The St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival (SJIWFF) officially kicks off on October 16 with a diverse range of screenings from local, national and international filmmakers, as well as workshops, panels, pitch sessions and networking opportunities with industry leaders. For the past three decades, the event has been shining the spotlight on female filmmakers and the province as a whole, and has helped propel many a career in the industry. Considering its impact and reputation, it’s easy to see why it made USA Today’s list of the 10 best film festivals worth travelling for.
This year, the SJIWFF team decided they wanted to brew up something big to ring in the festival’s 30th anniversary, so they teamed up with Quidi Vidi Brewing Co. to release a signature beer in honour of the occasion – “Director’s Cut,” a blood orange tangerine sour. But it’s not just the brew that’s special. The artwork on the cans was created by 30 different female artists from across Newfoundland and Labrador (chosen with help from Eastern Edge Gallery) – making it not only an homage to the SJIWFF’s milestone year, but a tip of the hat to the array of talented artists who call this place home. (Click here to meet the artists.)
“We’re really happy with how they turned out. It was a very fun project. It was great,” says Justin Fong, Sales and Marketing Director at Quidi Vidi Brewery.
“I think it’s done a pretty good job of picking up some attention, so hopefully that’ll translate into more people at the film fest, and just a higher profile.”
The brewery has been sponsoring the SJIWFF for a number of years and last year, they brewed a small batch beer for the event. This year’s brew, Fong says, is available at Quidi Vidi Brewery and NLC locations across the province, as well as most Orangestores and Marie’s Mini Marts and should be in stock for approximately a month (depending on sales). Since they’re bound to be a popular seller, the brewery is also giving each artist two dozen cans with their own artwork.
The beer was officially launched at Quidi Vidi Brewery on October 2, with 17 of the artists in attendance. While 30 artists were chosen to mark the festival’s 30th year, Andrya Duff, Communications Coordinator with the SJIWFF, says they received over double that amount in submissions.
“When we first thought of this initiative, we really wanted 30 for the 30. And then there was some concern of are we going to get enough people…and also given that when we put the call out, there was only a week turnaround…and then we were in a position where we actually had to choose and curate the cans, because we got so many submissions,” she says.
Creative communications agency Perfect Day designed the label template, making this brew a truly local collaborative effort. Duff says the initiative offers the chance to celebrate women artists in new ways through the festival.
“We think that the cans are sort of a representation of just how much work is happening here, and all the different kinds of work that’s happening here. And then to have artists at different stages of their career and different stages of their practice in a collection together was another thing that was really exciting for us.”