A Newfound Land

Up in Newfoundland this week the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival is in full tilt.  This festival was founded 22 years ago this year — one of the world’s longest running women’s film festivals — and takes place annually in North America’s easternmost city on the coast of Canada.  Apart from the fact that supporting women filmmakers is a passion of mine, and even apart from the fact that I have always, as long as I can remember, wanted to visit St. John’s, I’m very excited about this festival because it is a true champion of women-made films in Canada.  With Canadian audiences being notorious for not coming out to support their own filmmakers, it’s lovely to see such a festival of Canadian films — women-made!!!! — being so enthusiastically and continuously supported through an organization like the SJIWFF. Some films are not Canadian in origin, but the vast majority are.

The festival began October 18 and runs until October 22.  Have you been?  Let me know!  I’d love to hear from people who’ve attended or who’ve had their films screened in St. John’s.  One film that is screening this year is CHOKE, directed by Michelle Latimer, who took some time to give Her Film an interview earlier this year in which she talked about Indigenous films and filmmakers and especially First Nations/Aboriginal women filmmakers.  Read the interview “Authenticity of Voice,” a collaborative piece between producer Nelson Jack Davis and myself.

I am particularly excited to see (when I can get my grubby little hands on them) Michelle Latimer’s CHOKE and Ingrid Veninger’s follow-up to her 2010 film Modra, I AM A GOOD PERSON/I AM A BAD PERSON which screened at the Toronto International Film Festival this year (read an interview with Veninger).  Another is Anita Doron’s hilarious SEVEN SINS: LUST (read about her recent funding for Lesser Blessed from the Harold Greenberg Fund) which you can watch below.

This is the list of the official selections at the 2011 St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival:

“NOT JANE.” Director: Helena Astbury / Country: UK
77 Madregot (77 Steps) Director: Ibtisam Maraana / Country: Israel
A River In The Woods Director: Christian Sparkes / Country: Canada
Atasco (Traffic Jam) Director: Anna Peris Lluch / Country: Spain
AWOL Director: Deb Shoval, Dominique LeFevre / Country: USA
Bare Knuckle Duet Director: Lindsey Connell / Country: Canada
Beat Down Director: Deanne Foley / Country: Canada
Busk Or Bust Director: 24HR Film Challenge participants / Country: Canada
Choke Director: Michelle Latimer / Country: Canada
Clipper Gold Director: Joel Thomas Hynes / Country: Canada
Cold And Sunny Director: Jennifer Halley / Country: Canada
Decoloured Director: Allison White / Country: Canada
Evolucity Director: A. Megan Turnbull / Country: Canada
Faster! Director: Marie Ullrich / Country: USA
Félix Et Malou Director: Sophie Dupuis / Country: Canada
Furies Director: Deb Ellis / Country: USA
Grace Director: Meagan Kelly / Country: Switzerland
Hidden Driveway Director: Sarah Goodman / Country: Canada
How Does It Feel Director: Lawrence Jackman / Country: Canada
i am a good person/i am a bad person Director: Ingrid Veninger / Country: Canada
Ida Director: Susan Wolf / Country: Canada
Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy Director: Rob Heydon / Country: Canada, Scotland
Jolly Friends Forever More Director: Kaz Phillips Safer / Country: USA
Kathy Director: Mark O’Brien / Country: Canada
KOOP Director: Katherine Knight / Country: Canada
Kwik Fix Director: Kelly Hucker / Country: Australia
La Nadadora (The Swimmer) Director: Gemma Vidal / Country: Spain
La Tapisserie Du French Shore Director: Barbara Doran / Country: Canada
Las Piedras No Aburren (Stones Are Not Boring) Director: Marta Parreño / Country: Spain
Le Fleuve À Droite (Good Night Truck) Director: Sarah Fortin / Country: Canada
Le Projet Sapporo (The Sapporo Project) Director: Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre / Country: Canada
Less Than Zero Director: Ruth Lawrence / Country: Canada
Levedad (Lightness) Director: Lucia del Rio / Country: Spain
Libangbang Director: Chia-Chi Tseng / Country: USA
Life Model Director: Lori Petchers / Country: USA
Little Heart Director: Janna-Marynn Brunnen / Country: Canada
Little Theatres: Homage To The Mineral Of Cabbage Director: Stephanie Dudley / Country: Canada
Martha & Dee Visit The 5th Dimension Director: Noelle Foster / Country: USA
Melt Director: Noémie Lafrance / Country: Canada
Meters Director: Darcy Fitzpatrick / Country: Canada
Mi Otra Mitad (My Other Half) Director: Beatriz Sanchís / Country: Spain
Micky Bader (Bathing Micky) Director: Frida Kempff / Country: Denmark/Sweden
Miss Representation Director: Jennifer Siebel Newsom / Country: USA
Oliver Bump’s Birthday Director: Jordan Canning / Country: Canada
Padres (Parents) Director: Liz Lobato / Country: Spain
Painted / Country: Canada
Painted Houses Director: Rozalind MacPhail / Country: Canada
Petites Vues De Chez Nous (Movies From Down Home: Port-Au-Port) Director: Pamela Gallant / Country: Canada
Phantoms Of The French Shore Director: Barbara Doran / Country: Canada
Point No Point Director: Jennifer Campbell / Country: USA
R Seymore Goes North Director: Rhayne Vermette / Country: Canada
Regarding Our Father Director: Marjorie Doyle, John W. Doyle / Country: Canada
Rescue Wife Director: Lynn Kristmanson / Country: Canada
Rough Skin Director: Cathy Brady / Country: UK
Sarabah Director: Maria Luisa Gambale, Gloria Bremer / Country: USA
Scent Of Strawberries Director: Guy Natanel / Country: Israel, UK
Seven Sins: Lust Director: Anita Doron / Country: Canada
Shades Of Gray Director: FRAMED 2011 participants / Country: Canada
She Said Lenny Director: Jim Donovan / Country: Canada
Signs Director: Tamar Natanel / Country: Israel
Sleeping With Frank Director: Lily Baldwin / Country: USA
St. John’s Women Excerpts: The Bev Brown Cut Director: Louise Moyes / Country: Canada
Super.Full. Director: Niam Itani / Country: Quatar/Lebanon
Tashina Director: Caroline Monnet / Country: Canada
Teamwork Director: Seo-yun Hong / Country: South Korea
Teta, Alf Marra (Grandma, A Thousand Times) Director: Mahmoud Kaabour / Country: UAE
The Director Director: Destri Martino / Country: USA
The Exit Director: E. Jane Thompson / Country: Canada
The Not So Subtle Subtext Director: Sarah Rotella / Country: Canada
The Price Of Sex Director: Mimi Chakarova / Country: USA
The Ride Director: Marion Pilowsky / Country: UK
The Room At The Top Of The Stairs Director: Briony Kidd / Country: Australia
The Wind Is Blowing On My Street Director: Saba Riazi / Country: USA
Us Director: Mazi Khalighi / Country: Canada
Variations On Elevators And Pink Girls Director: Sarah Shamash / Country: Brazil
Wapawekka Director: Danis Goulet / Country: Canada
Warchild Director: Caroline Monnet / Country: Canada
Watching Emily Director: Elsa Morena / Country: Canada
Wild Life Director: Amanda Forbis, Wendy Tilby / Country: Canada
yaya/ayat Director: shimby zegeye-gebrehiwot / Country: Canada