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A national English language contest seeking Canadian women writers and their best Genre Film ideas!

In partnership with Creative BC, Super Channel, Telefilm Canada and Telus! 


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Read additional information about the program and its mentors on our blog


News About From Our Dark Side:

July 27th 2017 — lists "Water From Stones" by Bridget Canning (2017 From Our Dark Side Winner) in their article "Fantasia’s Frontières Market: The Best Horror Films Yet to be Made

March 6, 2016 — The Sudbury star covers 2016 From Our Dark Side Winner Gada Jane in article "Filmmaker a Winner in Dark Side Contest"

October 28, 2014 — Hollywomen announced our contest

October 30th, 2014 — Vancouver author and film reporter Sabrina Furminger wrote about Karen Lam and the contest for The Westender. Her weekly column #ReelPeople deals with local people working in the film industry. 

November 2014 — Reel West Magazine, Western Canada's film industry magazine, announced our submission call on their newly launched e-news and website. 


Canadian women filmmakers working in Genre:

Most of you know Vancouver's very own Karen Lam (Evangeline, Doll Parts) and the Twisted Twins, aka as Jen and Sylvia Soska (American Mary, See No Evil 2), but have you heard of these Canadian women filmmakers specializing in genre?

Donna Davies

Donna Davies is a filmmaker from Nova Scotia. Through her production company Ruby Tree Films she specializes in the production of high quality, entertaining and compelling films that question the nature of the human condition. Donna's award-winning documentary work includes The Kitchen Goddess, A Sigh and A Wish, Childhood Lost, Zombiemania, Pretty Bloody; The Women of Horror, the Shadow Hunter series, The Poltergeist Phenomenon, and The Tesla Conspiracy. Donna’s most recent feature documentary Nightmare Factory is currently airing on The Movie Network, Movie Central and Space in Canada and on EPIX in the United States. she also made a number of shorts including Town Shoe Repair, Seven Crows and A Space for Sara. Donna has since gone on to write, direct and produce dozens of award winning films which have aired on CBC, Bravo, Global, W Network, Space, Vision TV, The Movie Network, Movie Central, The Independent Film Channel and Starz in the US and have screened at festivals all over the world.


Lindsey McNeill from Edmonton, Alberta
"I’ve been writing since I could hold a pen and swearing like a trucker since they unleashed me on the playground," says Lindsey on her website Scream Queen B. Her first feature film Truckstop Bloodsuckers was produced in 2012 and she is currently working in the film industry, developing several features, a few books and a graphic novel. 


Websites and Festivals Curating Women in Genre:

Women in Horror Month (WiHM) is an international, grassroots initiative, which encourages supporters to learn about and showcase the underrepresented work of women in the horror industries. Whether they are on the screen, behind the scenes, or contributing in their other various artistic ways, it is clear that women love, appreciate, and contribute to the horror genre. Check them out on facebook here.

Magnet Releasing (a genre arm of Magnolia Films) presents XX, a new horror anthology featuring all female directors. XX tells stories with female leads and is produced by XYZ Films (The Raid: Redemption, Tusk). The XX anthology is comprised of short horror films by Karyn Kusama (Girlfight, Jennifer's Body), Mary Harron (American Psycho), Jennifer Lynch (Surveillance), and Jovanka Vuckovic (The Captured Bird). Read more here.  

The Scream Queen Filmfest in Tokyo, organized by film producer Mai Nakanishi, is dedicated to showcasing and promoting emerging and established female genre filmmakers.

The largest genre film festival in the U.S., Fantastic Film Festival (Austin, TX), was "wonderfully diverse and filled with some incredibly fierce female-oriented features," said Britt Hays in Screen Crush on September 26, 2014.

The Female Eye Film Festival in Toronto added a program featuring horror films in 2014, including work by Karen Lam and Danishka Esterhazy. 

Stranger With My Face International Film Festival is based in Hobart, Tasmania. Deriving its name from the young adult novel by Lois Duncan, it promotes discussion around genre and gender, from ghost stories to gore, from art house to exploitation. SWMF has a particular focus on female directors working in horror and related genres and aims to highlight bold new work by independent filmmakers. 

Graveyard Shift Sisters is dedicated to women of colour in horror, and reclaiming the role of blackness in horror.  Their founder Ashlee Blackwell "consumes media and popular culture through a critical lens and an academic background in Liberal Arts," read more about her here. 

50 Must See Horror Films  Directed by Women, a 2014 article in Flavorwire by Alison Nastasi


Reviews of Contemporary Genre Films by Women:

Anthony Lane reviews The Babadook in The New Yorker on December 1, 2014 (urging "Let a law be passed, requiring all horror films to be made by female directors.") and Laura Parker interviews its director, Jennifer Kent, about this shoutout in The Cut, on December 5. 

The Guardian's Joanna Benecke reviews Haunted Heroines: How women are taking the lead in horror films on October 23, 2014.

SACHA – Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton & Area) – is a  feminist organization that believes everyone has a human right to live without violence. They posted a blog by Aaron Allen about how the horror genre can empower women on August 6, 2014. - provides 100-words reviews
Here: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night by Ana Lily Amirpour. The review by David Brake concludes: 
"A pulpy, vampirical Iranian modern noir with power, confidence and verve. Irresistible and iconic, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is outstanding."

"The scare-queen at the heart of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, a new 'vampire Western' film set in Iran, is the exact opposite of your typical Hollywood horror villain," says Laura Barcella in on November 25, 2014.


Women Writing About Genre: 

The Horror Honeys over Vancouver, BC is a collection of strong minded, badass women with foul mouths who are in love with all things horror. “We write, live tweet, interview, rant and rave about everything we love (and hate) about the horror genre.”

Andrea Subissati and Alexandra West write about women in horror in Toronto's online film magazine 'Toronto Film Scene' on October 30, 2014.

Are Horror Films Having a Feminist Crisis?, asks Chelsea Hawkins in on October 31, 2013. 

Susan Elizabeth Lyons lists her favourite female science fiction writers in Women Writing Science Fiction: Some Voices from the Trenches, in the F&SF Forum.

Susan Wloszczyna declared “Dear Hollywood: Hiring women directors could rescue the superhero movie. Love, half the human race.” on, on July 8, 2013. 

Back in 2012, Planet Etheria listed the 10 best mainstream genre films directed by women. 

On October 31st, 2014, Monika Bartyzel wrote an article in her blog Girls On Film about four female filmmakers pioneering horror movies in film history: Alice Guy Blaché, Lois Weber, Maya Deren and Ida Lupino. She also wrote the article Girls on Film: How Women Shaped Horror, in 2010.

Jia H. Jung about Women In Fear – The [Non?] Evolution of the Female Role in Horror Movies, in Genre Across Borders on October 30, 2009




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