HELPING ADVANCE DIVERSITY IN GENRE
(Application Deadline September 1, 2022)
Blood in the Snow Film Festival was created to push the envelope with Canadian genre film, specifically, and has dedicated the last ten years promoting our independent genre cinema. This niche film festival also strives to be the leader in supporting diversity in genre films. We have showcased films representing diverse folklore and culture, including Indigenous and French-language films and actors with disabilities. It's our goal to represent as many communities as possible in the already underrepresented genre film arena. The programming team makes a concerted effort to select based on content, representation, and quality of films so that our diverse audiences feel represented.
Blood in the Snow has also prioritized diversity by hosting panels with esteemed guests from the Black, Asian, Indigenous, and Latinx communities during the Deadly Exposure Industry Market, a well-received and sought-after industry event connecting filmmakers to industry professionals and opportunities to promote their work. They have become areas where frank discussions with filmmakers and industry insiders take place to incite change. Topics at past panels included: 'Kickass Women in Canadian Horror," "Diversity in Genre Film," and "Undoing Tropes with Cultural Sensitivity." These discussions are essential to expanding Canadian filmmakers' views to become more inclusive with their stories and casting and encourage those who may not have felt there was a space for them.
We have also partnered with other festivals in the community to boost the visibility of diverse genre films to different audiences. Recent collaborations include partnering with the Toronto Black Film Festival to present the South African horror The Tokoloshe and the ImagiNATIVE Film Festival midnight horror shorts program, which we have co-presented for several years.
As much as we advocate for diverse genre films in Canada, there is always a need for more representation within the Canadian genre film spectrum. As a part of the 2022 Deadly Exposure Industry Market, the Blood in the Snow Horror Development Lab was created to boost BIPOC, LGTBQ+, women and other underrepresented creators in genre film across Canada. With this program, the festival facilitates the advancement of filmmakers from these communities in the filmmaking process to ensure their projects are taken from script to screen with the help of industry professionals.
(Photography by Anais Are, Horror Development Lab 2022)
HORROR DEVELOPMENT LAB SUBMISSION INFORMATION
The BITS Horror Lab is a development program focused on facilitating business and production opportunities for genre (horror, sci-fi, action, thriller) scripted projects and shorts films by traditionally underrepresented BIPOC, women, and LGBTQ+ Canadian filmmakers and content creators. The Horror Lab will support 12 short-form film concepts or web series in development with the intention of moving these concepts into a feature film or a web series project.
This program is less aimed at mentorship and more about access to business development. Accepted participants will meet with top industry professionals during the Blood in the Snow Film Festival from November 21 to 26, 2022. Participants and industry professionals will follow up on projects and initiatives in early 2023. Horror Lab participants will have scheduled workshops with established industry professionals focusing on developing their projects. All participants will also have access to the Deadly Exposure Industry Market during the festival.
The Horror Lab participants will receive the following:
Filmmakers will receive advice and feedback from established directors, producers, and broadcasters.
Industry leads and will challenge the participants to push their vision through to the very end by identifying and navigating through any development obstacles and changes.
A curated itinerary including a focus on marketing and distribution, scheduled market meetings with attending industry advisors and leads, and short film screenings and pitch feedback.
Each participant receives a few post-festival industry advisor sessions from January to March 2023 with a program "Industry Leader."
Participants will leave with advice on how to revise their package and move forward with it.
Participants will leave with important film business insights and connections.
Industry/peer networking opportunities.
Participants will receive a free Screening & Industry Pass to attend the 2022 Blood in the Snow Film Festival + Deadly Exposure.
Who can apply?
Although applications would be open to everyone, we will give priority to those with or more of the following criteria:
Indigenous, Metis or Inuit
Person of Colour
LGBTQ2IA+*(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Two-Spirit, Intersex, Asexual, and other identities that fall outside cisgender and heterosexual paradigms.)
Disabled (visible and invisible)*
* For all applicants, priority acceptance will be given to projects with BIPOC representation in front and behind the camera.
