FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

St. John’s, Thursday, August 18, 2011— It is with great pleasure that the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival announces Ruth Lawrence as the winner of the second annual RBC Michelle Jackson Emerging Filmmaker Award.

Ruth is an actor/writer/director native of St. Jacques, Fortune Bay who has worked on over 100 original theatre, film and television productions. Her short film and video projects have screened at festivals across Canada, including Sweet Pickle, a short she wrote and performed in, which was chosen for NSI’s Online Film Festival and won two honourable mentions at the Baltimore Women’s Film Festival. Ruth, who was the Executive Director of the Nickel Film Festival and an Artistic Associate at RCA Theatre, is now co-Artistic Director of White Rooster Theatre and she is currently producing and performing in the critically acclaimed show, MonaRita.

“As a friend and colleague of Michelle’s I am sincerely grateful to the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival for bestowing this vital award in her honour,” says Ruth. “With it, I look forward to completing my short film, Two Square Feet.”

The annual RBC Michelle Jackson Emerging Filmmaker Award has been established to support emerging female directors living in Newfoundland and Labrador. It provides services and cash to create a six-minute short film. Ruth’s final film will be premiered at the 23rd Annual St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival to be held in October 2012. The Award’s first recipient, Allison White, will screen her film Decolored on Saturday, October 22, 2011 during this year’s Women’s Film Festival.

Dealing with the loss of local filmmaker Michelle Jackson in early 2008, Noreen Golfman, Chair of the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival, along with the encouragement of the Panting and Jackson families, initiated the Michelle Jackson Emerging Filmmaker Fund. Since its formation, the fund has raised several thousand dollars for the trust and has amassed a number of sponsors for the annual award. The RBC Michelle Jackson Emerging Filmmaker Award commemorates Ms. Jackson’s contribution to young filmmakers and pays tribute to her as an emerging artist.

The Women’s Film Festival sincerely thanks the Award’s generous industry partners who provide over $40,000 in cash and services.  They are: RBC Foundation, CBC Newfoundland and Labrador, PS Atlantic, NIFCO, KODAK Canada Inc., Deluxe Toronto, Don Sinclair and Travellers Canada, Stewart McKelvey, the Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation, the Michelle Jackson Emerging Filmmaker Fund and The Atlantic Film Festival. For more information, please visit ww.womensfilmfestival.com.

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CONTACT:
Kelly Davis, Executive Director, St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival
Phone: 709-754-3141, Fax: 709-754-0049
Email: kelly@womensfilmfestival.com