WIFTV Presents: From Our Dark Side

A National English language contest seeking the best genre project ideas by diverse, Canadian women. 

**Application's closed on October 31st, 2019**

Full 2020 Contest Rules & Application Procedure

From Our Dark Side Facebook page | From Our Dark Side Resource Page | From Our Dark Side BlogsFrom Our Dark Side Twitter

Read about the 2020 winners here & Check out past projects here 

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

Submit your maximum 3-5 page genre project outline by October 31st and win an incubator program designed to advance your feature film project and increase your knowledge of the genre market.

  • Projects should be for a feature film with the potential to be a limited series (6-8 webisodes)
  • Projects may be submitted by women writers or producers 
  • No previous film writing or producing experience necessary
  • Resubmissions welcome!

What is genre film? Genre projects, as we define them, include 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 projects 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 as well as the opportunities for project development, whether that be a feature film or limited series.

We want you to be a part of the rebirth of genre. We are looking for women writers or producers 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.

How does the contest work? A jury of top genre creators will select five winners. The five winners will receive a $500 cash prize and participate in a six-month incubator program from March to August 2020.

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

  • Full accreditation and a partial travel subsidy to the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival (VIWFF) in March 2020, where winners will begin the program, participate in consultations and group meetings on writing and pitching
  • Consultation with a genre film or TV 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 partial travel subsidy (if certain creative milestones are met*) to the Montreal Edition of the Frontičres International Co-Production Market, held in July alongside the Fantasia Film Festival, where winners will participate in pitch sessions for early stage female-driven projects and consult with a variety of genre industry professionals including producers and distributors
  • Consultation with a genre producer

*Winners are expected to work on their projects between March and July and have a 15-page treatment or first draft screenplay ready ready by May 1st 2020 (in time for a story editor consultation), and a pitch and promotional package ready by June, in time to take to the Frontičres International Co-Production Market in July. Guidance in the preparation of these materials will be provided.

Projects will be announced and promoted on the WIFTV website, genre project sites and social media to build interest and contacts for potential industry collaborators. WIFTV is pleased that the following have participated in the program as consultants: Producer Rupert Harvey (Nightmare on Elm Street 5, On the Farm); Director Rachel Talalay (Sherlock, Dr. Who, Tank Girl); Director Karen Lam (Evangeline, Stained); Producer Elizabeth Yake (It’s All Gone Pete Tong, It’s All Gone Green); Screenwriter Dennis Heaton (FIDO); Screenwriter Peggy Thompson (Better Than Chocolate) and Digital Marketing Strategy Expert Annelise Larson. Story editors have included: Karen Walton, Carrie Gadsby, Lesley Krueger, Nikki Saltz, Sara Snow and Dennis Heaton. 

Women in Film and Television Vancouver 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 of all of our communities. 

This WIFTV program is produced by Board members Sharon McGowan and Peggy Thompson, under the guidance of an Advisory Board of genre film experts that includes directors Karen Lam, Amanda Tapping, Rachel Talalay and Rupert Harvey.


Click here for full contest rules and application procedure


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