St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival

SJIWFF Promo 300x252 St. John’s International Women’s Film FestivalSt. John’s International Women’s Film Festival
by Sarah McLeod

The 22nd year was another successful one for the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival (SJIWFF). Local, national and international broadcasters, producers, distributors, writers and other film industry professionals attended this internationally recognized event.

5-days of over 80 films made by women began with local love Deanne Foley’s homegrown debut feature Beat Down; a comedy about a determined young girl dreaming of becoming a professional wrestler and her father who stands in her way.

As well as films, SJIWFF offered workshops with award-winning filmmaker and former Sundance Programmer Roberta Munroe, pitching expert and author Mickey Rogers and script consultant and author Dr. Linda Seger; a conversation with writer, producer, actor, author and all-around delight Ingrid Veninger; and seminars, breakfasts, networking opportunities and receptions.

WIFT-Atlantic presented a sold-out screening of Sundance gem, Miss Representation, Jennifer Seibel Newsom’s smash-hit documentary which explores the effects of the media’s increasingly limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls. Audience members participated in a Q & A after the film moderated by filmmaker and newly elected NL MHA, Gerry Rogers (My Left Breast, Pleasant Street, Ferron:Girl On A Road) and featured special guests: Lynda Boyd, star of CBC’s Republic of Doyle; Newfoundland award winning producer-director Barbara Doran (Random Passage, Still Rowdy After These Years, Hard Rock & Water), formerly of Studio D at the NFB, University of Toronto Professor of Women’s Studies and Cinema Studies Kay Armatage and Natalie Beausoleil, body image expert and Associate Professor of Social Science and Health at MUN.

With so much packed into only one week, it’s inevitable that you will have to make some tough decisions about what to see and do at SJIWFF. However you choose to experience this outstanding festival, you are guaranteed to be inspired by the program, people and the city of St. John’s.

The 23rd St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival will take place October 16 – 20, 2012.

http://www.womensfilmfestival.com/

(As first appeared in Tidings Issue 14, Nov. 28, 2011)

Oct 21 WIFT-AT at SJIWFF: Screening of MISS REPRESENTATION plus panel discussion

wift atlantic sjiwff screening1 Oct 21 WIFT AT at SJIWFF: Screening of MISS REPRESENTATION plus panel discussionJoin us at the St. John’s Women’s Film Festival, where WIFT-Atlantic will proudly present a screening of MISS REPRESENTATION, Jennifer Seibel Newsom’s smash-hit documentary which explores the effects of the media’s increasingly limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls.

Friday, October 21, 2011, 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
LSPU Hall, St. John’s, NL. Click here for Ticket Info.

This special screening will be followed by Occupy the Media! The majority speaks: true stories, strategies and responses to MISS REPRESENTATION, a lively panel discussion featuring special guests:

  • actress Lynda Boyd, star of CBC’s Republic of Doyle;
  • Newfoundland award winning producer-director Barbara Doran (Random Passage, Still Rowdy After These Years, Hard Rock & Water, formerly of Studio D at the NFB);
  •  Natalie Beausoleil, Associate Professor of Social Science and Health at MUN and body image expert;
  • and moderated by filmmaker and newly elected NL MHA, Gerry Rogers (My Left Breast, Pleasant Street, Ferron: Girl On A Road)

WIFT-ATLANTIC invites you all to attend this exciting event, where audience members will be invited to join the conversation. Questions and themes discussed may include:

  • Are images of women in the media getting excessively violent, increasingly demeaning and overly sexualized?
  • Does this contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence?
  • Is the media educating yet another generation that a woman’s primary value lies in her youth, beauty and sexuality?
  • Do you worry about the images your  daughter/children see on TV, films, and magazines?
  • Do you believe the media affects your feelings of power and self worth?
  • What can we do?

For those who can’t attend, we are happy to extend the conversation here on our website. What do you think? Have your say here:

About the film

MISS REPRESENTATION accumulates startling facts and statistics that leave audiences shaken, armed with a new perspective, and asking the question, “What can we do? ”

The film is a major sensation, premiering at Sundance and screening at festivals all over the world to much aplomb. Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, MISS REPRESENTATION exposes how mainstream media contributes to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself.

In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that our young women and men overwhelmingly receive is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader. While women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, the United States is still 90th in the world for women in national legislatures, women hold only 3% of clout positions in mainstream media, and 65% of women and girls have disordered eating behaviors.

Stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists and academics, like Condoleezza Rice, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Margaret Cho, Rosario Dawson and Gloria Steinem build momentum as Miss Representation accumulates startling facts and statistics that will leave the audience shaken and armed with a new perspective.

Writer/Director Jennifer Siebel Newsom interweaves stories from teenage girls with provocative interviews from such powerhouses as Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Lisa Ling, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Rosario Dawson, Dr. Jackson Katz, Dr. Jean Kilbourne, and Gloria Steinem to give us an inside look at the media and its message.

As the most persuasive and pervasive force of communication in our culture, media is educating yet another generation that a woman’s primary value lay in her youth, beauty and sexuality—and not in her capacity as a leader, making it difficult for women to obtain leadership positions and for girls to reach their full potential.

Director/Réalisateur: Jennifer Siebel Newsom
Producer/Producteur: Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Julie Constanzo, Regina Kulik Scully
Country/Pays: USA
Running Time/Durée: 90 min