Contest Description

The Different Faces Different Voices Film Festival

The Different Faces Different Voices film festival launched for the first time in 2016. It was created by the non-profit Harvard Square Script Writers, one of the oldest professional screenwriting organizations in the country, celebrating its 30th anniversary that year. The festival was and is aimed at encouraging filmmakers to explore often untold stories of the human experience.

The Flicks4Chicks Contest

In its first year the film festival focused on Flicks4Chicks. Between April 1st and May 1st of 2016 filmmakers, of both genders, were challenged to write and produce a 10 minute (or shorter) film incorporating a strong female protagonist. The goal of this particular competition was to go beyond the Bechdel test. In the original challenge (based on a 1985 cartoon by Alison Bechdel, see below) a woman put forth the following requirement for any film she would agree to see – the movie had to have at least two women in it who talk to each other about something other than a man. In the Flicks4Chicks contest we asked filmmakers to create cinematic narratives where women characters are taken beyond that minimum standard, shown pursuing their own goals, engaging in exciting adventures, overcoming significant odds and feeling victorious (or at least gaining knowledge) by the end of the experience. In other words, we encouraged the kind of stories that have often, historically, featured men at the core.

The competition promoted original fictional stories that focus on the realities of a wide variety of females (of differing races, ethnic backgrounds and ages) embracing their own destinies, taking charge of their lives as fully realized human beings, and not simply as Hollywood caricatures or sidelined shadows.

Similar to the 48 Hour Film Competition, film-making crews signed up to participate – at FilmFreeway. They came from many parts of the world but had to complete their film in English (or with English subtitles) and had to have a female in at least one of the following creative roles: producer; director; director of photography; writer; editor.

At the start of the competition on April 1st, each team received a choice of three “situations” that they had the option to take in any number of directions, e.g., two women embark on a road trip after tragic events have befallen both of them, or a young professional must prove her worth in a work environment where everyone thinks she is a token hire, or a young woman of color enters a new school, only to encounter subtle prejudice which she must combat. All submissions were made via FilmFreeway.

There were awards in twenty areas and the top films were screened at the 2-day festival in Cambridge, MA on June 29th and 30th.

The submission fee was and will be, going forward, $100.00 and is processed by registering at Film Freeway.  Members of Women in Film (and Television) chapters are eligible for a 25% discount, as are students.  Please contact your local chapter for the code. Or, if you are a student, write to us.

Awards included:

  • Best Beyond-the-Bechdel Film
  • The Different Faces Different Voices (Diversity)
  • Best Drama
  • Best Comedy
  • Best Direction
  • Best Actor
  • Best Supporting Actor
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Editing
  • Best Musical Score
  • Best Costumes
  • Best Special Effects
  • Best Sound Engineering
  • Best Storyline
  • Best Dialogue

Bechdel Rule Cartoon Flicks4Chicks