Lights, camera, action, in person! The St. John’s International Film Festival launches its 33rd edition

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The 33rd edition of the St. John’s International Film Festival, which runs from Wednesday to Sunday, will screen 43 films. (SJIWFF)

Get your popcorn ready, because the 33rd St. John’s International Film Festival kicks off on Wednesday.

Canada’s longest running women’s film festival has promoted the work of filmmakers from Newfoundland and Labrador and around the world since 1989. A total of 43 films are part of this year’s festival.

“We really want to uplift people locally and give them that international as well as local exposure. And also provide some awareness,” the festival’s acting general manager, Meghan Hollett, told CBC News on Tuesday.

The festival kicks off on Wednesday with a screening of Chandler Levack’s I like movies at the Cineplex Theater in the Avalon Mall. Other films and shorts will be screened in person or on demand during the five days of the festival.

Wednesday will mark the festival’s first in-person screenings since the COVID-19 pandemic began, which Hollett says will help the films shine artistically.

Dark-haired boy in a red t-shirt sitting at an outdoor table about to take a bite out of a piece of fried chicken.
The festival will kick off with the screening of I Like Movies, Chandler Levack’s feature debut. The film stars Isaiah Lehtinen, seen here. The opening night screening takes place at the Cineplex Theater at 7 p.m. Wednesday night. (Courtesy of SJIWFF)

“There’s something special about being among people you just can’t recreate when you’re behind a screen,” Hollett said Tuesday.

“Having that chance to chat with people, get your ideas across to people and just check in and see how things are going is so important.”

Other festival events include the Film Industry Forum, the largest industry event in Newfoundland and Labrador, networking events, pitch sessions and the CBC Spotlight on Local Shorts.

CBC’s signature shorts will be available online throughout the festival and will also be shown in two screenings at LSPU Hall in St. John’s. The event will be moderated by Krissy Holmes, host of CBC’s St. John’s morning show.

Learn more about CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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