Film 4Ward Films Debut at FIN 2019

Film4Ward Films Premiere at FIN – Atlantic International Film Festival

Four short films funded by FilmPEI’s new film fund, Film 4Ward, are premiering at the 2019 FIN Atlantic International Film Festival in Halifax this September.  They will then go on to screen at other festivals including the PEI premiere at the Charlottetown Film Festival in October. The four films are: Hot or Not (Director – Ryan McCarvill, Producer – Matt Sherman),  SunnySide (Director – Jenna MacMillan, Producer – Bryde MacLean), Furball (Director – Jason Rogerson, Producer – Harmony Wagner), and Solastalgia (Director – Millefiore Clarkes, Producer – Emma Fugate).

Furball and Hot or Not screen in the Atlantic Shorts program on Sunday Sept 15th and Thursday Sept 19th. Solastalgia and SunnySide screen as part of the Atlantic Shorts Gala on Wednesday September 18th.

 The main goals of the Film4Ward program, which include workshops, mentorship and on-set training, are to build capacity in the film industry on PEI and fund projects that can lift local producers and directors to the next level of their creative careers.

Renee Laprise, ED of FilmPEI says “FilmPEI is extremely excited to share the Film 4Ward films with the world. All of the teams delivered films of high production value and quality storytelling. Film trainees have continued to work on films throughout the summer and there has certainly been a boost in local production.”

Film 4Ward 2019/20 will be very similar in structure to the first year and will launch in September with a submission deadline of November 18th, 2019. 

Film 4Ward is funded by the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, through Innovation PEI and the Culture Action Plan, with additional funding provided by Telefilm Canada and CBC, and led by FilmPEI.

A little bit about the four films:


Bats, a worker at a group home, is tasked with bringing Laura, a hardened teenager, to SunnySide, a facility that deals with tough cases, after Laura hurt a girl at the group home. Along the way, as Bats’ marriage falls apart, and Laura attempts to escape, the two come to understand personal and revelatory details about each other’s lives.

Director Jenna MacMillan says of the production “Our team brought all of their resourcefulness, curiosity, and creativity to set each day and together we told a story that is completely unique to the team that assembled to make it.”


When self-centred feline, Furball, faces losing his owner’s attention, he takes matters into his own paws and learns that, while relationships may change, the love remains, no matter what the species. Furball’s American premiere happens at the New York Cat Film Festival on November 3rd.


Jake and Hayley navigate the struggles of dating in a small Canadian city. Despite failure after failure, they lean on each other as they continue their doomed search for love.

Producer Matt Sherman found the Film4Ward program worked well to build film community: “Shooting Hot or Not was a great experience because there was a really good mix of seasoned pros and new faces on set.”


Solastalgia is a lyrical, dramatic film that explores the anguish that climate change and a global state of uncertainty can impart upon the human psyche. When the panic over global crises threatens to engulf her, Ava embarks on a vision-quest to put things in perspective.


FilmPEI back to regular hours!

With our renos almost completed, we are ready to get back to our regular hours! So drop in weekdays 9 to 5  and see what we’ve been up to!

Also NEW extended TECH hours! Thomas will now be in from 9 to 5 on Mondays and Fridays. And he’s in from 9 to 2pm on Tues, Wed and Thurs.

Film 4Ward 2018 Winners Announced

Film 4Ward Program Winners Announced – $80,000 in funding distributed to Island Filmmakers

Minister of Economic Development and Tourism Chris Palmer (fourth from left) today joined Film PEI Executive Director Renee Laprise (fifth from left) to announce the recipients of Film 4Ward funding for 2018. The successful applicants include (from left to right) Millefiore Clarkes (and her son Henry), Emma Fugate, Harmony Wagner, Jason Rogerson, John Ross Fitzpatrick, Matt Sherman and Ryan McCarvill. Full details of the Film 4Ward funding can be found at . Missing from photo are recipients Jenna MacMillan and Jason Arsenault.

The Film 4Ward Program is pleased to announce the selected projects of its 2018 competition.

The Emerging selection is:

“Hot or Not” – Matt Sherman (producer), Ryan McCarvill (director), Katie Mac/ John-Ross Fitzpatrick (writers).

Logline – Hayley and Jake are best friends stumbling through modern dating, with endless hook-up options and very little hope for real love.

This team has been developing a script for a web series version of this project in the PEI Screenwriters’ Bootcamp and this past year their pitch won the Audience Choice Award in the ‘Pitch for Your Life’ competition.

