Hello Tidings readers -
Happy June! This will be our final issue before we break for the summer, so I want to thank you all for reading and sharing your wonderful stories with us. Please look for us again in late August or early September, and don’t forget to send us your news and press releases - we want to know what you have going on this summer. Also thank you to all the ladies (and gents) who submitted articles for the newsletter. I couldn’t do this without your support!
- Britany Sparrow, Tidings Editor
ALL ACCESS AWARD – DEADLINE EXTENDED!
We want to award our WIFT-AT members a chance to experience all of the film festivals Atlantic Canada has to offer. But wait, there’s more!
Along with delegate passes to seven festivals, we’re also going to give one worthy female recipient professional development meetings, local accommodations, representatives at each festival to show them around and $1,000 cash!
Ready to take your career to the next level? Apply online today for the All Access Pass Award!
Click HERE for the online application. DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED to Friday, June 15th!
Please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
LOOKING FOR LOVE? Pitch it!
Ruth Lawrence Interviews Angela Antle
Ruth Lawrence: Well Angela, it’s time to turn the tables. As the former host of Weekend Arts Magazine for CBC Radio St. John’s, you’ve often interviewed me. But your career has taken a new direction.
Angela Antle: I think my career path has been going down this road for sometime…obviously, two decades of producing CBC Radio and Television has given me an incredible foundation. Even my work as a visual artist has come into play in helping me create program ideas and collaborate.
I was ‘bitten’ by the program development bug while serving on the CBC’s Network Radio Program Development Committee. That experience gave me the skills and confidence to start pitching my own ideas and ultimately led to the co-creation of Majumder Manor and more recently the TV dating format Looking for Love.
And I may be back to interview you again, Ruth…so consider yourself warned! The CBC has graciously given me a leave to pursue these opportunities and I am so appreciative of their support.
RL: So you and a co-producer just won a pitching contest?
AA: It was hosted by MIPFORMATS in Cannes, a lead-in to MIPTV. My co-producer on Majumder Manor - Stuart Coxe – sent me the contest notification. We’d talked about creating a TV program based on an article I read about online dating. Over a weekend, I locked my office door, ignored my motherly duties, and we honed that pitch. The prize was $33,000 of development money from Warner Brothers International and if chosen as finalists, we’d get to pitch in the Grand Palais at Cannes. I was overjoyed that Looking for Love (L4L) was one of the 6 international concepts selected for the live pitch contest.
The rules stipulated that only one of us was allowed onstage to pitch, and truthfully, I was happy to tweet backstage while Stuart sweated it out. He is an incredibly skilled ‘pitcher’ and even though I wasn’t on stage, it was crucial to have a partner to create the overall pitch. I am grateful to collaborate with Stuart; he’s very creative and a great mentor. Here’s an interview from right after the live event…don’t be fooled…normally I am a lot more talkative! I was pretty floored that we had won.
RL: You look blissful there! Did your producing experience prepare you too?
AA: I’ve been working for two years on Majumder Manor, a docu-soap that will air on the W Network. It’s a 13-episode series following comedian Shaun Majumder’s quest to transform his hometown from a sleepy rural outport to an upscale luxury tourism destination. That led to the pitch because I co-developed and co-produced MM with Stuart Coxe (and Take The Shot Productions of St. John’s).
Stuart and I spent five weeks shooting on the beautiful Baie Verte Peninsula last summer. It was intense and challenging and we learned to rely on and trust each other. Pitching and winning L4L has further solidified that – I hope to create many more programs with Antica Productions.
RL: In retrospect, was anything you learned a help or hindrance?
AA: Ha! The first thing that pops to mind is “ignorance is bliss.” Seriously, if I had known how huge that contest was or how many broadcasters and producers would be in the audience, I might’ve been intimidated. I watched last year’s contest on YouTube…but until you go through it, you can’t know. Frankly, until I attended MIPTV, I was blissfully unaware of how many other people are out there pitching. Aside from the contest, I would advise anyone in TV to attend MIPTV. Fill your schedule with meetings and go there, guns blazing – some of our meetings were 10 minutes, some were 45. But we made it worthwhile, we pitched several projects to international broadcasters.
In terms of advice, find a strong collaborator and look for the opportunities. Most of the TV festivals (Banff, New York Festivals, etc) have pitch contests.
L4L was a strong idea and as long as we created a clear and entertaining pitch, I felt we’d have a good chance. If an idea falls flat, adapt it, and re-pitch. Stuart and I both come from a news and current affairs background which is perfect for unscripted TV formats – our program ideas are generally rooted in facts or current trends – they have a ‘hook’ built in.
RL: What was your main strength as a team?
AA: So many factors helped us win: Stuart knows how to pitch. He was the only presenter who asked the audience a direct question and he has a lot of experience in unscripted programs (Dragon’s Den, Make the Politician Work, Wipeout) so he handled the judge’s questions very well. Because we formulated the idea as an international TV format, it had to be crystal clear and easily understood by an international audience; that made the pitch very strong. Our sizzle, an animation created by Perfect Day of St. John’s (pday.ca), was fabulous.
Watch the animated pitch here. The password is guest1.
RL: Well, you won! What happens next?
AA: A major Canadian broadcaster came up on stage after the win and asked us to submit the format to them. We have and are now waiting to hear if the show will be produced first in Canada. The win opened so many doors at MIPTV; we had producers and broadcasters pitching us and we are following up on those leads.
RL: I mean, what are you up to right now?
AA: I’m an active board member for SJIWFF – I’m watching submissions for the 23rd annual St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival. We are expecting over 500! I am working with our incredible staff to build up the industry event that accompanies the festival. Keep your eyes open for some really exciting guests this year…you may even want to book your flights now for October 16-20, 2012.
RL: Having done it in my interviews with you, I appreciate the final plug! Thanks Angela, I can’t wait to go Looking For Love with you.
The Third Annual Island Media Arts Festival – A Celebration of Atlantic Short Films
by Cheryl Wagner
From May 8-13, Prince Edward Island was a-buzz with independent film makers and film fans as the third annual IMAF opened its doors and turned off the lights, screening over 60 short films from all four Atlantic provinces.
The theme was Diverse Networks - and the variety of topics and styles reflected that with panache. IMAF’s Managing Director Dave Ward offered that this diversity distills into a vibrant regional community. And Curator [and WIFT-AT member] Mille Clarkes was challenged with a tough selection process with over 120 submissions.
“We received so many quality works from across Atlantic Canada that we wished we could have added many more screenings to the roster. It is amazing what so many artists can do, and often with so few resources,” Clarkes said.
There was a strong representation of works by WIFT-Atlantic members, including our own Britany Sparrow’s Gamers: A Love Story. The festival kicked-off with Kristen Santos’ kick-ass music video Cannonball for PEI’s singer-songwriter, bright light Brooke Miller. Next up was the Island’s Jenna MacMillan’s romantic comedy Sweethearts. This opening night show – with screenings in Charlottetown, Summerside and Georgetown – also featured Nova Scotia’s Ashley McKenzie’s award-winning Rhonda’s Party.
Documentary night Where We Are – Docs about Atlantic Canada included the charming In Key Choir from Rothsay’s Gretchen Kelbaugh which introduced us to members of an unforgettable choir of ‘challenged’ adults. This 10-minute film challenged our attitudes. In the Same Boat by Halifax’s Rachel Bower presented us with the surprising parallels between a Newfoundland inshore fisherman and an Alberta cattle rancher as they assess their years of effort and what the future holds. Both filmmakers had made the jaunt across the big bridge and were present to introduce their films which was a real bonus.
Thirteen films were screened at the Experience Experimental night of media art and art docs. And of these films EIGHT were by woman filmmakers. These included Mille Clarkes’ In Between Spaces, a video project that explores the notion of a communal gaze. New Brunswick had a strong presence with films by Louise Bourque, Kamaya Lindquist, E. Hearte, Jessica Arsenault and Leandre Bourgeois.
