmaking course to then go out and make your own film. They offer you the equipment that you need, and a mentor to help you along. My mentor for this film has been Mark Hoffe and I’ve had a lot of great crew members come on board and volunteer their time to do this. I think it’s a mark that independent filmmaking is really alive in Newfoundland and in St. John’s. People really want to come together to try to help you realize your little dream of making your first film.

So you haven’t made any films before?
Nope, this is my first one. I have a few other scripts, too, but this is my first. For me, this is a learning experience. I want the film to be the best that it can be, but for me the most important thing is not that it’s the best film I’ll ever make, but that it’s the first one.

So you just walked into this totally green.
Yep! I mean, I’ve worked on crews. I started off in makeup and wardrobe and I did some production work and took a lot of different workshops and I’ve always been around the film industry in some way.

Were you nervous when you applied? Do they scrutinize your script and accept you and all that?
Yeah. I think if you have a pretty solid idea, they will help you through it. But yeah, I was glad I got a good response on the script, that made me happy; people seemed to like it and to want to support it.

What did you guys do in the filmmaking course?
You learn the basics of scriptwriting, camera, editing, some post production stuff, sound. Everybody in the course gets a chance to try the different elements. And then we write a script together and make a film together.

So for someone who just wants to make a movie and has no experience, this program would work for them?
If you have the passion and the desire to tell a story, and you think film is the medium you want to use, that’s enough. This program will teach you the skills you need, and we have a supportive, mentoring community here. What you get out of the program will be dependent on how much passion you have for the idea of making your own film. Because it’s not an easy thing to do. I think Paul Pope said at the Women’s Film Festival one year that it’s a miracle that any film ever gets made. That’s true: it takes a lot of energy and it takes a lot of dedication. So, I would say that if you have that and you really feel that film is the best way to tell your story, then you need to have that drive.

A film needs a lot of people coming together, it’s a lot of organization — it really is a little miracle.

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