A Howlin’ Virtual Time at the 2020 HorrorHound Festival

We’re back with another horror film festival that’s coming to a monitor near you (which shouldn’t be pretty far as we continue the #PandemicLife), this time with the folks at HorrorHound, one of the most popular horror/genre conventions & film festival dual combos in the United States! And yes, once again, our Make A Wish short film starring Josephine Chang and yours truly will be playing at this festival. But first, an official press release statement from HorrorHound itself so you can know the full extent of how in-depth this event will go as it is not a typical film festival:

Over the weekend of September 18 through the 20, HorrorHound presents an exciting weekend-long streaming “Virtual HorrorHound Weekend” Convention and Film Festival!

The Virtual HorrorHound Weekend event is a digital online-exclusive event that will be replacing our annual physical live event, which was scheduled for the same weekend in Indianapolis, Indiana. The physical Indianapolis event was canceled due to Coronavirus Pandemic concerns — leaving HorrorHound with the task of providing a fun — and SAFE — weekend-long event for horror fans across the country to enjoy. We invite you to attend. And please, visit the Facebook EVENT PAGE, click “JOIN” and let everyone else know about this upcoming event!

The Virtual HorrorHound Film Festival will kick off Friday, September 18, at 2pm — with a day (and night) filled with a constant stream of new feature films and shorts — all of which were intended to have made up the lineup of the intended Fall HorrorHound Film Festival. Programming will last past midnight, and include many surprises, including introductions by filmmakers, filmmaker panels and special retrospective videos from past HorrorHound Weekend events. While the livestream is occurring, fans will also be able to participate in a special chat feature, where you will be able to talk with other fans while the programming is streaming — not to mention chat sessions in which the filmmakers will be participating in as well! Plus, we will have a live Viewing Party option, where attendees can participate in live video chats during the films’ livestreams.

Additional to the feature films, shorts, and extra bonus content thrown in throughout the weekend, HorrorHound has curated special Q&As with celebrity talents such as Robert Englund, Tony Todd, Rick Baker, and more! A Saturday evening after hour event has been programmed with brand new musical performances from such acts as Jess-O-Lantern, Mummula, The Big Bad, and more! We have taken extra measures to present a HorrorHound Weekend presentation that gives viewers a taste of what it’s like to actually attend a live HHW event. On top of this, people who attend the Virtual Film Fest will have access to new HorrorHound merchandise and autograph sales!

The festivities kick off Friday, September 18th, at 2pm EST – and will continue each night at the same time, through Sunday, September 20. Hours: Friday: 2pm-12am, Saturday: 2pm-12am  Sunday: 2pm-9pm. A ticket purchase grants admission into Website with access to the livestream entertainment: Virtual Film Festival, Celebrity Q&A panels, and live chat features!

You can visit the HorrorHound STORE and secure a simple attendee-only event ticket, which grants you access to the weekend-long livestream. Admission is just $10

We are also offering a special limited edition VIP Package which includes a brand-new HorrorHound event tee, a brand-new soft enamel pin, an exclusive limited edition exclusive badge (with HorrorHound lanyard), a special sticker, a virtual copy of HorrorHoundMagazine’s 15th anniversary special (emailed out at a later date) — plus as a bonus — we are including one MYSTERY signed celebrity 8×10 from the HorrorHound Archives. It could be one of dozens of possible celebrities (see details below). Oh yeah… as a bonus, and you also get access to the Virtual HHW event! A mere $60 — this package is definitely worth the price — CLICK HERE to order yours! This package is available until September 20th, or while supplies last. 
*Select convention merch: remaining stock may be offered later after the ‘Fest.

All you must do to access this three-day Virtual Film Festival is purchase a ticket! You will receive an email with a password code. When the event weekend comes, on live.horrorhound.com, you will be prompted to enter said code. Once the code is entered –you are set. The livestream will begin. Please note — this is a LIVEstreaming film festival, which means there is no “pause” functionality. So, make sure you have your popcorn ready!  Enjoy the film fest!

