A local filmmaker has just received some exciting news. Danishka Esterhazy and her production company Red Czarina Entertainment have been awarded  $25,000 from the Rogers Development Fund to write three new films.

"I'm really thrilled because it's nice to be recognized outside your own province," said Esterhazy. "This award will help us move forward our long-term plans of creating many, many feature films in Manitoba."

Esterhazy says it's a very competitive award. "We are really excited to be the only Manitoba production company that was awarded a full slate of screenplays."

Red Czarina Entertainment is a Winnipeg-based production company that was formed just a year ago with the idea of telling female-driven stories by female screenwriters.

The three films they are working on include Jane Garbage, which will be written by Rebecca Gibson and directed by Esterhazy. It's about a 14-year-old misfit outsider who returns at the end of the summer to find that her best friend has become cool.

Esterhazy is co-writing Four Dead Friends with local actor and writer Alix Sobler. It's a dark comedy about another outsider, a woman whose four best friends all happen to be ghosts.

And Love Lights, which will be written by Rebecca Gibson and Ashley Hirt (the other two co-owners of the company) and directed by Esterhazy, deals with love and sex through three generations of women who share the same makeup mirror. 

Red Czarina Entertainment

Three czarinas of Red Czarina Entertainment production company, Ashley Hirt, Rebecca Gibson and Danishka Esterhazy. (courtesy Danishka Esterhazy)

Esterhazy says the company has received great feedback from others in the film world. During a recent meeting, representatives of Telefilm Canada said they were excited to see a group of young women filmmakers coming together to support and encourage each other.

"Our production company is really unique in that way," said Esterhazy.

Their first feature film H&G will be released in Canadian theatres in March 2014.