The Genre Film Lab

Program Overview

The Genre Film Lab (formerly known as From Our Dark Side) is an accelerator program designed to support the development of effective finance, packaging and pitching strategies for genre film creators whose projects are at an advanced stage of development.

We are thrilled to announce the five winners of the Genre Film Lab accelerator program. The five films include: Aisha, Our Blood Is Thicker Than Water, Alligator, Mt. Asha and Married to Murder.

Read the press release here.

The Genre Film Lab program will begin in early June with a masterclass on pitching instructed by Helene Granqvist (Head of Women in Film and Television International) and will culminate with a dedicated pitch session at the Frontières International Co-Production Market (July, 26-29). The sessions will include an introductory group pitch masterclass, three strategy sessions with genre industry experts focusing on financing and packaging, one-on-one pitch development sessions, and individualized consultancies.

Key Dates

February 1, 2023
Early Bird Deadline
February 21, 2023
Regular Deadline
March 13, 2023
Late Deadline
April 30, 2023
Notification Date
June – July 30, 2023
Program Dates


There is no cost to participate in the program. However some travel and accommodation costs may need to be covered by team members (a travel stipend will be provided for partial travel and accommodation expenses).

Applicant Eligibility

Applications are now closed.

GEMS welcomes applications from all creators who are equity-deserving on the basis of gender. We believe in fostering an inclusive, equitable and accessible environment, where all participants and staff feel valued, respected and supported. We are dedicated to building a program that reflects Canada’s diversity and elevates equity-deserving voices. Indigenous, Black, People of Colour, people with disabilities, and 2SLGBTQIA+ people are strongly encouraged to apply.

We recognize that not all gender diverse people will feel comfortable accessing a program facilitated by an organization named Women in Film and Television Vancouver. We are in the process of a name change to address this.

Selection Process

April 2023
Five projects selected and announced by a jury of top genre creators.

June – July 2023
The program runs from June through July 2023.

July – August 2023
Consultations on packaging, financing and pitching concluded with participation at the Frontières International Genre film Finance and Packaging Forum held in conjunction with the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal.

Projects will participate in a special pitch session at Frontières and meet with leading international genre industry professionals*

*Please note that participation details and possible travel stipends will be subject to the structure of Frontières 2023.


This year’s projects were evaluated and selected by a jury of filmmakers and genre industry experts including: Austin-based acquisitions manager, programmer, professor, and producer Logan Taylor, director, writer and actor Mary Galloway (Querencia) from the Cowichan Nation, and Shasha McArthur, a Nakota and Nehiyaw filmmaker and current Vice-President of the Board at GEMS. Leading the 2023 Genre Film Lab, for her second year, is filmmaker, programmer, educator and former Programming Director for Frontières International co-pro market Vanessa Meyer.

Funded & Presented by

The Genre Film Lab 2023, in partnership with Frontières, is proudly supported by: