Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Ingrid Veninger announces pUNK Films FEMMES LAB Screenwriting Intensive


Following a fall festival tour for her latest feature film, The Animal Project, Ingrid Veninger returned to Toronto with a desire to see more fiction features written and directed by Canadian women. On November 18th, she proposed the idea of a screenwriting lab on her Facebook page, and received 20 submissions.

“I want to galvanize the Canadian women who have already completed at least one feature film”, says DIY Queen Ingrid Veninger, “and who want to pursue their filmmaking with an eye on taking bigger creative risks.”

“When I won the EDA Award for The Animal Project at the Whistler Film Festival from the Alliance of Women Film Journalists,” adds Ingrid, “I decided to take a chance at the podium. I offered a first look at the 6 scripts written in the Femmes Lab, to the first person who stepped up with $6000… The room was stone silent until Melissa Leo stood up and shouted, “I’ll do it!”… she’s is a true champion. Over the holidays I received Melissa’s cheque, which will be shared between the participating women. Then TIFF offered us a place to meet at the Lightbox. So it’s on!”

pUNK Films FEMMES LAB will run a total of six months, from January to June, 2014, where the 6 participants will meet once a month. At the end of the six months, six feature film screenplays will be complete.

“Anais and Mars have ideas for their scripts so their feet are already in the water, but the rest of us, myself included, are back at the beach. We had our first lab session the other day, and each of us defined our goals for February. It’s going to be intense, but I am so excited about this Lab, and I’m so grateful to Melissa for taking the leap with us.” - Ingrid Veninger


Ingrid Veninger: Toronto, Ontario.

Born in Bratislava and raised in Canada, Ingrid Veninger formed pUNK Films Inc. with a ‘nothing is impossible’ manifesto. In 2012, she was awarded the Jay Scott Prize from the Toronto Film Critics Association and executive-produced five features with the $5000 of award money, launching the 1K WAVE in Toronto. Since 2008, Ingrid has produced six feature films: ONLY (TIFF 2008, Slamdance), Nurse.Fighter.Boy (TIFF 2008, Karlovy Vary, Warsaw), MODRA (TIFF 2010, Canada’s Top Ten), i am a good person/i am a bad person (TIFF 2011, MoMA, Goa), The End of Time (TIFF 2012, Locarno, IDFA), and The Animal Project (TIFF 2013, Canadian Theatrical Release March, VOD June 2014).

Danishka Esterhazy: Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Danishka Esterhazy is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre and the National Screen Institute. Her debut feature, Black Field, won the Best Feature Drama award at Vancouver’s Women in Film Festival, and the Best Canadian Feature award at Toronto’s Female Eye Film Festival. Danishka is a recipient of the prestigious Kodak New Vision Award for most promising Canadian director, awarded by Women in Film and Television Toronto. Her second feature film H&G recently premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival, and will have its theatrical release in March 2014.

"I am thrilled to have been chosen. The talent in this group is amazing. As women filmmakers, we are all aware of the disparities in the film industry. But it takes trailblazers like Ingrid Veninger and Melissa Leo to stand up and do something about it. I can't wait to get started.” - Danishka Esterhazy

Michelle Latimer: Toronto, Ontario.

Michelle Latimer is a Métis/Algonquin filmmaker, actor, and curator. Her award-winning documentary ALIAS premiered at the 2013 Hot Docs Film Festival, before screening internationally. Prior to that, her short film Choke premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, receiving a Special Jury Honorable Mention in International Short Filmmaking. Choke was an official selection for TIFF Canada’s Top Ten of 2012, and was also nominated for a Genie Award. Michelle currently stars in the critically acclaimed television series Blackstone, and is collaborating with celebrated filmmaker Peter Mettler to develop a hybrid-genre feature about Canada’s only female dangerous offender. In 2013, she was named one of Playback's 10 To Watch.

I feel so fortunate to be creating alongside such tremendous, strong and articulate women. Having this sense of community is vital to the health of our industry but also to the world at large. I look forward to what we'll do together - I'm sure it will be nothing less than fierce!” - Michelle Latimer

Sophie Deraspe: Montreal, Quebec.

Sophie Deraspe fell into cinema through visual arts and literature. As a director and a cinematographer, she had worked mostly in documentary before directing her realism-bending debut feature Missing Victor Pellerin (2006). Sophie completed her second feature Vital Signs in 2009, which had its World Premiere at Montreal’s Festival du Nouveau Cinema, and its International Premiere in Rotterdam. Altogether Vital Signs has accumulated 15 prizes in over 30 festivals around the world. Sophie Deraspe is currently directing her third feature film on the astonishing Magdalen Islands.

"A sisterhood in my vast and culturally widespread country? It's not an easy goal for us Canadian artist filmmakers, living in different provinces, speaking different languages, and seeing the world through different lenses to meet physically once a month to share thoughts on something so intimate as creation... But, aren't the toughest challenges the ones we cherish the most? Aller, je prends le train!" - Sophie Deraspe

Mars Horodyski: Toronto, Ontario.

Mars Horodyski is an alumnus of the Canadian Film Centre's Director's Lab and the Berlinale Talent Campus. Her experience in documentary filmmaking and background in fine arts informs her distinct visual style. She has directed over 20 short films, which have screened at numerous festivals including the Montreal World Film Festival, the Atlantic Film Festival, the Whistler Film Festival, and the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films. Mars recently completed her first feature, Ben's At Home, which she directed, produced and co-wrote.

"It’s time for more women filmmakers to unleash their voices. We need a support system in place that will allow us to push our artistic boundaries and start embracing work that is truly our own. For me, this lab is exactly that." - Mars Horodyski

Anais Granofsky: Toronto, Ontario.

Anais Granofsky is a veteran performer, having starred in the original CBC series, Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High as Lucy. She graduated from NYU and received the top prize at the Tisch School of the Arts. Her short film Dead Letters Don't Die (starring Amanda Plummer) won the school’s prestigious Mobile award. Anais has directed three feature films, Have Mercy (TMN, CityTV/Bravo!), On Their Knees (TIFF) and The Limb Salesman (TIFF, Vancouver, Goteborg, Vladivostok, Sarasota and Montreal’s Festival du Nouveau Cinema). Having taken some years off to raise three children, Anais is happy to be back to work on a new original screenplay.

“What an opportunity to write fierce and personal narratives in the company of prolific and creative women. Ingrid was the spark; we hope to fan the flames.” - Anais Granofsky


Nov. 18th, 2013: Ingrid Veninger’s Facebook Post


I would like to propose a 6-MONTH pUNK Films Femmes Lab.

IDEA: We meet 1x per month for 6 months. January to June, 2014.
At the end, we have 6 completed feature film screenplays.


a) You have to be a Woman.
b) You have to be Canadian.
c) You have to have a Writer or Director credit on at least 1 (one) completed feature film.
d) You have to be ravenous to write a feature screenplay and commit to this 6-month exercise.


a) Let me know your interest and include your Bio.
Message me on facebook or email me here:

b) I will watch your films and meet with interested Women in person or via Skype in December.

c) I will select and announce the 5 Women in January, 2014.

Questions? Please ask.

Nov. 19th 2013: Ingrid Veninger’s Follow-up Post

Re: pUNK Films Femmes Lab [PFFL]

First, a massive thank-you to everyone who shared my Nov. 18th post (keep sharing),
and to those who expressed excitement and interest in PFFL.

For certainty: PFFL not about making first features **
It is to fuel Women to go past the first.

PFFL will not be like any other kind of development process. I can promise that.
And, you do NOT need a feature film idea to start… You just need a fire in your belly to create a feature film and a readiness to commit: January - June 2014. AND, you need to have been through the process (at least once) of completing a feature film, as a Writer or Director.

Upon receiving your Email or FB message of Interest, I will ask to watch your film.

** For all the women wanting to make their first feature film, I can offer this :
If a Woman can galvanize others (no maximum) and get a potluck going in Toronto between December 16-30th, I will lead a 4-hour 1KWAVE workshop to start you off.

In Solidarity,
Ingrid V.
pUNK Films Inc.

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