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Top 5 Winner Announcement

Mar 08, 2018

From Our Dark Side Genre Concept Competition

CONTEST DESCRIPTION

A national English language contest seeking Canadian women writers and their best genre film ideas!

Submit your maximum 3-5 page genre film outline by January 5th, 2018 and win an incubator program designed to advance your feature film project and increase your knowledge of the genre market. No previous film writing experience necessary. Open to women writers only.

What’s genre film? Genre film, as we define it, includes thrillers, western, science fiction, fantasy and horror – or any imaginative combination of these. Genre is filled with character types like (but in no way limited to): fairies, mutants, killers, aliens, elves, zombies, vampires, werewolves, cannibals, psychopaths, ghosts, demons, ghostly demons (you get the idea). Expected plot elements or genre “tropes” could include: time travel, space travel, brain enhancing drugs, dystopian worlds, invading plants, prophecies, exorcisms, murders, carnivals and human sacrifice.

Why just concepts and not full scripts? Successful genre films need to provide fans with what they are expecting (for example, if it’s a zombie film, you need to have a lot of zombies) but to do this with a unique or original twist, brilliantly executed (pun intended). Whether or not you are a fan or previous writer of the genre, there will be likely much you can learn through this incubator. And concepts (rather than scripts) will have the most flexibility to take advantage of that learning.

Why genre? Genre is a form that can explore a wide range of creative themes from politics to our darkest fears. It is also highly marketable, drawing critical attention, audience and box office revenue to its creators and production team because of the dedicated and passionate genre fanbases. To give a fresh take on these genre stock characters and tropes, we are currently seeing more reboots with female protagonists and points of view. Women are beginning to take ownership of the form, making serious inroads in genre internationally, with original and empowered leads such as Wonder Woman or the main character Amelia in the recent indie horror hit from Australia, The Babadook. These characters defy genre stereotypes of women as hyper-sexualized, helpless victims and play both with and against time tested genre tropes (which is key to genre success).

We want you to be a part of this rebirth of genre. We are looking for women writers with the strongest and most original concepts to take advantage of this trend. From Our Dark Side sees limitless possibilities in genre for women storytellers. This incubator is designed to provide you with a better understanding of the market, the fans and the kinds of stories that will connect and kick some genre ass.

PRIZES

The jury of top genre creators will select 10 runners up and five winners. The five winners will receive a $500 cash prize and participate in a six-month incubator program from March to August 2018.

What is the incubator program? Designed by genre experts, the program is designed to advance your career and your project through:

  • Full accreditation and partial travel subsidy to the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival (VIWIFF) in March 2018, where winners will begin the program, participate in consultations and group meetings on writing and pitching
  • Consultation with a genre film writer/story editor
  • Consultation with a digital marketing strategy expert
  • Collaboration with a graphic artist to initiate the design of marketing materials
  • Full accreditation and travel subsidy (if certain creative milestones are met*) to the Montreal Edition of the Frontires International Co-Production Market, held in July alongside the Fantasia Film Festival, and inclusion in the Co-Production Market guide, where winners will consult with a variety of genre industry professionals including producers and distributors
  • Consultation with Raven Banner Entertainment Inc. regarding distribution and marketing
  • Consultation with a genre producer

Categories:
GENRES: Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery/Suspense, Science Fiction, Thriller, Western

Announcements

Rules

  • Project must be an ORIGINAL concept for a narrative feature film
  • Project must be a GENRE film (science fiction, fantasy, horror and thriller or a combination of these)
  • Project must be written by a woman and have a female protagonist and strong representation of women’s roles
  • Co-writers may apply, but all the writers must be women
  • Contestants retain all rights to their projects
  • Writers may apply with a maximum of two projects. In the case of co-writers, each writer may submit a maximum of two entries. For example, a writing team of two women may submit four projects total. Each entry requires its own registration and payment.
  • Contest is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents
  • Feedback cannot be provided on any submissions
  • Once an application is submitted, new or updated versions may not be submitted
  • Entrants agree to indemnify and hold From Our Dark Side, WIFTV, including our employees, our officers, and our partners and affiliates harmless against all claims arising out of entry or participation in the contest
  • By submitting your contest application, you agree that you have read, understood, and agree to all the aforementioned contest rules and regulations. You also assert that you are the author and owner of the original work

FAQs

What is required to submit? 

Prepare the following as one single pdf document in the following order:
  • 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 50-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 five pages will not be accepted;
  • your resume in brief – remove your name and address from your resume
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ISA

International Screenwriters' Association

We are squarely focused on supporting emerging screenwriters in their professional growth by providing nearly every tool and resource available in the industry. It's our express goal to support writers of any level or background, who are proactive in developing their careers and are willing to learn from the insights and expertise of our community members. Screenwriting takes perseverance. The harder you work, the better this site will work for you.

  • ISA Introductory Feedback: (1-2 pages of notes): $30
  • ISA General Feedback: (2-3 pages of notes): $55
  • ISA Extensive Feedback: (5-6 pages of notes): $125

Feedback Type Description

ISA INTRODUCTORY FEEDBACK

In this industry, the first twenty pages can mean the difference between a "go picture" and a "go home and try again." Give your writers the advantage with a page (or two) introduction to their script from an outside perspective. We'll map out the direction of the screenplay thus far, and give advice to gently nudge them on the proper course.

ISA GENERAL FEEDBACK

Our most popular analysis. The writer will receive a personalized critique based on a thorough read-through of the entire script, up to 120 pages. Whether half-hour pilot or feature film, we'll note our thoughts on everything from the characters and dialogue to pacing, structure, and formatting, and even where the work fits in the marketplace.

ISA EXTENSIVE FEEDBACK

Give your writers the in-depth insight of the ISA's working industry professionals. Our Readers will provide 5-6 pages of advanced notes, breaking down every moment and character arc, noting the subtleties that a writer may not have contemplated, and providing a next-level perspective that will empower screenwriters and help script achieve their full potential.

Rules

  • Project must be an ORIGINAL concept for a narrative feature film
  • Project must be a GENRE film (science fiction, fantasy, horror and thriller or a combination of these)
  • Project must be written by a woman and have a female protagonist and strong representation of women’s roles
  • Co-writers may apply, but all the writers must be women
  • Contestants retain all rights to their projects
  • Writers may apply with a maximum of two projects. In the case of co-writers, each writer may submit a maximum of two entries. For example, a writing team of two women may submit four projects total. Each entry requires its own registration and payment.
  • Contest is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents
  • Feedback cannot be provided on any submissions
  • Once an application is submitted, new or updated versions may not be submitted
  • Entrants agree to indemnify and hold From Our Dark Side, WIFTV, including our employees, our officers, and our partners and affiliates harmless against all claims arising out of entry or participation in the contest
  • By submitting your contest application, you agree that you have read, understood, and agree to all the aforementioned contest rules and regulations. You also assert that you are the author and owner of the original work

FAQs

What is required to submit? 

Prepare the following as one single pdf document in the following order:
  • 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 50-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 five pages will not be accepted;
  • your resume in brief – remove your name and address from your resume

Jeffrey Howe's FLAT-RATE FRANK advances in Nicholl Fellowship

FLAT-RATE FRANK, Jeffrey Howe's historical coming of age drama, advanced to the quarterfinals of the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. It also entered the semifinal round at the Creative Screenwriting Unique Voices competition.
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