Lionsgate Wants To Help Blair Witch Fans To Transform Their Fan Fiction Into Canon

The "Blair Witch" franchise started with a bang, continued with a pathetic whimper, and attempted to return from the grave with a 2016 sequel that didn't kill, or necessarily bomb, either. So it's fair to say there's a lot of room for new lore in the world of the films.

That's where Lionsgate hopes to step in and change things up by partnering with Dorian, a platform for independent writers to make their work into playable games, for a contest where fans can submit their "Blair Witch" fan fiction and independent works for a chance to become officially part of the canon.

According to their press release:

Dorian, the first ever no-code platform that allows independent writers to easily transform their stories into playable immersive games, has partnered with global content leader Lionsgate to empower fiction creators to expand the stories behind some of Hollywood's most popular franchises. Through this unique partnership, Dorian and Lionsgate will launch official events tied to well-known Hollywood IP, calling for creators to write and submit their fanfiction for a chance to publish licensed playable games on Dorian, opening the door for potential revenue while expanding the creator's growth opportunities. The first major franchise to kick off the partnership is the iconic 'Blair Witch'.

The Details

Creators in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and the Philippines will be able to submit their work through the Dorian app starting on October 15, 2021. Submissions will close on October 31, 2021, and the grand prize winner will be awarded with a virtual meeting with a Lionsgate senior executive to discuss their project and potential future opportunities. The winner's story will be featured and promoted in the Dorian app — and the creator will have the chance to make revenue off of the fan fiction playable game they've created. They will also receive custom cover art for their story created by the app's design team, and will be given Dorian currency they can use to access premium content on the platform. 

This is the official writer's prompt for the contest:

Horror tourists and fans congregate in Burkittsville, Maryland for a 3-Day Blair Witch themed music festival! Séances, rituals, and spooky-themed scavenger hunts fill the once frightening Black Hills Forest. As a hit horror streamer, you think you can brave just about everything—right? Your plan: Break the internet by taking on the #SurviveTheWitch challenge. The horrific twist? The festival's organizers have something wicked in store for the young influencers in attendance. Will you and crew survive a night in the Black Hills Forest... or end up livestreaming your own deaths?

Why This Could Be a Goldmine for Blair Witch Fans

No matter what way you slice it, being invited into the "Blair Witch" world this way is a really cool fandom moment — and it definitely could lead to some very inventive and divisive content. It will certainly be interesting to see how fans bring this story into the now and put their personal spins on the prompt concept.

Additionally, the press release noted that the writer's platform is primarily used by marginalized communities as both audience and creators, specifically women and people of color. Considering this fact, it really shines a light on the need for diversity and inclusion in both the creator economy and genre content. The stories that will result from this contest will be undoubtedly fresh and most likely spotlight perspectives that haven't been as common in entertainment, or even horror as a whole.

"When we were first introduced to Dorian and the opportunity it brings to creators, we were immediately hooked on the idea of working with them," said Jenefer Brown, EVP, Global Live Interactive and Location Based Entertainment of Lionsgate, in the press release. "We are always looking for new and inspiring ways to engage with female creators and diverse communities, and through Dorian's platform, content creators can explore new pathways to a narrative experience within the universe of the 'Blair Witch.'"