#FromOurDarkSide Bridges the Gender Divide

cropped-darkside-website.jpgThe From Our Dark Side Genre Concept Competition closed submissions on January 16 and we were blown away by the response. Over 250 entries from across the country. Women clearly have stories they want to tell and voices they want to be heard. 

The contest was the brainchild of Women in Film & Television Vancouver and was sponsored by Telefilm Canada, Super Channel and Creative BC. It invited women screenwriters across Canada to submit outlines for horror, sci-fi, fantasy or thriller movie scripts that had female-driven storylines. Ten projects will be shortlisted and juried by top genre creators. Five projects will be selected for mentorship that also includes a small cash prize and a trip to the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival (March 4-8, 2015). One lucky project will also receive full accreditation to the Montreal Edition of the Frontières International Co-Production Market, held in July alongside the Fantasia Film Festival.

Women and female-driven stories remain underrepresented in the film industry, both in front of and behind the camera. The Celluloid Ceiling annual report shows that in 2014, women comprised only 17 per cent of all the people who worked behind the cameras — directors, producers, editors, writers, executive producers and cinematographers — on the top-grossing 250 movies, the same scant percentage as in 1998. On screen, only 15 per cent of movies star women, a percentage that has not improved since the 1930s.

From Our Dark Side, however, is part of a trend that is trying to address this significant gender divide. News seems to be made very day, in genre and beyond:

There is still a long way to go, but there does seem to be some forward momentum to redress this imbalance. From Our Dark Side is thrilled to be a part of this. But now we are knuckling down and going through all these fantastic entries. Stay tuned for the announcement of our ten shortlisted projects. It’s going to be a tough decision!

by Annelise Larson, Contest Mentor & Digital Media & Marketing Strategist, Veria.ca

2 thoughts on “#FromOurDarkSide Bridges the Gender Divide

  1. Although I didn’t submit anything, the Genre Concept Competition did spark multiple ideas for plays, monologues, speeches and stories, and yes, maybe even a screenplay for down the line – all with female-driven storylines. Given that the competition generated more than 250 entries, I think the future for women in film and television is looking a lot brighter. Congratulations to all those involved in organising and submitting. The benefits of this will resonate for years!

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