If you applied to the 2021 Horror Lab and DID NOT make the program, you can apply again. Please DO NOT apply again if you were accepted last year. You are, however, able to apply for the 2023 program.
The lead Lab particpant also must:
Must be a Canadian citizen
Must plan to shoot their film project primarily in Canada
Must have completed at least one polished, completed short film (3 to 30 minutes in length)
Must feel that they are ready to make a feature film (or multi-episode web series)
This is a HORROR development lab, so the film needs to be some type of "genre" project that is horror, sci-fi, action or thriller
What do you need in your application?
All applications this year will be submitted through Film Freeway and must include the following:
At least one previous completed short film that is either its own project or short done as proof of concept. (under 30 minutes)
A 2 to 3 page pitch book/proposal (in pdf) uploaded to Film Freeway describing the project. Please include a story description, bios of the team attached, a general budget summary and anything else you'd like to tell us about the project.
There is a small application fee ranging from $10 to $25, depending on when you apply. If you are financially unable to submit, then you can request a waiver.
Other important details:
The attendee can be the Producer/Director and/or primary writer of the project and have the full rights to the proposed project.
All rights remain with the filmmaker, and BITS has no proprietary interest in any of the projects.
Although the mentor lab will be in English, Francophone, Indigenous language, and other language projects are welcome and encouraged.
Applicants must commit to attending the program in person from November 21 to 23, 2022, in Toronto, Canada.
Applicants must be Canadian citizens and reside in Canada.
Applicants must demonstrate ownership of or option on all underlying rights (if any) to your film project.
Up to two people per project will be allowed to attend the program (budget permitting).
You DO NOT need to be alumni of the Blood in the Snow Film Festival to be a part of the program.
- You can apply for both the festival and the lab with the same application on Film Freeway. There is an option when you apply for the lab to also be considered for the festival.
- We strongly suggest that you upload a second version of your film on Film Freeway if it's already there so that the file for your pitch isn't visible for your other festival submissions you may be doing. If you are unable to do this, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can make other arrangements.
September 1, 2022
Final Application deadline.
October 1, 2022
Notification date to know if you were accepted.
November 21-25, 2022
Horror Development Lab in downtown Toronto. Three days of development and two days of intensive Deadly Exposure events (including panels and round tables). Your pass to the lab will also include a screening pass to all the films in the evenings.
A series of one-on-one meetings (online) with your assigned Industry Lead for followup.
Accessibility at Blood in the Snow + Deadly Exposure
We will be doing everything we can to be as fully accessible and meet everyone's needs to be inclusive as possible. We also have an Accessibility Advisor as a consultant who will also be helping on the selection jury. If selected to the program we will be asking what needs you might have in the acceptance form and we'll do our best to accommodate. Our full accessibility strategy document will be available on our website later this year. Both the Horror Development Lab/ Deadly Exposure industry events at the Chelsea Hotel and the Screenings at the Isabel Bader Theatre are fully wheelchair accessible.
Possible changes due to COVID-19
As we write this (in March 2022), we are still in the pandemic, but we are optimistic that this will be behind us by November 2022. However, if it is deemed still unsafe to have events in person, then we will move the festival and Deadly Exposure online again this year, and the selected applicants will attend the Horror Development Lab virtually. We expect to have a better idea of the situation before final acceptances are sent out for this program.
Schedule of Horror Development Lab
Full schedule to be announced in October 2022.
HORROR DEVELOPMENT LAB TEAM
Kelly Michael Stewart, Festival Director and Founder
Kelly Michael Stewart (he/him) began his career as a contributing film writer to Fangoria Magazine and has more than 250 reviews, interviews and articles published online and in print for various websites and publications. As a filmmaker, he wrote and produced the short film "One More For the Road" and co-wrote and produced the horror anthology feature film "Late Night Double Feature". Kelly founded both Blood in the Snow Film Festival in 2012 and the Deadly Exposure Industry Conference in 2018.
Carolyn Mauricette, Development Coordinator and Programmer
Carolyn Mauricette (she/her) is a Toronto-based film writer and programmer for the Blood in the Snow Film Festival. She has written pieces on diversity, women in sci-fi, and film reviews for Graveyard Shift Sisters and Cinema Axis; both online and print editions of Rue Morgue Magazine and Grim Magazine, and is a Rotten Tomatoes approved critic.
Mariam Bastani, Development Advisor
Mariam Bastani (she/her) is a writer/producer based in Toronto. She is the operations coordinator of Rue Morgue Magazine and co-founder of QTIBIPOC focused multimedia horror creators Audre's Revenge Film. Mariam has curated Canadian, US and International horror screenings and was the Editor-in-Chief of Maximum Rocknroll Magazine. She has been on a number of academic speaking tours regarding PoC in punk culture and several Women in Horror panels.
Alison Lang, Development Advisor
Alison Lang is a writer/editor based in Toronto. She has written for Rue Morgue, ByNWR.com and Art of the Title, among others. Her book Women with Guts, a collection of essays and interviews with women working in horror, is available via the Rue Morgue Library and she has also contributed to Satanic Panic: Pop Culture Paranoia in the 1980s (Spectacular Optical) with a chapter on Geraldo Rivera's Devil Worship special. She has presented on topics related to horror and gender for the Ax Wound Film Festival (Vermont), Final Girls Film Festival (Berlin) and the DePaul University Pop Culture Conference (Chicago).
Jerri Thrasher, Development Advisor
Jerri is an award winning Inuvialuit film director and television producer from the Northwest Territories of Canada. Her work is often centred within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region preserving language and culture with the Inuvialuit Communications Society since 2014. Outside of television she has co-produced films internationally working various roles on-set. In 2015, she joined the Arctic Film Circle consisting of circumpolar Indigenous film directors, this collaboration was created by the International Sami Film Institute (ISFI). Currently, she is working with ISFI on a second circumpolar anthology, Arctic Chills.
HORROR DEVELOPMENT LAB - JURY MEMBERS
Ophira Calof (she/they) is an award winning Disabled artist with credits including Generally Hospital and Literally Titanium. Ophira also works as a curator, educator, and consultant with projects including COVID-19 through a Disability Lens: Storytelling and Filmmaking Project, and Making Space: Stories of Disabled Youth in the GTA.
Thirza Jean Cuthand
Thirza Jean Cuthand (she/her)(b. 1978 Regina SK) makes short videos and films about Indigiqueer issues. She completed her BFA at ECUAD in 2005, and her MA at Ryerson University in 2015. She is Plains Cree/Scots, and a member of Little Pine First Nation.
Katherine Connell (Katie) is a critic, programmer, and educator. She is a staff writer for the London-based feminist film journal Another Gaze and her writing has appeared in various publications including Bitch Media, Canadian Art, Cinema Scope, Hyperallergic, MUBI Notebook, Reverse Shot, Tor.com, and POV Magazine. Katie has participated in film programming for both Pleasure Dome and Inside Out. She writes most frequently about queerness and spectatorship, literary adaptation, horror, and the subversive pleasures of fandom.
Alex Hall is a writer based in Toronto, Ontario. She is the creator of, Lezzie Borden, an Instagram account that examines and archives depictions of queer women in horror. Her work specializes in the interplay of hauntings, queerness and theory. You can read her work in Room, Feels Zine, Gayly Dreadful, Anatomy of a Scream and Neon Horror. Most recently, she has contributed a chapter to a forthcoming book of essays on Queer Horror.
In the beforetime, Petula hosted her podcast at In a TIFF http://inatiff.com/ about films and the Toronto International Film Festival.Now she is the co-host for Back Issue Bloodbath, a podcast about comic books. You can enjoy those alone at home. https://geekhardshow.com/category/podcasts/bib/
Victor Stiff is a Toronto-based film critic who has written for POV Magazine, The Playlist, Film School Rejects, Screen Rant, and the Canadian Academy and hosts and produces the YouTube series Dope Black Movies. Victor is the current news editor and senior critic at That Shelf, where he has covered TIFF, Sundance, Hot Docs and the Montreal Festival du nouveau cinéma. In 2020, Victor received the Toronto Film Critics Association's Emerging Critic award.