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

From Our Dark Side is made possible thanks to the support of Creative BC, Super Channel, and Telefilm Canada.

Full 2021 Contest Rules & Application Procedure



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News About From Our Dark Side:

July 31, 2018 — Indiewire highlights the Created By Women Pitches in "Vomiting Monster Birds and Serial Killer Podcasts Among the Horror Movie Highlights at Fantasia’s Frontieres Market"

July 24, 2018 — Screen Anarchy shares summaries of the From Our Dark Side 2018 winning project pitches from Frontičres in their article "Fantasia 2018: Created by Women and Arctic Chill Frontieres Pitches"

March 29, 2018 — WIFT-AT posts on their blog, "WIFT-AT MEMBER MAKES WAVES IN VANCOUVER!"

March 7, 2018 — Playback publishes "WIFT-V unveils genre contest winners"

October 31, 2017 — Georgia Straight publishes "Women in Film and TV Vancouver's From Our Dark Side genre competition beckons female writers"

July 27th 2017 — lists "Water From Stones" by Bridget Canning (2017 From Our Dark Side Winner) in their article "Fantasia’s Frontičres 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:




Karen Lam has worked full-time in the film and television industry since 2000. Starting her career as a producer and entertainment lawyer, Karen has produced four feature films, eight short films and three television series. Her first short film as a writer/director (“The Cabinet”) won the NSI Drama Prize in 2006. She has since written/directed seven short films, a music video, a documentary television series, two feature films — “Stained” (2010) and “Evangeline” (2013) — and a web series “Mythos” (2015). Check out this interview with Karen Lam on the WIFTV blog. 




Canadian identical twin sister writing and directing duo, Jen and Sylvia Soska, known as the Twisted Twins, first broke onto the scene with their DIY love letter to Grindhouse filmmaking, DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK. The twins went onto follow up their break through indie gem with the accomplished and genre defining AMERICAN MARY, that placed horror icon Katharine Isabelle (GINGER SNAPS) in the title role of Mary Mason, a medical student who gets drawn into the world of body modification and underground surgeries. The Soska Sisters have gone on to be very outspoken about equal rights across the board including but not limited to gender equality and equal rights for the LGBT community. They're actively involved in promoting blood donation and create a new PSA for it every February. And they are only just getting started. 2014 promises to be a big year with the Soska Sisters bringing a new life to SEE NO EVIL 2 where they resurrect the WWE Studios franchise with WWE Superstar Glenn "Kane" Jacobs reprising his role as Jacob Goodnight and scream queens Danielle Harris and Katharine Isabelle appear together for the first time. As well, the Twins will be one of the all star director line up for ABCs of Death 2 in a segment that will shock and be destined for cult status along with releasing their first action film, VENDETTA, starring Dean Cain and Paul "The Big Show" Wight like you've never seen them before.


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.  



Elza Kephart graduated from Emerson College with a BFA in Film Production and Screenwriting. She then returned to her hometown of Montreal where she wrote and directed her first feature, GRAVEYARD ALIVE - A ZOMBIE NURSE IN LOVE. The film has screened in over 20 international film festivals and garnered numerous awards, including the Slamdance Film Festival award for Best Cinematography, was picked up for distribution and international sales. Her second feature, GO IN THE WILDERNESS, premiered at the Festival du Nouveau Cinema and has screened at several international film festivals. Kephart has attended the Canadian Film Centre’s Director’s Lab, the TIFF Talent Lab, the Berlinale Talent Campus, and juried for the SODEC. She is a chapter leader of the Montreal Film Fatales. She has received development financing for her feature scripts SWEET BLOOD, BROTHERS IN ARMS, and LE FANTOME DE LA LIBERATION. She is developing her third feature, NIGHT OF THE PENDULUM, also financed by the SODEC.



Rachel Talalay worked in a number of different capacities in filmmaking before making her directorial debut with the film Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991). She also worked on the first two movies about Freddy Krueger. Her work with the earlier Freddy movies utilized her computer skills and finding ways to create better special effects while still keeping costs low. Talalay also directed Tank Girl in 1995, and was looking into re-optioning the rights to make a new film in 2008. As a film producer, Talalay worked with director John Waters on the films Hairspray (1988) and Cry-Baby (1990). Rachel went on to work on episodes of the newly revived Dr Who, as well as Sherlock and now Riverdale.


Women Writing & Talking About Genre: 

Anatomy of Scream is a female-run, queer-positive horror entertainment and lifestyle site offering news, reviews, analyses, and humour with a feminist perspective.

Fishmuffins of Doom is a genre blog full of horror reviews and retrospect 

Final Girl explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s and all the other horror movies writer, Stacey Ponder, finds interesting. 

Faculty of Horror is a podcast by horror journalists and occasional academics Andrea Subissati and Alexandra West are your hosts for brain plumping discussions on all things that go bump in the night.

Good Mourning Nancy is hosted by Gracie & Abbey, long-time friends and self-proclaimed horror nerds, this podcast about their favorite scary movies will lift your spirits and give you the strength to join the living for the rest of the day!

Shockwaves is presented by and hosted by Rob Galluzzo (Senior Editor:, FEARnet, Icons Of Fright), Elric Kane (This Week In Horror, Inside Horror) and Rebekah McKendry (Editor In Chief:, Fangoria) for a weekly discussion and analysis of all facets of the horror genre! “I want to help other female filmmakers achieve their fullest potential and turn their dreams and visions into a reality,” says Rebekah McKendry, PhD. “By giving women the tools they need to succeed, we can begin to reshape the industry into a more gender neutral place.” Mckendry is the former marketing director of the world-famous horror magazine Fangoria, former editor of, and currently teaches cinema studies at USC.

The Girls in the Back Row is a horror movie review & discussion podcast brought to you by Kate and Tab, the kind of girls your mother warned you about!

The Horror Honeys over in 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.”

Women in Caskets - From Austin, TX, Jen Brown and Dawn Humphrey follow the local tradition of keeping it weird. When they're not earning a buck somewhere, they can often be found watching, reading, and playing anything related to horror, suspense, and the things that go bump in the night.

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.

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:

In the New York Times article "Not Shying Away From Horror" (October 13, 2017) Fahima Haque writes "Fans of horror movies are not all white men, and the makeup of the filmmakers working in the genre is starting to reflect that. People of color, especially women of color, are making themselves heard in the industry." 

The Hollywood Reporter looks at "Why Female-Driven Horror Movies Are More Timely Than Ever" (October 11, 2017)

The Guardian article, "The Female Directors Bringing New Blood to Horror Films" (March 19, 2017) "Women are sinking their teeth ever deeper into horror. We chart their rise and talk to directors Ana Lily Amirpour, Julia Ducournau and Karyn Kusama" 

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 the review here.  

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.





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