Twi-hards rejoice! The world created by author Stephenie Meyer has expanded in the form of short films made by a group of aspiring female filmmakers — and fans can help choose the winner.
Meyer, Lionsgate, Women in Film, and the crowdsourcing platform Tongal collaborated last year to create a contest promoting female filmmakers. On Monday, at a packed theater in Hollywood, the seven finalists presented their work (1,300 scripts were submitted to the contest, and 150 directors made pitches to direct.) Beginning Tuesday, anyone can vote on who should be the recipient of $100,000.
Meyer, for one, has always been surprised by the lack of female filmmakers in Hollywood. She’s been involved in seven films in her career (The five Twilight movies, The Host and Austenland) and only one was directed by a woman — the original Twilight. “In any given room you are talking to 50 male directors and one female director pitching for the same project,” said Meyer during the post-screening Q&A Monday evening. “What was exciting about this project is someone was willing to put their money where their mouth was.”
“It’s been really exciting to do something, maybe not on a huge scale, but on a small scale to get more female voices out there,” she added.
Each filmmaker was awarded $50,000 for the production of their short, which they based on characters from the Twilight universe, sticking closely to the rules set up by Meyer in the encyclopedic The Twilight Saga: Official Illustrated Guide. They worked closely with both Meyer and producer Cathy Schulman, who serves on the board of Women in Film, on honing their shorts.
“This was the perfect opportunity to show the work of our philanthropy, which is to support and bring eyeballs to the work of female filmmakers,” said Schulman.
Take a look at the shorts below and make your pick. And you won’t be the only ones determining the winner. Also involved in the selection are WIF and Lionsgate judges, Meyer, actresses Kate Winslet, Kristen Stewart, Octavia Spencer, and Julie Bowen, Frozen writer/director Jennifer Lee, and Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke.
The Mary Alice Brandon File (Kailey and Samantha Spear)
The Groundskeeper (Nicole Eckenroad)