HIGHLIGHTS & VIDEOS: April 2017 HORROR/THRILLER Film Festival

AUDIENCE FESTIVAL AWARDS

Best Film: STILL

Best Performances: THE PROWLER

Best Cinematography: OTHERS LIKE YOU

Best Music: The music from SHELTERED

WATCH the Audience FEEDBACK Videos from each film:

festival posterKONG’s, 10min, USA, Crime/Thriller
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterOLIVER’S LANDING, 7min, USA, Thriller/Drama
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterOTHERS LIKE YOU, 17min, Italy, Horror/Thriller
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterTHE PROWLER, 15min, UK, Thriller/Drama
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterKLINK, 3min, Ireland, Horror/Thriller
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterSTILL, 7min, UK, Horror/Thriller
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterSHELTERED, 9min, USA, Thriller/Mystery
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK

 
The HORROR/THRILLER APRIL 2017 FEEDBACK Film Festival gave our audiences simply the best of short comedy movies from around the world.

The theme of the festival was “ENTRAPMENT”.

Every film showcased was about a situation where the world was closing in on the characters.

The Horror/Thriller Festival is definitely a shift in tone in comparison to all of the other events we do. It’s a whole new crowd that shows up, as some of our regular attendees chose to skip the scary film night.

So the moderation Q&A with the audience is vastly different than the rest. Our resident “Horror/Thriller” moderator Amanda Lomonaco has a tough job – but she’s a fan first and LOVES this genre. Horror fans can get to the point quick and fast on their opinions of the films showcased.

There is the sense of ownership that goes on with the fans of horror. They are giving a piece of their lives (a major hobby) to this genre and in exchange they demand high quality in return. This is also true for the hardcore sports fan, wrestling fan, and comic book fan.

I can stack this lineup of terrific horror/thriller short films that we showcased at the April 2017 Festival with any other festival and short film lineup out there. These were 7 amazing shorts that the audience really loved. Just watch the feedback videos and hear what the crowd had to say about them.

Two more Horror/Thriller Festivals to come in 2017.

See you at the festivals.

– Matthew Toffolo

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2016 Horror Screenplays from the Festival

Submit your Horror Screenplay to the Festival Today: https://festivalforhorror.com/

ACTORTV PILOT – MIDLIFE CRISIS
December 2016 Reading
Written by Erica Barfield Peterson
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – BLOOD DRIVE
December 2016 Reading
Written by Myka J. Friscia
ACTORBEST SCENE Screenplay – THE WORK OF ZOMBIES
December 2016 Reading
Written by Patricia Semler
ACTOR1st SCENE Screenplay – YOU’VE CHANGED
December 2016 Reading
Written by Sam Sexton
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – THE SAND AND WATER OF STYX
December 2016 Reading
Written by Peer Ynt
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – BUREAUCRACY
December 2016 Reading
Written by Sharmini Kumar
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – THE SAND AND WATER OF STYX
December 2016 Reading
Written by Peer Ynt
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – BUREAUCRACY
December 2016 Reading
Written by Sharmini Kumar
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – THE PROVING GROUNDS
December 2016 Reading
Written by Michael Boyd
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – COLLAPSE
December 2016 Reading
Written by David Sweet
ACTORFAN FICTION Screenplay – GILLIGAN’S ISLAND OF THE DEAD
November 2016 Reading
Written by Jerry Kokich
ACTORTV PILOT Screenplay – THE MYSTERIOUS LIFE OF MADELEINE
November 2016 Reading
Written by Eve Noel
ACTORSHORT Screenplay (Under 5pg.) – EXORCISE
November 2016 Reading
Written by Matt Holland
ACTOR1st SCENE Screenplay: CRIME CYCLE
October 2016 Reading
Written by Donald R. Brown

ACTORSHORT Story – GOBLIN
October 2016 Reading
Written by J.F. Capps

ACTORLONG SHORT Screenplay – THE SON, THE FATHER
October 2016 Reading
Written by Lukas Hass

ACTORLONG SHORT Screenplay – CUCKOLD PICASSO
October 2016 Reading
Written by James R. Adams II and Lance Larson

ACTORLONG SHORT Screenplay – TOGETHER
October 2016 Reading
Written by Jade Syed-Bokhari

ACTORSHORT Screenplay – IF I DIE
September 2016 Reading
Written by Jean Nicole Rivers

ACTOR1st SCENE Screenplay: OLD BONES
September 2016 Reading
Written by Dermott Hayes

ACTORSHORT Screenplay – MATCHSTICK
August 2016 Reading
Written by Mike Fardy

ACTORBEST SCENE Screenplay – ELAN VITAL
July 2016 Reading
Written by Maroun Rached

ACTORSHORT Screenplay – MATERNAL FEAR
July 2016 Reading
Written by Stephen Milek

ACTOR1st SCENE Screenplay – NINE SCARS
July 2016 Reading
Written by Kelly Crawford

ACTORFEATURE Screenplay – FIEND
July 2016 Reading
Written by Jeff York

ACTORShort Screenplay – DEATH’S LADY LOVE
June 2016 Reading
Written by Stephen M. Hunt
ACTORFEATURE Screenplay – INKED IN BLOOD
June 2016 Reading
Written by Paul Corricelli

ACTOR1st Scene Screenplay – EXISTENTIAL QUANDARY
June 2016 Reading
Written by Brandon Maline
ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – LONG IN THE TOOTH
June 2016 Reading
Written by Mark Wasserman

ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – IX
June 2016 Reading
Written by Eric Irizarry
ACTORFeature Screenplay – THE BOO
May 2016 Reading
Written by Scott McEntire

ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – MATSQUI MASSACRE
April 2016 Reading
Written by Mark Curtis Dunn & Pamela C. Royal

ACTORShort Screenplay Screenplay – WALL IN THE GARDEN
April 2016 Reading
Written by Thorsten Loos

ACTORFeature Screenplay – DEAD NORTH
April 2016 Reading
Written by Alexander Nachaj

ACTOR1st Scene Screenplay – THE SHOT
February 2016 Reading
Written by Michael DeMattia

ACTOR1st Scene Screenplay – ROAD TO TEXAS
February 2016 Reading
Written by Emanuel Ruggeri

ACTORShort Screenplay – THE NEW NEIGHBORS
January 2016 Reading
Written by Filippo Santaniello

ACTORFeature Screenplay – MOTHS TO FLAME
March 2016 Reading
Written by Fredric Maffei

 

 

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Feature Screenplay Reading: FIEND, by Jeff York

Watch the July 2016 Winning Feature Screenplay Reading.

FIEND, by Jeff York

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Crime, Mystery, History

When famed Jekyll & Hyde author Robert Louis Stevenson turns out himself to be a dangerous split personality, the only one who can save him and London from his fiendish alter ego is a maverick American psychiatrist with daring, unconventional methods.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Kaufmann
PRINCE – Michael Kazarian
STEVENSON/WOLFE – Robert Notman
BURKE – Devin Upham
CLAY/CARTLER – Neil Bennett
ANNE – Elizabeth Rose Morriss
FANNY – Mandy May Cheetham

Get to know the winning writer Jeff York: 

1. What is your screenplay about?

It’s historical fiction, based upon two men who were contemporaries of each other in 19th century Europe. Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scotsman living in England who wrote the famous story about split personalities called “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.” And Dr. Morton Prince was an American psychologist working in Salpetriere Hospital in Paris treating split personalities and other psychosis. The two never met, but with so much in common, I deemed that they should.

2. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

“Fiend” would make for a elevated thriller that the Cineplex could use more of these days. It’s kind of a cross between “Sherlock Holmes” and “The King’s Speech” and it has a lot of smarts and a lot of heart.

3. How would you describe this script in two words?

Historical faction.

4. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

“Jaws” is one that I watch all the time, even when I come across it on TV, and see something new and amazing in it every time. It in itself is an elevated horror movie that has so many layers and nuance, in addition to being very primal.

5. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

All told it took me about a year to get “Fiend” into tip-top shape to start entering it into contests, where it has done very well, but I still tinker with it here and there. One never really stops rewriting until it’s filmed and in the can. And even after that, there may still be reshoots and additional rewriting!

6. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written 8 feature scripts, 3 television pilots, 1 short film script and a play.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I am a history buff and was drawn to Stevenson’s history as a man who was sick most of his life and longed for a life where he wasn’t hampered by his frailties. Hence, he wrote things like “Jekyll and Hyde”, as well as “Treasure Island.” His writing about mental illness and dissociative personality disorder (split personalities) in “Jekyll & Hyde” was incredibly insightful, such that there were those who wondered how he could grasp it all so well. Then, when I found out about Prince’s work in the same area and how Salpetriere wanted the rest of Europe to follow suit in bettering their treatment of the mentally ill, it struck me that there could be a entertaining juxtaposition in those two stories.

