WIFTV announces #VIWIFF2016 Festival Awards

The exhilarating week that marked the 11th Annual Vancouver Int’l Women in Film Festival (#VIWIFF2016) kicked off with a bang on International Women’s Day, March 8. The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) chose our venue to announce its groundbreaking initiative that 50 per cent of future NFB productions will be directed by women.

The festival week that ensued featured a plethora of films created by women from all over world, and offered numerous opportunities for networking and professional development.

The festival came to a close on Sunday, March 13, with the annual awards gala. Continue reading

Close Up of the 2016 From Our Dark Side winners

Let’s have a closer look at the Top Five winning projects and their writers of #FromOurDarkSide’s second season, who were announced on February 29, 2016.

Ana de Lara, Victoria, BC — The Chosen One

Headshot, Ana, Director 2Ana de Lara is a Filipina-Canadian award-winning filmmaker who likes to explore a variety of genres.

The Chosen One is a feature film thriller about a Filipina-Canadian playwright who must stop dark forces that have been summoned by Filipino witchcraft from attacking her sanity.

“As a filmmaker it’s always been my intention to branch out from comedies and dramas,” says de Lara, who intends to direct her script. “I’m so thrilled for the opportunity to explore my dark side and to advance a script concept I’ve had for years.”

de Lara is also one of eight female Canadian directors selected for the 2016 Women in the Directors Chair Story & Leadership Program to develop her first feature film script: The Virgin Mary Had a Little Lamb.

Follow Ana de Lara on Twitter @anadelaraonline.

Elisabeth de Mariaffi, St. John’s, NL— Fly Girls

Elisabeth de Mariaffi_Elisabeth de Mariaffi is the Giller Prize-nominated author of one book of short stories, How To Get Along With Women and the literary thriller, The Devil You Know, which is currently in development with New Metric Media. Her poetry and short fiction have been widely published in magazines across Canada. Elisabeth now makes her home in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where she lives with the poet George Murray.

As a novelist and literary activist, Elisabeth de Mariaffi writes mostly about power. A self-professed ‘fraidy-cat, Elisabeth has nonetheless written one novel about serial killers and is now face and eyes into a new book — and it’s a ghost story.

In her thriller Fly Girls, flight attendant trainees trapped overnight on an island airport fight off a four-man crew of vampire pilots who arrive unexpectedly from Alaska.

“The idea for Fly Girls was planted when I did real-life overnight training for my own (short-lived) career as a flight attendant,” says de Mariaffi. “I’ve been dying to write a flight attendant vs. vampires movie ever since. Having spent the last few years working solely on fiction, I’m excited for the opportunity to develop a new story in what is for me, a totally new way — film.”

Follow Elisabeth de Mariaffi on Twitter @ElisabethdeM; Facebook as well as her website www.elisabethdemariaffi.com.

Gada Jane, Kitchener, ON — Video Star

Gada Jane - 15Gada Jane is a filmmaker and writer who specializes in conscientious sensationalism. Her films explore the rawness of bodies in a world of screens and social media. Jane’s most recent project is a short film about celebrity, death, and getting attention online called John Orpheus is Dead. The film was part of a multidisciplinary collaboration that includes an album, concerts, music videos and a jewellery line. With a masters degree in drama from the University of Guelph, she started her career as a theatre director and dramaturg developing scripts for production. Jane has since made music videos, short films and a touchscreen interactive tour of a Quantum Physics Lab. She is a writer equally proficient in the technologies of new media creation. From her home in Canada’s Tech Hub, Kitchener-Waterloo, she writes scripts for projects based all across Canada.

In her dystopian assassin story, Video Star, Aasha and her friends are lured into a deal that promises fame and fortune for murdering people for audience entertainment but ultimately threatens to destroy their friendship and their lives.

“I’m very excited for the chance to work with some of the amazing mentors assembled by WIFTV for From Our Dark Side,” says Jane, who intends do direct the film. “As I am just beginning work on my first feature, the support and guidance of these professionals could not come at a better time.”

Follow Gada Jane on Twitter at @gadajane, Instagram @gadajane and her website.

Jennifer Krukowski, Toronto, ON — Right Hand Rule

Jennifer KrukowskiJennifer Krukowski is a Toronto-based actor, writer, life model, and odd-jobber, with a particular interest in horror, dark comedy, and true crime. She was born in Ottawa, Ontario to a painter and a musician. Jennifer graduated from York University’s Theatre Studies Program in 2010 and became a full ACTRA member in 2013. An emerging screenwriter, Krukowski has recently begun to take sitcom writing classes, and is currently in pre-production as a producer and director on a true-crime documentary.

In Right Hand Rule, a gang of rebellious delivery girls plot to win back its newest member when she is recruited as a corporate secretary in this nostalgic action-comedy.

“They say that constraint breeds creativity. Having worked as an actor for nearly a decade, I sometimes feel helpless about the quality and quantity of roles available to female actors. Rather than letting my frustrations discourage me from continuing to pursue work in the film and television industry, I feel compelled to take a more proactive approach to affecting change by way of creating more female roles and role models as a screenwriter,” says Krukowski. “The From Our Dark Side contest is a unique and important opportunity for women in film and television to be heard, not in spite of our frustrations or quirks, but in celebration of them. Being recognized as a finalist has made it feel possible to take my writing to the next level. Writing can be a very solitary process, and getting a sense of support and community in the pursuit of professional development as a writer is enormously encouraging.”

