The Genre Film Lab 

A national English language contest seeking Canadian women and gender diverse feature film teams and their best genre film scripts!

The Genre Film Lab is made possible thanks to the support of Telefilm Canada, Creative BC and WarnerMedia Access CANADA.

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The Genre Film Lab (formerly known as From Our Dark Side) is an accelerator program designed to support the development of effective finance, packaging and pitching strategies for genre film creators whose projects are at an advanced stage of development. 


Women in Film & Television Vancouver has announced the finalists for the 2022 Genre Film Lab program.

Read Press Release




  • Projects must be for a feature-length film

  • Projects should have a director and lead producer attached (*preference is given to projects with director & producer attached; projects without will still be considered)

  • Writers & directors must be women or gender diverse*, with preference given to teams who are all women or gender diverse.

  • First draft scripts are eligible, so long as they are complete.

  • Genre Film Lab (and From Our Dark Side) alumni and those who have submitted in the past are welcome to submit with full length scripts.
  • The program is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents only and productions must qualify as Canadian. 


We are an equity-seeking organization. Applications from Indigenous, Black and People of Colour, as well as people with disabilities, are strongly encouraged. If you need reasonable accommodation at any point in the application, please let us know.

All applicants will be invited to complete a self identification form to assist us in assessing equity seeking applications.


*WIFTV welcomes applications from all women and gender diverse creators.

We recognize that not all gender diverse people will feel comfortable accessing a program facilitated by an organization named Women in Film and Television Vancouver. We are working to make our language more inclusive for future programs.


All applications should be submitted through FilmFreeway.

PLEASE NOTE: You must upload a complete submission package, not just your screenplay. 

Please include the following in ONE PDF in the order as follows: 

  1. Project title with submitter’s contact information
  2. Logline - a short sentence that states the genre of the film, protagonists, their goal and their main obstacle
  3. A synopsis (50-words) 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 
  4. Team List - name all creative team members followed by a two-sentence description of each member’s previous credits (maximum of 3) or experience 
  5. Budget & Finance Plan: Please list your estimated budget in CAD and outline your finance plan (intended sources of funding, including the percentage each source will contribute to your overall budget). If you have any confirmed financing, please indicate the amount and the source and also include proof of agreement with these sources . 
  6. Goals - Outline in 250 words maximum your goals & motivations for participating in the The Genre Film Lab Program (what you hope to achieve through the program), as well as your overall timeline for completing your project, and what types of partners you are currently seeking. 
  7. A full-length script not more than 120 pages (please note the draft number and date of draft completion)
  8. If your concept touches upon Indigenous traditional knowledge, linguistic or cultural intellectual property, or Indigenous, Black and People of Colour or queer content please include an additional page where describe your relationship to this content and how appropriate protocols are/will be observed or addressed. 





For questions regarding submissions please contact:


Awards & Prizes

A jury of top genre creators will select five projects which will be announced by the end of April 2022 and the program will run from late May through July 2022.

The program will provide consultations on packaging, financing and pitching concluding with participation at the Frontičres International Genre film Finance and Packaging Forum held in conjunction with the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal from July 21-24. Projects will participate in a special pitch session at Frontieres and meet with leading international genre industry professionals. Please note that participation details and possible travel stipends will be subject to the structure of Frontičres 2022; activities may be offered in a virtual setting only.


What is Genre Film? 

Genre projects include, but are not limited to 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, cannibals and human sacrifice.

The Genre Film Lab sees limitless possibilities in genre for women and gender diverse storytellers. This accelerator 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!

WIFTV believes in fostering an inclusive, equitable and accessible environment, where all participants and staff feel valued, respected and supported. We are dedicated to building a program that reflects Canada's diversity and elevating voices from the Indigenous, Black, People of Colour, people with disabilities, queer and gender diverse communities who are members of the Canadian genre film community.

This WIFTV program was developed and is produced by Board members Sharon McGowan and Gwen Haworth, under the guidance of an Advisory Board of genre film experts including Lindsay Peters, Maureen Levitt, Karen Lam, Amanda Tapping, Rachel Talalay and Rupert Harvey. 

The Genre Film Lab is made possible with the support of Telefilm CanadaCreative BC and WarnerMedia Access CANADA

This year’s Lab Director is Vanessa Meyer, former Programming Director for Frontičres International Co-Production Market in Montreal. 


Rules & Terms

Project must be an ORIGINAL concept for a narrative feature film (*if the project is an adaptation, you must provide documented proof that you hold the rights to this adaptation). 

Projects must be in the advanced development stage and not have yet entered production. By advanced development we mean that the project must have a completed feature length script, as well as a producer, and director attached. 

If your project has already secured any financing, you must submit proof of this financing and indicate the percentage you have not yet secured. 

Project must qualify as GENRE in nature (see description above “What is Genre Film?”)

Project must be written & directed by women and gender diverse people and contain a strong representation of roles for women and gender diverse people.

Project materials must be submitted in English but the project itself may be in any language (please indicate your project’s original language if it is non-English). Please note all related activities for winners will be conducted in English (*efforts will be made to accommodate other languages when possible). 

Applicants may apply with a maximum of two projects. 

Co-writers and co-directors may apply, but all writers & directors must be women or gender diverse people.

In the case of co-writers & co-directors, each applicant may submit a maximum of two entries. For example, a writing team of two people may submit four projects total. Each entry requires its own registration and payment. 

Previous applicants or participants of the Early Development iteration (Script Concept Contest) of The Genre Film Lab (formerly known as From Our Dark Side) are eligible to apply. 

Contest is open to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada. 

Contestants retain all rights to their projects. 

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 The Genre Film Lab, 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.


By submitting to the The Genre Film Lab contest, the applicant(s) agree(s) to the following submission release rules: 

You own or control the content of your script. You have the full and exclusive right to submit the script to WIFTV and no other person or corporation has any right, title or interest in the script. The script is not defamatory and does not infringe upon or violate the privacy rights, copyrights, trademarks, publicity or other intellectual or proprietary rights of any third party. 

WIFTV has the right to copy, use and distribute your submission package for the purpose of its evaluation and review. If selected, WIFTV has the right to publicize the title and a description of the script as well as your name as the author and or director and or producer. 

WIFTV, its representatives or assigns, including the jury and mentors for this contest, may already, or in the future, be developing materials similar to the script. You acknowledge they have the unrestricted right to use these similar materials and you will have no right or recourse against WIFTV, its representatives or assigns for use of these similar materials.




2021 Winners

The Genre Film Lab Past Projects

The Genre Film Lab Alumna