The Mid-Career selections are:

‘Song of Forgiveness and Farewell’ – Emma Fugate (producer), Millefiore Clarkes (director), Millefiore Clarkes/Tanya Davis (writers)

Logline – When the panic over global crisis threatens to engulf her, Ava embarks on a vision-quest to put things in perspective.

Millefiore Clarkes is an award-winning filmmaker who’s most recent NFB documentary ‘The Song and the Sorrow’ is currently on the festival circuit. Emma Fugate is very active in the PEI film industry and will be adding producing to her repertoire of talents.

‘Furball’ – Harmony Wagner (producer), Jason Rogerson (director,writer)

Logline – Some sages have beards. Other have whiskers. Furball follows a day in the life of a cat as he reflects on the current state of the world, offers advice on how to best survive it, and reminds us about what’s truly important – love and respect.

This team has been the creative force behind several short films including Queen of the Crows and have two feature films under their belts, Kooperman and Singing to Myself.

‘The Weekend’ – Jason Arsenault (producer), Jenna MacMillan (director), Blaine Watters (writer)

Logline – After a group home is evacuated for repairs to a gas leak, a young social worker in a failing marriage is forced to take the most troubled kid in care with her on a much needed “couples getaway” with her husband.

The creative team of Jason Arsenault and Jenna MacMillan are currently in post-production with their webseries, Wharf Rats, the winner of the Telefilm Micro-budget Production Program Grant, The BellFund Grant and the Independent Production Fund.

Film 4Ward grew out of the PEI Culture Action Plan consultations with local filmmakers who identified the need for content and skill development in order for PEI filmmakers to access national and global film and TV markets. In response to this, the Province of PEI worked collaboratively with FilmPEI and a committee of several filmmakers to develop the Film 4Ward program.

Over the last 6 months FilmPEI hosted more than a dozen skills workshops designed to build capacity in the film and media community. Many of those workshops were also specifically focused on developing applications for the Film 4Ward program. Professionals with national and international success were brought in to teach and give notes on scripts.  Ultimately, the program had fifteen teams apply for funding.

A jury of four film industry professionals, three from off-Island and one from PEI, read through all the applications and deliberated for several hours to come to a consensus on the top four projects. This year the jury chose one emerging project and three mid-career projects. The emerging team will be working directly with the Film 4Ward committee to ensure the team is properly trained and mentored.  The mid-career winners will be working with the committee to build action plans that will engage PEI crew participate in on-the-job training on these projects.

“Our province’s film community is growing, not only in size, but in the experience and capabilities it possesses,” Economic Development and Tourism Minister Chris Palmer said. “The funding awarded today will give Island filmmakers even greater opportunity to hone their craft and bring their stories to life. I offer sincere congratulations to all the winners.”

The Film 4Ward committee is pleased with the number and quality of applicants who submitted to the program and encourage everyone to continue to develop their projects and skills in the upcoming workshops. “We have a lot of talent on this mighty island and we are excited to give creative teams the resources and training they need in order to create calling card films to forward their creative careers on a national and international stage”, notes Renee Laprise, Executive Director of Film PEI.

The Film 4Ward program is funded by Innovation PEI through the PEI Culture Action Plan, with additional funding provided by Telefilm Canada and CBC, and led by FilmPEI.


FilmPEI selects a new Technical Coordinator

FilmPEI would, firstly, like to thank our current Technical Coordinator Alexander Cairns for being so amazing and helping us through our huge transition. Alex came on as a student hire and delivered skill, knowledge and leadership well beyond what we could have ever hoped for. We are in such great shape as an organization in large part because of Alex’s problem solving skills and love for technology/filmmaking. He will definitely be missed by the staff here and by the membership but happily he’ll still continue to be an active member of FilmPEI!

Alex is handing over the reigns to well-respected member of the tech community, Thomas Mears. Thomas has more than a decade of experience working in the pro audio department at Long & McQuade Musical Instruments.  He enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, photography, and repairing vintage electronics.  Over the coming years he’s looking forward to growing with the film industry on PEI.

Thomas has spent some time with Alex to learn the system and find out what we have. He is a quick learner and will adapt to the position quickly. We are super excited to welcome him to team FilmPEI starting Tues, September 4th.

