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We’re thrilled that the 5th annual Charlottetown Film Festival will be presented at City Cinema in Charlottetown from October 25th to 27th, 2019. For years City Cinema has been the epicentre of indie films and documentaries. Conveniently located in downtown Charlottetown, City Cinema is the heart of it all at 64 King St.

Our “little film festival of big dreams”, AKA the 4th Annual CharlottetownFilm Festival, ran from Friday evening Oct 12th to late Sunday, Oct 14th at City Cinema, and not only saw many big dreams come true but exceeded the expectations of Festival director Cheryl Wagner. Working with the theme: Life is a Balancing Act, ChFF 18 showcased over 60 films from Atlantic Canada.

The works of PEI’s talented and dedicated filmmakers were stand-outs. 

“Our all-Island Opening Night sold out in a flash” reports Cheryl Wagner.  “Folks had been anticipating both THE SONG AND THE SORROW: Dedicated to the Memory and Music of Gene MacLellan – the stunning NFB documentary by Mille Clarkes featuring Catherine MacLellan AND Jeremy Larter’s first feature film POGEY BEACH, a testimony to believing in your vision AND your crowd-funding community. Hooray Telefilm Atlantic appreciated Jeremy’s tenacity and provided the last piece needed to complete it.” 

Opening Night was indeed special – with both the Premier Wade Maclaughlin and Chief Brian Francis, PEI’s new Senator, offering words of encouragement and pride.

The following two days saw a terrific variety of feature films, documentaries, short films and animation including the SEEING IS BELIEVING screening showcasing works by emerging Island filmmakers, some still in high school. The future of screen-based storytelling has become very exciting and fertile –  especially with the recent provincial support for Film PEI. 

Sunday’s FREE FAMILY EVENT, a ChFF tradition,  was presented by The City of Charlottetown.  Three episodes of ECKHART, the award-winning animated series about the adventures of a curious little mouse set in a rustic PEI from the past, produced by Charlottetown’s own Cellar Door Productions, delighted kids and their caregivers.  

Wagner adds “I think it is so important for young children to see their own world up on the big screen. It is such a feel-good empowering experience for people big and small. ”

ChFF18 offered adults much to choose from too.  CBC presented two screenings of ATLANTIC SHORTS: What’s a Girl To Do?   and  RelationSHIPS? Bon Voyage including stories of the intricacies of LGBT partnering. 

The 4th Annual Charlottetown Film Festival wrapped up with two award-winning feature films from Atlantic Canada on Sunday night. 

Newfoundland and Labrador’s Deanne Foley’s AN AUDIENCE OF CHAIRS, winner of Best Director, Best Feature Film, Best Screenwriting and Original Score at FIN 2018: the Atlantic International Film Festival explored finding a life of balance for a mother dealing with bi-polar challenges.  Nova Scotia’s Cory Bowles’ startling BLACK COP that has won a slew of awards across Canada including the Vancouver Film Critics Circle and the Canadian Screen Awards completed the weekend.

And we thought the Festival was over!

The strong demand by Islanders to see the opening night presentation SONGS. SORROW. CELEBRATION!  brought about two encore screenings. The Tuesday City Cinema screening quickly sold out. At the Indian River Festival on Friday, October 19th people happily huddled under blankets but were warmed by hot chocolate and songs from the incomparable Catherine MacLellan accompanying the award-winning  “The Song and the Sorrow; Dedicated to the Music and Memory of Gene MacLellan”. Unforgettable.

Some other highlights from the 2018 Charlottetown Film Festival include:

  • those lively receptions for film fans and filmmakers just across the street at The Merchantman’s NEXT DOOR – now a tradition. 
  •  with the support of Moncton’s French Consulate, welcoming a film AND the filmmaker from St. Pierre et Miquelon, – a first.
  •  and at last . . achieving GENDER PARITY in the ‘director’s ‘department! That’s a BIG dream come true for our little film festival.  

Cheryl Wagner

Festival Director

Mary-Helen McLeese

Technical Director