As part of its ongoing effort to enhance its diverse portfolio of premium content, Lionsgate, a premier next generation global content leader, is teaming with Facebook, the prestigious Women In Film organization, the crowdsourcing platform Tongal and best-selling Twilight 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, Twilight director 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.
Facebook Vice President of Partnerships Dan Rose had this to say in a statement.
"More people than ever before are creating, discovering and engaging with videos on Facebook. 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."
Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer and Vice Chairman Michael Burns also offered their own joint statement.
"We're delighted to expand our longstanding relationship with Stephenie and confident that her participation in the Twilight short films campaign will add an exciting new dimension to the incredible world she has created as an author and producer. 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."
WIF President Cathy Schulman had this to say in her own statement.
"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. 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."
Author Stephenie Meyer revealed she hopes this initiative gives more women a chance to have their work put on display.
"The female voice is something that has become more and more important to me as I've worked in the film industry. 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."