Comedy Night – Funny HaHa – included the very pointed Ken Fucks Up by Nova Scotia’s own Ruby Boutilier and Sarah Byrne. It was interesting to note that with Renee LaPrise’s Buzz Off only 2 of the 15 comedy shorts screened were by women. It does pose the question – why do we feel more compelled to make experimental/art shorts and shy away from comedy? ‘Friday Night Freak Out’ featured eight shorts of zombies and mythical creatures all by male film makers. Interesting.
The week flew by with panels and screenings that included terrific work from Grade 6 kids in an animation workshop who created remarkable ‘camera-less animation’ by drawing on 16 mm film and making their own music for the score. This was inspiring! Other interesting works by young people included two compelling shorts with strong messages about texting while driving.
The most intriguing panel was the announcement of the MicroBudget Program by Telefilm Directrice Carolle Brabant with Gordon Whittaker. This fund will finance 10 feature films providing experience for short filmmakers as preparation for Low Budget financing. IMAC and the Island Film Factory hosted a reception for the very warm and approachable Mme Brabant who indicated gender-equity is important in the project.
The IMAF Gala on Sunday night was hosted by CBC. The night was a celebration of Ten of PEI’s Best Shorts and FIVE of them were by our WIFT-AT gals here on PEI. Susan Rodger’s extended music video Silence Bloodhound was tender and touching. Fine Tuning by Jenna MacMillan was an accomplished work, showing her great promise fresh out of Ryerson. JoDee Samuleson continues to display her world-class talents as an animator with her very drole A Brief History of Charlottetown. Wrapping up the program was an episode of Periscope Pictures’ BunnyBop!, and songstress Catherine MacLellan shone in Mille’s video of her single Stealin’. The big news of the night was the announcement of the CBC’s 3-2-1 Award of $9K toward the making of a short film. The winner was the very pregnant Harmony Wagner for The Queen of the Crows. We know she will deliver!
To top off the night, Louise Lalonde was surprised to be awarded the WIFT-AT Saulte Award for her contribution to our region’s community in producing the annual PEI Screenwriters’ Bootcamp. This award provides an annual WIFT-AT membership and full registration to the 2013 Women Making Waves event. Congrats Louise!
HerStory – Tara MacDonald
I was working in Calgary, Alberta and getting ready to tell my father that I wanted to go to SAIT for film instead of staying at my brand new, high paying job, when my father passed away unexpectedly in 2006. This moment marked my life as I had to be patient to realize my passion. I had to walk before I could run.
In 2007, I came home to Nova Scotia and registered at a private career college for Digital Filmmaking. Months later, the only reason I was still at the school passed away. His name was Daniel Gaynor and he had such a passion for life and film. He encouraged me to join AFCOOP and I did. This led to a job as a PA on the set of Paper Hearts, a Film 5 Production. With hope in my heart, I left the school and started my own company naming it after my father – Charlie Mac Productions Inc. I took a Production Workshop at the New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-op with Julian Grant. This workshop changed my focus at the school and I knew, in my heart, that I could do this. Hiring people I knew and opening up two offices seemed logical until part of my private investing stepped back and led me to drastically change my work environment. In the first few years Charlie Mac Productions won various awards but lacked major clients. I was forced to start networking and moved the office into a home office. Then, I met Jacqueline Kelly, MBA through LinkedIn and through her I acquired clients plus more investors. Caroline Ruyle joined the team as a Stills Photographer and she recently completed work with award-winning Director Julia Phillips Smith.
Despite facing some obstacles, we’ve succeeded in building a small business. I stayed in the business due to other filmmakers reaching out to lend support and time through the years. We also reached out for professional training at Maine Media Workshops. They not only helped us train for larger clients but also reaffirmed my love of film as producer/writer/director. Whenever I’ve been tired I’m reminded by the greater vision of film – reaching an audience with your story. That is the best moment of my career when you get an email from someone in a different country interested in the films you produce. Also, working with David Kellogg was a real joy in Maine.
