“I even planned out where it would go for a couple more books,” “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer teased a couple of years ago about the further adventures of Edward, Bella and the rest. “So I know exactly what would happen, I mean there are a lot of characters I think would have a voice in those other stories. I don’t know, maybe I’ll write it out someday for myself.” While Twihards will have to wait for more full-length movies, Meyer is passing the baton to aspiring filmmakers to put their spin on the franchise.
Lionsgate announced “The Storytellers – New Creative Voices of The Twilight Saga,” a “multiphase contest” (read: complicated) that will eventually see five female filmmakers direct shorts based on characters from “Twilight.” A star-studded panel, including Meyer, Kristen Stewart, Kate Winslet, Octavia Spencer, Jennifer Lee, Catherine Hardwicke, Julie Bowen and Cathy Schulman, will select and help mentor the budding directors, with the final shorts premiering on Facebook. The winning directors will also receive a cash prize and vaguely described “career opportunities.” But this is a great way to encourage female filmmakers, so that’s a big positive to this endeavor.
No word yet if any of the “Twilight” actors themselves will pop by, but we’re sure Billy Burke has space in his schedule. Full press release below.
VANCOUVER, BC, and SANTA MONICA, CA — September 30, 2014 — As part of its ongoing effort to enhance its diverse portfolio of premium content, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a premier next generation global content leader, is teaming with Facebook, the prestigious Women In Film organization, the crowdsourcing platform Tongal and best-sellingTwilight Saga author Stephenie Meyer to create and manage a social media campaign to develop and produce a series of short films directed by aspiring female filmmakers. The campaign, called “The Storytellers – New Creative Voices of The Twilight Saga,” will include films based on a broad spectrum of characters from the Twilight universe, with guidance provided by Meyer’s encyclopedic The Twilight Saga: Official Illustrated Guide.
The campaign will center on a multiphase contest culminating in the selection of at least five aspiring female filmmakers to direct short films based on characters from the Twilight universe. The films will be produced and directed with the mentorship of a blue chip panel of advisors, which will ultimately select the winning shorts that will premiere exclusively on the Facebook platform next year. The star-studded group of female panelists will include Stephenie Meyer, actress Kristen Stewart, Academy Award winners Kate Winslet and Octavia Spencer, Jennifer Lee, the award-winning writer and one of the directors of Disney’s global blockbuster Frozen, Twilightdirector Catherine Hardwicke, Emmy Award-winning actress Julie Bowen, and Women In Film President Cathy Schulman.
Five winning shorts will be financed through production advances, and fans will help select a grand prize winning filmmaker who will receive a cash prize and career opportunities. The short film development and production process will involve extensive fan engagement on the Facebook and Tongal platforms.
“More people than ever before are creating, discovering and engaging with videos on Facebook,” said Facebook Vice President of Partnerships Dan Rose. “This collaboration with Stephenie Meyer, Lionsgate and Women In Film is a great opportunity to engage Twilight’s massive global audience on Facebook through an innovative premium video program.”
“We’re delighted to expand our longstanding relationship with Stephenie and confident that her participation in theTwilight short films campaign will add an exciting new dimension to the incredible world she has created as an author and producer,” said Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer and Vice Chairman Michael Burns. “Our partnership with Facebook and Women In Film underscores the opportunities for growing our franchises in exciting new directions, and we’re pleased to introduce fresh creative talent to the Twilight universe as part of our commitment to female empowerment in front of and behind the camera.”
“Accessing Hollywood is a momentous challenge, especially for aspiring female filmmakers, so I‘m thrilled that Women In Film has been invited to join Stephenie Meyer, Lionsgate and Facebook to empower new storytellers with diverse voices,” said WIF President Cathy Schulman. “Women In Film is proud to help recruit and mentor female filmmakers as part of a project that illustrates the power of a beloved book and movie franchise to lessen the gender gap in our film community and provide a platform for women’s perspectives to be seen and heard.”
“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.”