The annual Charlottetown Film Festival (ChFF) operates under the auspices of The Charlottetown Film Society. The event showcases and celebrates remarkable works by filmmakers from PEI and Atlantic Canada. The Festival is typically held in October and most recently showcased 65 regional films over three days.
Since its inception four years ago, Executive Director Cheryl Wagner has brought her extensive experience to organizing this event. She began her career as a performer in both theatre and on screen and her resume includes roles as a puppeteer on both Mr. Dressup and Fraggle Rock, as creator and show runner of The Big Comfy Couch, as well as writer for Gemini Award and Emmy Award-winning television programs.
Wagner noted that “opening night this year featured three Island documentaries which included the popular The Song and the Sorrow. These three wonderful documentaries were all directed by Island women and, in fact, it was an unexpected surprise to realize that there was gender parity among all participating directors in this year’s Festival.”
The Free Family Matinee on Sunday at noon was another favourite aspect of this year’s Festival. Presented by The City of Charlottetown, the matinee featured three Eckhart episodes produced by Charlottetown’s Cellar Door Productions. “Children can follow Eckhart the mouse artwalk around Charlottetown. He is full of curiosity and wonder and who isn’t! I would like to see the Eckhart episodes as a standard so that children on PEI can see their world on the big screen,” said Wagner.
Categories of the films shown included: PEI’s Emerging Filmmakers, Atlantic Shorts, Atlantic Shorts for Grownups, and Doc Here. Winner of the people’s choice award was Prince’s Tale by Nfld director Jamie Miller.
Wagner is currently preparing for the upcoming fifth Festival and says that sponsorship opportunities will be available for each category. She added that “there is now a program available through Film PEI called Film 4Ward and four short films will be made. I am looking forward to our celebrating them at the 5th annual Charlottetown Film Festival!” She is also looking forward to those lively receptions for film fans and filmmakers at The Merchantman’s Next Door, now a tradition.
For information about the Festival as well as sponsorship opportunities, visit charlottetownfilmfest.com. Cheryl Wagner can be contacted directly through the website.