A Match Made in Mentorship Heaven – Writer Christina Sicoli reports from the Whistler Film Festival

Opening Gala at the Whistler Film Festival

The Whistler Conference Centre is buzzing with activity come festival time.

There were more talented people than her but they quit. Don’t quit. Go back to your craft, back to your voice, but don’t quit.”–Meg LeFauve (Variety’s 10 Screenwriters To Watch).

THE MORNING AFTER. A cup of coffee, an over-stimulated body and a blog entry. I’ve been staring at my computer not knowing where to begin. But as I’m learning with most beginnings, they constantly shift and give birth to newer ones. So I asked myself, “What began for me with this new experience”?  Continue reading

Belgian short comedy Taxistop to screen at #VIWIFF2015

taxistop A5-200dpiOddly, comedy was a somewhat underrepresented genre in the years when I volunteered for the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival programming committee. As a former story editor, I know how difficult it is to write and edit comedy and how unrewarding producing comedies can be – at least if you aspire to win any significant awards. The audience, however, tends to love comedies and for a festival programmer it is a welcome relief to watch a comedy now and then amongst a wide range of social and women’s issues films.

Belgium is a funny country per se. Did you know the tiny Western European nation with only 11 million inhabitants has three different official languages (Dutch/Flemish, French and German), three regional governments (Flemish, Walloon and Brussels-Capital), more than a dozen political parties and the dubious distinction of hosting Europe’s most traffic-congested cities? Continue reading

Festival programmer, film critic Shelagh Rowan-Legg about the turning tide for women working in genre

Rowan-Legg passportMy love of genre cinema began early, between my mother’s love of Mad Max and my father’s of Star Trek. My interest in genre cinema led me to take an MA in film studies at University of Toronto. At the same time, I became the Operations Director at Toronto After Dark Film Festival. As I worked as a theatre rep at other films festivals, I found that I was often suggesting films for consideration to the TAD director. Eventually, I asked him if I could also be an official programmer. It took some convincing, but after I showed my merit through several of my selections winning audience awards, I began to travel to other festivals to scout for films. Meanwhile, I continued in my academic studies. I moved to the UK to study Spanish fantastic film. Currently, I’m working on a book based on my research, and am the shorts programmer for Film4 FrightFest in London.  Continue reading

Meet From Our Dark Side Genre Contest Mentor, Producer Rupert Harvey

FreddyRupert Harvey is a producer and writer, known for Pump Up the Volume, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, The Blob and Critters.

For more info on Rupert please check his IMDB listing.

What is genre?
An overused word.

Why is genre important?
It’s incredibly important in the film world, because it’s history. Continue reading

Director Lulu Keating about finding inspiration and the lack of female filmmakers

LuluKeating- colour by Christine Buijs

Lulu Keating – Photo by Christine Buijs

When I think of filmmaker Lulu Keating, I see splashes of colour—from the flaming red hair to the bright wardrobe and warm Antigonish, Nova Scotia accent—she’s truly unforgettable and a tsunami of creativity. The award winning writer/director calls Dawson City, Yukon her home, and it’s there she finds inspiration for such shorts as Her Man Plan and Dawson Town Melted Down. Between her narrative films and documentaries, Lulu’s work has screened internationally for years and her most recent feature film, Lucille’s Ball (which runs at Vancouver’s Rio Theatre Nov. 23), unravels a signature style—highly stylized, innovative work that pushes the bounds of cinematography to a new realm.  Continue reading

A Brief Herstory of Horror

scared-audienceHorror stories have been around for a very long time. Whether folk tales in their original creepy form, gothic novels from the 18th and 19th centuries or modern scary movies, people love stories that give them goosebumps, get their heart pumping, make them gasp and scream.

Continue reading

FROM OUR DARK SIDE contest seeks the best in Canadian female-driven Genre Film ideas

DarkSide-website_0000_headerMutants, fairies, aliens, werewolves, ghosts, psychopaths…oh my! Women in Film and Television Vancouver (WIFTV), with the support of Super Channel, Telefilm Canada and Creative B.C., presents a national English-language contest seeking the best in Canadian female-driven Genre Film ideas.

Female writers are invited to submit their 3-5 page outlines by January 15, 2015 for a chance to win a mentorship package designed to help them get their projects to the screen.

Genre films can include thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, horror – or an imaginative combination of these. Continue reading

Out of the Dark and into the Spotlight: Ana Valine Shines with Sitting on the Edge of Marlene

Ana Valine

Ana Valine – Photo by Christine Buijs

Ana Valine has had a charmed run with her first feature film, Sitting on the Edge of Marlene, a story about a less than charmed existence for young Sammie and her pill-popping con artist mother Marlene.

The screenplay, based on the Billie Livingston young adult novella The Trouble with Marlene won the 2011 Women in the Director’s Chair Feature Film Award valued at $120,000 in kind towards production. From there, Ana built momentum with a mentorship with world renowned director Denys Arcand and a script award at The Female Eye Film Festival. Continue reading