Arts Calling Podcast #20 Janet Swainston | Screenwriting, micro-budget filmmaking, staying creative in Canada

Arts Calling is a podcast to celebrate creatives across disciplines and cultural backgrounds making art no matter where they are. A case for the arts as the gateway to empathy, healthy lives, and strong communities.

Arts Calling now streaming on Apple, Spotify, and wherever else you listen to podcasts, subscribe here!

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,


If you’re a creative in the written, visual, or performing arts, and believe the arts make us and our communities better, I’d love to talk to you! Contact me here.

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