Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Kristen will help select & mentor female directors of short-films based on the 'Twilight Saga'

Two years after Lions Gate released the fifth and supposedly final installment of its “Twilight” movie series, the studio has devised an unusual franchise-rekindling effort — and it may hold clues about Facebook’s future in Hollywood.

Lions Gate and Stephenie Meyer, the creator of the vampires-and-werewolves “Twilight” saga, on Tuesday announced plans to select five aspiring female directors to make short films based on “Twilight” characters. The mini-movies, financed by Lions Gate and its production partners, will be shown exclusively on Facebook next year.

The short film series, called “The Storytellers — New Creative Voices of ‘The Twilight Saga,’ ” has the backing of Women in Film, an organization devoted in part to ending a shortage of female directors. While not overtly championed by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, the initiative could be viewed in the context of her “Lean In” efforts to empower women in the workplace.

A group of female panelists, including the “Twilight” actress Kristen Stewart and Ms. Meyer, will select the winning shorts and mentor participants, Lions Gate said. Other panelists include the actresses Kate Winslet, Octavia Spencer and Julie Bowen; Catherine Hardwicke, who directed the first “Twilight” movie; the film producer Cathy Schulman; and Jennifer Lee, who co-directed “Frozen.”

Certain contest details, including the length of the shorts, are still being worked out and will be made available on Tongal.com, a crowdsourcing platform. A spokeswoman for Lions Gate declined to say how much the studio would spend, but added that it would be a “significant” amount, at least by short-film standards. The cast members of the “Twilight” movies are not expected to appear in the short films. - NY Times.

More details...

Fans will then help judge the best short, with the ultimate winner receiving an unspecified cash price and opportunities to advance their career. Fans will be included in both the development and the production of the individual films, via both Facebook and the crowdsourcing platform Tongal.

Even more importantly, the Twilight contest will allow Meyer to reach the passionate fans of her franchise and enabling their own creative participation at the same time. "The female voice is something that has become more and more important to me as I've worked in the film industry," said Meyer. "I'm honored to be working with Women In Film, Lionsgate and Facebook on a project dedicated to giving more women a chance to be heard creatively." - THR


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