Now, I am taking things extremely slow and concentrating what I want my company to look like. A huge help for me was Jac McNeill of Highland Coaching who offered business coaching that provided me with my compass for the direction of the company. I still network but recently moved Charlie Mac Productions Inc. out of small contract work so we can focus on feature film development.
The heat that I received from working through the past few years does not compare to the rewards of production. Never let a bank, accountants, fellow filmmakers and private investors dictate your company’s vision and get in the way of what you want to accomplish. With help from freelancers and new investments in the film community such as Steve Richard’s new studio in Bayers Lake, I know that I will always remain a producer long after the life of my company. I’m inspired by other women that are filmmakers and mostly, my determined Mom. My Mom dragged me as a small child to all sorts of artistic events and I’ve never forgotten the appreciation I gained for the arts community.
Nova Scotia Pulse
32nd Atlantic Film Festival Call for Entries
June 15, 2012 – Final Submission Deadline
Submissions may be fiction, documentary, animation or experimental of any length. Only films completed no more than 18 months prior to the 32nd Atlantic Film Festival will be considered for admission. Preference will be given to submissions that have not been distributed theatrically or broadcast on television in the Atlantic region prior to the 2012 Festival. Entry fee is $30. You can fill out our entry form online at www.withoutabox.com or download the form from our website at www.atlanticfilm.com and mail it in with your entry.
If you have any questions, please contact the Festival:
Toll free: 877.611.4244 T: 902.422.FILM F: 902.422.4006
For more information visit http://www.atlanticfilm.com/sites/default/files/32nd_aff_entryform2.pdf
AFCOOP Filmmaker in Residence 2012 Call for Entries
Deadline: June 11, 2012, 5pm
The AFCOOP Filmmaker in Residence (FIR) program will provide a filmmaker with the resources and guidance to create a completed work with the support and participation of the AFCOOP community.
The Applicant must be an experienced filmmaker and must have created at least three independent film or video works, have previously exhibited at least 3 separate film and/or video works in a professional context, have completed basic film training appropriate to their discipline/filmmaking process, have been practicing for at least four years, not including time training, have been living in Nova Scotia for at least 6 months prior to the application deadline and be a citizen of Canada or a landed immigrant, not be a full time or part time student at any level during the residency, and be able to commit to the project for a period of up to six months.
For its part, AFCOOP will provide services and expenses for the proposed project (up to $4,000 in direct ‘cash’ costs of the project, up to $11,000 in AFCOOP equipment and facility rentals, and staff and organizational support and a supportive community in which to work).
Application form and details available here: http://afcoop.ca/programs-and-training/afcoop-filmmaker-in-residence-2011-call-for-entries/fir-guidelines-and-application-2012-3/
Parrsboro Film Festival 2012
Deadline for submission is September 1, 2012
If you are a film maker in Atlantic Canada, whether professional, student or amateur, we invite you to submit your short films to the 2nd Annual Parrsboro Film Festival. A jury will select films in two categories:
- shorts (more than 5 minutes but no more than 20 minutes) and
- short shorts (no more than 5 minutes)
The audience favourite in each category will receive a certificate of appreciation. Deadline for submission is September 1, 2012. We cannot guarantee that submissions received after September 1 will be eligible for this year’s festival. Our theme is films made recently (within the last 2 -3 years) in Atlantic Canada. Any genre will be considered. There is no submission fee.
Congratulations to Ashley McKenzie, whose short film When You Sleep screened at the Cannes Film Festival as part of their Canada: Not Short on Talent program, featuring 25 short films from directors across the country. The full story can be found here!
NS Pulse is compiled by Chris Pauley. Chris is a composer and the owner/operator of Evil Twin Music. He has been playing music since he was a kid, and writing music for the media for nigh on fifteen years. Check out his work at www.eviltwinmusic.ca, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EvilTwinMusic and on Twitter @EvilTwinMusic.
