Friday, January 23, 2009

Film Fest Updates: Chicago Horror Fest, Shriekfest and Slamdance

Here we are on Friday morning and we're a mere work day away from cocktail hour. I gotta say, I've earned every beverage that I'm going to consume tonight, as it's been a long f'ing week. Also, it's been a long while since we've taken a look at what's going on in festival world, so I'm going to go through my inbox, pick out a few things and regurgitate some info for you... Also, I feel I should announce that I'm going to make a concerted effort to attend more festivals this year, as they're really the backbone of the whole scene and we really should be more supportive. Well, maybe I feel guilty and I should be more supportive. Whatever, let's go to some festivals. They're good excuses to get drunk and watch horror movies.

The Chicago Horror Fest, which has become an institution in Chicago, now has its call for entries open and their early bird deadline is Jan. 31st. I guess that's not much time, but if you've got a finished film that you were going to take to the festivals anyhow, it's a good opportunity to save a few bucks. If you're not done yet, don't worry. You've got lots of time to get your film in. I think this festival is their 10th or 11th year and it's on the September 26th - 28th weekend this year, so you've also got time to plan your trip. For more information on the Chicago Horror Fest, you can go to their site: ChicagoHorrorFest.com

Shriekfest, one of our favorite festivals of the year, also has their call for entries open, even though I'm not sure if they've set a date for next year. Either way, it's always around early October. They recently announced their winners from 2008 and there's some notable names in there, mainly because I see a few friends and films that Dead Harvey covered over the last year... anyhow, here's a list of all the winners from the 2008 Shriekfest:

Best Horror Feature Film: "Bane"
directed by James Eaves

Best Thriller Feature Film: "Alien Raiders"
directed by Ben Rock

Best Short Film: "Kirksdale"
directed by Ryan Spindell

Best Super Short Film: "Eel Girl"
directed by Paul Campion

Best Horror Feature Screenplay: "The Great American Nightmare"
written by Tom Manning

Best SciFi Feature Screenplay: "Scavengers"
written by Diana Kemp-Jones

Best Fantasy Feature Screenplay: "The Hercynian Ocrhid"
written by Melisa Ford

Best Short Screenplay: "Making the List"
written by Jesse Kyle Reisman

The Pretty/Scary Award**: "Side Effect"
directed by Liz Adams

Best Acting Performance: Rhoda Jordan in "Rule of Three"

Audience Choice Award: "The Open Door"
directed by Doc Duhame

Best Under 18 Film: "The Perfect Victim"
directed by Eric Badger

Best Under 18 Screenplay: "Big Kids Play Manslaughter"
written by Kelsey Bollig

Lastly, Slamdance is on right now... I think it's on right now. Did it just end? I don't know. Fuck, I need that drink now... Anyhow, here's a list of this year’s selection of horror, sci-fi, fantasy and thriller films that are screening there... or just screened there. Once again, some familiar names in there, which is cool. By the way, I'm hoping to have an interview coming up soon with the guys behind "The Ante".

The Ante
Max Perrier (Director), Danek S. Kaus, James Chancellor & Simon Perrier (Writers)
West Coast Premiere, Black Comedy/Thriller, 2006, CANADA, 82 minutes: An innocent man becomes the killer everyone wants him to be when he gambles with his freedom in order to save it.

Conjurer
Clint Hutchison (Director), David Yarbrough & Clint Hutchison (Writers)
Utah Premiere, Thriller, 2008, USA, 88 minutes. Cast: Andrew Bowen, Maxine Bahns, John Schneider: A grieving young couple relocates to a rural farm, and encounters disturbing occurrences surrounding an old cabin with a dark history.

ELA, In Love At First Byte
Fernando Sarmiento, Director/Producer; Alejandro Sarmiento and J.F. Mackeprang, Writers / North American Premiere / 2008 / Argentina / 11 Minutes: In an action packed adventure of epic proportions, we follow the final adventure of E.L.A. Young Warrior Princess, forced to finally face her darkest nemesis and save Earth from total destruction.

Graphic Sexual Horror
Barbara Bell & Anna Lorentzon (Directors/Writers)
World Premiere, 2009, USA, 85 minutes: A look behind the terrifying fa├žade of insex.com, the most notorious of the ‘violent porn’ websites, while exploring the dark mind of its artistic creator and asking hard questions about personal responsibility.

Horsefingers 3: Starfucker
Kirsten Kearse, Writer/Director
Utah Premiere / 2008 / USA / 13 Minutes: A questionable tale of animal attraction.

I Don’t Sleep I Dream
J.P. Chan, Writer/Director
World Premiere / 2008 / USA / 15 Minutes: A woman refuses a ride to a dangerous looking hitchhiker, but soon finds herself in need of help after causing a horrific accident.

It Shines and Shakes and Laughs
Matthew Wade, Writer/Director
2008 / USA / 7 Minutes: An experimental piece wherein a young man searches a desolate landscape in an attempt to make himself whole.

Kanizsa Hill
Evelyn Lee, Writer/Director
North American Premiere / 2008 / USA / 8 Minutes: A forgetful body desperately searches for his head as the two find themselves lost in an oasis of illusions.

The Pond
Sonja Phillips, Writer/Director
2008 / UK / 16 Minutes: For Maisie, the pond is a place to escape her troubled home life and explore her strengthening allure to the boys; it is the place where she holds all the power over them. What she doesn’t know is that it also holds a deep dark secret.

That's that, have a great weekend and we'll see you next week!

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