Silver Wave Film Festival celebrates two decades of storytelling with an online 20th-anniversary edition, November 5-12, 2020

(Fredericton, NB) – The Silver Wave Film Festival (SWFF) announced the program for its 2020 online festival today. The festival will use the Eventive Platform to host its virtual event. Featuring 50 films along with other special industry events, the festival will be presented from New Brunswick and accessible virtually throughout Atlantic Canada, November 5-12, 2020. 

The festival was established 20 years ago to showcase New Brunswick filmmakers and bring world-class films to the province. SWFF looks forward to bringing the community together once again to celebrate emerging and established voices, discover award-winning filmmakers and creators, and enjoy innovative experiences.

“As we head toward the next edition of our festival, we have centered our thoughts and plans on the filmmakers and filmgoers who have been so affected by the challenges of the last eight months. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to an innovative 20th-anniversary festival celebrating community and storytelling,” says SWFF festival lead and NB Film Co-op Executive Director, Tony Merzetti.

The online SWFF program includes selections from local, national, and international filmmakers. Viewers have the opportunity to immerse themselves fully and enjoy films from around the world with a strong focus on New Brunswick and Canadian films.

This year’s online Gala Presentations lineup will feature screenings at 7 p.m., almost every night of the festival. Of the festival’s Seven Galas this year, three of them include films from Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. All of the gala films will be available for screening during the festival once they premiere.

The Gala Presentations include new voices, with stories that will captivate. SWFF is proud to present stellar Atlantic Canadian films, including Bone Cage, the feature directorial debut of Nova Scotian filmmaker Taylor Olson, based on the play by Catherine Banks; Little Orphans, the debut feature directed by Newfoundland actor and filmmaker Ruth Lawrence, and Wharf Rats from PEI’s Jason Arsenault. Presented by Telefilm Canada and the Talent Fund, the Gala streaming of these features will take place on Thursday, November 5th, 7 p.m. (Bone Cage), Friday, November 6, 7 p.m. (Little Orphans), and Thursday, November 12, 7 p.m. (Wharf Rats) and will be available for streaming throughout the festival. There will be Q and A’s with the filmmakers following each of their film screenings.

The heartrending documentary The World is Bright (Hot Docs Emerging Canadian Filmmaker Award Winner) by filmmaker Ying Wang follows the quest for justice by parents who have lost their son who died while living in Canada. Ying obtained intimate access to the Dengs’ grief and their challenges, finding answers about their son’s death. Prepare to fall in love with the Dengs – and for your heart to be broken. The film will open on Sunday, November 8th, at 7 p.m., followed by a Q and A with the filmmaker.

British Columbia based filmmaker Karen Lam’s feature film The Curse of Willow Song, will premiere on Monday, November 9th, at 7 p.m. The film is a stylish horror/thriller that stars Valerie Tian as Willow, a young Vancouver woman fresh out of prison and faced with deciding between a challenging and dangerous life on the streets or returning to her dark past and gang life that landed her in jail. Filmmaker Karen Lam will do a Q and A following her screening and will host an ‘In Conversation’ talk at the Silver Wave Industry series on Saturday, November 7th. The film has won multiple awards (Best BC Film Award, 2020, Leo Awards: Best Direction, Best Cinematography)

The documentary Mr. Emancipation is a revelation about an important part of Canadian Black history that is mostly unknown. The filmmaker Preston Chase cashed in some retirement savings to tell the story of his great uncle, Walter Perry. Perry was a transformational visionary for all of Windsor, but mainly its black community. He was the mastermind behind the elaborate Emancipation Day celebrations that, for decades, drew thousands to Jackson Park for a few days each August. His event attracted the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt and Harry Truman, and Perry would become a mentor to a young Martin Luther King. The film opens on Wednesday, November 11th, at 7 p.m. There will be a Q and A with the filmmaker following the screening with moderator Felomena Deogratsias who is a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter – Fredericton Chapter.

Always included in each annual Silver Wave lineup are the popular NB Shorts Screenings. The programs feature 22 short films by a talented group of emerging and seasoned New Brunswick filmmakers. The Canadian and International Shorts line up is an equally impressive showcase of films. Streaming of the NB Shorts and Canadian and International Shorts starts on Thursday, November 5th, at 7 p.m., with access available for the festival’s duration. 