8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The balance of fact and fiction. Most movie bio’s take a ton of liberties with the real story, and because this one was clearly made up, I didn’t have to be quite so faithful. Still, I wanted to be true to the actual history known of the two men, and striking the right balance between reality and fantasy is what presented the biggest challenge.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love movies, theater, art, reading…most anything from the arts world. I have an orange tabby so I’m partial to cats. And I find current events and politics to be endlessly fascinating and spend a lot of time watching MSNBC. (I’m quite the liberal at heart.)

10. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I love those that embrace horror, and it seemed like a wonderful opportunity to connect with similar fans of the genre. The notes I received were superb, and I incorporated all the terrific suggestions into the rewrite of the script that was recorded. So thanks for making it better!

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Breaking into Hollywood is very difficult, and you’ll run into a lot of pretenders and wannabe’s. Gravitate towards those who remain positive in their response to your work, or at least encouraging, and realize that not everyone is going to do cartwheels over what you’ve written. Still, if you really enjoy writing and want to be a cinematic storyteller, keep at it and you will find advocates. You just need to find that one who also has money to make your script into a movie. That is THE struggle, but if you’re good, write a lot, and remain persistent in learning, rewriting, writing more and more scripts, and keeping the faith, you’ll find yourself getting closer and closer. And hopefully that day when you get the dream call, you’re ready for it all.

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Horror Best Scene Screenplay Reading from IX, by Eric Irizarry

Watch the June 2016 Winning Horror Best Scene Reading.

IX, by Eric Irizarry

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Horror, Thriller

A group of kidnap victims endure a sick game by nine killers of a death cult: Leave the room and you die. Stay and live through the fear.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Kelci Stephenson
KEN – Nathan Bragg
IV – Julian Ford

Get to know the winning writer: 

1. What is your screenplay about?

The screenplay is about the survival of eight kidnap victims by a group of nine killers who play an evil game as part of their ritual for a death cult. However, one of the victims is the undercover “IX” :the best killer of the cult. The rules are: Stay in the room…you endure the fear. Leave…and be massacred.

2. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

IX is a dark and chilling take on an “escape the room” scenario. It’s filled with an intriguing backstory on the cult’s motives followed by the harsh survival methods one has to use is desperation. It’s variety of characters with ranging personalities make you root for some but hate others. There are a mix of horror elements from slow creepiness to shocking jump scares to frantic chase scenes and also tense torture sequences. The surprise ending takes on a supernatural tone while the audience is left wondering the entire movie of who the “IX” is. I feel it will bring big scares and tension on the big screen.

3. How would you describe this script in two words?

Twisted Suspense

4. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Fight Club

5. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

At least six months

6. How many stories have you written?

Around twenty

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I love the horror genre because you can get away with anything creatively and suspend some form of reality. I wanted to mix different elements from movies I love from: Saw to Cabin in the Woods to Scream.

8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Trying to keep track of eight main characters in a single room and nine killers while sometimes mixing them by mistake became an obstacle. Also, trying not to seem like another movie’s rip-off was a huge goal of mine.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Working with people for physical rehabilitation, video games, fantasy, science.

10. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I love the fact that the winners would have the scene or movie acted out and read by professional actors. To see it come to life like that was a big draw. The feedback is always helpful even if you don’t agree with it initially. Sometimes you get tunnel vision and miss things that are obvious to others. I always take feedback on the notion that someone is trying to help you and you must see it from their perspective.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Never stop writing no matter what someone says about your writing. Take feedback with an open mind. You will get a thousand “Nos” but only need one “Yes” to make it.

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Watch the April 2016 Horror Feature Screenplay Reading

Submit your Horror Screenplay to the Festival Today: https://festivalforhorror.com/

Feature Script: DEAD NORTH
by Alexander Nachaj

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Horror, Comedy, Adventure

Survivors battle zombies and rival groups in post-apocalyptic Northern Canada

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Frances Townend
OWEN – Rob Notman
MAG – Christina Santos
PILOT – Kaleb Alexander
CAINE/STEIN – Jarrid Terrell
BARKER/REESE – David Occhipinti

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978) Directed by George A. Romero

DAWN OF THE DEAD MOVIE POSTER
DAWN OF THE DEAD, 1978
Movie Reviews

Directed by George A Romero
Starring: David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger, Gaylen Ross
Review by Anthony Suen

SYNOPSIS:

After news of a zombie plague sweeping America becomes public, panic sets in as the living are in chaos and the dead start appearing around every corner. A team of news reporters and police officers escape to a zombie-infested shopping mall and attempt to survive the impending crisis as long as possible.

