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An Interview with the New York City Horror Film Festival's co-director Ronnie Hein

by Dale Pierce

December 2012

New York City Horror Film Festival on (re)Search my Trash

 

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You just finished a big horror film festival in NYC this past November. How well did it go?

 

The festival was amazing this year. Considering the circumstances, and how our entire staff came together and pulled off perhaps the best festival ever is a testament to my son Michael J. Hein [Michael J. Hein interview - click here], who passed away suddenly in July 2011. Michael was the founder and director of the New York City Horror Film Festival since its inception in 2002, and the festival will continue in his memory.

 

Who were some of the people who appeared there?

 

Mr. Wes Craven received our lifetime achievement award while Rob Zombie took home our very first Michael J. Hein Award for personal achievement in direction. All this to a packed house and screaming fans. Our panel included: Moderator Michael Gingold (writer, Fangoria magazine), Bill Lustig (director, producer, Blue Underground), Dennis Paoli (writer, Re-Animator, From Beyond), Alan Rowe Kelly (filmmaker) [Alan Rowe Kelly interview - click here], Josh Turi (Emmy award winner for spfx, Saturday Night Live), and Patrick Rea (filmmaker).

 

You are making plans for 2013?

 

Absolutely! As a matter of fact our call for entries begins January 1st, 2013 - so stay tuned, as it's way too early to give anything away just yet.

 

What is the webpage you have where your fans can see updates for 2013?

 

www.NYCHorrorfest.com

 

What, if anything do you do to make your festival different from others out there?

 

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I believe what makes us different is our continuing desire to always put the fans first and treat the filmmakers like we would guests in our home - as that's what keeps them always coming back. That and always creating a fun atmosphere. Since we are the biggest horror film festival on the East Coast there is never a need to compete with anyone else. Our reputation speaks for itself.

 

What suggestions might you give others in different parts of the world wishing to organize such a fest?

 

Advertising and a professional website are both key to make filmmakers, fans and sponsors aware of your event. You would need to find a venue and put down a deposit on the dates you want before announcing the event publicly. It's a good idea for you to attend a lot of festivals (screenings, seminars, and parties) before going forward and be ready to spend hundreds of hours and tons of money to do it correctly. The most important thing to remember is that a film festival should always be about the films and filmmakers first and foremost. Never about you or anything else.

 

What, in your opinion, makes for a good festival?

 

Hands down.. the people that are involved. Without their dedication and full year of planning, meeting, watching films etc there is no festival. It's a lot of work, but a labor of love from start to finish.  

 

Anything else you would like to add?

 

Thank you for letting everyone know the New York City Horror Film Festival is back and ready to rock your world.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Dale Pierce


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