Procrastinate no more: be a WIFT-AT winner @AFF !!

As part of WIFT-AT’s partnership with the Atlantic Film Festival, we have a Festival Film Pass (worth $150) to hand out to a lucky WIFT-AT member by a draw, Sept. 4, 2014.

The Festival Pass includes:
• Badge
• Opening Night Gala Film
• Atlantic Gala Film
• Special Presentations
• General Admission Films
• Gala Français Canadien
• Gala Français International
• CBC Shorts Gala Film
• Closing Night Film

All WIFT members (including full, senior, student, or eligible organizational – does not include associate) who send an email to with the subject line “Count Me In” as well as all new members who sign up by September 2nd, will be eligible for the draw.

There are, of course, other ongoing benefits of WIFT membership, including eligibility for the one of a kind All Access Pass Award, discounts to the annual Women Making Waves conference and other networking events and most importantly, you will be supporting an organization committed to creating opportunities for women in the screen industry.

So, don’t delay. Renew your membership or join right now at

- The WIFT-AT Team

P.S. And join us as we present the World Premiere of Relative Happiness (Saturday, September 13th, 7pm) and our first annual Mussel Bar reception on Sunday, September 14th, 4:30-7pm at 902Post (5475 Spring Garden Rd). Look forward to celebrating with all the wonderful women and men working in the industry!

2494489 Procrastinate no more: be a WIFT AT winner @AFF !!


image1 Procrastinate no more: be a WIFT AT winner @AFF !!


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May 5: NS Pulse

still1 May 5: NS PulseBy Lisa Rose Snow; pictured – Alexis Milligan in Some Things Won’t Sleep

And just like that, another month has passed. Does it seem like it went by awfully quickly to you, too? Maybe it’s because I’m gearing up to go to camera May 1 on my NSI Drama Prize When Fish Fly with producer Lora Campbell. I’m so excited about this project, and with the chance to work with such a great cast and crew, including a ton of really talented women, like Steph Clattenburg, Jessica Tate and Victoria Bouchard, just to name a few.

And speaking of NSI Drama Prizes, a huge congrats to Leah Johnston (and Andre Pettigrew) who have completed their Drama Prize from 2013, Some Things Won’t Sleep. Leah is an amazing director/writer/actor/photographer and this film starring Alexis Milligan is a visual treat. I’m so excited to see what Leah comes up with next.

Another film just finished production and has headed into post-land, and that is Nicole Steeve’s and Jenna Murphy’s FILM 5 Playing House. Here’s a sneak of what to expect from this highly original project- Gary and Janet struggle to work on their strained marriage, despite the fact that they are only 9 years old. The stills from this look incredible and I can’t wait to see the finished product! Nicole also just got hired on as a writer for the hilarious web-series Just Passing Through. They are doing a kickstarter right now so you should spread the word and if you have some dollars to share, give them to this great campaign here:

Okay, that’s it for now. I’ve got a movie to make! But before, I want to say a special thanks to Britany Sparrow on her last issue of Tidings. Was a pleasure to work with you!

May 5: NB Pulse

FonyaIrvineHeadshot1101 May 5: NB PulseBy Cat LeBlanc; pictured – Fonya Irvine

Recipients of 2014 Short Film Venture Program announced

The New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-operative has released the names of the recipients for the 2014 Short Film Venture Program. The four winners will receive financial assistance for the production of short films of 10 minutes or less, fictional in nature, to be shot in the province.

The Short Film Venture Program, an initiative of the New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-operative and the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, assists emerging New Brunswick filmmakers who have a serious interest in establishing a career in filmmaking.

“The program will assist these budding filmmakers in creating works that will help to launch their careers,” NB Film Co-op Executive Director Tony Merzetti said. “Independent Filmmaking is an important part of culture in our province. We need to continually assist promising filmmakers in New Brunswick, in order to keep the sector healthy and growing. The Short Film Venture Program is an excellent way to help them get started.”

The Short Film Venture Program recipients for 2014 are Matt Rogers (A List), Fonya Irvine (As the Crow Cries), Shawn Henry (Il Sole) and William Beatty (The Midnight List).

One of the filmmakers Fonya Irvine is a filmmaker based out of Fredericton, New Brunswick.  She is absolutely delighted to be a recipient of the New Brunswick Short Film Venture grant for her film As the Crow Cries.  Already an accredited writer for the CBC/Telefilm 3-2-1 awarded script The Art of Decay, Irvine continues to write and collaborate with other filmmakers in the province.