The SWFF Documentaries Program showcases some exceptional Atlantic Canadian talent. Greg Hemmings’ film When You Are Wild follows a day in the life of a rock icon J. Willis Pratt who is virtually unknown outside his home state of Vermont. Jon Fishman of the band Phish took an interest in Pratt and played drums with him and arranged for Pratt’s band to open for Phish to 20,000 people. Francine Hébert’s intimate documentary, Noah, 18 ans, about a transgender teen welcomes us into his world. In Belle-île en Acadie, Phil Comeau’s story follows Acadians from Belle-Ile-en-Mer in France visiting the Maritime provinces to meet their cousins with whom they share a common culture and history. Peter Evanchuck and Helene Lacelle explore poverty, mental illness and, creativity in their soul searching and heartbreaking documentaries POETRYofPAYNE 2020and IN SANE. Meagan Brown asks three generations of firefighters why they do what they do in Fighter. Paul De Decker and Laura Tulk explore the stigma surrounding stuttering and how it contributes to mental health issues in Getting the Words Out while Cori Brownlee gets up close and personal with iconic New Brunswick drag queen Normani in her documentary, Normani: From Dream to Drag. The documentary programs are available for the duration of the festival.

Silver Wave will also bring back its popular industry series virtually on Friday, November 6th, and Saturday, November 7th. Some of the highlights are: actor, writer, and director Bruce Pirrie (The Red Green Show, Second City) will share stories of his years in film and television with host Jimmy MacKinley, Vancouver based Karen Lam (The Curse of Willow Song) will speak about her love for genre films as a woman filmmaker with Atlantic filmmaker Donna Davies, and Anna Silk (Lost Girl, Blood & Treasure) will explore the actor’s perspective with award-winning director and playwright Ilkay Silk. Festivalgoers will learn from Telefilm Canada’s Melanie Hartley and Marie-Claude Giroux about how to have a film discovered internationally and can take a deep dive into the CMF’s web series funding programs administered by Telefilm Canada with host Jill Samson. Long-time sponsor CBC rounds out the industry series with a session on funding opportunities hosted by Stewart Young and Criss Hajek. All industry day sessions will be complimentary and streamed live with limited seats available.

The Silver Wave Awards go online this year with hosts Corena Walby and Ryan (Crash) Barton on Saturday, November 7th, at 7 pm, followed by a virtual party open to festivalgoers, sponsors, and filmmakers to attend. Long-time festival sponsor Women in Film and Television Atlantic (WIFT-AT) will be back with an online Trivia Night Party for WIFT-AT members hosted by award-winning filmmaker and actor Kaitlyn Adair.

Complimentary advance tickets for individual screenings are available TODAY, Friday, October 16th starting at 2 p.m. through Silver Wave’s Eventive site. Go to: and click on the ‘Tickets & Schedule’ link to find the link to the Eventive welcome page.

About Silver Wave Film Festival 
The NB Silver Wave Film Festival (SWFF) screens feature films, documentaries and short films shot in the province and produced by New Brunswick filmmakers. It also showcases some of the best film and videos from Canada and around the world. By infusing a warm glow and setting the town abuzz, the Silver Wave Film Festival is a grand celebration of New Brunswick’s growing presence in the world of film and television entertainment. 


The Festival would not be possible without its major sponsors and supporters: 
Platinum Sponsors: Province of New Brunswick, City of Fredericton, Telefilm Canada, CBC, The Canada Council for the Arts, and the New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-operative.

Gold Sponsors: Don Chapman, East Coast Camera Rentals, Royal Bank of Canada.

Silver Sponsors: Jane LeBlanc Filmmaker Award, Picaroons Brewing Company 

Bronze Sponsors: DGC-Atlantic, Duncan L. MacDonald Chartered Professional Accountant, Charlotte Street Arts Centre, Robert Simmonds Clothing, Soundbud, Hemmings House, Teed Saunders Doyle Chartered Professional Accountants & Advisors, Cinema Politica, WIFT-AT.

Supporters: Stephen Butters, Sophie Lavoie, Maureen LeBlanc, Jan Thompson, Grid City, Matt Carter.

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For more information, contact: 
Cat LeBlanc, Festival Organizer, Silver Wave Film Festival
[email protected]

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