Nfld. & Labrador

Women's film festival lineup features award-winning N.L. filmmaker

A movie that won major awards at the Atlantic International Film Festival is getting a screening in its director's hometown.

Festival opening with Deanne Foley's An Audience of Chairs

An Audience of Chairs is based on the Joan Clark novel of the same name and was directed by Deanne Foley. (The St. John's International Women's Film Festival)

There's a multi-award-winning film on deck to open this year's St. John's International Women's Film Festival, and it was made right here in Newfoundland.

Deanne Foley's An Audience of Chairs stars Canadian actress Carolina Bartczak and is based on Joan's Clark's novel of the same name.

Noreen Golfman welcomes the crowd at the St. John's International Women's Film Festival announcement Thursday. (Bruce Tilley/CBC)

The film was shot in Newfoundland and Sudbury, Ont. Foley is a well-known director from the province, with titles like Relative Happiness and Beat Down under her belt.

It's about a concert pianist whose children are taken away after she has a mental breakdown.

"It's her fight to gain her children back," said Jill Knox-Gosse, who produced the film along with Lynne Wilson.

Jill Knox-Gosse is the producer of An Audience of Chairs. (Bruce Tilley/CBC)

The film picked up four awards at the Atlantic International Film Festival this week, including Best Director and Best Feature.

'A festival fantasy'

Foley also had a hand in the festival's closing night film, Hopeless Romantic. It's an anthology-style feature comedy directed by six different women, four of whom are from the province: Foley, Ruth Lawrence, Martine Blue and Latonia Hartery.

"This is a fabulous experiment, it's kind of a film festival fantasy to have a film like this," said Noreen Golfman, the festival's founder.

Latonia Hartery produced the festival's closing night film, Hopeless Romantic. (Bruce Tilley/CBC)

Hopeless Romantic was written by Newfoundlander Emily Bridger and produced by Hartery. 

At the festival announcement on Thursday, Hartery was also awarded the Michelle Jackson Emerging Filmmaker Award.

Women in film, women in comedy

The entire line-up of films, guests and workshops for this year's festival was announced Thursday.

The program includes feature documentary The Heat: A Kitchen (R)Evolution, which was the opening film at the Toronto documentary film festival Hot Docs this year and Ordinary Days, the latest feature film from Jordan Canning, a Newfoundland film and television director who has worked on The Baroness Von Sketch Show and Saving Hope.

The festival also includes a discussion about women in comedy with Susan Kent of This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

The back of this year's festival T-shirts give an idea of the festival's mission. (Bruce Tilley/CBC)

This is the 29th annual St. John's International Women's Film Festival, which was founded by Noreen Golfman in order to raise the profile of and provide opportunities for women filmmakers. All the movies shown at the festival were written or directed by women. 

This year's St. John's International Women's Film Festival runs from Oct. 17-21.

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