SCREAMFEST: Horror Film Festival
Screamfest, a film festival dedicated to terror, will be presenting an abundance of horror films throughout Oct. 8-17, purposely causing blood-curdling screams all throughout the night.
The “largest and longest running horror film festival in the United States,” as per the festival’s website, returns to the TCL Chinese Theater located in the heart of Hollywood for its annual extravaganza.
Known in the entertainment industry as the “Sundance of Horror,” film producers Rachel Belofsky and Ross Martin brought the festival to life in 2001. Belofsky's passion for horror and desire to create a community to promote indie horror films inspired her to create Screamfest.
"I wanted to provide a platform for talented filmmakers in the genre to showcase their work," said Belosfky. "Horror seemed to be an under-appreciated genre.”
Underrated filmmakers and writers in the horror and science-fiction genres are afforded the opportunity to network with notable producers and film distributors at the event.
Festival organizers cite the supernatural franchise “Paranormal Activity,” directed by Oren Peli, as the most prominent example of how Screamfest can benefit aspiring film directors. “Paranormal Activity” gained recognition on its Oct. 14, 2007 debut from Creative Artists Agency (CAA), a dominant and influential talent agency within the motion picture industry.
“When all other festivals were rejecting [Paranormal Activity], Screamfest was the first and only festival at the time that accepted us," said Peli. "We had a great premiere screening and got positive reviews as a result. It all started with Screamfest!”
Screamfest encourages any aspiring director to send in their films, no matter their level of experience. Independent and student filmmakers are welcome to submit their work containing guts, gore, and so much more through the film festival’s website.
Belofsky's experience as a producer has taught her much about the film industry, and she hopes that her festival will inspire others to increase their knowledge and experience.
“Before beginning production, be sure to use a professional casting director and crew," Belofsky advised. "Production value is key. Also strive for an original story and don’t be derivative of other works.”
Awards in the shape of a skull, designed by veteran special make-up effects (SFX) artist Stan Winston, will be distributed to the winners of various film categories, including Best Picture and Best Musical Score
The ten nights of terror kicks off its opening night on Tuesday, Oct. 8, with a party followed by a screening of “Eat, Brains, Love” directed by Rodman Flender, who is known for directing a 90’s classic horror flick, “Idle Hands.” Flender’s “Eat, Brains, Love” delves into a mixed range of genres: horror, comedy, and romance, with a lightweight amount of zombie gore.