Follow Jennifer Krukowski on Twitter & Instagram: @jenkrukowski.

Ashley Lynch, Burnaby, BC — Suicide Girl

Ashley Lynch - headshot 01Ashley Lynch is a writer, director and editor specializing in creating female-led genre stories. As an independent writer/director, she has worked on many short films. Lynch is also an experienced post-production professional and owner of Gingerbreadgirl Post, specializing in genre editing, colour grading and theatrical trailer campaigns. Her work has been seen on Telus Optik, Discovery Channel and A&E as well as many film festivals around the world. Her first feature film, Chloe Didn’t Come Home Last Night, is currently in development.

In Suicide Girl, the suicidal but unkillable Morrigan Nevaro is targeted by an opportunistic pharma CEO intent on harvesting her ability. She has to fight to protect her friends and prevent her curse from being mass produced.

“Winning the From Our Darkside mentorship is an incredible privilege and honour,” says Lynch, who intends to direct her action thriller. “My personal mandate is to tell genre stories of female heroes to inspire a new generation of young women. I call this .44 calibre feminism, or equal opportunity ass kicking. This mentorship will enable me to tell those stories and help to bring them to an audience.”

Follow Ashley Lynch on Twitter: @ashleylynch, on Facebook and on her website www.gingerbreadgirlpost.com.

 

From Our Dark Side Announces 2016 Winners

DarkSide-website_0000_headerWomen In Film + Television Vancouver’s (WIFTV) is delighted to announce the 2016 From Our Dark Side Genre Concept Competition and Mentorship winners!

The competition closed submissions on January 4th, 2016 with over 150 entries from across the country. Once again, women writers sent a powerful message that there is a large, untapped talent pool in Canada and a desire for more female-driven genre stories on our screens.

“We are very happy to be a part of this innovative initiative,” said Melissa Kajpust, Head of Creative Development for Super Channel. “We strongly support projects that advance the voices of women filmmakers in the industry and genre films are something we embrace on Super Channel, so this competition is a perfect fit.” Continue reading

#FromOurDarkSide FAQs

**as asked during the recent info sessions***

Remember: The submission deadline for Season 2 ends on January 4th, 2016 at midnight Pacific Time.

A snapshot of participants of our Dec. 17 online session on zoom!

A snapshot of participants of our Dec. 17 online session on zoom!

Q: Does my protagonist have to be female?
A: Yes, they must be female. The idea of the contest is to increase the number of women in front as well as behind the camera. This includes interesting female characters. Continue reading

Meet Suzanne MacLennan, VFX producer and #FromOurDarkSide Mentor

Suzanne MacLennan at work with a real bow from the TV series Arrow!

Suzanne MacLennan at work with a real bow from the TV series Arrow!

Suzanne MacLennan is a senior visual effects producer whose recent productions include the television series Arrow, The 100 and Once Upon A Time. Suzanne says she enjoys the entire production process from initial concept script through screening final shots, “except waiting for CG renders, which is never awesome.”

WIFTV is delighted to have Suzanne on the team of #FromOurDarkSide visual effects mentors!

We spoke with Suzanne about her take on genre and what being a mentor means to her: Continue reading

Meet Digital Media Strategist, #FromOurDarkSide mentor, Annelise Larson

Annelise LarsonIf you’re enjoying #FromOurDarkSide’s daily Facebook links to women working in genre worldwide, you’ve got Annelise Larson to thank for! Annelise joined the From Our Dark Side mentor pool last year and has been one of our most prolific mentors – guiding all of the 2015 mentorship recipients towards a successful digital strategy for their films.

Annelise comes from a background as an indie producer and writer but has worked in the field of digital marketing for over 20 years. Her focus is helping content creators and storytellers define, find, attract and engage their audiences and work toward strategic and sustainable digital business models. Her groundbreaking online course, Becoming a Storypreneur: Digital Marketing for Screen Media is running its fourth cohort across Canada, with a cohort from Sweden scheduled to start in the new year. Continue reading

Meet VFX Producer, #FromOurDarkSide mentor Charlene Eberle

Charlene Eberle. Photo courtesy of Image Engine

Charlene Eberle. Photo courtesy of Image Engine

WIFTV is delighted that Charlene Eberle is joining #FromOurDarkSide as a VFX mentor. Charlene is the Visual Effects Executive Producer at Image Engine, a Vancouver visual effects and feature animation studio.

Charlene joined Image Engine’s senior team in mid 2014, with almost two decades’ experience in visual effects production on feature films, television and commercials projects across North America under her belt. She’s passionate about the visual effects industry, having held wide-ranging roles from supervision to production. Continue reading

Meet Astron-6 member, filmmaker and #FromOurDarkSide mentor Adam Brooks

Adam BrooksAdam Brooks began his career as a figurative oil painter, exhibiting at The Winnipeg Art Gallery before founding the filmmaking collective Astron-6 in 2007 with four other filmmakers, Jeremy Gillespie, Matthew Kennedy, Conor Sweeney and Steven Kostanski. Astron-6 produced a collection of short films before breaking into feature films with the sci-fi/horror-comedy Manborg in 2011, followed by the grindhouse/revenge satire Father’s Day. His most recent film The Editor, an absurdist take on the giallo genre, premiered at The Toronto International Film Festival before touring the world and winning a handful of awards along the way.

But what is Astron-6? Continue reading