An Islander By Choice

After the sudden death of her oldest daughter, Janet Ogilvie moved from Ontario to the tiny community of Birchill, Prince Edward Island to run an alpaca farm.

Some wounds may never heal but in the rolling green hills of Prince Edward Island, and her woolly herd, Janet has found a small slice of peace.

Creative team

Director/producer: Jenna MacMillan
Producers: Thom Smalley, Tess Marie Garneau

Filmmaker’s statement

I’ll never forget the first time I met Janet Ogilvie. She was giving a tour of her farm and we joined the final moments of it. Afterwards, she introduced us to her alpacas – the most adorable and calming creatures I have ever met. She was kind, laid back and very charming.

I didn’t know her story but I was told I needed to meet her which brought us to the quaint community of Birchill. Then we sat down and had tea at her beautiful kitchen table.

The poignancy and eloquence in which she told her heart-wrenching tale will be permanently etched in my mind. She is truly one of the strongest and most gracious people I have ever met.

I thank her for sharing her story with us so we can share it with you.

About Jenna MacMillan

Jenna MacMillan

Jenna MacMillan is a filmmaker from Charlottetown, PEI with a degree in film production from Ryerson University.

Her film Fine Tuning was commissioned by the City of Charlottetown to celebrate its 2011 designation as cultural capital of Canada.

She and her creative partners, Thom Smalley and Tess Marie Garneau, run a media production company in Charlottetown called Tiny Town Media. Together they produced a digital documentary series about western PEI – Coastal Stories, which features An Islander By Choice. It’s going into its second season.

Jenna was a winner of the 2014 interactive incubator project hosted by the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival.

Her most recent short film, Not My Brother, received funding from the National Film Board of Canada and premiered at the CBC Shorts Gala at the 2015 Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax.

She was one of five finalists for the 2015 bravoFACT pitch competition and was selected for the prestigious Women in the Director’s Chair program in 2015 to develop her upcoming television series, Gran Bandit.

Jenna is one of the producers of A Small Fortune which is one of four feature film screenplays to be developed by the renowned National Screen Institute’s Features First program in 2016.

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