By Posted on: Friday, July 29th, 2016

Big Day For The Festival!

Today is a big day for the Festival. We are saying a huge thank you and a warm goodbye to the incredible Sarah Smellie for all the powerful, imaginative and uncompromisingly feminist work she has done for SJIWFF over the past seven years and we are excited to be welcoming to our new Executive Director, the hilarious, whip smart and extremely competent Jean Smith!

Jean has worked in the arts in St. John’s for thirty years, including seventeen years in the film industry.

She has been the Executive Director of the Newfoundland Independent Filmmaker’s Co-operative and the Executive director of The Nickel  Film Festival. She also worked for two years as the Box Office Manager of LSPU Hall and as a Program Officer at the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council. She has been the recipient of both a CBC Patron of the Arts Award and a Women in Film and Television’s WAVE Award

We are thrilled to have her at the helm as we begin gearing up for our 27th annual Festival! 

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By Posted on: Monday, June 13th, 2016

Job Posting: Student position – Program Coordinator

Student position – Program Coordinator
Date posted: June 13th, 2016
Application deadline: June 29th, 2016
Contract duration: 7 weeks
Start date: July 11th, 2016

Organization Information

At 27 years old, the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival is one of the longest-running women’s film festivals in the world. We support women in film and television in Newfoundland and Labrador and around the world with our annual five-day Film Festival and Film Industry Forum; our annual Scene & Heard Film Industry Conference; our year-round FRAMED Film Education Series; our cross-provincial Films On The Go tour; and our one-off screenings and workshops.

Job Description

We’re looking for the perfect student to help us build our official Program Guide.

Each year, we publish a 100-page Program Guide which includes film and workshop descriptions, schedules, and delegate bios. It also includes ads and welcome messages from Festival and Forum supporters. Our Program Coordinator will work with our Executive Director to collect ads and messages from Festival sponsors, sell advertising space to local businesses, and put together our famous Festival swag bags. In some cases the student might also work on designing advertisements using InDesign and Photoshop.

This is a great opportunity to get to know the local film industry, and to gain experience with graphic design programs.


This position is offered through the Canada Summer Jobs program. Applicants must have been full-time students in the Winter 2015 – 2016 semester, be heading back into full-time studies this Fall and must be between the ages of 15 and 30.

The ideal candidate for this position is friendly, flexible, motivated and independent, with an interest in film, women’s issues and graphic design. This position requires strong organizational instincts, exceptional communication skills and a proficiency with office software such as Google Drive. Familiarity with graphic design programs like InDesign and Photoshop is an asset.

People of all genders are encouraged to apply.

Email applications to Sarah Smellie at

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By Posted on: Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

SJIWFF Podcast : Librarian, Chef, Comedian & Filmmaker Amanda Bulman

For this episode of the SJIWFF Podcast we talked to Amanda Bulman about her recent WIFT-Atlantic and PUnk Films 1K Wave Award win and film the award will allow her to make. Amanda’s film is a documentary that looks at reasons people stop making art and what it takes to get them back into practising their craft after a hiatus. In this podcast she also talks about how she began doing stand up comedy and her experience of the thriving comedy scene here in St. John’s.

Catch Amanda hosting our Friday the 13th Bingo fundraiser!

TW: Rape, Sexual Violence
Towards the end of this episode we talk about Rape is Real and Everywhere, A Comedy Show, a show where stand up comedians who are also rape survivors talk about their experiences of sexual violence.

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By Posted on: Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

FRAMED West 2016

FW Facebook Page 2016

FRAMED West film making camp is underway in Corner Brook this week!

The camp is being led by award-winning filmmaker Allison White, who was selected by Film Market Access (FMA) and First Weekend Club (FWC) as the winner of an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2016 Festival de Cannes /Marché du Film to present her current production project. White will be heading to Cannes days after the camp wraps up, you can read more about her win here.

Camp participants will film “Good Grief” a new comedic short film, written by Emily Bridger.

The film will play this Saturday, April 30th at the Theatre at Grenfell at 7:00pm, the event will also be the launch SJIWFF’s 2016 Films On The Go Tour.

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By Posted on: Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Free National Canadian Film Day Screening April 20th at 7pm at Nifco – Cancelled Due to Weather


Unfortunately, this screening has been cancelled due to the storm, stay cozy!

Where: NIFCO, 40 Kings Rd
When: 7:00pm
Admission: Free

In celebration of National Canadian Film Day, The St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival (SJIWFF), the Newfoundland Independent Filmmakers Cooperative (NIFCO) and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) are partnering to show the feature length documentary Ninth Floor and the animated short film If I Was God. 

Mina Shum , director of Ninth Floor, will be Skyped in for a Q&A after the film.


Ninth Floor
Director: Mina Shum
Run time: 1h 21 min

In 1969, to protest the administration’s mishandling of racist accusations towards a professor, students at Sir George Williams University occupied a ninth floor computer lab.