REVIEW:

The commentary Romero provides in his Living Dead series is stuff worthy of academic study. In each of his films he tackles several issues relevant to the public during the era, and integrates them seamlessly enough into his films that the true fear factor can appear in many ways other than the shambling dead invading the city streets. In Dawn of the Dead, Romero’s second of the trilogy, he follows up his original masterpiece with an amazing sequel. He certainly does not disappoint, and created a classic that has survived the test of time.

In comparing Dawn to Night, much can be said on the improvements it did to its predecessor. The special effects, most notably, have been revamped to disturbing effect, and colour has been introduced into the film for visual appeal. Visual appeal is only one of the aspects this film possesses that proves its worth in film history. The film is thick with social commentary, character development and the classic zombie touch. It’s a film with lots to boast about, but still remains a modest achievement in the horror. Romero crafts it expertly and precisely in order to carry on the legacy that the film is able to hold to this day. It was no easy task, yet Romero succeeds with demonstrating his expertise in many different ways with this second instalment.

The most relevant point that this film brings to focus, and probably what makes it such an accomplished work, is its reflection of American consumerism in the late 70’s, and foreshadowing the boom of capitalism and consumer spending to dominate the 80’s. The setting is almost entirely pictured in a shopping mall, with plenty of untouched stores and large glass windows advertising bright clothes and accessories the world seems to not need any longer. Yet, with all the zombies that roam in this place, our characters are driven to seek refuge in a familiar landmark, and indulge in their consumerist fantasies by binging on the endless products that surround them. Romero mocks the consumerist nature eloquently by using his zombies as shadows of our former selves. Possibly the creepiest thing about these zombies trapped in the mall is the similarities between them and us. Even with no brain power, no intelligence to speak of, they find their way back to what they know best. As inhuman as they are, they are just shadows of us. By doing this, Romero creates fear in his audience with ways that you usually don’t find anymore.

As with his previous film, Romero maintains the touch he provides to all his films, past and future. Previously, the low budget and independent funding of his first production prevented any true effort in visual effects, yet the film still succeeded in countless ways. Having already proved his worth in the horror business, Romero gets a second chance with Dawn. His special effects artist Tom Savini works wonders in the film, with pure visceral gore dominating the visual aspects. Exploding heads and detached limbs are only a few of the weapons Savini possesses in his arsenal, and throughout the Living Dead series he continues to make audiences queasy with his mastery. Despite the visual feast provided by Dawn, the style and taste of horror gore has evolved through the years, and Savini’s style has grown stale to contemporary horror. His workings are still praised and imitated, but rarely ever successfully re-created or appreciated by younger, more conditioned audiences. However, Dawn of the Dead has not only become iconic for its social significance, but also its rawness of gore and effects.

Dawn is a perfect example of Romero’s dedication to what he creates. While it’s only his second of the series, the elements of zombie cinema represented have retained their significance and influence. Each of his films has specific commentary and classic visuals, yet his trilogy seems to offer something different each time. This film solidifies the zombie genre, and is the base of which most modern zombie films are built upon. While Romero gained cult success after the fact with Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead caught the mainstream eye and is a mainstay in classic horror cinema.

While its praise is much deserved and its importance in cinema is undeniable, modern audiences may find themselves weary of its datedness and taste. It’s unfortunate that we’ve been conditioned my contemporary horror so much that certain classics can’t retain their appeal to all audiences as the years pass. Though this can be said for any classic horror flick, Dawn is part of a trio of films that are kept sacred by devoted and loyal fans, whose dedication has provided zombie pop culture with expanding identity. Dawn of the Dead is the bolded text in zombie history as the turning point in the fame that zombies have encountered during recent years. It was the catalyst, and possibly its greatest legacy that it holds, not only because of its cinematic importance, but the cultural one it has formed along the way.

