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Going Virtual with the SJIWFF

by Celtx

The 31st annual St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival launches TODAY! They’re pleased to make their programmed films available to audiences Canada-wide for the first time ever.

You can buy tickets to watch virtually, from anywhere in Canada. The best part is that you can skip the lineups and set your own schedule. Watch what you what, when you want; made by women, for everyone, from anywhere!

Check out the festival lineup here.

The highly anticipated local feature film Little Orphans is this year’s ExxonMobil Opening Night film selection. This is the first feature for both director Ruth Lawrence and writer Emily Bridger, who also stars in the film along with Marthe Bernard (Republic of Doyle) and Rhiannon Morgan (Black Conflux). Celtx is proud to present Emily Bridger with a 1-year subscription to the Celtx Studio, in celebration of her first feature film!

Boasting a cast and crew of over 50% women and shot in St. John’s, Little Orphans tells the story of three sisters who come home for a wedding – and subsequently become entangled in a complicated web of family secrets.

The SJIWFF has expanded their virtual Film Industry Forum to welcome over 40 guests in 19 pre-recorded sessions, that viewers can watch worldwide on their own schedules through their YouTube Channel. And this year, it’s 100% free.

The Film Industry Forum is an amazing resource, where you can learn more about scriptwriting, filmmaking, diversity in film, and so much more. Whether you’re an industry expert, or just starting your creative journey – there’s something here for you.

Here’s some SJIWFF Forum events that we’re really excited about:


The New Paradigm of Filmmaking: The industry has experienced significant shifts over the last year, leaving us unsure of filmmaking’s new pragmatics here in Canada. Business models and audience consumption has changed considerably, leaving us wondering how we create new content and share our stories. Joining us for this conversation is Gosia Kamela (Bell Media), Lori McCurdy (Telefilm, Atlantic), Mehernez Lentin (CBC Films), Justin Robelo (Vortex Media), and producer Coral Aiken (Aiken Heart Films) as moderator.

Storytelling Through Animation: Animation is an increasingly important multimedia application for storytelling in the film and television landscape. Catherine Lepage (The Great Malaise), local director Jordan Canning (4 North A) and Robin McKenna (Thanadoula) join moderator Maral Mohammadian (National Film Board) to discuss their process and why they wanted to create new works in this medium.

Representation Matters: Meet some of the leading cultural organizations and artists advocating for meaningful representation of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour in Canada’s film industry.

Queer Film is Essential: Queer cinema and the 2SLGBTQ+ festival landscape has seen vast changes over the past 30 years. To discuss this new era of collaboration and creation, and the role of queer film festivals in supporting their filmmakers, we welcome Andria Wilson (Inside Out, Toronto and Co-Chair, North American Queer Festival Alliance), Bears Rebecca Fonté (Other Worlds Film Festival, Austin), Opal H. Bennett (DOC NYC), Paul Struthers (Frameline, San Francisco), and queer filmmaker Fawzia Mirza.

Accessibility in Filmmaking: Are you interested in making your media available to the widest audience possible? From closed and open captions and described sound, to inclusive screenings, learn how to ensure your production is accessible from inception right through to the finished product. Leading this conversation we welcome Jo-Jo Ellison (Archer’s Mark), Liviya Mendelsohn (ReelAbilities Toronto Film Festival), Rebecca Singh (Superior Description) and moderator Kathy Hawkins (InclusionNL).


We hope you take advantage of all of these amazing films and forum events being free and accessible – across Canada and around the world. If you’re looking for more info about the SJIWFF and their events, head to the St. John’s International Film Festival website here; there’s lots to discover!

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