#FromOurDarkSide FAQs

**as asked during the recent info sessions***

Remember: The submission deadline for Season 2 ends on January 4th, 2016 at midnight Pacific Time.

A snapshot of participants of our Dec. 17 online session on zoom!

A snapshot of participants of our Dec. 17 online session on zoom!

Q: Does my protagonist have to be female?
A: Yes, they must be female. The idea of the contest is to increase the number of women in front as well as behind the camera. This includes interesting female characters.

Q: Is there a limit as to the budget of the film?
A: In theory, there is no limit. It is about the idea. But the jury will be looking at projects that are feasible.

Q: Can I have a producer attached?
A: Yes you can, as long as you own the copyright to the story.

Q: How much previous film experience is necessary?
A: Our 2015 mentees have diverse experience. Our contest is open to emerging and experienced women Canadian writers/filmmakers.

Q: Can I apply with “just” a thriller?
A: Yes, thrillers are part of the genre contest (as are horror, fantasy and sci-fi).

Q: Can I apply with a mixed genre?
A: Absolutely! We are looking to fresh approaches to genre!

Q: Can the location for my story be set outside of Canada?
A: Yes. In fact, this might be useful when looking for co-producers at the Frontières International Co-Production Market. Every mentee will receive full industry accreditation for the Frontières Market in Montreal in July.

Q: Do the judges read the entire story submission?
A: Yes. Everything is read very carefully. But the log line and synopsis as well as the title of your submission are very important in conveying the uniqueness and memorability of your concept.

Q: Can I submit with a writing partner?
A: Yes, you can submit up to two solo stories, plus up to two stories with a woman Canadian writing partner. Each story needs a separate registration and fee payment. But: Only one writer will receive the Frontières accreditation, and you’ll need to share your $500 cash prize, so you and your writing partner would need to be clear about this in advance.

Q: The broadcaster Super Channel is a sponsor. Do they get rights to the stories?
A: No. All rights remain with the writers.

Q: Can the submission be based on a short film?
A: Yes, if you have the rights to the story and the rights to develop it into a feature film.

Q: Can we see the names and stories of Season 1’s winners?
A: The log lines of the winning projects are on our blog but we do not publicize further details as it is not beneficial to the writers to expose their work to the public at this early, formative stage.

Q: Can my story outline be in point form / beat sheets?
A: Yes, that’s acceptable, as is prose.

Q: What’s the format?
A: All materials must be in English, 12 point font, double spaced. The pdf document must contain:

  • a first page containing the project title WITHOUT revealing your identity; a LOGLINE (a short sentence that states the genre of the film, protagonists their goal and their main obstacle); and a fifty-word SYNOPSIS of the project that introduces the main character(s), summarizes the main plot, the conflict, and the overall arc of the story (beginning, middle, and end) using words that reveal tone, genre, and intended audience;
  • a 3-5 page script OUTLINE, which is essentially an expanded synopsis of the project—do not submit a completed screenplay or treatment – outlines over 5 pages will not be accepted;
  • your resume in brief, remove your name and address from your resume.

Last but not least:

Thank-you for your submission! Last year, we had 250 very strong entries and while we were only able to choose five winners and ten finalists, we have heard of many of the other excellent submissions finding support to develop in other ways. Also, this huge number of entries sent a powerful message to industry funders and decision makers that there is a large untapped talent pool, an unspoken voice out there craving to see more female-driven stories made by women. We are hopeful that this kind of message will help to shift policy and expand opportunities overall for women in feature film!

Happy Holidays, Happy Writing!

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