The St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival (SJIWFF) has just opened submissions to its 2017 [Interactive] Incubator Project. The Festival is accepting proposals for interactive-media and web-based projects from women in the Atlantic Provinces and Quebec until August 7th at 5:00pm.

Now in entering it’s fourth year, SJIWFF’s [Interactive] Incubator Project supports women who are hoping to launch their first webdoc, interactive documentary, video game, or project that blurs those genres.

This year’s five winners will be flown to St. John’s for SJIWFF’s annual Festival in October where they will have access to all the Festival’s screenings, galas, and VIP events. This gives the winners opportunities to meet with other women filmmakers to discuss the practicalities of bringing their first interactive project to life.

Winners will also be invited to attend the Festival’s carefully curated [Interactive] Film Industry Forum, which runs concurrently with the Festival. The Forum is a diverse program of workshops, panel discussions, and lunch and learn-style events. It typically offers everything from hands-on filmmaking tips to statistic-based analysis of gender inequity in Canada’s film industry.

The Forum highlights the voices of working women filmmakers and interactive content creators. The sessions are usually fairly intimate, presenters talk candidly about the rapidly evolving Canadian film industry and how they navigate it as women.

These are not stiff or stuffy presentations, there’s lots of room for the audience to ask questions and get what they want out of the sessions. The audience is often mostly comprised of women filmmakers at various stages in their careers who are excited to have a chance to bounce ideas off each other between sessions. Attending the Forum is an invaluable experience for emerging filmmakers and content creators, especially for women who are trying to get a project off the ground.

Past [Interactive] Incubator Project winner, Heather MacAulay is quoted on SJIWFF’s website saying, “Over the years I’ve attended other film festivals and many conferences and industry events for other industry sectors. None were as enjoyable and as productive as the SJIWFF/IIP experience. The incubator project is a great model for accelerating the participation of women in this industry.”

At the end of the Festival winners can pitch their project to producers and industry professionals at the Forum’s Face 2 Face Pitch Session. Face 2 Face is usually a speed-dating style event where producers and other organizations have tables in a large room and filmmakers circulate pitching their projects.

Past winners of the [Interactive] Incubator Project have had great success with their projects. Meredith MacNeil (Baroness Von Sketch) and Susan Kent (22 Minutes) inked a deal with VICE Canada to film a trailer for their project Folder of Clues.

Michelle Rex Bailey and local filmmaker Ruth Lawrence are in the process of developing their project Not Written in Stone. Animator Claire Blanchett was chosen to further develop and pitch her animated video game Fawn at the prestigious Rendez-Vous Pro conference in Quebec.

Blanchett is quoted on SJIWFF’s website saying, “The chance to participate was an enormous vote of confidence from this incredible community. I advanced my game a lot from the application, from my preparation to attend through to the amazing exchanges with our insightful group and the brilliant workshops.”