SJIWFF25 – THURSDAY!

Hello, Internet, today is Thursday, October 16th, and this was my day:

I had the same 11AM-10PM shift at the LSPU Hall, but today that shift had 2 fewer receptions, which was less fun but also far less noisy, and made things like hearing people on the phone much easier to do.

We had a crowd of almost 50 at the lunchtime screening, and there were STILL lunches left over, so I got to eat this delicious cauliflower salad. It had arugula and mushrooms and olives and roasted red peppers. Nom. (I didn’t get to see the films… so I’ll just review the food. OK?)

And then we had an altogether quiet afternoon. It was brilliant. I always had time, if not to answer the phone, then certainly to check the messages. Lovely, really.

I want to dedicate this paragraph to the incredible staff working on this festival. Honestly, in the past 3 days I have seen them all running back and forth, clearly run off their feet but always smiling, always looking to make your life easier. This evening during the 7pm screening they had a powwow about the game plan if the airport shuts down because of hurricanes. Because it’s never easy to run a festival with delegates flown in from elsewhere, especially in Newfoundland, and especially in win-

Autumn. Especially in autumn.

The point is that I am impressed and delighted by how hard-working and pleasant all of these women are, even without sleep and in stressful situations. Well done to all of them.

Like yesterday, the only time I was able to see a screening myself was the final screening of the day at the Hall – the sold out screening of Jordan Canning and Steve Cochrane’s We Were Wolves, which you can read about here.

There is a saying that there are only two stories in the world: 1) our hero goes on a journey; and 2) a stranger walks into town. If the films I have seen so far throughout SJIWFF25 are to be categorized this way, I’d say that Cast No Shadow is type 1, and October Gale is type 2. But We Were Wolves is both: one type for each of the protagonists. Danny (Cochrane) is on a journey through the life of his kid brother Nick (Peter Mooney), and for Nick, a stranger walks into his world and starts kicking up dust.

This is a theme throughout the film: that the two brothers, in Nick’s words, remember their childhoods differently, that the characters in their shared history take on different roles in each of their stories, that they don’t agree on the details of things that happened to both of them, or in their family. Danny is so out of place in Nick’s world that he seems over-the-top, too big to be true… but we need that introduction to make sense of the rest.

Lynda Boyd rounds out the primary cast as Kathleen, the divorcee from across the lake who acts as catalyst for the telling of stories, the surfacing of buried arguments, and the chance for the brothers to finally uncover each others’ secrets. Boyd’s skill shines through this role, and if I could ask one thing of this film, it would be for more of her story in their three interconnected lives.

Of the screenings I’ve seen so far, We Were Wolves is my favourite. It’s beautifully shot on a teeny budget. The writing is gorgeous. The characters have fathoms of depth. I literally both laughed and cried. Bravo to the team, and my best wishes for a run in cinemas: more people need to see this one.