Close Up of the 2016 From Our Dark Side winners

Let’s have a closer look at the Top Five winning projects and their writers of #FromOurDarkSide’s second season, who were announced on February 29, 2016.

Ana de Lara, Victoria, BC — The Chosen One

Headshot, Ana, Director 2Ana de Lara is a Filipina-Canadian award-winning filmmaker who likes to explore a variety of genres.

The Chosen One is a feature film thriller about a Filipina-Canadian playwright who must stop dark forces that have been summoned by Filipino witchcraft from attacking her sanity.

“As a filmmaker it’s always been my intention to branch out from comedies and dramas,” says de Lara, who intends to direct her script. “I’m so thrilled for the opportunity to explore my dark side and to advance a script concept I’ve had for years.”

de Lara is also one of eight female Canadian directors selected for the 2016 Women in the Directors Chair Story & Leadership Program to develop her first feature film script: The Virgin Mary Had a Little Lamb.

Follow Ana de Lara on Twitter @anadelaraonline.

Elisabeth de Mariaffi, St. John’s, NL— Fly Girls

Elisabeth de Mariaffi_Elisabeth de Mariaffi is the Giller Prize-nominated author of one book of short stories, How To Get Along With Women and the literary thriller, The Devil You Know, which is currently in development with New Metric Media. Her poetry and short fiction have been widely published in magazines across Canada. Elisabeth now makes her home in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where she lives with the poet George Murray.

As a novelist and literary activist, Elisabeth de Mariaffi writes mostly about power. A self-professed ‘fraidy-cat, Elisabeth has nonetheless written one novel about serial killers and is now face and eyes into a new book — and it’s a ghost story.

In her thriller Fly Girls, flight attendant trainees trapped overnight on an island airport fight off a four-man crew of vampire pilots who arrive unexpectedly from Alaska.

“The idea for Fly Girls was planted when I did real-life overnight training for my own (short-lived) career as a flight attendant,” says de Mariaffi. “I’ve been dying to write a flight attendant vs. vampires movie ever since. Having spent the last few years working solely on fiction, I’m excited for the opportunity to develop a new story in what is for me, a totally new way — film.”

Follow Elisabeth de Mariaffi on Twitter @ElisabethdeM; Facebook as well as her website www.elisabethdemariaffi.com.

Gada Jane, Kitchener, ON — Video Star

Gada Jane - 15Gada Jane is a filmmaker and writer who specializes in conscientious sensationalism. Her films explore the rawness of bodies in a world of screens and social media. Jane’s most recent project is a short film about celebrity, death, and getting attention online called John Orpheus is Dead. The film was part of a multidisciplinary collaboration that includes an album, concerts, music videos and a jewellery line. With a masters degree in drama from the University of Guelph, she started her career as a theatre director and dramaturg developing scripts for production. Jane has since made music videos, short films and a touchscreen interactive tour of a Quantum Physics Lab. She is a writer equally proficient in the technologies of new media creation. From her home in Canada’s Tech Hub, Kitchener-Waterloo, she writes scripts for projects based all across Canada.

In her dystopian assassin story, Video Star, Aasha and her friends are lured into a deal that promises fame and fortune for murdering people for audience entertainment but ultimately threatens to destroy their friendship and their lives.

“I’m very excited for the chance to work with some of the amazing mentors assembled by WIFTV for From Our Dark Side,” says Jane, who intends do direct the film. “As I am just beginning work on my first feature, the support and guidance of these professionals could not come at a better time.”

Follow Gada Jane on Twitter at @gadajane, Instagram @gadajane and her website.

Jennifer Krukowski, Toronto, ON — Right Hand Rule

Jennifer KrukowskiJennifer Krukowski is a Toronto-based actor, writer, life model, and odd-jobber, with a particular interest in horror, dark comedy, and true crime. She was born in Ottawa, Ontario to a painter and a musician. Jennifer graduated from York University’s Theatre Studies Program in 2010 and became a full ACTRA member in 2013. An emerging screenwriter, Krukowski has recently begun to take sitcom writing classes, and is currently in pre-production as a producer and director on a true-crime documentary.

In Right Hand Rule, a gang of rebellious delivery girls plot to win back its newest member when she is recruited as a corporate secretary in this nostalgic action-comedy.

“They say that constraint breeds creativity. Having worked as an actor for nearly a decade, I sometimes feel helpless about the quality and quantity of roles available to female actors. Rather than letting my frustrations discourage me from continuing to pursue work in the film and television industry, I feel compelled to take a more proactive approach to affecting change by way of creating more female roles and role models as a screenwriter,” says Krukowski. “The From Our Dark Side contest is a unique and important opportunity for women in film and television to be heard, not in spite of our frustrations or quirks, but in celebration of them. Being recognized as a finalist has made it feel possible to take my writing to the next level. Writing can be a very solitary process, and getting a sense of support and community in the pursuit of professional development as a writer is enormously encouraging.”

