The New York City Horror Film Festival is one of the largest and most recognized film festivals specializing in independent horror and sci-fi genre films. Period. Each year NYCHFF celebrates both horror classics and new horror films & filmmakers who created them..
Festival director Michael J. Hein and director of programming Joe Mauceri do an excellent job of providing a horrific experience to both the filmmakers showcasing their fright wares and moving-going public. The festival is tactically positioned during the peek of the fall season when the paranormal phantasm activity in New York City is at its highest. NYCHFF boasts some of the best horror films found anywhere—fills the Big Apple with a distinct dread—and becomes the largest Halloween after-party in the country.
NYCHFF takes place November 10th through 14th at Tribeca Cinemas. Special events of note include a ‘Lifetime Achievement’ tribute to horror legend Robert England (of Freddy Krueger fame), and his best known work, Wes Craven‘s ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street,’ will also screen during the festival. And don’t miss the GENRE DISCUSSION PANEL that includes England, Michael Wright (Sugar Hill, The Five Heartbeats), Michael Gingold (A Return to Salem’s Lot, Fear of the Dark), William Lustig (Maniac), and Joe Mauceri (Headspace, The Suckling). There will also be a FREE ‘Red One Camera Workshop’ at Showbiz Software Store on Sat, Nov. 13th @ Noon.
|We posed two questions for festival director Michael J. Hein:|
|Latin Horror: There is a respectable ratio of films (nine) by Latin filmmakers in this year’s NYCHF. What are your thoughts on the emergence of Latin horror within the industry?|
|Michael J. Hein: “The festival is international. We receive films from the entire world and do not differentiate between countries, race, or creed. We look for the best films…period. However, I think the reason there is always a good cross section of Latino filmmakers at the NYCHFF is because there is a lot of talent there.”|
|Latin Horror: From a curator’s point-of-view, how do you see this sector impacting and/or contributing to the genre of horror in the U.S.?|
|Michael J. Hein: “I think it’s always good for any “group” of filmmakers to get there just due. A few years ago it seemed everyone was excited about Asian filmmakers working within the genre. Films like Ringu, Audition, Oldboy, etc., really gave the North American audiences a taste of something different. With the emergence of Robert Rodriguez and Guillermo del Toro and the popularity of films like El Mariachi, The Devil’s Backbone, Pan’s Labyrinth, and J. A. Bayona‘s The Orphanage, it really helped put Latino genre filmmakers back on the map. In very much the same way the films of José Mojica Marins (Coffin Joe) and Paul Naschy (the Spanish Lon Chaney, Jr.) did back in the day. This year’s festival, films like Sadness by Andre Paim , Lazarus Taxon by Denis Rovira, Ninjas by Dennison Ramalho, and Bienvendia A Casa [Welcome Home] by Yahaira Paulino, will show that Latino always have, and will continue to be a driving force in the genre.”|
NYCHFF awards films and filmmakers in the following categories:
• Best Feature Film / Best Short Film
• Best Cinematography / Best Special Effects
• Best Actor / Best Actress
• Best Screenplay (Screened Film) / Best Screenplay (Submitted)
• Audience Choice
Herein are the nine filmmakers representing Latin horror at NYCHFF this year, their showcasing projects, and when you can view their work (for the festival’s full schedule, click here.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11th @ 8:00PM [PROGRAM 1]
‘LAZARUS TAXON’ — DENIS ROVIRA
2008 / 14 Min / HD / Australia / Short Narrative
The feared consequences of global warming are at their peak when one man crosses the New Sea trying to save his daughter from the clutches of death. A tale about going beyond the limits of the human race and the survival of the species.
BLISS. Directed and written by Joe Begos. Produced by Joe Begos, Josh Ethier, Graham Skipper, Caroline Metz, Lyle Kanouse, Audrey Wasilewski. (USA) – World Premiere, Feature Narrative. In need of creative inspiration, a professionally stagnant and hard-partying Los Angeles artist recklessly indulges in a series of drug binges. As the narcotics fly out of control, so does her newfound and inexplicable, yet unquenchable, craving for blood. With Dora Madison, Tru Collins, Rhys Wakefield, Jeremy Gardner, Graham Skipper, George Wendt.
