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Ep. 20 Janet Swainston | Screenwriting, micro-budget filmmaking, staying creative in Canada

Hi there,

Today I am excited to be arts calling writer/director Janet Swainston!

Janet’s Pitch:
Forged in a small town in Southern Ontario, Canada with the chance to learn and make films bleak and non-existent, my passion for writing focused like a laser on the stage, but by the time I was 16, after seeing a little film called Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, my passion was engulfed by film.

I began to write scripts, terrible ones at first, learning as I grew.  I was then required to make a living, as running away to Hollywood wasn’t practical for a small-town girl from Canada.  I started work in office administration assisting, moved into retail, found community theater and eventually found my way back into film. 

I bought a camera, made some short films, directed a feature for hire and began to plan my career in earnest.  Then tragedy struck and I became disabled, awaiting an operation to restore my life, but that didn’t daunt me.  I continued to learn and grow as a screenwriter, found Twitter and joined the screenwriting community.

As of today, I write features and series, host table reads for other writers under my company banner of Northern Unicorn Films Ltd., read other writers, and keep working towards that dream of being a working screenwriter.

Check out my original scripts here.
The table reads:
My website:

Thanks for coming on the show Janet, it was such a pleasure!

Arts Calling is produced by Jaime Alejandro at If you like the show: consider reviewing the podcast and sharing it with those who love the arts, your support truly makes a difference! Check out for more podcasts about the arts and original content!

Make art. Much love,