The FANtastic Horror Film Festival - now what's the
philosophy behind it, and how did you come up with the idea?
The FANtastic Horror Film Festival as its name suggests is a FAN oriented
festival. We believe that all of our guests for the fest are fans, from
the average movie goer to the filmmakers, actors, and others whose focus
is Indie Horror.
Our goal is to have all our films start
on time so as not to infringe on the time of our fans. In
order to do this we keep a very tight schedule and provide access to our
filmmakers and fans to our Red Carpet for photo ops throughout the whole
Living in San Diego and driving to LA
for events was a hurry-up and wait experience for us. Costly trips and
long exhausting days became the rule, so, the fest was conceived to
change that dynamic.
when and where will the FANtastic Horror Film Festival be
The festival is held in sunny San Diego, CA, October
28th to 30th, 2016.
Do talk about your festival locations for a bit,
and what makes them perfect for an event like yours? And what can you tell
us about the San Diego horror fanbase?
year our venue will be the UltraStar Cinemas @ Hazard Center.
This movie theatre could be called the "hidden gem" of San
Diego, located between 2 major shopping centers and near Hotel Circle.
With plenty of free parking, a trolley stop out front and access to
multitudes of shopping, food and drink establishments and plenty of hotels
it is perfect for our out-of-town guests.
local fan base is not quite at the level we are looking for, but we have
been growing ever since our first fest in 2014. We are looking for a local
growth spurt this year as we continue to grow our content with national
and international film.
It should be
noted here that the FANtastic Horror Film Festival is still
open for submissions - so could you at all give us the submission details
and deadline, and what kind of qualities are you looking for in submitted
We accept new
films all year round, starting on August 1st through July 31st for the
Halloween season the following October. Currently we are in our regular
submission period for 2016, which ends on June 30th. Our late submission
period is July 1st through July 31st. 2016 Official Selections will be
announced by August 15th, with Award nominations being announced by
September 1st, followed by Fan Voting.
We are always looking for new and innovating independent horror
films and subgenres. Our films are generally 3 years old or less,
although we do occasionally make exceptions.
We have a Screenplay Competition as
well. Writers will be vying for 3 awards and 3 honorable mentions.
Filmmakers and screenwriter may submit
their entries directly through our website http://www.fhffsd.org/, or
Do talk about your panel of judges for a bit!
we say about our judges, except they are awesome. Our judges hail from
across the nation and around the world. This year we have
Brazeal, horror host Mr. Dark
who lives in Texas; Sue Dent, a writer from Mississippi; James DePaulo,
who does reviews for the
Tyler Doupé, managing editor at
occasional contributor to Fangoria Mag and Rue
Morgue Mag, who hails from Oregon;
Jason Kreuger, a high school teacher from Florida; Susan
Morton, AKA McCabria Darque, hostess
from San Diego; and last but not least you, Mike, as a judge as well as a great
advocate for the Festival with all your posts on (re)Search my Trash!
All awesome individuals and big horror
also handing out awards at the FANtastic Horror Film Festival
- so how will they be voted for?
One of the
responsibilities of our judges is to not only review our films but to also
vote for the Award Nominees. Once the Award Nominees are announce we will
have a 2 week period in which the fans will be able to vote for our Award
Winners which will be announced at our Award Ceremony on Sunday, October
You also have to talk
about the Lon Chaney Award presented at your festival, and how are
the recipients for that one chosen? And what can you tell us about your
Lynn Lowry with her Lon Chaney Award
Chaney Award is very dear to our hearts here at the FANtastic Horror
Film Festival. We decided early on in starting the fest that we wanted to
honor an individual who made an outstanding contribution to the Indie
Horror genre. That individual turned out to be Bill Oberst jr [Bill
Oberst jr interview - click here], our first
Lon Chaney Award recipient.
When we first
chose to honor Bill we did not have a name for the award. All we had was
the idea for an award based on the honoree doing amazing work over a
period of 5 to 10 years. We did not want the award to be a lifetime
achievement award because of the fact that Bill's career was in no way
over and it would give other prolific individuals in the genre something
to strive for.
With no name
for the award, we watched a number of interviews with Bill and discovered
that his idol from the time he was a young man was Lon Chaney. We contacted Chaney
Entertainment for permission to use Lon Chaney's name and the Award was
recipient was Lynn Lowry, a prolific actress with a long list of
accomplishments. Lynn had a number of films in our 2015 fest and walked
away with multiple awards. Having Bill there to present the award to her
was one of the highlights of the Award Ceremony.
nominations based on th individuals most recent 5 to 10 years of work in
indie horror, keeping the names and the winner under wraps until the Award
Ceremony. For a complete list of our ctiteria pleas go to our website
Any events you're planning outside
your film showings and award ceremony?
We are sure that
there will be some events going on surrounding the fest with opportunities
for people to get together. We are also considering hosting a Costume
Contest in conjunction with our theatre.
Do talk about the
highlights of your previous festivals for a bit? And in what ways has the
festival grown/changed over time?
With only 2 fests under our belt we have only a few highlights at this point. Year
one our Awards Ceremony was attended by Ron Chaney and his 2 daughters. We
learned to never have a kick-off party near a swimming pool. Networking
was the name of the game for our filmmakers. It was amazing how everything
and everyone came together to make the fest an outstanding success.
the afterglow, our filmmakers, actors, actresses and producers, led by
Bill Oberst jr [Bill Oberst jr
interview - click here] and Dawna Lee Heising [Dawna
Lee Heising interview - click here], requested that IMDb make us an
official event. Which they did.
everyone continued to come together to make things happen. We had a number
of returning filmmakers and a lot of fun.
year we are looking forward to much of the same as we continue to increase
the number of filmmakers who share in our vision as well as the fans who
kick-off party 2015
Horror Film Festival's website, Facebook, whatever else?
else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
best is yet to come!
for the interview!