“I’m absolutely overjoyed to receive the 2014 Short Film Venture Grant for the film As the Crow Cries.  I’m grateful to have this support and opportunity through the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture as well as the New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-operative which has been instrumental for immersing me in New Brunswick’s ever growing film community.” Fonya Irvine

Participants Selected for 2014 PEI Screenwriters’ Bootcamp

The Island Media Arts Co-op announced that twenty-two screenwriters will hit the ground running again this year on May 17 as they embark on a five-day journey working on scripts for feature films and dramatic series.

This is the largest number yet of participants invited to attend the professional development activity, and mentors for the workshops are: veteran mentor, Tom Shoebridge; returning mentor, Bill Boyle; and rookie, Bobby Theodore.  All three of them are industry professionals and experts in screenwriting who will be sharing their expertise with the participants.

This year’s group of participants includes two teams of two and eighteen solo writers for a total of twenty-two writers developing twenty properties.  The PEI Screenwriters’ Bootcamp initiative operates as an incubator program with first-time and returning writers working on various phases of their projects.

“Screenplays and teleplays can take a very long time to develop, and the guidance and support that these writers receive from experts is paramount to getting many of these scripts finished, let alone, produced.  Each year, we bring in producers and broadcasters to take pitch meetings with the writers, which gives the writer hands-on networking experience and valuable feedback on their work.   In turn, the producers are introduced to fresh talent and ideas.  In this industry, nothing happens to a script without both a writer and a producer being attached to it,” commented Louise Lalonde, Project Coordinator for Bootcamp.

The New Brunswick participants for Bootcamp 2014 are Rhonda Herrington-Bulmer, NBFC members Jennifer Mawhinney, Melony McCarthy and Randy Pelletier, Jean-Marc Goguen and Gilles Doiron

Ms. Lalonde added that “We are finally operating as a true incubator program with past participants returning to continue to develop their properties, and we have our sponsors to thank for their investment in these and future storytellers.

The Life and Music of Garnet Allison Boyd

Check out this fantastic interview that NBFC member filmmaker Rachel Bower did with Lorraine Boyd Eden Hermann about her father’s New Brunswick musical legacy.!.html

May 5: NL Pulse

IMG 7787 May 5: NL PulseBy Ruth Lawrence; pictured – Kate Corbett

Usually I write about other people’s recent achievements (and don’t worry, I’ll go back to that next time) but I was encouraged this month to tell you about the webseries I recently co-created and directed, Buy the Boards. It’s an oddball buddy comedy based in a NL board shop.

Buy the Boards came to life after many conversations with my son Luke Lawrence, a budding comedian who’s been working in fast food and retail since he was 15 years old.  He’d regale me with the funniest stories of things that happened, things he saw or things he’s heard about in his 9 years on the front line of sales and customer service.  Other people would tell me that he was a good salesman, that they trusted what he sold them.  Then I met Matt Wright, another young comedian who was as different from Luke as chalk and cheese.  That’s when I started wondering what their chemistry would be like on screen.  These two young guys are very funny, very ambitious and like all the great comedians coming onto the NL scene these days, had very limited platforms to work out their material.  I asked the guys if they’d like to create this show with me, I asked Brad Gover if he’d come on as producer (knowing that he’d mentor me and also be a jack-of-all-trades) and once they all said yes, we started our story meetings.

It took almost a full year from the time we started writing until we released the first show in early March.  I was determined from the start to have very short episodes, 3 minutes or less.  We used that as the watermark for where we’d end up.  Thanks to funding support from the NLFDC, NLAC and the City of St. John’s, we did a fully professional production; thanks to great ACTRA agreements we were able to do 5 episodes; thanks to a post-Christmas shoot, we got absolutely incredible stars (Krystin Pellerin, Kate Corbett, Joel Thomas Hynes, Jonathan Monro and the newest young start Nathan Patten); thanks to #DarkNL, it was the most memorable (read: challenging) shoot I’ve been a part of to date!  Rolling blackouts, power and phone outages, raging snowstorms, and airport chaos were just the big issues.

But interestingly, the most I’m learning is about social media and how little I know about it.  Now that our show is out there, my challenge has been figuring out how to get it on people’s radar.  The feedback from everyone who has seen it tells me that it appeals to a broad age range.  So if you’ll excuse me, I’d better get back to my Youtube channel now.


