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Newfoundland filmmaker Roger Maunder has launched “The Nickel Independent Film and Video Festival” set for the LSPU Hall in St. John’s, July 17-20, 2002. Frustrated by the lack of venues to screen his own movies, Maunder founded the festival last year as an extra screening opportunity for Newfoundland filmmakers. It proved a hit with filmmakers and audiences alike - the festival's program attracted filmmakers from across Canada and Newfoundland and was sold out each night.

"There's all kinds of people coming and volunteers left, right and centre want to get involved in the festival," Maunder said. "Just having three sold-out nights (last year) shows the support is there." This year is shaping up to be even bigger. While he's accepted submissions all year, Maunder only formally made a call to filmmakers in April. Growth from last year is already apparent based on filmmaker interest. "The reason I started it was so we could support Newfoundland films, so everybody got to have a chance to show their films," he said. "It spread across Canada last year - half were Newfoundland films and half were from other parts of Canada. This year we're getting ones from the U.S. and Europe." Maunder is adding an extra day to this year's festival, a move to accommodate more films and to shorten the evening programs to a more manageable length.

The retrospective film for this year's festival has already been set. Last year was “The Adventures of Faustus Bidgood”. This year will be Gordon Pinsent's “The Rowdy Man”, which celebrated its 30th anniversary 2001. Maunder is delighted to have the film for the festival, though he admits he was a little apprehensive about getting in touch with Pinsent at first. "I called him about 10 times but I kept hanging up before it would ring. I was kinda nervous" Maunder said. "But when I called him up, the second I started talking to him the nervousness went away." In fact, Pinsent accepted an invitation to attend the screening as well as a question and answer session with the audience.

"We're also showing “Waiting For Fidel” by Geoff Stirling and we're showing a Q&A with him after that," Maunder said. "I was playing ping pong with him until 4 a.m. one day and he sent me the film the next day." Maunder is also adding more elements to the festival to broaden its scope still further. In addition to perhaps as many as 30 films to be screened, Maunder has added other workshops and panel sessions. "At the festival this year we're adding a whole new kind of venue. We're having an actors' workshop, a writers' screenplay reading, a directors' workshop with a round table of directors talking about their films," he said. "And like last year, after every third or fourth film we'll have a skit or something. Lisa Moore's going to come out and read from her work and Colleen Power's going to come out and play a song or two."

Maunder is quite happy at the way this second festival is taking shape. "I'm liking it. It’s getting a bit bigger than I expected when I started out," he said. "It’s just into the second year, and its grown significantly in just one year. I can just imagine it five years from now."

For information on the festival visit the Web site: www.thenickel.homestead.com/nickel.html.

All screenings will be at LSPU Hall. Tickets go on sale one week before the festival begins. For information on tickets and screenings call 709-689-1031 or email nickelfestival@hotmail.com

Schedule of Events:
Wednesday, July 17th, 2002 (Opening Night)
"So It Goes" (Adriana Maggs)
"The Grocery Bus" (Linda Fitzpatrick)
"Turning The Page" (Linda Goodyear)
"Swallowed" (Roger Maunder)
"The Rowdyman" (Peter Carter)
Q & A with Gordon Pinsent

Thursday July 18th, 2002
"Pretty Big Dig" (Anne Troake)
"Opening Night" (Julie Trimingham)
"Undertow" (Mary Prendergast)
"The Moment of Accepting Life" (Robert Maclean)
"The Card Game" (Scott McClellan)
"Talk Salo" (Shawn Postoff)
"TV Talk Show Live" (Rhonda Buckly)
"Baking Lessons" (Lisa Porter)
8:30pm-8:45pm: INTERMISSION
"Shine & Rise" (Cameron Straughan)
"The Old Hag" (Jim Maunder)
"Rockin' & Rollin'" (Richard Jack/Daniel Greavs)
"Waiting For Fidel" (Mike Rubbo)
Videotaped Q& A with Geoff Stirling
11:00 pm: Filmmakers Party @ BIANCA'S.

FRIDAY, July 19th, 2002
2:00pm - 4:00pm:
Filmmaker roundtable/Media day.
7:30pm - 8:30pm
"2001 - A Waste Odyssey" (Cameron Starughan)
"The Bargain Shack Bowlers" (Scott McCellan)
"The Tea Party" (Martin Friend)
"Isfahan" (Duncan Robson)
"Parallax" (Peter Hynes)
"Cachet & Catsup" (Shawn Kelly)
"All You Need To Know" (Scott McClellan)
"A Perfectly Good Saturday Afternoon… Ruined" (Cameron Straughan)
"The Master Plan" (Agata De Santos)
"Pick A Color" (Andrea Ashton)
"Tommy" (Mary Sexton/Nigel Markham)

SATURDAY, July 20th, 2002
"Hiroshima & Nagasaki" (Anton Wagner)
"A Parallel World" (Mira Nigolora)
"Now It's Our Turn"(Marion Cheeks)
EVENING: 7:30pm - 9:15:
"Tight" (Jill Keily)
"Cleansing of The Soul" (Edward Makuch)
"Tender" (Darcy Fitzpatrick)
"Dying Like Ophelia" (Ed Gass-Donnelly)
Lisa Moore Live Reading 5:00pm
"That Was Before" (Amy Papadeas)

"Polished" (Ed Gass-Donnelly)
8:15pm- 8:30pm: INTERMISSION
"A Day in the Life of Mr. P. Nis" (Anne Troake)
"Ashore" (Justin Simms)
Live Colleen Power Performance 10:00

Segments written by MARK VAUGHAN-JACKSON The Telegram