It's shaping up to be another banner year for the St. John's International Women's Film Festival.

Festival organizers said they have received a record-breaking 500 entries this year, 72 of which will be screened during the five-day festival, Oct. 22-26.

After 24 years, the St. John's festival is one of the oldest surviving women's film festivals, and has a growing international reputation.

In an industry where women make up less than 20 per cent of the workforce  the festival continues to be somewhat of an anomaly. 

Chair Noreen Golfman credits being community-based as one of the reasons for the event's continued success.

"I think the community group and the grass roots ... it was small," said Golfman. 

"It didn't come out of an industry model. It was self-directed, very community-based." 

Ruth Lawrence film festival 20130929

Film maker Ruth Lawrence plans on showing her fourth short film at the festival. (CBC)

Film maker Ruth Lawrence will show her fourth short this year.   

Lawrence is currently working on her first feature-length film, and said the festival had a lot to do with that. 

"One week a year for the last 24 years, I'm able to come to the festival, see a whole raft of amazing films, produced and directed by women, and then also be able to take in workshops and the seminars that they put on," said Lawrence. 

"That really gives me a film school experience that's unequalled in my opinion, across Canada." 

Two local feature-length productions will bookend the festival this year.

Opening night will highlight The Grand Seduction, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month. 

Rosemary House's adaptation of author Kevin Major's teen classic, Hold Fast, will close the festival on Oct. 26.