The St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival (SJIWFF) is accepting applications to the 2017 RBC Michelle Jackson Emerging Filmmaker Award (RBC MJ Award) until July 17th 2017. The winner will receive over $26 000 in cash and in-kind services towards making a six-minute short film, as well as mentorship on their project. The winning short will premiere on the closing night of the 29th annual St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival.

The RBC MJ Award was founded in 2010 in memory of local filmmaker and student mentor Michelle Jackson. The annual, peer-juried award recognizes a woman director residing in Newfoundland and Labrador who has not yet directed a feature film.

The award gives a promising director hands-on experience behind the camera and the luxury of being able to consult with an experienced filmmaker through out the entire filmmaking process. Winners end up with a polished short they can roll out when pitching ideas for larger projects.

Past winners of the award have gone on to have exceptionally successful careers in the Canadian film industry. Allison White, who won the award in its inaugural year, is now an accomplished producer of film and television. Her first feature film Cast No Shadow (directed by Christian Sparkes) took home six awards from the 2014 Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax, including Best Feature Film. It went on to screen internationally and was nominated for four Canadian Academy Awards.

Actor and producer, Ruth Lawrence, who won the award the following year, has been an incredible force in the Canadian theatre and film community. In addition to working directly on countless projects, she generously helps many young artists find their feet in the local arts community. In 2012 she won the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council’s Artist of The Year Award. In 2016 she was awarded the YCMA’s St. John’s Women Of Distinction Award for Arts and Culture.

Last year’s winner, Emily Bridger has just finished filming her RBC MJ Award short “Waste It”.  Bridger already had three successful shorts under her belt when she wrote the script for “Waste It.”  She used her experience behind the camera as inspiration for the film, which follows a young woman who tries to understand the evanescence of romance through filmmaking, and ends up causing conflict with her cast and crew. Bridger’s film will premiere at SJIWFF this fall.

Applicants to the 2017 RBC MJ Award must submit a complete six-minute script, along with other materials. For more information on how to apply visit: