Ashley McKenzie receives Shaw Media Fearless Female Director Award!

We’re thrilled to announce that Rhonda’s Party has won not just one but two awards in the National Screen Institute’s Online Short Film Festival: the $1,250 A&E Short Filmmakers Award and the $2,500 Shaw Media Fearless Female Director Award.

Rhonda’s Party continues to connect with audiences almost three years after its release into the world. The success this small film has earned is a testament to all the fine and talented people – actors and crew and advisors – who took a chance on a team of first-time filmmakers to bring the story to life » said director Ashley McKenzie.

We’ve come a long way since we started working on this short film through the Atlantic Filmmakers’ Cooperative FILM 5 program. Right now, after a successful first attempt at crowdfunding, McKenzie and producer Nelson MacDonald are preparing for the release of their third opus, Stray, which was shot in Cape Breton.

As for writer Christine Comeau, she was last seen in St. John’s at the Women’s Work Festival, where her script Foster was being workshopped. During the festival, She also had the opportunity to conduct a series of interviews with playwrights from across Canada.

TIFF Top 10 of 2011!


We’re beyond excited to announce that the Toronto International Film Festival has selected Rhonda’s Party as one of their Top Ten Canadian Short Films of 2011. It’s a huge honor for us and a tribute to our cast, crew, and the entire Halifax film community who supported us! Thank you!

Established in 2001, Canada’s Top Ten celebrates excellence in Canadian cinema and raises public awareness of Canadian achievements in film. Taking place from January 5 to 15, 2012 at TIFF Bell Lightbox, the programme features a panel discussion and public screenings accompanied by introductions and Q&A sessions with filmmakers.

We’re happy to be representing Nova Scotia on the list along with our compatriots Hobo With A Shotgun, which was named to the Top Ten Features list along with films like Café de flore by Jean-Marc Vallée, A Dangerous Method by David Cronenberg, and Take This Waltz by Sarah Polley.

More info to come at

Best of Halifax. Thank you Halifax!


We received a nice surprise this week when we learned Rhonda’s Party was voted Best Short Film in The Coast’s Best of Halifax reader’s poll.

This is the 17th year for the poll, which has Haligonians vote for their favorite people, places, proprietors, etc.. Other winners included Hobo With A Shotgun for Best Feature Film and Ellen Page for Best Actress and Best Halifamous.

Thanks for thinking of us Halifax! There were plenty of great short films to come out of town in the last year, so it really is an honour!

Rhonda Takes Flight with Air Canada!


Rhonda’s Party is one of 20 short films from across Canada to be included in the 2011 enRoute Film Festival, which features the work of the countries top emerging filmmakers.

The shorts will broadcast on Air Canada’s in-flight entertainment system between July and December. Rhonda’s Party will run onboard in October and November.  The festival’s top films will be featured in a screening and awards ceremony at the end of the year with the award winners going to Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France.

This year’s star studded awards jury includes: director Atom Egoyan (Sweet Hereafter, Exotica), director Jean-Marc Vallee (C.R.A.Z.Y, Young Victoria), producer Don Carmody (Chicago, Porky’s) and actors Emmanuelle Chriqui (Entourage) and Molly Parker (Trigger, The Road).

Rhonda’s Party going to TIFF!


We were elated to learn that Film Nova Scotia is programming a special spotlight screening of emerging Nova Scotia filmmakers at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.  The screening will take place Monday, September 12th at the BELL Lightbox with a reception to follow.  The following eight shorts have been selected:

Afghan – Directed and Produced by Pardis Parker
Discrimination of the Dead – Directed and Produced by Angus Swantee
Like Father - Directed by Jesse Harley and Produced by Chris Turner
Pawnshop - Directed by Andrew Bush and Produced by Angus Swantee
Rhonda’s Party – Directed by Ashley McKenzie, Written by Christine Comeau, and Produced by Nelson MacDonald
Super Science – Directed by Joel MacKenzie and Produced by Mark Purdy
Treevenge – Directed by Jason Eisener and Produced by Rob Cotterill
Wake of Calum MacLeod – Directed by Marc Almon and Produced by Nona MacDermid

Rhonda’s Party wins Short Film Face-Off!


The votes are in and Rhonda’s Party has won CBC’s Short Film Face-Off!

This was the first year for the show as a national competition and there were some amazing short films from across Canada showcased, so it is a special honor for us to be voted the winner.

A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for Rhonda’s Party.  A special thanks to all of our friends and family who helped us spread the word about the voting. I’m sure the phone lines from Cape Breton and Quebec City we’re lighting up!  And thanks again to our amazing cast and crew, it really is a credit to them that our little film won this national competition!

We plan to use the $50,000 prize towards making a short film in Cape Breton in 2012!

On CBC Short Film Face-off June 18th!


Rhonda’s Party will make its television debut Saturday, June 18th at 8PM on CBC’s Short Film Face-Off, a program featuring nine of the best short films from across Canada in competition for $50,000 in cash and equipment rentals toward their next production.

Short Film Face-Off has already enjoyed three successful seasons in the Maritimes, but this summer it will be broadcast in prime time across the country for the first time. Rhonda’s Party will represent the Maritime provinces in the competition.  In order to get into the final round, Rhonda’s Party will face-off against Down to the Wood by Newfoundland filmmaker Kelly Davis, and In Between by Toronto’s Nadine Valcin. Each of the directors, including our very own Ashley McKenzie, appear on the show!

In Short Film Face-Off, three films are screened each episode for a panel of judges who provide commentary and discuss the creative and technical aspects of the films with the directors. The studio audience then votes to choose a finalist from each episode.  The viewing audience at home will ultimately choose the top film via telephone and internet voting.  So tune in Saturday to find out if we make it into the final round!

Join our Facebook group to stay up-to-date with our progress on the show:

Rhonda’s Party on tour in NFLD!

Rget_ms-194x300honda’s Party is hittin’ the road thanks to the St. John’s Women’s Film Festival’s Films On The Go Program, a celebrated annual film tour exhibiting both Newfoundland and international talent!

This year’s screenings include a fabulous program of shorts surrounding the feature presentation of Still Rowdy After All These Years, a documentary about the life of Canadian acting legend Gordon Pinsent.

Screening with Still Rowdy After All These Years are Newfoundland produced shorts Red Ochre (Dir. Jerry Evans), Swallowed (Dir. Stephen Dunn) and Not Over Easy (Dir. Jordan Canning). Canadian shorts Rhonda’s Party (Dir. Ashley McKenzie, NS) and Trolls (Dir. Brianne Nord-Stewart, BC) and the US produced Touch (Dir. Jen McGowan) round out the program.

Stops on this year’s tour include Norris Point (June 12th), Corner Brook (June 13th), Stephenville (June 14th), Placentia (June 19th), Bonavista (June 20th), Fogo (June 26th), Twillingate (June 27th), Grand Falls-Windsor (June 28th) and Gander (June 29th). Screenings begin at 8pm. Tickets are available at the door a half hour before show time. Tickets are $7, or $5 Student/Senior.