The Women in Horror Film Festival for 2018 recently took place in Peachtree City, Georgia. From October 4-7, talented filmmakers from around the world gathered to celebrate women in film and horror.
I had the pleasure of being able to attend the festival this year. My films weren’t being featured, but after seeing how wonderful the festival was for 2017, I knew I needed to be a part of it.
The festival kicked off on Thursday night with a cocktail hour and VIP party for the filmmakers. Since I had purchased a VIP pass, I was able to attend these events. I got to speak with several filmmakers from around the country. I made at least one connection. It was a good time.
There were a lot of fun things about this first night. For one, the venue’s bar had a fun themed drink that had a syringe of “blood” to push into it. That was the talk of the cocktail hour and got a lot of us into the mood. This was also the night where filmmakers could have their pictures taken on the “Dead Carpet”. I absolutely had to get in on that.
I wasn’t able to stay at the party for too long because I had a long day of film watching ahead of me. This was okay though because it was a moment for the filmmakers in the festival, not for me.
The next three days consisted of nonstop film watching for me. This festival had one screen and each film was shown once. Nothing overlapped, so I never had to make a hard decision about what film to see and what film to skip. I also needed to make sure that I made time for stuff like eating. That was the biggest hurdle to cross.
On the first day of film viewing, I ended up having to leave the auditorium to get something to eat. This caused me to miss a feature film and the first film of the science fiction block. That was a big bummer for me because everything before and after that was fantastic!
For the bulk of this review, I’m just going to mention the films by name. I will include some more information about the films I mention at the end of this post.
Day 1 consisted of experimental shorts, horror comedy shorts, science fiction shorts, international short films, and the macabre shorts, plus two feature films. There were so many stand outs on that first day!
Pretty much every horror comedy was a hit for me, especially Lunch Ladies, Z-Stuy, Bitten, and What Metal Girls Are Into. I really enjoyed Quiver and Asian Girls from the experimental block. From the science fiction shorts, I was really taken by Pulsar and Girl in the Galactic Sun. For international shorts, Catcalls had me really excited, and Devórame was phenomenal.
The day ended with the macabre shorts which was much closer to my own style of filmmaking. There were so many stand outs for me there. Goodnight Gracie was a great gut punch to start the block. Cecilia, Light as a Feather, and Keep the Gaslight Burning also found their way into my subconscious.
Other than the feature I’m still sad I missed, the first day of screenings also featured the global premiere of another feature film, Bugs: A Trilogy. I really liked Bugs. It was an anthology of three different stories that were all connected by a hard hitting theme and bugs. It gave me some much needed inspiration for one of my own ideas for my future work.
When it came to day 2, I had learned my lesson. We came with food and drinks ahead of time so we wouldn’t have to miss anything. This day was going to consist of panels, psychological horror and thriller shorts, as well as two feature films that I really wanted to see. I didn’t want to miss a single thing.
From the psychological shorts, stand outs included Heartless, Blood Runs Down, and For Old Times Sake. From the thrillers, I loved Consent and Lady Hunters, with an honorable mention for The After Party as well for an intriguing concept and a nice noir look.
The feature films for the day included All the Creatures Were Stirring and Echoes of Fear. All the Creatures Were Stirring was an interesting holiday themed anthology. I got a good kick out of it. Echoes of Fear was also really interesting, and it really got the audience going with carefully crafted jump scares.
I really enjoyed the panel experiences on this day as well. The first was From Indie to Studio, featuring experienced industry insiders. That panel provided some hard truths while also inspiring indie filmmakers to keep on keeping on. The second panel was about Diversity and Visibility, and it was a joy to be a part of. The entire room was involved in a discussion about the need for proper representation in film. As an advocate for this same thing, it was nice to be involved in a discussion that featured no condescension at the concept.
On top of all of this, whenever there were filmmakers present, there was a Q&A. As a filmmaker who has taken part in question and answer time with viewers before, I know it can be such a rewarding experience for both the creatives and the audience. A lot of these Q&As had amazing turn outs.
The final day of screenings was another long one, but I came prepared again! It worked out well the day before. This day included another feature film and several short blocks, including student shorts, local shorts from southern filmmakers, animation, and body horror shorts.
For the student shorts, I really enjoyed The Last Seance and Instinct. The Last Seance had me hooked, and I thought it was really well done. Instinct was just phenomenal. That’s a stand out for sure. The southern block featured several great ones. I really liked Feast and Hinterland. Those were really memorable to me. I’m not a huge fan of body horror, so not too many of those were my cup of tea, but Entropia was interesting enough for me to mention.
Overall, the whole festival was phenomenal. The atmosphere was extremely welcoming. All of the filmmakers and movie goers were really warm, and I think everyone went home with new friends and connections. It was a great event. I’m really hoping to get out there for it again next year. I’m definitely hoping to have one of my films shown there at some point.
More information on the films I mentioned: