Living on the Edge hits the festival circuit!

Susan and I are very proud that our first film — Living on the Edge — is getting some great exposure on the festival circuit.

After a heart-warming reception (of almost 250 people) here in our hometown of Rimouski for the pre-screening of Living on the Edge in early November, our doc traveled to Toronto for its world premier at the Planet In Focus film festival, Canada’s largest environmental film festival. We met some great people, made some new friends, watched some GREAT films, and learned so much about filmmaking! A highlight was being able to watch and learn from other filmmakers during their pitch sessions to industry experts. Kudos to Elizabeth Mudenyo and Alessandra Cannito for your endless energy, amazing organizational skills and for making us out-of-towners feel right at home.

Here is a photo during Planet In Focus at the end of our screening: Susan and me with April Weppler from Freshwater Future Canada (our co-presenter) and Michael John Long from the Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability (our moderator):

Left to right: Joan Sullivan, April Weppler, Susan Woodfine and Michael John Long at York University following the screening of Living on the Edge during Planet In Focus film festival, 8 November 2014

Left to right: Joan Sullivan, April Weppler, Susan Woodfine and Michael John Long at York University following the screening of Living on the Edge during Planet In Focus film festival, 8 November 2014

After Planet In Focus, Living on the Edge crossed the big pond in December for its first international screening at the Think Forward Film Festival in Venice, Italy. Although we could not be there in person, we found the following image on Twitter just before our film was screened on 13th December – looks like there were quite a few people in the audience!

In January, Living on the Edge returns to Canada to be screened at the ReFrame Film Festival in Peterborough, Ontario. Joan will participate in a filmmakers panel led by Aisha Jamal on Saturday, 25th January at the Bourbon Barrel Saloon (!) to discuss the important connections between filmmaking and activism along with two other filmmakers: Clarke Mackey and Sean Liliani.

In February, Living on the Edge returns to Rimouski for a screening at Paraloeil one week before the kickoff of  la semaine de l’environnement. Screening date is 12th February at 19h30.

And finally, Susan just received an enquiry from the Environmental Film Festival in Washington, D.C., to review our film for consideration in this very important environmental film festival in the US capital in March 2015.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed that Living on the Edge will be accepted to this great film festival, which this year will have a special focus on Climate Connections! And we’re looking at other festivals in Gaspé and Portneuf – à suivre!

We are humbled by this ground-swell of support and growing interest in our first documentary.  Since the beginning of this project, we continue to believe that the best way to communicate the urgency of climate change is to focus on the human perspective: stories about how climate change is already affecting people and their communities in their own backyards, right now, not in the future.

Avant-première à Rimouski – le 6 novembre

COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE Pour publication immédiate Les Berges à la dérive en avant-première à Rimouski

Le premier film de la journaliste et documentaliste Susan Woodfine, Les Berges à la dérive, sera présenté en avant-première le jeudi 6 novembre, à 19 h, à la salle George-Beaulieu du cégep de Rimouski. Le coût d’entrée est de 5 $, alors que l’admission sera gratuite pour les étudiants (ou contribution volontaire). Le film Les Berges à la dérive aborde les changements climatiques sous l’angle humain. Le documentaire suit la quête d’une photographe passionnée, Joan Sullivan, qui cherche à savoir comment la population du littoral du Saint-Laurent est affectée par les changements climatiques depuis les grandes marées de décembre 2010.

SusanWoodfine JoanSullivan 


Deux jours après l’avant-première, soit le samedi 8 novembre, Les Berges à la dérive sera présenté en grande première mondiale dans le cadre du festival Planet In Focus de Toronto. Il sera alors en compétition pour le prix du « Meilleur Long Métrage canadien ». La réalisatrice Susan Woodfine et sa directrice de photo, Joan Sullivan, sur laquelle porte d’ailleurs le film, seront toutes deux dans la Ville-Reine pour assister à l’événement d’envergure mondiale. Planet In Focus est reconnu comme le plus important festival de films sur l’environnement au Canada.

Activité de Rimouski -La soirée d’avant-première de Rimouski promet d’être fort intéressante. En plus d’avoir le privilège d’être les premiers à assister à la projection des Berges à la dérive, les spectateurs auront également l’occasion d’assister à une passionnante table ronde à 20h, intitulée L’énergie renouvelable et la résilience dans l’Est du Québec : des solutions concrètes pour lutter contre les changements climatiques.


Animée par M. Bruno Saint-Pierre, cette activité réunira Joan Sullivan, photographe des énergies renouvelables, Denise Verreault, présidente et chef de la direction du Groupe maritime Verreault Inc., Chantale Lavoie, préfète de la MRC de la Matapédia, et Kim Cornelissen, consultante en développement régional et ressource de liaison avec les pays nordiques.

Cet événement est organisé en collaboration avec le Cégep de Rimouski, le Carrefour international bas-laurentien pour l’engagement social (CIBLES), le Poids vert de Rimouski-Neigette et les Verts solidaires.       Il est à noter que le film de Mme Woodfine sera projeté dans sa version originale anglaise, avec sous-titres français.

Pour plus d’information sur le film, communiquez avec Susan Woodfine à l’adresse ou au 418-732-7086

Pour plus de détails sur la table ronde, communiquez avec Kim Cornelissen à l’adresse ou au 514-792-3663.

SVP Partagez!





– 30 -

Drum roll please….

We have some lovely news for you today!

Living on the Edge has been accepted into Canada’s largest environmental film festival, Planet in Focus, within the category Best Canadian documentary.

We are over the moon! But wait, there’s more!

We finally have our official trailer. Actually we have two (both languages). Check them out!


Et pour nous ami(e)s francophones, voici la version avec les sous-titres en français


Joan and I will be traveling to Toronto from 07-09 November 2014 to participate in our first film festival ever – wow!! And yet, we both know deep in our hearts that without the poetry and magic of our brilliant film editor, Martin Charron, our film would have turned out very differently indeed. We also owe many thanks to our sound editor, Robin Servant, for his final sound edit.

And the good news doesn’t stop there: we are blessed to have two amazing women – Lucie Poirier and Kim Cornelissen – both powerhouses in their own unique ways, who have been absolutely instrumental in taking over the conception and logistics of launching the pre-screening of Living on the Edge right here in Rimouski.

These women came just in time because Joan and me are…..well…. we’re running out of energy (renewable of course, not the fossil kind)! Un gros merci à Lucie et Kim. Votre soutien est tellement apprécié!

Details about the pre-screening will be released next week.

But for now, please mark your calendars for Thursday, November 6th, at 19h in the Salle Georges Beaulieu, Cégep de Rimouski.

And in case you thought that we had forgotten about you: to all our friends living and working along the Gaspé Coast and on the Magdalen Islands, we are determined to take Living on the Edge back to the coastal communities profiled in the film. In order to do so, we are making one final appeal for donations to support this last phase of post-production: printing, distribution and promotion. If you haven’t already done so, please click on the Donate tab above to make a contribution, no matter how small, to help get the word out about climate change in eastern Québec.

Hope to see you all at the pre-screening in Rimouski on the 6th of November.



Just wanted to touch base with our devoted LOTE (Living On The Edge) believers.

The film is slowly but surely — and oh so poetically! — coming together. We’ve had a focus group screening and the response was an overwhelming, “WOW!”

Living on the Edge / Les berges à la dérive has been a true labour of love. We’re talking a tough labour of almost three years, Ouch!  But as I have mentioned in the past, climate change is an incredible motivator and a worthy cause. Heck, even the NHL is waking up to the threat of climate change.

So why am I sounding the alert? Well, because the sound edit is almost done! Yeah!  We’ve almost crossed the finish line…


IMG_4873 Photo by Marie-Neige Besner

We are tying up audio loose ends like stray background noise and fine-tuning our music with sound guru, Robin Servant.


Photo by Marie-Neige Besner

While many folks like to sleep on weekends, Joan, Robin and I have had a few early-Saturday-morning and weekend-evening sessions.


photo by Marie-Neige Besner

Robin is also doing the sound edit for our soon-to-be released trailer. I’ll be back next month with more details on your role. We want you to Share Share Share and help us in our last fundraising effort to ensure a strong showing on the festival and broadcast circuit. I’ll be posting more information a bit later. If you can’t wait, remember, we have a DONATE button on our blog. Until then, enjoy those extra-warm temperatures, even if it’s climate change at work.

Susan Woodfine, Producer/Director


Living On The Edge – What a year!

LIVING ON THE EDGE – What a year!

We’re almost at the two-year mark. Who would have thought! Our story began in May of 2012, in a pitch for what was described as a web-based documentary. That original idea actually seemed straightforward, but too many good things happened along the way – including a major U-turn for Joan and me as we made the decision to go full tilt to produce a multimedia project (blog, Facebook, film) despite not having a lot of experience or proper funding.  Neither of those obstacles stopped us and we’re proud of that! Let’s hear it for climate change – it’s one powerful motivator!

LIVING ON THE EDGE – The subject!

Joan doing what she loves best.

Joan doing what she loves best.

When it comes to telling a human story of climate change, I could not have a more beautiful subject than Joan Sullivan to carry the message of concern, frustration and hope in this documentary.  Yes, it is the story about climate change in eastern Quebec and how people are being affected by and adapting to it. But it’s also Joan’s story – the story of how climate change has become her raison d’être. In my 15 years as a journalist, I have met few people who truly walk the walk.

No matter what the season, Joan is always ready to tackle a wind farm!

No matter what the season, Joan is always ready to tackle a wind farm!

In addition to the public side of ‘Joan the photographer,’ we also see a very real and raw side of her life: her struggle to establish herself as a climate change photographer and run an organic farm at the same time. As a first-time filmmaker, the cherry on the sundae for me is having Martin Charron as the project’s editor. I continue to be in awe of his poetic approach. He has forced me to stop and think about being creative in a way I never thought possible. I am truly blessed to have him on board.

LVING ON THE EDGE  – Heading into 2014

Martin will be editing the footage through January/February of next year. But the party doesn’t stop there. I then need to complete two other phases of postproduction. I will sit down with the talented James Darling who will lay down the original score for Living on the Edge. I hope he is not too frustrated with this newbie filmmaker’s many missed deadlines! That being said, James knows what it’s like to be busy. This guy is a new dad – baby number four, beautiful Viviane, arrived earlier this month.  He now has his very own family quartet! After James does his magic, Robin Servant will carry out the final phase of production – sound. Then translation and subtitles will be added, thanks to an in-kind contribution by UQAR professor Steve Plante and the Coastal Communities Challenges – Communities-University Research Alliance (CCC-CURA).

I’ll be back with more details on our screenings in Rimouski and elsewhere in eastern Quebec, as well as on the festival circuit.

Thanks so much to all those who have helped us along the way – crowd funders, sponsors and mentors.  We could not have done this without each and every one of you.

Very best, Susan


Speaking from the heart….

Here’s a recent article I wrote for the Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence (HLSL) newsletter, which also appears in electronic form on their beautiful new blog:

Check it out and pass it on!  This article provides some juicy nuggets regarding the humble origins of the Living on the Edge documentary film project, some of which we had not previously shared with you.

Bonne lecture!

And don’t forget that we are still fundraising to cover the costs of our post-production phase.  Any donations are welcome — large or small!  Our most recent donation is from Pascal Bérubé, Minister for Tourism and Member of the National Assembly of Quebec for the riding of Matane.  Thanks Minister Bérubé for your generous contribution and for recognising that climate change poses risks to the tourism industry here in eastern Quebec, something that is often left out of the climate change debate.

geese, snow geese, migration, Rimouski

We are in full-swing post production with Martin Charron and all I can say is we are creating magic.

Before signing off, I just wanted to share with you one of Joan’s recent photos of the snow geese migration, taken about two weeks ago in Rimouski.  As you will soon learn in the film, Joan is constantly drawn to the Saint Lawrence…


Professor Steve Plante

If you thought Joan was passionate about climate change, then you need to meet Steve Plante. This dynamic Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR) professor, with degrees in both anthropology and geography, has been thinking “outside the box” about climate change for quite some time. Over the last 20 years, Plante has become an international expert in helping coastal communities build adaptive capacity and resilience in the face of extreme weather events.

Steve Plante, portrait

In addition to his professorship at UQAR’s Department of Society, Land and Development, Dr. Plante is co-director of the Coastal Communities Challenges-University Research Alliance (CCC-CURA), an interdisciplinary and participatory research project funded by the federal government’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). It brings together 22 researchers and 11 partners from three provinces: Quebec, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Guided by the belief that the development of a communal knowledge base is the foundation to increasing resilience among coastal communities, CCC-CURA promotes integrated participatory governance approaches that are based upon active cooperation between citizens, local partners and researchers. To date, the alliance has designed a kit to guide communities in assessing their resilience and to better anticipate the effects of natural disasters. It’s about people, and CCC-CURA’s approach is very much bottom up, letting the people decide.

Steve Plante, UQAR

We visited Dr. Plante at his office and had a little help from Luc Tremblay, video journalist extraordinaire (and now weekend anchor at Radio Canada) who, by the way, has helped us on several recent shoots.  Thanks Luc!


Steve Plante, Susan Woodfine

Postproduction is underway. We’re in the home stretch now! Stay tuned…