DEADLINE EXTENSION NOTICE: PLEASE NOTE THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS HAS BEEN EXTENDEND TO MONDAY 11th DECEMBER 2017.
Of the thousands of films and television shows produced every year, only a handful ever mention or show periods. And when they do, they are mostly negative portrayals.
We are determined to change that.
We are commissioning three (3) short films that normalise periods. Although you will be making this on behalf of a brand, these films will be pieces of culture that positively depict the reality of periods.
Crucially, these commissions will be in the form of bursaries awarded to new and emerging filmmaking talent, judged by industry leaders.
The selected ideas will be awarded a budget of £5,000 and the chance to work with our leading creatives and producers to bring their film to the screen.
The finished films will then be entered into film festivals around the world with the support of our agency, leading global creative network BBDO, and we are currently in talks with cinema groups to place these films on the big screen!
What we’re after:
In popular culture, women are no longer just the damsel in distress or the love interest. Increasingly they are the main show. We have a female Dr Who. Katniss leads the revolution in the Hunger Games. Rey carries the hopes of the Star Wars rebellion.
And yet periods are still invisible. Women are able to be anything, and do anything. Except get their periods.
And this taboo hurts women. In a study, 56% of girls said they would rather be bullied than talk to their parents about their period. And shaming and insults are still the dominant themes around the world.
We want you to make a dent in this imbalance.
Take a look at our campaign, our hero film and other campaign elements. It has multiple scenes and each scene has a backstory or an idea. Who is the troll behind the computer voice mocking periods? What is the story of the girl in the sanitary pad Halloween costume? Who is the man buying the pads for? What would it look like if it was not just period blood that had to be blue? What happened in the boardroom meeting of the lilo company when someone suggested a sanitary pad inflatable?
We are looking for your ideas for a short film inspired by a scene in our film that portrays periods in a positive way.
Whether you develop a story around one of the scenes or characters, or are simply inspired by the ideas in the film, you should try and create a piece of culture that lives up to our belief: periods are normal, and showing them should be too.
Your idea can be in any genre (drama, comedy, documentary, animation etc) and in any style – we are looking for something that is unique, engaging and impactful.
Your pitch can include the script, visual references, ideas on shooting style (live action, stop frame, embroidery, black and white, 2D, 3D) and anything else that shows how you want to portray periods in a positive, normal way. It can be funny, it can be poignant, it can be outraged, it can be badass, the periods can be incidental, it can be anything as long as we are pushing back the taboos and shame around periods.
Periods or period blood can be incidental in your narrative; it doesn’t have to be all about periods. So if your story may be about a superhero, she may incidentally be on her period, but you treat it the same way as you would show her brushing her teeth or going to sleep.
We want to push boundaries, we want to be provocative, we want to see things we never see. But here’s the thing. Your film should be a celebration. It should not be vulgar for the sake of being vulgar. And while we are definitely not looking for an advert, you are making it on behalf of a brand. So we should stay clear of current politics and religion. Our fight transcends these things.
Casting will be undertaken with you when the project goes into pre-production but you should include suggestions of your cast (and any stills) in your pitch if it helps illustrate your idea.
This is a global campaign so we would encourage you to be as diverse as you can.
Process and Timeline:
To be considered for this project, we’re first asking for you to ‘pitch’ your idea. You can write this as a script or simply a narrative of what your idea is. You should also show how you intend to shoot the films, including locations, potential cast and any contextual or tonal references. You should also include any relevant showreel or examples of similar or appropriate work, if you have any.
The deadline for submitting your pitch is 23.59 PST on Monday 11th December 2017.
Once the brief has closed, we will review the pitch submissions and select a shortlist to present to the judging panel.
We expect this review window to take approximately 1-2 weeks after which you will be notified if you have been selected.
At any stage during the pitch review window we may wish to contact you to discuss your idea in more detail.
The production window (including pre-/post-production) is currently scheduled for w/c 2nd January 2018, with a first edit due w/c 5th February 2018, so please ensure you are available for the project before participating.
Once selected, you will work with our creatives to develop your idea/script and then be assigned a line producer from our agency who will help bring your idea to the screen.
- In your pitch, please include links to your work, including details of any production company you currently work with (or if you’re attached to one), as well as any tonal references (photos or videos) that may help you describe your approach.
- While this is not an advert, you should steer clear of mentioning/featuring any other brands/logos in your pitch/film.
- If sanitary protection product is to feature in your idea/film, this will be provided accordingly.
The panel making the final selection will be made of film and creative industry leaders, including Sally Campbell: Founding Partner and Executive Producer at Somesuch, Dame Cilla Snowball: Group Chairman and Group Chief Executive of AMV BBDO, the creatives from AMV BBDO and others.
We see women, and periods, for who and what they are – amongst the most powerful and positive manifestations of Mother Nature.
Periods are disruptive. We don’t fight them. We don’t deny them. And we don’t find them shameful.
We understand that women’s lives, bodies and periods changes, throughout the month and over time.
Therefore, and contrary to category norms, we are not in the business of stain prevention.
Rather we are in the business of period care. We support women physically, mentally, emotionally and socially – one cycle at a time.
This bursary has been commisioned as part of the Flare Studio Foundation initiative.