New Brunswick Pulse
Christine McLean has been key in writing and structuring the upcoming multi-media launch of the new season at the Playhouse in Fredericton, NB. She will also be host of the event on June 19. Christine also recently hosted a province-wide Victoria Day edition of Information Morning on television, radio and online for CBC.
Silver Wave Film Festival now accepting applications
Deadline is September 3, 2012.
The NB Silver Wave Film Festival (SWFF) screens feature films, documentaries and short films shot in the province and produced by New Brunswick filmmakers. It also showcases some of the best film and videos from Canada and around the world. By infusing a warm glow and setting the town abuzz, the Silver Wave Film Festival is a grand celebration of New Brunswick’s growing presence in the world of film and television entertainment.
2012 Silver Wave Film Festival runs from November 8-11, 2012! For application forms and additional information go to www.swfilmfest.com.
Recently, seasoned actor John Dunsworth was in Fredericton, NB to give an advanced acting workshop for 15 lucky actors from across New Brunswick (Jeff Bate Boerop, Leah Warren, Joceline Paczoski, Bunthivy Nou, Carol Ann Hanley, Chris Gairns, Mike Mallaley, Patricia Leger, Danny Thebeau, Tracey Carney, Sheldon Garland, Suzanne Short, Keith Ruttan, Dennis Poirier and Elizabeth Goodyear .
The workshop was co-ordinated by Film Co-op staff Cat LeBlanc and hosted by the New Brunswick Filmmakers’
Skate Proof is a feature length crime/drama film that was made in New Brunswick by Film Co-op member Jesse Anthony. All of the cast and crew consisted of New Brunswickers that were willing to dedicate their free times on weekends in the fall of 2011, the production had the help of the New Brunswick Filmmaker’s Co-operative. The movie is now complete and is available online for streaming and download, as well as a free iPhone/iPad app to download at http://www.skateproofmovie.com.
Due to demand, the New Brunswick Film Co-op will be hosting film workshops in Fredericton in July/August in Directing/Screenwriting/HD Camera and Lighting/Production Management and the AD, Picture Editing and Documentary Filmmaking.
The NBFC Kids and Teen Film Camps are almost filled up and will happen in July.
The NB Short Film Venture Programme has been suspended. An announcement will be made later in the year about any new initiatives being launched.
NS Pulse is compiled by Cathie Leblanc. Cat is the Membership Services Director at the NBFC. She is also a documentary filmmaker and singer/music composer. You can check out her music at: http://www.nbfilmcoop.com/Catinahatmusic/Welcome.html and follow her on Twitter @catinahat.
Prince Edward Island Pulse
Susan Rodgers is currently in production on a new documentary film. The Healing Place is about a remarkable woman’s journey on the quest for healing after a heartbreaking loss, and the two very special places half a world apart she turns to for comfort. Can she find closure in the safe confines of a resilient Japanese village still recovering from nature’s devastating attack on its nation? Or will the healing power of nature in Prince Edward Island’s International Children’s Memorial Place be the source of her renewal?
Harmony Wagner‘s short film VAST screened at the Viewfinders International Film Festival For Youth and was selected for the Nickel Film Festival in Newfoundland. Her upcoming film, The Queen of the Crows won the 2012 CBC 3-2-1 Award at this year’s Island Media Arts Festival.
Mary Helen McLeese, from Stratford, PEI has just had her first film The Invitation debut at the Island Media Arts Festival.
“Nicholas Whalen, who plays the Hero in the film and who I work with regularly, convinced me to make a film to put into the festival. It was conceived, written and filmed within four weeks. With a tiny budget of $400, I was incredibly lucky to have a group of amazing volunteers and actors to help produce the film. I also would not have been able to create this film without use of my sister’s extensive costume collection at BJM Costumes in Saint John as well as hairdresser Anya Zakharenkova’s donated time and expertise to create the amazing hairstyle on Angela Rush, who played the Heroine.”
This period piece set around 1750 was inspired by Les Bergeries, a keyboard piece written in 1717 by François Couperin.
“Doing an historic, silent film for a first attempt was a challenge. I didn’t want to do the typical subtitles to tell the story, so I came up with an idea for it being based around a letter which is read at different points in the story. The storyline is about a daydreaming young servant girl who falls in love with a handsome aristocratic friend of her employer. Believing that he is secretly writing a love letter to her, she steals the letter and confronts him.”
Mary Helen’s next project: “My next short is a modern comedy, but will have fantasy elements as I continue to be inspired by epic costumes and a penchant for TCG’s (trading card games). I look forward to submitting it for the 2013 Island Media Arts Film Festival!”
Millefiore Clarkes‘s short experimental documentary December in Toronto was shortlisted for the 2012 Vimeo Film Festival Awards. Her film will be screened at the festival in NYC where she plans to attend.
Louise Lalonde won the 2012 WIFT-AT Salute Award. This award is given to a PEI woman in the film and media arts sector who has contributed greatly to the community and craft of filmmaking. Louise is best known for her work as the force behind the annual PEI Screenwriter’s Bootcamp (a program of The Island Media Arts Co-op), now entering it’s sixth year.
The PEI Pulse is compiled by Millefiore Clarkes. Millefiore Clarkes is a Producer/Editor/Director with her company One Thousand Flowers Productions. She has been creating documentaries, music videos, web series, and experimental work for a number of years. Check out her work at www.onethousandflowers.tvMillefiore Clareks’ work has been screened at festivals such as The Vimeo Film Festival, The Atlantic Film Festival, and RIDM and she has won the Music Video of the Year Award from MusicPEI as well as the WIFT-AT Salute Award.
by Ruth Lawrence
Janelle Hickey, the new Festival Director of the Nickel Independent Film Festival gives us a sneak peek at the women featured in this year’s program. The 12th Annual Nickel Independent Film Festival is proud to be screening 34% female content this year. Thirteen of the 38 programmed films have been created by females. Out of these thirteen films, four of them are local NL films. Two are Picture Start films – Meters, produced by Paula Gale; and Kathy, written by Emily Bridger and produced by Shannon Lynn Hawes. Decolored, written and directed by Allison White was the 2010 Michelle Jackson award winner. There’s a first-time animated film, Friends, by Tymur Markunin, and filmmaker Jordan Canning brings Oliver Bump’s Birthday, a short she’s written and directed. The Nickel runs June 19-23, 2012 at the LSPU Hall in St. John’s.
NL Pulse is by Ruth Lawrence. Ruth is an actor/writer/filmmaker in St. John’s, NL . Her work has garnered many awards including the Joan Orenstein Best Actress Award, the RBC Michelle Jackson Emerging Filmmaker Award and the 2011 Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council’s Artist of the Year. Check out her work at www.bluepinionfilms.com and www.whiteroostertheatre.com or follow her on Twitter @IamRuthLawrence.
On The Web
Filming unanswerable questions, from Rwanda to Antarctica by Anne Aghion @TEDxESCP
A Blog About Women in Film by Krystyna Hunt
Another reason to love Ingrid Veninger by Sarah Smellie
Cannes sexism debate explodes on eve of festival by Melanie Goodfellow
What’s Happening at WIFT-AT
Women’s Film Club
First Tuesday of the month | St. John’s, NL
June 5 Selection: An Unreasonable Man, co-written/directed/produced by Henriette Mantel.
For more information, email Ruth Lawrence email@example.com.
Reel Talk: Conversations with Women in Film, TV & New Media
Last Friday of the month | Halifax, NS
This month’s guest is Gemini-winning, Call Me Fitz editor Kim McTaggart, Friday, June 29 at 7:00 p.m. Carbon Arc at The Khyber, 1588 Barrington Street, Halifax, NS. WIFT-AT members are FREE, non-WIFT-AT members $6.
WIFT-AT at the Atlantic Film Festival – AGM & Get Together
Sunday, September 16, 2012 | Halifax, NS