Filmmaker Megan Riakos is convinced there is a large number of untapped horror shorts by female directors — enough to curate an anthology feature film to distribute in Australia and internationally.
Her firm Hemlock & Cedar Films has issued a call for genre films of between 10 and 20 minutes, hidden gems that have not been released or did not get a wider release the first time round.
She will curate the collection with Briony Kidd, director of the Stranger With My Face International Film Festival, and has brought on Deadhouse Films’ Enzo Tedeschi (The Tunnel, A Night Of Horror Volume 1, Event Zero) as a consultant.
The venture will be funded through a combination of private investment, sales and partnerships and she is in talks with distributors and sales agents. Based on her experience with her debut feature Crushed, she expects to launch the anthology in festivals, leading to an event-based theatrical tour of Australia and key locations internationally, followed by digital release.
“I am really excited about curating this anthology. There are so many talented female genre filmmakers in this country that have been making work for years that were not getting the festival run or exposure they deserved,” says Riakos, the president of Women in Film & Television (WIFT) NSW.
“We have no restrictions on the date the film was made so it means we are equally interested in a short from 2010 that did a couple of festivals or a brand new short that is not yet released.”
Open-minded about the number of titles that will make the cut, she expects it could be as few as four or as many as 10. After issuing a call for entries last Friday, she has been inundated with inquiries and submissions are starting to flow in.
Kidd said: “This is an exciting project to be involved with and I can’t wait to see what comes out of the woodwork. I have no doubt there’s some amazing work out there that hasn’t yet found recognition or the audience it deserves.”
Filmmakers whose shorts are selected will receive a license fee and a share in a percentage of the film’s profits.
Films must have at least a HD resolution, either be set in Australia and/or by an Australian filmmaker, and be available for exclusive worldwide distribution.
Shorts that have had an extensive festival run and/or are now available online may not be suitable but Riakos encourages filmmakers to submit if they are in doubt as exceptions may be made.
Entries are free and the deadline for submissions is August 16. Head to the website for more information.