UP PERISCOPE! What’s on the horizon for WIFT-Atlantic?

At long last it is summer, a time to recharge and hopefully relax in this much needed sunshine. And a time to prepare for a hopefully busy and rewarding fall in all four of our provincial production communities.

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Patricia Rozema in conversation with Christine McLean

WIFT-Atlantic has had a terrifically active and productive 2011 – our inaugural Women Making Waves Weekend in March being the feather in our collective caps. What a weekend! Lots of networking, informing panels, viewing of members’ work, the first WAVE Awards celebrating 4 women with distinctive careers in our industry. And let’s not forget the great food, the great fun and the ‘womanly’ touch of tulips on the table. A success beyond our best hopes.

If you missed it, check out the videos of panels at Women Making Waves here>>

There you will find inspiring podcasts with the likes of award-winning Canadian director Patricia Rozema hosted by NB’s Christine Mclean, documentarians PEI’s Mille Clarkes and NFLD’s Barbara Doran hosted by NS’s Sylvia Hamilton, and the Roar about Horror panel featuring Halifax filmmaker Donna Davies and local journalist Lauren Oostveen and LA Distributor, Miriam Elchanan.

The Roar A 300x200 UP PERISCOPE! What’s on the horizon for WIFT Atlantic?

Miriam Elchanan and Laura Oostveen discuss the Roar about Horror with Donna Davies

(Many thanks to WIFT-AT member Madeline Yakimchuk for capturing these events for our website.)

And be sure to start making plans to attend the 2012 Women Making Waves coming up March 9-11, 2012. Check the Women Making Waves page on our website  OR our friendly and informative WIFT-Atlantic Facebook page for all the deets as decisions and plans are made to make our second WMW Weekend even more remarkable.


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Award-winning Newfoundland producer Barbara Doran

The work and effort required to produce such a terrific event has made it abundantly clear that WIFT-Atlantic needs infrastructure. We don’t want overworked Board members collapsing from their best efforts! The plan? Applications are out to secure funding for a WIFT-Atlantic coordinator. Keep your fingers crossed and an eye on our website and FB page for an update on this exciting initiative.


Speaking of Board members, it is time to look around your community and see who you would like to nominate to replace those Board members stepping down. We’d love your input and your presence at our 2011 Annual General Meeting, on Saturday, September 24 on the closing day of the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax. Look for further details in our next TIDINGS newsletter soon after Labour Day. And as always, check out our website  for late breaking WIFT-Atlantic news OR better yet, sign up to receive updates whenever our site is updated. Just enter your email in the field in the sidebar to the right.

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Ann Bernier, Laurie Niven and Jan Miller enjoy the Wave Awards Brunch at Women Making Waves, 2011

P.S. If you haven’t ” Liked ” our Facebook page yet, here’s your chance - http://www.facebook.com/wiftatlantic


Happy Birthday WIFT-AT: What a Great Year of Programming

 Happy Birthday WIFT AT: What a Great Year of Programmingby Juanita Peters

What an incredible first year it has been for WIFT-AT. With the help of many hands, minds and bodies we have been able to keep an active front throughout the region.

WIFT-AT hosted an opening introduction to potential and new members at the Halifax Club in Nova Scotia in March. We were pleased to present one of the founding members of WIFT-Vancouver, award winning filmmaker Sharon McGowan to talk about her experience as well as recent research regarding women in the industry. A well attended inspiring night.

In August, WIFT-AT and the First Weekend Club partnered with local film groups to bring Alison Reid and her feature film The Baby Formula to Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The support for the screenings was so great that not even Hurricane Bill could curb the enthusiasm.

In September WIFT-AT hosted “A Conversation With Creators of Crackie” during the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax. Director Sherry White and producer Jennice Ripley gave personal insight into the highs, lows and unique challenges of movie making in Canada.

Off to Newfoundland for the St. Johns International Women’s Film Festival in Newfoundland where WIFT-AT hosted a well attended reception at The Majestic. Providing a perfect opportunity for folks to mingle, network and enjoy the company of fellow filmmakers, or just relax and talk about what you have seen or intend to see.

Directors, writers and producers were treated to a delightful conversation in November as WIFT-AT presented IN THE BEGINNING….IT STARTS WITH THE SCRIPT, at the Silverwave Festival in Fredericton. New Brunswick filmmaker Gretchen Kelbaugh moderated an informative conversation with award winning writer Tony Sekulich was joined by, NB producer Tim Hogan and Louise LaLonde of the PEI Bootcamp.

Most recently WIFT-AT members have thrown support behind the Atlantic Regional Training Organization (ARTO), in a massive letter writing campaign to government. While WIFT-AT brings valued training programs, events and workshops to our members, ARTO has the ability to help us retool in our efforts to keep current and stay on track. The Atlantic region is full of great talent and resources and the evidence is clear. Here’s to all women in film and television throughout the Maritimes for all the hard work you continue to do.

Watch for more news on an exciting year ahead. If you have an event suggestion, please contact WIFT-AT programming.

On March 30, we launched the inaugural Women in Film and Television Atlantic (WIFT-AT) evening of social networking/film screening, WOMEN MAKING WAVES.

The Company House is such a great venue for this kind of event, warm and inviting. Once everyone had their beer or tea and snacks, the big black curtains were closed to the outside world. The audience grew quiet as WIFT-AT Chair Jan Miller gave us a warm welcome and introduced the filmmakers and then we settled in to watch a great line-up of short films by local women filmmakers. I was impressed with the sharp, clear quality of the image that appeared on the enormous screen Will Roberts set up and I was delighted with the fun and interesting mix of short films we got to see.

We were treated to the fine works of: Shelley Wallace (For The Love Of Sadie), Eva Madden (Winter Wave Riders), Ashley McKenzie (Sweet Little Bird) and Rebecca Singer (Ramblers & Portrait of the Illusive Migrating Beard).

After the screening, the filmmakers all sat together and we got to ask them questions about their films – Did the films end up becoming what they had originally visualized? What role did sound and music play in their films? As Jan remarked, it was so interesting how each woman approached her material at such a different stages in her career and from a different perspective – All the women were so generous and candid in their reflections. Someone in the audience asked if the filmmakers found it difficult to juggle their other roles as women – he meant as mothers, mostly – with their roles as artists. Even though none of our filmmakers are mothers, the questions sparked an interesting discussion with the audience about parenting and gender and the making of art. (Many people noted that a panel of men would not be asked this question).

The next Women Making Waves will take place on at the end of April, again at the Company House. I will be in touch about the date once it is finalized. Our curating process is that we schedule 45 minutes to an hour of short films in total – and we accept films on a first come, first serve basis! Just contact me if you would like to have us screen your short film and you can make yourself available for a chat with the audience.

Many thanks to Company House, Paradise Cinema, AFCOOP and Movie Night Halifax for supporting this event.

For more details, email info@wift-at.com