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WHY WENCH

Wench FF Logo
Wench FF Logo

Prior to the 13th century, the term 'wench' referred to a young woman. Over time, the connotation changed from girl child to prostitute to racial slur. The goal of Wench Film Festival is to take back the ownership of the word Wench and return it back to it's original girl child status.

Our first logo was created before the festival launched. It was distinctive and significant but it was also extremely easy to get wrong as it is a universal sign for therefore. The black and white colours were also very limiting and as we break out into our new avatar in 2022 it became important to showcase it in our logo. 

 

The 3 Diamonds in our new Logo are very symbolic to us.  They stand for Clarity, Resilience and Brilliance.  The Shards of Light are like our Eyes - Speaking all the Words our Mouths Couldn't.

ABOUT WENCH FILM FESTIVAL

About Wench

Wench was created in 2020 to bridge the gender gap in India by driving opportunities and conversations through the gaze of a Woman inclusive of BIWOC, LGBTQ+ women, and non-binary in Art, Fashion, and Film powered by Tech.

About Wench Film Festival

 

Wench Film Festival is India's first Horror / Sci-Fi / Fantasy Film Festival showcasing films inclusive of LGBTQ+ women, and non-binary filmmakers.

Since its first edition in 2021, WFF has
screened 146 films and Spotlighted  352 Women.  Even though WFF gives preference to  films Directed by Women and Non-Binary Filmmakers, they do however have a special category for Male Filmmakers who have directed films with a central female plot or key female HOD's.

In 2024 we took giant leaps in the world of genre films, presenting a meticulously curated selection of 29 films that transported our audiences to worlds unknown. We had an astonishing lineup featuring 14 India Premieres and 10 Asia Premieres, ensuring the audience would be among the first to witness these cinematic marvels. But that's not all! On March 2nd, we had a spotlight on Indian talent with a dedicated day featuring 10 captivating films, accompanied by the brilliant minds behind them. Directors were present for engaging Q&A sessions, offering a unique opportunity to delve deeper into the magic behind the movies. 

 

Not only did we sell out on all days, we even had a record high attendance. 
 

ARE YOU READY TO SMASH THAT BLOODY CEILING WITH US?                                               

SUBMISSION INFO

Wench FF Logo
Wench FF Logo

WFF IS A FANTASTIC FILM FESTIVAL- ONLY FANTASY, SCI-FI AND HORROR FILMS WILL BE ACCEPTED (Documentaries, Narratives and Hybrids)

 

Should the submitted film not adhere to this eligibility requirement or to the following rules and terms, WFF retains the right to disqualify said film and is under no obligation to contact the submitting party and/or refund the submission fee.

 

Please carefully read the following terms and rules, including Selection and Notification, Submission Rules, and Terms and Conditions.

 

- Any work produced and completed in the past 18 months prior to our upcoming edition is eligible for consideration.

 

- Any work made available worldwide for an online public viewing before or during our dates will be ineligible.

 

- If you are unsure if your film qualifies for our Festival, please contact the WFF Submissions Team at submissions@wenchfilmfestival.com before submitting.

 

- Submission fees will not be refunded under any circumstances.

 

- If selected, all commercial/private property including all trademark/copyrighted materials shown or recorded on the project is the responsibility of the filmmaker.

 

- By submitting an entry, the filmmaker states that they are responsible as an agent to promote the film and that the film is an original work.

 

- Participants agree that clips and images from their film may be used and/or published in the WFF program guide, on the WFF website and for any promotional purposes which WFF deems appropriate.

 

- By submitting to the festival you confirm that you own the rights of the film, including the rights to the music in the film. WFF is not responsible and will not be held responsible in case of any dispute.  Your film may be disqualified without a notice or refund.

 

- We Welcome Narrative, Animated, Experimental, and Documentary.

 

- All entries should be sent via Film Freeway with a secure Online Screener.

 

- There is no minimum / maximum running time.

 

- Filmmakers may submit multiple entries as long as each film is submitted with its own Entry Form, Online Screener and paid Entry Fee.

 

- Submitted films that are not eligible will be withdrawn. Please check eligibility before submitting. Questions may be sent to submissions@wenchfilmfestival.com

 

- You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Wench Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

 

- The entrant expressly agrees that the film may be shown at the festival and used for promotional purposes in connection with the festival. This includes, among other things, the distribution of the film to all jury members, the use of excerpts for advertising clips and other uses within the framework of the festival. In addition, the submitter agrees that the film may be shown at events after the festival.

 

- Submitted films must not have undergone commercial exploitation – for example, an official theatrical release and a DVD and Blu-ray release – by the time of the festival. „Private“ screenings such as premieres, festival participations, and self-distributed DVDs and Blu-rays are exempt from this restriction.

 

The Basics

If you have a question about your submission, please contact the WFF Submissions team through email at submissions@wenchfilmfestival.com

 

Our submissions are on FilmFreeway  

https://filmfreeway.com/WenchFilmFestival

 

WFF has four submission deadlines:

Eager Beaver: August 15th, 2024
Not Sure Yet: September 30th, 2024
Better Late Than Never: Oct 31st, 2024
Trying My Luck: Nov 20th, 2024

 

We will notify you of our final decision regarding your film via FilmFreeway on December 12th, 2024 (whether accepted or not-selected.) If your film is an early selection, there will be a possibility of finding out that your film has been accepted before our notification date. If we have not yet been in contact with you about your submission, we will not be able to give you an answer before the notification date.

 

The submission cost varies based on which deadline you are submitting to and which category your film falls under. Please refer to the cost and category breakdowns on our festival’s FilmFreeway page here.

