Six women named for inaugural Punk Films Femmes Lab

"This lab is about women that want to take big risks in their creativity, and in their writing," indie filmmaker Ingrid Veninger told Playback.

Ingrid Veninger has named five other women that will join up to participate in the inaugural Punk Films Femmes Lab to make fiction features as writers and directors.

Besides Veninger, Danishka Esterhazy (H&G), doc maker Michelle Latimer (Alias), Sophie Deraspe (Missing Victor Pellerin), Mars Horodyski, who has directed over 20 short films, and Degrassi actor Anais Granofsky will participate in the screenwriting lab.

Veninger told Playback that the goal of the six month “pressure-cooker” is to get women directors writing and honing a script so they can make films more consistently with an eye to a long-term career.

“It’s a muscle. It’s a practice,” she said of filmmaking, where writing scripts is often a low priority when women artists need to balance out other priorities in their lives.

The Punk Films Femmes Lab got kick-started at the Whistler Film Festival when Hollywood actor Melissa Leo pledged $6000 to get the screenwriting bootcamp off the ground.

The six months will see the six participants meet once a month, with six feature film screenplays ideally to be completed by June 2014.

“Anais and Mars have ideas for their scripts so their feet are already in the water, but the rest of us, myself included, are back at the beach,” Veninger said.

That’s about to change as the six filmmakers challenge and support one another.

“This lab is about women that want to take big risks in their creativity, and in their writing,” Veninger said.