Attention Genre Filmmakers: New Scriptwriting Residency in Bruges

Contributing Editor; Cairo, Egypt (@bonnequin)
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Attention Genre Filmmakers: New Scriptwriting Residency in Bruges

Hey there aspiring genre filmmakers! Do you have a feature-length script of the fantasy/horror variety? And does it feature a lead character from a less represented group (ie. female, LGBTQ+, from a minority background, or persons living with a disability)? Then indie studio Melancholy Star has just the residency for you!

In the picturesque city of Bruges, Belgium, the two-week residency (slated for June/July 2018) will offer those selected with the opportunity to develop their script in this idyllic setting, with help from industry professionals.

Melancholy Star company directors Elizabeth E. Schuch (writer/director of The Book of Birdie) and Konstantinos Koutsoliotas will be in residence at the house as well and actively available to advise on writing, VFX, storyboarding or design elements.

For Schuch, “hearing the experiences of fellow filmmakers, it’s becoming increasingly clear to me how difficult it is for women, queer and minority filmmakers to get support for their projects. And often for programmes like this there are age barriers or career requirements that are difficult to meet. I want to see more dark and fantastic stories from a range of voices find their way into the world.  And it’s really difficult to keep at it, self-motivated, unfunded and isolated. By making this residency, it’s our small way of helping make those projects happen and giving them a little support network. We hope to provide a safe place for creativity to thrive.“

From the press release:

London-based indie film & VFX studio MELANCHOLY STAR announces the inaugural edition of a new filmmaker-in-residence programme aimed at discovering new voices in genre writing for film.

Melancholy Star is committed to inspiring creativity and making strange but beautiful things, and is thrilled to offer a residency initiative situated in the scenic medieval town of Bruges, Belgium. Support for diverse voices and stories is now more important than ever and with that in mind we have created the Starlight Filmmaker Residency with a focus on finding talented genre filmmakers acting without the benefit of public funding or previous awards, and at any age and stage in their career. At the Starlight Filmmaker Residency, selected filmmakers will have a safe and creatively constructive environment to focus on their writing without distraction, that’s tucked away in a beautiful gothic setting sure to fire the imagination.

  • The Residency spans a two week period, in Bruges, at the Melancholy Star Studio, a charming renaissance-era house. The selected filmmaker will be able to work on their script during that time and receive feedback on their work from an industry panel, formed from a spectrum of professionals to assist in techniques to push the project forward.
  • Filmmakers (Writers or Writer/Directors) from anywhere in the world may apply. There is no application fee. Applicants must be aged 18 or over.
  • The goal of this programme is to empower less heard voices in filmmaking, so priority consideration will be given to writers who are female, LGBTQ+, from a minority background, or persons living with a disability.
  • The programme provides room and board* during the two-week residency. *Accommodation includes: a private room with shower ensuite, wifi, and writing space. Meals will be provided.
  • With food and housing taken care of - the selected filmmaker will be able to focus on developing their script during those two and receive feedback on their work from a industry panel, giving them good advice for taking the project forward.  
  • Selection will be announced on the website, twitter, and via email to the applicants.
  • The applicant will need to cover their own travel expenses to get to Bruges. We are are happy to provide the winner with a letter of invitation and testimonials about the residency that may be used to help seek travel funding.  
  • Up to two projects will be selected for the residency.
  • We hope filmmakers will come away from the residency inspired and refreshed creatively, with a huge leap forward on their projects and some great feedback to help get their project to the next level professionally.  Also the network of supportive professionals involved can be a great resource for your career and attracting interest in your work.

INDUSTRY PANEL

Industry panelists will be available during or upon completion of the residency to offer feedback and assist the script in moving forward. The panel will include writers, critics and genre festival directors. Melancholy Star company directors Elizabeth E. Schuch and Konstantinos Koutsoliotas will be in residence at the house as well and actively available to advise on writing, VFX, storyboarding or design elements.  This years panelists will be announced at the end of May.

The Starlight Residency Programme is excited to grow and expand and is actively looking for sponsors and partners equally as invested in nurturing diverse new voices as we are.

Full details and the application are now available on the Melancholy Star website. Filmmakers, get cracking!

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