This film is a horror fan’s film. It’s a Romero fan’s film and a zombie fan ’s film. It’s a movie buff’s film. Whether it’s a Living Dead series marathon, or a zombie gore-fest, or a horror fright-night, this film belongs there. It belongs in DVD collections and stashes of classics. It’s only part of Romero’s achievements and is a trophy that can be seen by everyone. This is his legacy, the zombie genre’s legacy, and horror’s legacy on film. It’s an example and a masterpiece and one of the greatest horrors to come along in cinematic history.

dawn_of_the_dead.jpg

Watch Best Scene Horror GATES OF HELL Screenplay Reading by Pamela Green

Submit your Horror Screenplay to the Festival Today: https://festivalforhorror.com/about/

Best Scene from GATES OF HELL Screenplay
by Pamela Green

SYNOPSIS:

The best scene expert reading of the feature screenplay. Full screenplay to be performed on March 13, 2016 at the festival.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Susan Wilson
EVERETT – Aieron Munro
ATTENDANT – Robert Notman
MABEL – Maya Woloszyn
DALE – Charles Gordon
JEREMIAH – Paul Falkowski
NURSE – Antosia Fiedur
WORKER – Rochelle Burke

February 2016 Short Film Festival Highlights

The theme of the FEBRUARY Horror/Thriller 2016 FILM FESTIVAL was:
“GOOD IS BAD”.

Every film showcased on the night was about a character twist. It’s never what you think it is.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Videos for each film shown at the festival


festival posterCANTATA IN C MAJOR
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


7min, USA, Horror/Musical


festival posterTIME TO EAT
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK Video


4min, USA, Horror/Comedy


festival posterBALLERINA
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


5min, USA, Horror/Thriller


festival posterSILENTLY WITHIN YOUR SHADOW
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK Video


14min, UK, Horror/Thriller

festival posterCHATEAU SAUVIGNON: TERROIR
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


13min, USA, Horror/Family


festival posterVICIOUS
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


12min, UK, Horror

festival posterTHE ART OF GESTURE
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


16min, France, Horror/Thriller

AUDIENCE FESTIVAL AWARDS

Best Film: VICIOUS

Best Overall Performances: Actors from CHATEAU SAUVIGNON: TERROIR

Best Cinematography: CHATEAU SAUVIGNON: TERROIR

Best Music: The music from VICIOUS

Here’s the summary of each film:

– THE ART OF GESTURE: In a disused chapel, a man is being tortured in a strange way.

– VICIOUS: A woman returns home late one night to find her front door unlocked.

– CHATEAU SAUVIGNON: TERROIR: A boy is divided between this father and daughter.

– SILENTLY WITHIN YOUR SHADOW: Lucette’s obsession for her dummy Hugo starts to strain her relationship.

– BALLERINA: A woman at home alone encounters a malevolent presence in the form of a… music box?

– TIME TO EAT: A mischievous boy’s trip to the basement leads to a monstrous revelation.

– CANTATA IN C MAJOR: Six-hundred-five film clips are assembled and used to create a piece of electronic music.

SCREAMWRITER, Horror Short Script Table Reading

Submit your Horror Screenplay to the Festival Today: https://festivalforhorror.com/about/

SCREAMWRITER, Short Script Reading
Written by Lee Forgang
Read 10 Questions with the writer

SYNOPSIS:

Screamwriter is a dark comedy about a female writer who is driven to vengeance after experiencing problems that can plague many in the industry.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
MARTHA – Stephanie Schmid
HARRY – Roman Spera
JOHN – John Goodrich
HILARY – Kirsten Nolan
MATT – Gabriel Dumas
JAN- Ida Jagaric
JAY LENO – David Schaap

 

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Playing at Feb. 25th Horror Film Festival – BALLERINA, 5min, USA, Horror/Thriller

RSVP your FREE Tickets to the best of Horror Short Film Festival – Thursday February 25th, 7pm. Carlton Cinemas

BALLERINA, 5min, USA, Horror/Thriller
Directed by Marc Thomas

A woman at home alone encounters a malevolent presence in the form of a… music box?

Film Type: Short

Runtime: 5 minutes 51 seconds

Completion Date: September 22, 2015

Production Budget: 0 USD

Country of Origin: United States

Country of Filming: United States

Film Language: English

Shooting Format: Canon 5D

Aspect Ratio: 16:9

Film Color:Color