The Viscera Organization
Viscera - definition: The large internal organs of the body collectively, particularly those within the abdominal cavity.
The Viscera Organization is a 501(c)3 non profit expanding opportunities for contemporary female genre filmmakers , artists , and the public through services that provide education, exhibition, and networking.
A world wherein all individuals are equally given the opportunity to create, share, and exploit their concept of life, pain, and freedom of expression.
WHO WE ARE
We are a board of directors and a fantastic staff of over 25 filmmakers, artists, and writers who believe in our mission and vision, and work with tireless enthusiasm to provide our services.
We are a judging panel consisting of accomplished directors and producers who graciously donate time and energy selecting content.
We are Partner Film Festivals, organizers, and tour coordinators who screen the films and represent the contemporary female genre filmmaker around the world.
We are volunteers and interns who give our time to ensure that the filmmakers we represent are assisted in the quest for equality in the film industry.
We have been working hard for women genre filmmakers since 2007.
WHAT WE DO
Viscera wants women to gain self-confidence, to expand their knowledge, and to grow through the creation of genre films.
This process will help us achieve gender equality in the film industry.
We are a machine that works together in a positive environment while remaining completely dedicated to honoring the filmmakers and listening to what the attendees want. Please check out our services for the full scope of what we provide to filmmakers and the public.
In 2007, Viscera Founder Shannon Lark had an epiphany in a park in San Francisco when she gathered a small group of female friends together to make a short film. Fascinated by the way the female gender reacts to social and gender constrictions, she launched Viscera to assist in the process of women supporting each other and having a platform in which to be taken seriously by the industry. Lark believes that it is up to women to achieve equality for themselves. Women must take full responsibility for both their actions and inaction. Women must also learn to treat each other, and themselves, with respect.
Viscera operated differently from other mainstream festivals. Viscera started in 2007 as a tour that screened with Partner Festivals. A Viscera compilation DVD was created each year and sent to press, critics, and festival promoters who, in turn, got the films into the eyes, ears, and hands of the public. The Viscera films have screened all over the world, landing them awards, criticism, and discussion, and have thus promoted the filmmakers and their work.
In 2010, Lark teamed up with Heidi Honeycutt of planetetheria.com. They curated a program of 26 short horror films and trailers by women, presenting the films to a live audience at the first Viscera Film Festival in Los Angeles. This marked Viscera’s first bloody carpet event with Special Guest speakers, an awards ceremony, and an after party. Viscera paid close attention to what was enjoyed by the filmmakers, attendees, and guests as well as to any suggestions for improvement.
The event was such a success that the Viscera Film Festival transformed into a 501(c)3 non-profit organization., offering VFF as one of its many services. In doing so, the organization has taken on a staff of over 25 and expanded the Viscera tour considerably domestically and internationally. n tandem with the expansion of the festival, celebrity judges come on board each year as the screening panel to offer their expertise in the careful selection of the best of the best submissions.
The 2011 Viscera Film Festival and carpet ceremony was presented for a sold-out audience at the Silent Movie Theatre as well as landing in museums, universities, and art galleries domestically and internationally. Moving to a larger venue, the 2012 Viscera Film Festival was a co-presentation of the American Cinematheque and the Viscera Organization at the historical Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
As the Viscera Organization delves into 2013, we are expanding our services and benefits for filmmakers and attendees. Most prominently, the organization has created the Etheria Film Festival (a Science Fiction & Fantasy Film Festival) to expand our commitment to women filmmakers, as well as Full Throttle, our new action film festival. The festival has also incorporated Women in Horror Recognition Month: celebrating and educating the underrepresented artists in the horror genre through philanthropic avenues. Our latest service, The Mistresses of Horror Alliance is a membership based program which gives merchandise, an annual grant, networking, and perks to its members.
Go Here to learn more about Viscera’s Services.
WHO CAME BEFORE US
Hundreds of inspiring, pioneering women have worked hard to produce works in the film industry. The inspiring catalog of names ranges from Alice Guy to Ida Lupino to our more modern filmmakers such as Mary Harron and Christine Vachon. If you are interested in an in-depth analysis of what women have been through, read Women Filmmakers: Refocusing.
WHY GENRE FILMS?
As an organization that believes in the power of equality, we are a group of filmmakers and film lovers who connect with horror, science fiction, fantasy, and action storytelling as a way to express social, political, and gender issues. Female filmmakers may use these stylized genres as a way to relate and perceive implemented social structures, feelings, and reactions.
Genre filmmaking is a tool that may be utilized by women to explore their fears and desires in a creative atmoshphere. The horror, sci fi, fantasy, and action genres are an extreme visual mirror that, if utilized correctly, intelligently shares intense feelings and emotions with viewers. It is vital that women discover and share this tool with one another and the public.
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
We are often presented with the question as to whether
male vs. female created films differ.
The casual viewer may not notice much of a difference. Men have the ability to make powerful films. A woman is capable of making the same type of movie that a man can make in storyline, production value, cinematography, and feeling.
The horror genre is a fantastic place to explore fears that are personal to the filmmaker. We have several films that focus on plastic surgery and body issues, childbirth and child-loss, rape and abuse, and how society views the female form and gender. These works tend to be more personal as they sometimes come from experiences and/or fears that are unique to women. These works fall within the Feminist-Response Sub Genre, which is increasing in popularity as more women pick up cameras.
We urge women to exploit what terrifies them, thrills them, and makes them feel alive. In doing so, they can heal from traumatic experiences and gain confidence and validation, no matter what genre or subsequent sub-genre they choose to explore.
With the exciting age of digital technology, the widespread use of the Internet, and attained rights for the female gender, women now have the freedom to write their own scripts, pick up cameras, and create their own space for a progressive discourse. Digital cameras are accessible and affordable on almost any budget. Women make documentaries, comedies, dramas, and even horror. There are still many places in the world where the female gender does not have this right. however, with more movies being made by women, this traditional idealism will fall away, in time. We encourage women to explore the injustices in the world through art.
We owe it to those less fortunate to take advantage of the rights we are afforded.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Every little bit helps this brand new non-profit! ALL donations are tax deductible and will go to an amazing cause: helping women achieve equality through the influence of film. The lasting effect is priceless.
Attend the events!
Buy your tickets and pick out something nice to wear. Viscera hosts events all over the world, along with screenings by our Partner Festivals.
Check out our Services!
Read all about them, right here.
Spread the word!
Make a Film!
Ladies, pick up your cameras. Deadline to submit your film each year is October 1st, ending on the last day of February, which coincides with Women in Horror Month.
Don’t know where to start? Contact us!
Support Women in Horror Month!
Don’t know about Women in Horror Month!? Have you been living under a rock?! WiHM is dedicated to celebrating intelligent female artists in the horror industry. It's a month-long celebration every February.
Are you a Man? Sweet!
This Festival involves men, too. Guys, find an intelligent and creative woman with which to make a film. Don’t hire a woman just because she’s female. Hire her for her intelligence and talent, just as you would a man. Search for professional women to work on management positions on your productions. We are convinced that men in the film industry must work with smart, strong, and ambitious women to help the female gender achieve equality. When there are more films being made, there are more jobs. More jobs mean more work for men and women. Everyone benefits!