COME TO DADDY. Directed by Ant Timpson, written by Toby Harvard. Produced by Mette-Marie Kongsved, Laura Tunstall, Daniel Bekerman, Katie Holly, Emma Slade. (USA, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland) – World Premiere, Feature Narrative. After receiving a cryptic letter from his estranged father, Norval travels to his dad’s oceanfront home for what he hopes will be a positive experience. If only he’d known the dark truth about his old man beforehand. With Elijah Wood, Stephen McHattie, Martin Donovan, Michael Smiley, Madeleine Sami, Simon Chin.
KNIVES AND SKIN. Directed and written by Jennifer Reeder. Produced by Brian Hieggelke, Jan Hieggelke. (USA) – North American Premiere, Feature Narrative. In the rural midwestern town of Big River, the sudden disappearance of a teen girl drives the town’s small population into a surreal nightmare of fear, suspicion, and guilt. With Kate Arrington, Marika Engelhardt, Audrey Francis, Kayla Carter, Ireon Roach, and Grace Smith.
SOMETHING ELSE. Directed by Jeremy Gardner and Christian Stella, written by Jeremy Gardner. Produced by David Lawson Jr., Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Arvind Harinath. (USA) – World Premiere, Feature Narrative. Dealing with a girlfriend suddenly leaving is tough enough. But for Hank, heartbreak couldn’t have come at a worse time. There’s also a monster trying to break through his front door every night. With Jeremy Gardner. Brea Grant, Henry Zebrowski, Justin Benson, Ashley Song, Nicola Masciotra.
YOU DON’T NOMI. Directed and written by Jeffrey McHale. Produced by Jeffrey McHale, Ariana Garfinkel, Suzanne Zionts. (USA) – World Premiere, Feature Documentary. Released in 1995, Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls was met by critics and audiences with near universal derision. You Don’t Nomi traces the film’s redemptive journey from notorious flop to cult classic, and maybe even masterpiece. With Peaches Christ, Jeffery Conway, April Kidwell, Haley Mlotek, Adam Nayman, David Schmader.
Tribeca Film Festival also includes a few gems in the International Narrative Competition, Spotlight Narrative, and Tribeca Critics’ Week that we think deserve a genre lovers eyeballs (And no, you can’t have them back. Sorry, that’s the price of admission!):
CHARLIE SAYS. (Spotlight Narrative) Directed by Mary Harron, written by Guinevere Turner. Produced by Cindi Rice, Jeremy M. Rosen, John Frank Rosenblum. (USA) – North American Premiere. Charlie Says, directed by masterful filmmaker Mary Harron, tells the Charles Manson story through the fresh eyes of his most devoted followers: Leslie van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Susan Atkins. With Suki Waterhouse, Hannah Murray, Matt Smith, Annabeth Gish, Merritt Wever, Chace Crawford. An IFC Films release.
IN FABRIC. (Tribeca Critics’ Week) Directed and written by Peter Strickland. Produced by Andy Starke. (UK) – New York Premiere, Feature Narrative. British auteur Peter Strickland follows The Duke of Burgundy with a dazzling sensory overload of genre film pastiche in a fresh package: the dreamlike saga of a cursed scarlet dress that passes through the lives of several characters. Once again, Strickland unites disorienting cinematic trickery with deadpan comedy to astonishing results. With Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Hayley Squires, Leo Bill, Julian Barratt, Steve Oram, Gwendoline Christie. An A24 release.
ONLY. (Spotlight Narrative) Directed and written by Takashi Doscher. Produced by Eyal Rimmon, Gabrielle Pickle. (USA) – World Premiere. After the onset of a mysterious plague that affects only females, Eva may be the only woman left on Earth. Longing for freedom after months of secret quarantine, she and her partner Will venture out into the unknown. With Freida Pinto, Leslie Odom Jr., Chandler Riggs, Jayson Warner Smith, Tia Hendricks.
THE GASOLINE THIEVES (Huachicolero). (International Narrative Competition) Directed by Edgar Nito, written by Alfredo Mendoza, Edgar Nito. Produced by Victor Leycegui, Annick Mahnert, Joshua Sobel. (Mexico, Spain, UK, USA) – World Premiere. Propelled by a need for cash to impress a crush, 14-year-old Mexican farmhand Lalo finds himself dangerously in over his head after entering into the country’s underworld of illegal gasoline extraction. With Eduardo Banda, Pedro Joaquin, Regina Reynoso, Fernando Becerril, Pascacio López, Leonardo Alonso.