Click here to watch all 5 episodes of Buy the Boards, a made in Newfoundland & Labrador buddy comedy series about a pair of oddballs working in a snow & skateboard shop.  Created by Ruth Lawrence, Matt Wright and Luke Lawrence, the series also stars Kate Corbett (Empire of Dirt; Family Biz), Krystin Pellerin (Republic of Doyle; Infanticide) Joel Thomas Hynes (Republic of Doyle; Hatching, Matching & Dispatching). Give us a view and help spread the news about this great new comedy!

May 5: PEI Pulse

jason rogerson and harmony wagner May 5: PEI PulseBy Millefiore Clarkes

Harmony Wagner and Jason Rogerson have been selected as Finalists for the Telefilm Microbudget Feature Film program for their first feature film Kuperman.

The Island Media Arts Co-op is partnering with Telefilm on this program and the film community is very excited at the idea of a feature film being shot here this year! For more info see the Telefilm press release here:

Also – This dynamic duo are heading to Cannes!

Harmony’s film Queen of the Crows was selected to screen at Cannes as part of a Telefilm-sponsored event that showcases Canadian shorts. This is an exceptional opportunity for Harmony and Jason to meet the people that can get their feature Kuperman to audiences once it is shot.  They are currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund their trip to France and thanks to the generous investments of a lot of people they are over 80% – less than $700 to go! For more info on that campaign please click here:


The Production of Business, an intro to the Centre for Women in Business with Tanya Priske

Tanya Staff Photo 350x382 BOYNECLARKE LLP and WIFT AT April Breakfast Club PRESENTS

April 29, 2014 - Tanya Priske, Executive Director, Centre for Women in Business, will introduce the centre and how it can assist to develop essential business skills and spur business growth. Since 1992, the Centre for Women in Business has assisted over 12,000 business owners gain exposure, connection and learning opportunities.

Tanya Priske joined the Centre in 2002, as part of the Women in Business outreach team. As senior project manager, she was instrumental in development and delivery of programs such as ADVANCE and Supplier Diversity and the launch of the Women Presidents Organization. Tanya has been Executive Director since 2012. Prior to joining the Centre, Tanya worked in economic development for many years, as Coordinator for the Cooperation agreement on economic diversification and with the Pictou County Economic Development Fund team.

“Given the remarkable women supporting themselves in the screen industries with their own companies, or as solo business people, it makes really good sense to bring the two communities together. Who better to do this that the dynamic and creative Tanya Priske,” -
Jan Miller, Chair, Women in Film & Television – Atlantic

WHERE: BOYNECLARKE LLP office, suite 600 99 Wyse Road, Dartmouth

WHEN: April 29, 2014, 8:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

TO register*: Krista Reage at BOYNECLARKE LLP 902-460-3400 ext. 197 by April 25.

*As seating is limited, please reserve early, with priority given to WIFT-AT members.

Apr 14: 2014 WAVE Awards Salute Impressive Women in Screen Industry

WAVE Award winners 2014 Apr 14: 2014 WAVE Awards Salute Impressive Women in Screen Industry

The 2014 WAVE Award winners were announced during Women Making Waves, the fourth annual Women in Film and Television-Atlantic conference. They are (l-r) Noreen Golfman, Barbara Doran, Linda Wood. Photo by Caet Moir

(Halifax, March 24, 2014) The 2014 WAVE Awards were announced yesterday, capping the fourth annual Women Making Waves, a three-day conference marked by compelling speakers, dynamic panels and informative workshops.

Honouring outstanding contributions by women in film, television and digital media in the Atlantic Region, the one-of-a-kind awards went to Newfoundland and Labrador’s Noreen Golfman and Barbara Doran, and Nova Scotia’s Linda Wood.

“Each of these winners is unique and wonderful, and all of them loved the fact that the WAVE Awards have no categories – they simply honour women who deserve to be celebrated,” said Jan Miller, Chair of host organization Women in Film & Television-Atlantic (WIFT-AT).

“That fact allows the selection committee to make choices that truly celebrate women making a difference in the screen industry – in a multitude of fabulous ways.”

About the winners:

- Noreen Golfman has been described as a “powerhouse of poise, confidence and witty charm.” The Dean of graduate studies at Memorial University, Golfman has played an integral role in building a cultural community in Newfoundland and Labrador. She was involved in the founding of the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival 25 years ago, is Vice-Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation, and founded the MUN Cinema Series, among other contributions to the industry.

- Linda Wood, the Director of Business & Legal Affairs at Film & Creative Industries Nova Scotia, has worked with virtually every producer in this province. A champion of Nova Scotia’s film, television and new media industry, Wood spent 11 years as a juror for the CBC/Film Nova Scotia Bridge Award and played an active role in the creation of the First Feature Project. While her name may not appear in the production credits, it’s a fixture in the “special thanks” sections of local film and television productions.

- Barbara Doran has been producing and directing films for more than 30 years. With incredible energy, she has devoted herself to the history, culture and future of Newfoundland, while exploring stories around the globe. Her documentaries have covered the sweatshops of Guatemala, women prisoners in Pakistan, AIDS workers in Africa, and romance writers in the U.S. Her Gemini Award-winning miniseries, Random Passage, played to record audiences on CBC Television, and her newest feature, The Grand Seduction, was nominated as best feature at the Canadian Screen Awards.

Other Women Making Waves highlights included a conversation Sunday morning with Melissa Silverstein, a Brooklyn-based media consultant and writer whose blog, Women and Hollywood, one of the most respected sites for issues related to women in film as well as other areas of pop culture. Additional sessions included award-winning director, editor, writer Wiebke von Carolsfeld; transmedia leader Caitlin Burns; Sundance doc winner Jennifer Fox on crowd-funding; a hit sci-fi series panel (Emily Andras of Lost Girl, Daegan Fryklind of Bitten and Shawn Piller of Haven); film stunts with Shelley Cook; and a conversation with the remarkable team behind Bomb Girls, Adrienne Mitchell and Janis Lundman.

Women Making Waves takes place at the University of King’s College, NSCAD University, and the historic Lord Nelson Hotel. WIFT-AT gratefully recognizes the support of Telefilm Canada, Film & Creative Industries Nova Scotia, 902 Post, BMO Nesbitt Burns, ACTRA, the Canadian Media Production Association, the St. John’s Women’s Film Festival and Ruby Tree Films, as well as an array of industry sponsors.

Apr 14: The First Ten Pages (and the ones that follow)

By Brittany Amos

The first ten pages of a script are often the most important pages a screenwriter will write. It’s her opportunity to establish a unique world and persuade the audience to come along for the journey. Those first ten pages dictate what the characters inevitably need to overcome in order to make it to that (hopefully!) satisfying denouement.  But they are also the writer’s opportunity to engage a producer, taking them on that tumultuous (and also hopefully satisfying) journey of turning that script into a film. That is, after all, what we are so often told in the big scheme of writing for film and television: the script is only the blueprint, not the final result. And while I love, live and breathe writing, I’m also all about results.

I recently had the opportunity to participate in the First Ten Pages Master Class, in which writers explore what needs to be in the first ten pages of a script, as well as have the first ten pages of their own scripts critiqued. The class was made possible through WIFT-Atlantic’s Women Making Waves Conference. The conference hosts a variety of panels, workshops and screenings designed to foster the growth of female filmmakers in the industry. The class was well represented by female writers from all of the Atlantic Provinces. The scripts were diverse. Family dramas, comedies, historical biopics and fantasy films were all in the mix.

Filmmaker Wiebke Von Carolsfeld led the class. Wiebke made her directorial debut with Marion’s Bridge, which won numerous awards and played at festivals across the world. Her current film, Stay, had its world premier at the Toronto International Film Festival and has just had its US release.

Having taken screenwriting workshops in the past, Wiebke’s less “prescribed” approach to writing was refreshing.  We so often cling to the formulaic, beat-by-beat approach to screenwriting like the cozy security blanket that it is. While Wiebke didn’t suggest that the beat sheet approach is wrong – there is always a time and place for organizing your story – she emphasized that if you haven’t engaged your audience in those first ten pages, it doesn’t matter if you’ve posed a question on page three or stated the theme on page five. After all, beyond the pure logistics, storytelling is about convincing someone to go on a journey.

The logistics, of course are a large part of what I find both comforting and challenging about screenwriting. On the one hand the “rules” about act structure can act as a map to guide you, whether you consult it every step of the way or only when you get lost. On the other hand, it can result in a lifeless story that feels like it’s just going through the motions. It’s a constant balancing act, and Wiebke encouraged us to embrace the natural progression of the story.

But how do we find that balance? What is the right way to approach a script? Do you start at the beginning or at the end? Do you write an outline first, or dive right into those first ten pages? Wiebke had lots of valuable advice about navigating through a script, let alone the first ten pages. About halfway through the class, she stated, “Everything I say, you’re going to find a situation where I’m completely wrong.” Maybe that’s just as frustrating as following a beat sheet or act structure. But perhaps it’s the best advice a writer can receive.