Follow Jennifer Krukowski on Twitter & Instagram: @jenkrukowski.

Ashley Lynch, Burnaby, BC — Suicide Girl

Ashley Lynch - headshot 01Ashley Lynch is a writer, director and editor specializing in creating female-led genre stories. As an independent writer/director, she has worked on many short films. Lynch is also an experienced post-production professional and owner of Gingerbreadgirl Post, specializing in genre editing, colour grading and theatrical trailer campaigns. Her work has been seen on Telus Optik, Discovery Channel and A&E as well as many film festivals around the world. Her first feature film, Chloe Didn’t Come Home Last Night, is currently in development.

In Suicide Girl, the suicidal but unkillable Morrigan Nevaro is targeted by an opportunistic pharma CEO intent on harvesting her ability. She has to fight to protect her friends and prevent her curse from being mass produced.

“Winning the From Our Darkside mentorship is an incredible privilege and honour,” says Lynch, who intends to direct her action thriller. “My personal mandate is to tell genre stories of female heroes to inspire a new generation of young women. I call this .44 calibre feminism, or equal opportunity ass kicking. This mentorship will enable me to tell those stories and help to bring them to an audience.”

Follow Ashley Lynch on Twitter: @ashleylynch, on Facebook and on her website www.gingerbreadgirlpost.com.

 

Meet VFX Producer, #FromOurDarkSide mentor Charlene Eberle

Charlene Eberle. Photo courtesy of Image Engine

Charlene Eberle. Photo courtesy of Image Engine

WIFTV is delighted that Charlene Eberle is joining #FromOurDarkSide as a VFX mentor. Charlene is the Visual Effects Executive Producer at Image Engine, a Vancouver visual effects and feature animation studio.

Charlene joined Image Engine’s senior team in mid 2014, with almost two decades’ experience in visual effects production on feature films, television and commercials projects across North America under her belt. She’s passionate about the visual effects industry, having held wide-ranging roles from supervision to production. Continue reading

Meet Producer and #FromOurDarkSide Mentor Marina Cordoni

Marina Cordoni

Marina Cordoni

A creative strategist who excels at working interdependently with filmmakers, Marina Cordoni‘s experience spans two decades of high-level international sales, including rights negotiations with content buyers; from theatrical, broadcast and digital platforms, to working with film financiers, government agencies, and sponsorship investors. At her company MCE Inc, she focuses on providing development, production and sales agency services to the independent film community.

Cas and DylanMarina’s most recent Executive Producer credits include Jason Priestley’s feature directorial debut: Cas and Dylan (starring Richard Dreyfuss and Tatiana Maslany) the critically acclaimed genre films Antisocial and Antisocial 2. She is currently developing the sci-fi film South of Hope Street (directed by Jane Spencer, with whom she previously worked on The Ninth Cloud) and in post-production of the dark thriller The Bequest (directed by Jeff Kopas) and the comedy First Round Down (directed by Brett M. Butler and Jason G. Butler). Continue reading

#FromOurDarkSide’s Bend-a-Trope Challenge

This is my advice, two easy steps: Before you cast, go through names and make them female to really see which characters need to be men. Then the crowd scenes, make those half female. Just by doing those two things, you have more nonstereotypical characters.” – Geena Davis on how to address gender inequality in Hollywood

We love this quote from Geena Davis and her ongoing pursuit of supporting more gender balance in the media industry. Re-examining all characters and stereotypes from a gender perspective is a great place to begin. Continue reading

From Our Dark Side genre contest holds info session in Vancouver December 9

Women in Film & Television Vancouver is pleased to host a free information session about the From Our Dark Side Genre Concept Contest, followed by a seasonal meet-and-greet networking event.

Tuesday, December 9, from 7-10 PM

Location: Pull Focus, #4-306 Abbott Street (Buzz Code: #8) Vancouver, B.C.  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

From Our Dark Side genre contest co-presents Berkshire County screenings at #BITS2014

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 8.23.18 PM

The From Our Dark Side genre writing contest teams up as community partner with the Toronto Blood in The Snow Festival, which celebrates independent Canadian horror films, and focuses on genre films from across the country.

From Our Dark Side is proud to co-present the festival screenings of Audrey Cummings’ Berkshire County on Friday November 28h at 7 and 9:45 pm.  Continue reading