Waiting around the airport for hours on end to catch a flight is not really anyone’s idea of a good time. Now, thanks to a partnership between the St. John’s International Airport Authority and the renowned St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival (SJIWFF), travellers have something interesting to watch while they wait.
Over the summer, those waiting in the Departures Lounge can check out a variety of short films that were featured during last year’s SJIWFF. The “Films on the Go” screenings are part of the “YYT Entertainment Series,” which sees local performers come to the airport to share their talents with travellers from all over the world – helping expose them to the province’s rich cultural and artistic heritage.
“We are delighted to partner with the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival, to offer entertainment to our passengers and provide a unique experience at our airport, as well as showcase this well-regarded local festival and its ‘Films on the Go’ series,” says Marie Manning, Director of Marketing and Business Development with St. John’s International Airport Authority.
“We are constantly looking for ways to ensure passengers travelling though our airport have an exceptional experience. With the addition of many new services and amenities added as a result of the expanded Departures area in July 2018, this provides one more reason for passengers to arrive at the airport early.”
The partnership, which was brokered through Business & Arts NL, means that even more people will learn of the local festival that USA Today recently named one of the “10 best film festivals worth travelling for.” The SJIWFF is one of the longest running women’s film festivals in the world and will celebrate its 30th anniversary from October 16-20 this year.
“We’re thrilled to say that the screening series has launched and been a big hit so far! We’re already looking at ways to expand it in the future. It’s amazing to work with a business that values artists and wants to share their work with their many guests,” says Jenn Brown, Executive Director of the SJIWFF.
The ‘Films on the Go’ series tours venues across the province and consists of local and international short films from the previous year’s festival. The films at the airport are being screened near Gate 7 in the Departures Lounge and includes one film from the UK and six from Canada (four of which are from this province).
“As per all of SJIWFF’s events, we pay professional screening fees to the artists so that we can screen their work. We’re very proud to be highlighting strong local content and elevating artists from our province through this fantastic exposure,” Brown says.
While the short films will screen until the end of August, Brown says the festival hopes to continue working with the Airport Authority to bring a program of local films going forward.
“We have a rich collection of films we’ve made with youth across Newfoundland and Labrador through our FRAMED filmmaking series which we’d like to share. We think that travellers would love to see youth-made documentary films as a way to learn about life in our rural communities,” she says.
This current partnership with the airport helps give these films new audiences (from here and abroad) that they wouldn’t have access to otherwise, and invaluable exposure for the SJIWFF.
“We hope to welcome these folks and their friends to our festival and future events throughout the year,” Brown says.
“Our top priority is showcasing, celebrating and advancing filmmakers. We have no shortage of filmmakers and storytellers here, so it’s exciting to find new ways to share their work,” she adds.
“We look at the airport partnership as an opportunity to introduce travellers to our local artists and our booming film industry. Hopefully, it will both entertain and inspire new audiences. Local filmmakers need audiences to advance their craft and businesses, so it’s important to foster new film lovers.”