From Monday to Friday tech hours will now be switching to 9 to 2 and director hours will be from 10am to 5pm. Equipment will be able to be picked up and dropped off anytime between 9 and 5 but for specialty tech information and problem solving you can speak to Thomas from 9 to 2 daily during the week.

We hope you’ll support us during this transition and welcome Thomas to the FilmPEI family!


Province takes ‘action’ to grow film industry

The Province of PEI has made a huge announcement today that will affect the future of filmmaking on PEI.

From the Province’s press release:

Prince Edward Island’s independent filmmakers now have more support to help them produce quality content and grow the industry.

The provincial government has launched two new film initiatives – the Film Media Fund and Film 4Ward program. They are funded by $350,000 from the Department of Economic Development and Tourism.

“Government understands the significant impact that film and television makes to Prince Edward Island’s economy and cultural identity,” Economic Development and Tourism Minister Chris Palmer said. “One of the reasons we are the Mighty Island is that even though we are small, we surprise people with what we accomplish – including the volume and quality of film and TV produced here.

“By providing this steady and accessible funding,” he said, “we can continue to promote and grow our film industry and show what makes us the Mighty Island.”

The Film Media Fund, led by Innovation PEI, will support the development, growth and sustainability of homegrown, independent film in the private-sector film and television industry. In addition, the Film 4Ward program — led by FilmPEI — will support the film and television production sector by offering training opportunities through workshops, job shadowing, hands-on experience with production financing.

A key item from the provincial government’s Culture Action Plan was to initiate local film initiatives that support independent Island film and filmmakers. The action plan will see over $1.45 million invested to support cultural industries in government’s balanced 2018-2019 operating budget.

“A successful film and television industry benefits all Islanders by bringing investments, well-paying jobs, economic activity in multiple sectors, and ultimately allows us to showcase PEI to the world,” said Emma Fugate, president of the Film PEI board of directors. “The Film Media Fund triggers off-Island investments from broadcasters and federal funders to fund PEI produced projects, putting us on a more equal footing with the rest of Canada, while the Film 4Ward is going to give our emerging talent the opportunity to train with experienced professionals and create short films that can be the catalyst to successful careers. ”

To learn more about the Film Media Fund visit

FilmPEI will be releasing the guidelines and deadline for the Film 4Ward program by the end of July. Stay tuned!

Provincial Media contact:
Hillary MacDonald

FilmPEI contact: Renee Laprise

Masterclass in Cinematography with Becky Parsons

Becky Parsons is an award winning cinematographer (Rhonda’s Party) and fine art photographer (Kodak Achievement Award). A graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, now with 18 years experience in the photographic and motion picture arts, Becky is based in Nova Scotia and England. Becky is director of photography and/or camera operator on a number of productions including the Bruce McDonald feature film ‘Weirdos’, nominated for six Canadian Screen Awards 2017. Becky was most recently named Rising Star of 2017 by American Cinematographer Magazine (

A cinematographer is responsible for all the visual elements of a film. In this masterclass you will learn the nitty gritty of how story is told with composition and movement, light and shadow, and colour. You’ll also learn best practices, set etiquette and how to break into the business. And of course the technical aspects like frame rate, lenses, lighting situations, getting into tight spaces, and what a cinematographer’s role can be in post production.

Date: Wednesday June 27th

Time: 10am to 4pm (bring a lunch or head out for a bite from 11:30 to 12:30)

Location: FilmPEI

FilmPEI is open to a pay what you can scenario but we encourage people to pay at least something to help help with the costs of running the organization. Please contact to discuss further or choose a donation ticket and pay what you can that way.


You can buy full price and pay what you can tickets on the eventbrite site or email

PEI Film Industry Events




It’s that time for PEI Screenwriters’ Bootcamp and there are tons of events for the general public. All Bootcamp events are happening at the Haviland Club and some require tickets so please make sure to click on the links to find out all the information .

Tuesday, May 22 (at the Haviland Club)
7pm – Schmooze at the Seafood Extravaganza

Wed, May 23 (at the Haviland Club and open to the public)
10am Panel on funding programs with Bell Media/Bell Fund, CBC, and IPFrepresentatives – Tom Shoebridge, Moderator
11am Presentation by Shelley Quade on programs on offer at the National Screen Institute
12pm LUNCHEON and CONVERSATION – A fireside chat with Gretha Rose, Erin Cardiff, and Sharon Buckingham on agents, options and licences – bring your lunch or purchase a ticket for the catered lunch.
2pmPitch For Your Life – Juried pitches by Road to Production participants. The jury will decide the winner which will be announced at Show Canada Audience choice wins a prize. And the final winner of a $15,000 production fund to produce their proof of concept will be decided by the jury and announced at the June 4th Show Canada panel.

