A still from Adam Perry’s feature film A Small Fortune

Charlottetown Film Fest

Screenings shine a light on PEI films and filmmakers

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The 7th Annual Charlottetown Film Festival (ChFF21)—the little film festival of big dreams—will once again take place at City Cinema, PEI’s only independent cinema, October 22–24.

New Festival director Mary-Helen McLeese and ChFF21 will shine a spotlight on the growth of the Island’s film sector—thanks to the FilmPEI Production Fund which has created more opportunities for Island stories to be filmed locally, allowing PEI’s creative voices and unique landscapes to be shared with the world. Like last year, ChFF21 will have both in-person and virtual events.

ChFF21’s opening night on October 22 will be a celebration of works by Island filmmakers, highlighting music videos and shorts including Justin O’Hanley’s The Wraith of Rustico Vale and Kelly Caseley’s Sorry, Mommy—both Film4Ward Incubator Program recipients. Feature film, A Small Fortune by Adam Perry, will anchor the evening. Perry’s film is making its Island debut after premiering at FIN Atlantic in September.

Ticket holders will be treated to an day of documentary screenings on October 23. Short docs include Alan Lau’s Here We Stay, which follows immigrants who chose Atlantic Canada as their home, and Jeff Eager’s PEI Climate Stories, which follows a shepherd in South Melville, PEI. October 24 brings dramas and comedies.

Other films from the Atlantic region cover topics such as the pandemic challenges, transgender impacts on family, using creativity to address serious health issues, and how surfing has come to North Preston, Nova Scotia.

Seventeen out of the 40 filmmakers who will be featured at ChFF21 are from PEI, and they range from young up-and-comers William Wright (Rat Race) and Logan Fulford (Yeti), to established filmmakers Millefiore Clarkes (The Last Renaissance Man), and Susan Rodgers (Then Sings My Soul).

“We are excited to showcase an Island-rich film festival where half of the festival is made of filmmakers from PEI and 45 percent are made up of female directors,” says McLeese. “Since we began this festival in 2015 we’ve been steadily increasing the amount of local films submitted. We are hoping to see more off-Island attendees and with a ScreenWriters Bootcamp ‘industry day’ being held at the Haviland Club the day before the festival [October 21], we hope this creates another reason to attend the festival.”

Tickets go on sale October 1 at charlottetownfilmfest.com with virtual weekend passes and in person options.