Our submission fees are non-refundable. Please make sure to carefully read our terms and conditions prior to submitting your film. Although, if you make a mistake when submitting, fear not, as our submissions team can help you out and ensure you do not lose your submission fee.

 

 

Eligibility

Only films completed in the past 18 months prior to our upcoming edition of the festival are eligible for consideration for general programming.

As a general rule, with very rare exceptions, a film that’s been showing publicly on the circuit for longer than a year and a half isn’t eligible for programming consideration.

One important distinction - if the film was completed longer than 18 months ago but was only first shown publicly more recently, it could still be eligible for consideration.

 

Any work made available worldwide for an online public viewing before or during our dates will be ineligible. A cast/crew-only premiere does not count as a public viewing.

If your film has been made available for the public to purchase, that to us means it’s been commercially released and would no longer be eligible for consideration.

Stills, trailers, clips, or other similar content can be posted online by your cast and crew, however, without rendering your film ineligible.

 

Premiere Status Requirements

At the very least, the film must be a Mumbai premiere. We will however give preference to Indian Premieres.

Premiere Status Definitions:

- World Premiere: The film will not have a public presentation before its scheduled presentation at the Festival.

- International Premiere: The film will not have a public presentation anywhere outside its country of origin before its scheduled presentation at the Festival.

- Indian Premiere: The film will not have a public presentation anywhere in India before its scheduled presentation at the Festival.

 

Submitting Your Film

In order to submit your film, you must register and submit your film via FilmFreeway. Visit our FilmFreeway listing here.

All submissions must be submitted online via FilmFreeway. Online screeners or downloadable files received via email will not be accepted. FilmFreeway allows for direct digital uploads, Vimeo links, or YouTube links. For more information on FilmFreeway project and video uploads, please visit the FilmFreeway help page here.

You can submit more than one film project to our festival. You must complete separate applications for each project you plan to submit and pay a separate submission fee, but can do so under the same FilmFreeway account. For more information on how to add multiple projects to your FilmFreeway account, please visit this link.

 

Screening Formats

Depending on where we screen, we tend to need DCPs or MOVs for screening features.

It is also important to mention that DVD’s and Blue Ray’s haven’t been acceptable for many years as a submission format.

 

Random F.A.Q.s

1. Who watches my film?

Each film that comes in through submissions goes through a viewing process and consideration by our programmers.

2. If I’ve edited my film since submitting, do I need to resubmit it to have the new version considered?

As a general rule, we don’t watch submissions across multiple cuts/versions as we enter your submission into our pre-screening process as soon as it is submitted.

You can always change the link on your FilmFreeway page so that when the film is revisited those changes are noted.

3. May we submit more than one film to your festival?

Filmmakers are welcome to submit multiple productions to WFF.

4. What are your sound requirements?

We can screen stereo, 5.1, but are currently unable to play Atmos mixes.

5. Do credits count in my film’s official runtime?

Yes.

6. Are subtitles required?

Any films submitted in a language besides English, require English subtitles to be considered for programming.

7. Are trailers required?

Trailers aren’t required for a submission (but are great to have if a film is accepted, closer to the festival period).

 

ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS?

Please reach out to submissions@wenchfilmfestival.com

the film
The facts
The mission

ABOUT THE FOUNDER

Wench FF Logo
Wench FF Logo

As a pioneer entrepreneur, Sapna Moti Bhavnani founded the hair salon Mad O Wot 18 years ago in Bombay. Through her versatile avatars such as writing a bitingly intimate weekly column for Mumbai Mirror and Mid-Day, authoring a self-help book for teenage girls Style O Wot, launching the avant-garde clothing line SoFake, to producing One Billion Rising at Carter Road (2013), acting in award-winning plays like NIRBHAYA – a searing testimonial play which won the Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award, The Fringe First Award and The Angel Herald Award in 2013 for cracking open the cone of silence around sexual and gender-based violence in India to JATINGA in 2017 –inspired by Kamathipura and highlights human trafficking worldwide; she traverses mainstream success with just as much ease as she skirts the underground youth art and culture movement.  

 

Sapna is best known as Producer/Director of the award winning documentary Sindhustan(2019) which is about the largest migration of a culture (Sindhi) in history told through tattoos on her body.  Sindhustan has won 11 Awards, travelled to 23 international festivals and is now streaming on MovieSaints.  In July 2020 Sapna launched her production company called Wench Films to empower the female gaze. Keeping the same Wench philosophy, she founded Wench Film Festival in 2021 and has successfully finished 2 editions while spotlighting 174 women.  The 2022 edition was India’s first genre film festival which showcased 44 films directed by women.

sapna bhavnani photo

Her second hybrid feature My Dog IS Sick was an official selection at the prestigious Visions Du Reel Film Market and World Premiered at New Horizons International Festival in 2021. The story for Sapna’s next feature Bearlike Man was officially selected at NAFF (The Network of Asian Fantastic Films) presented by Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival 2021 making her the first Indian Woman Director to ever get selected.  She has been invited back to BIFAN in 2022 as an official mentee at the Fantastic Film School.

Bearlike Man is an official selection at BIFFF Market 2022 (Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival).  It is currently in script development stage at Sundance Collab.

 

She is currently editing her short Cataclysm, developing a VR series on sexual assault I Did Not Scream (Selected at a lab with root.ax 2022) and researching a documentary on one of the first Cabaret Bars In Bombay (Blue Nile) managed by her father titled Finding Tamiko The Tomato while finishing a book - Chapter One for Harper Collins. 

The rest, like they say, is herstory.

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