Thurs, May 24
10am to 4pm DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION FORUM (at the Haviland Club)
Two presentations by international experts on various ways to distribute your work and how to get that work seen.  Free but tickets required.

MUSIC PEI CANADIAN SONG CONFERENCE is happening this week with invitations for FilmPEI members to the following events. Please contact to book a seat. And you can register for the conference here. 

Thurs, May 24
9:30 to 12pm Listening Session  – a variety of artists presenting a song or 2 each from their catalogues to pitch to the delegates. They get to play the recorded songs on the PA at the Guild (not live performance).

6pm to 7pm – Music and Film Sync Challenge music supervisors select from 12 songs to demonstrate how music can affect a scene.  They will be working with the short film ‘Holiday Shopping’ by FilmPEI member Aum.(Charlottetown Fire Hall – 89 Kent St.)

Fri, May 25
9:30am to 12pm – Canada Song Writing Challenge Showcase – 6 artists from other provinces have worked with PEI artists to write and record 2 songs. There have been some amazing songs created over the past few years for this project. Teams will play the recordings and pitch them to music supervisors. (Guild)

Mon, June 4

Moderated by Duncan McIntosh and the panelists will include,
• Robert Cousins, Vice President, Film, Cineplex Entertainment
• Jennifer Kolber, Vice President, Sales, Entertainment One
• Claire Peace-McConnell, Head of Publicity, VVS Films
• Gary Faber, President, ERm Research

The winner of the Road to Production $15,000 Pitch For Your Life prize will be announced at this event.

Tickets required to be claimed by June 3rd.   Located at the Delta.

Governments support new infrastructure and equipment upgrades for FilmPEI


MP Sean Casey, Minister Jordan Brown, Emma Fugate, Minister Chris Palmer, and Renee Laprise

A vibrant and professional film community creates opportunity for skilled workers from many disciplines, supports local businesses, and builds on existing tourism and cultural assets in the region. That is why the Government of Canada and the Province of PEI are investing in training and growth in the PEI film industry.

Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency( (ACOA), together with the Honourable Chris Palmer, provincial Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, today announced support for FilmPEI to strengthen a key resource for the province’s film industry.

The Government of Canada, through Innovative Communities Fund (ICF) , is providing a non-repayable contribution of $118,250 to support infrastructure upgrades and equipment acquisition for the industry hub. The Government of Prince Edward Island is leasing space to the organization and, through Innovation PEI and Regional and Rural Development, is providing $66,920 in non-repayable contributions to support the move into the new space.

With a full sound stage, video, animation and sound equipment, as well as post-production resources, the facility will become a central training and production space for PEI filmmakers. It will also act as a venue for workshops and rehearsals, as well as an exhibition space for the wider cultural sector.

This investment builds on commitments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic Provinces to drive economic growth in the region through the Atlantic Growth Strategy. The strategy focuses on building a strong culture of innovation by supporting creative and entrepreneurial people, and investing in state-of-the-art technology. This project also addresses the Atlantic Growth Strategy’s goal to enhance the region’s capacity to develop, deploy and retain a skilled workforce by addressing persistent and emerging labour market needs.


“A strong film industry provides major career support for artists, creators, technicians, and entrepreneurs. Beyond the many skilled workers employed on each shoot, film productions have wide-reaching impacts on a local economy, as businesses and tourism operators serve the needs of the production. A powerful opportunity to tell distinct stories from this region, film is an art form that can travel far beyond our shores.”

  • Sean Casey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Member of Parliament for Charlottetown

“Prince Edward Island’s film community is growing and is benefitting from the boundless enthusiasm and incredible talent of the many Islanders who make up the industry. Film PEI will give these artists better opportunities to tell their stories and the story of our province, and will provide them with access to high quality equipment, technical support and training opportunities to better hone their craft.”

  • Honourable Chris Palmer, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism

“Creativity is becoming the currency of the future and this investment by the federal and provincial governments gives FilmPEI the space and resources to fulfill it’s mandate of supporting creative careers, while building PEI’s creative capital and economy.”

  • Emma Fugate, Board President, FilmPEI

Link to PEI Government Post.