If I Was God
Animator: Cordell Barker
Run time: 8 mins

In this short animated film, a Grade 7 boy’s mind starts to wander while dissecting a frog in Biology class. What would you do if you suddenly found yourself charged with God-like powers? Would you use them for good? For bad? Perhaps a little of both? The possibilities seem endless. Oh to have the power to toy with life and death, to create monsters who can punish those who torment him daily, or better yet, to create that one perfect day with Lily, the love of his 12-year-old life!

If I Was God is the latest offering from two-time Oscar®-nominated animator (The Cat Came Back, Strange Invaders) and long-time NFB collaborator Cordell Barker.

Click here to see the trailer for If I Was God on the NFB website.

Check out Cordell Barker’s Animation Master Class on the NFB website here.

Learn more about National Canadian Film Day here.

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By Posted on: Thursday, March 24th, 2016

SJIWFF Podcast: Renee Sharpe on Band Off

For this episode of the SJIWFF Podcast we spoke to Renee Sharpe about an event called Band Off that she put together. Band Off was invitation to people who haven’t felt encouraged to pick up an instrument and make loud music to do just that. Band Off was also an opportunity for people who’ve been in punk bands forever and have access to gear to help make room on stage for marginalized people.

Renee hosted a potluck where people put their names in a hat and were randomly placed in bands. The bands had two weeks to learn two covers and write one original song. Two weeks later the bands played a show at Renee’s house which was recorded by Elling Lien from Unpossible.

Renee and Unpossible are collaborating to put together another Band Off and everyone is invited. Names will be drawn on May 13th, 2016 at a potluck at Eastern Edge Gallery.
Follow the link for more information about the next Band Off:

At the beginning and end of this episode you hear the band Uptight, featuring Jess Barry, Catherine Roberge, Colin Moore and Robin Follett, playing the Band Off show.

Here are links to the full Band Off set:…Kzg4W8_NkzwZ7AFpL…Kzg4W8_NkzwZ7AFpL…kzwZ7AFpL&index=3

Photo by Noah Bender, you can see more of his photos here:–

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By Posted on: Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

SJIWFF Podcast : Daze Jefferies on Found Poetry, Experimental Music and Trans Narratives

I spoke to Daze Jefferies about her found poetry, experimental music and visual art.
Daze also talked about how feminism infiltrates every aspect of her life, how despite the diverse range of trans experiences certain types of trans narratives are more visible than others and the importance of creating a queer and trans archive in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Follow the link to read Daze’s Poetry:




Image by Daze Jefferies.
Intro music is a sample of “Yours for a While” by PMS & The Mood Swings.

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By Posted on: Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

SJIWFF Podcast: Heather Jarvis and Laura Winters on The Safe Harbour Outreach Project

I spoke to Heather Jarvis and Laura Winters about the Safe Harbour Outreach Project and issues that effect sex workers in Newfoundland.

We talked about the difference between sex work and sex trafficking and the danger of conflating the two, as well as some of the ways that stigma around sex work is perpetuated and the diverse ways it impacts people’s lives in our province. Heather and Laura also unpacked laws around sex work in Canada and explained why we need to advocate for a legal system that focuses on harm reduction.

Follow the link to learn more about The Safe Harbour Outreach Program:

You might also want to check out this post on the St. John’s Status of Women’s Council blog which covers a lot of related material:…ghts-app


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By Posted on: Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

SJIWFF Podcast Ep. 2: Penelope Smart on “Land of Mirrors: ongoing experiments in Newfoundland” and Her Vision for Eastern Edge Gallery


Photography by Chloe Edbrooke. Drawing of Inner Hebridean island by Penelope Smart.


We spoke to Penelope Smart, the new director of Eastern Edge Gallery about what it means to be a curator in an artist run space, the history of Eastern Edge and what excites her about contemporary art, including Eastern Edge’s current exhibit, “Land of Mirrors: ongoing experiments in Newfoundland”.

The show features work by Michael Flaherty, Will Gill, Philippa Jones, Jerry Ropson and Jason Wells. In this interview Penelope talks about how each of these artists explores the idea of Newfoundland imaginary.

“Land of Mirrors: ongoing experiments in Newfoundland” opened on January 23rd and will be up until March 2nd.



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By Posted on: Monday, January 18th, 2016

Ann Shin on “My Enemy, My Brother”

Interview by Eva Crocker

Ann Shin’s short documentary, “My Enemy, My Brother” which was shortlisted for an Oscar, screened at the 26th annual SJIWFF this past October. I spoke to her about the remarkable story behind her film, the challenges of telling the past in the documentary genre and webseries as a vehicle for opening-up the filmmaking process to the viewer.


Ann Shin

SJWIFF: Could you tell me a bit about “My Enemy, My Brother”?

AS: “My Enemy, My Brother” is a film about two regular guys from Iran and Iraq who get caught up in events out of their control, their countries go to war and they are conscripted. One is a thirteen year old soldier, a child soldier and the other is eighteen or nineteen. They happen to meet on the battlefield and the child soldier risks his life to save other soldier even though they are enemies. By a twist of fate they meet again in Canada, decades later, under unlikely circumstances.


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