*Celebrity Autograph comes from the HorrorHound archives from hosting special guests for over 10 years in the convention industry. Specific autographs can not be guaranteed — you will receive one mystery autograph from dozens of possible celebrity names — all secured by HorrorHound at a past HHW event — guaranteed. You may even be one of the lucky ones and receive a premium autograph, such as a copy of HorrorHound Magazine signed by Mads Mikkelsen or Elvira(!) …. Possible celebrity autographs you may receive include (but are not limited to): Patrick Wilson, Joel Hodgson, Kane, Mads Mikkelsen, Elvira, the Soska Sisters, Fiona Dourif, Carla Gugino, Larry Drake, Tom Hopper, Pam Grier, Edward Herrmann, Malin Akerman, George A. Romero, Derek Mears, John Noble, Megan Ward, Robert Maillet, Joe Dante, and more!

How Long Are Tickets Available: 
Tickets will be sold all the way through the weekend of the event.
Can I Use An Old Code or Ticket To Login: No, this is a newly created event. Order your ticket at live.horrorhound.com today!
Can I Use My Phone To Watch? Yes, you can use your phone, computer, tablet, or other streaming devices, including mirror functionality on your mobile devices to your television. Just visit live.horrorhound.com
Why Is There No Physical HorrorHound Event? There is a pandemic that has impacted mass gatherings across the world which limited our ability to host a physical HorrorHound Weekend event in September. Going digital was the safe and responsible decision. 
Am I Guaranteed to Have My Merchandise Before the Event? Merchandise is shipped just prior to the event. Our intent is to have boxes in customer’s hands by time the event is live. If you order closer to the event, shipping may not arrive in time.
I Don’t Like My Autograph. What Do I Do? We cannot guarantee a specific autograph with VIP Packages. They are sold as a “Mystery Item” – the VIP Package is not priced based on autograph values. Cost of VIP Package is based on merchandise costs (shirt, pin, badge). Please keep that in mind when ordering. But also keep in mind that all autographs were obtained by HorrorHound in-person at a HorrorHound Weekend event – so these are celebrity guests we have hosted and whose autograph demands a range of $30-60 per signature. A few random VIPs will receive signed magazines or autographs that are worth more. But again – there are no guarantees on what you will specifically receive.

If you have questions regarding the HorrorHound Weekend event, please email mail@horrorhound.com — if the question is not covered on this page, we will update it so everyone else can stay informed!

That should about cover everything. But like my coverage of Horrible Imaginings, my main interest is covering the BIPOC creatives & filmmakers whose work will be present at this event, starting with one of the festival directors herself, Audery Lane!

An avid lover of horror and sci-fi from an early age, Audery spent weekends staying up late to watch Sammy Terry or going to the local drive-in. Video stores provided a constant source to get her horror fix. As a teen, she broadened her love of horror/sci-fi to include books, music and art and often wrote horror related short stories and poems. As an adult, she continued to write for and worked briefly with Examiner.com reviewing music and movies. After attending her first HorrorHound Weekend in 2011, Audery immediately hooked up with fellow female horror lovers and began podcasting in 2012. In 2013, she began the website and podcast HorriFi — dedicated to all aspects of independent horror and sci-fi. Audery began working with the HorrorHound Film Festival as a volunteer in 2012. In 2015, she began working on the film fest selection committee and a writer for the magazine in 2016.

She’s been my main contact throughout the festival and immediately from our email communications, I can tell that Audery Lane not only loves horror with a passion but really, really cares about the festival and all who attends it. While the pandemic has made it a bummer that we couldn’t experience this in person, Audery and her partner George Lane are doing a kickass job in making the virtual experience a truly worthwhile one. Now, onto several of the BIPOC filmmakers:

Shadow at the Door
September 18, 2020
2pm EST Block

A troubled young woman searches for an intruder in her home unaware that what she’s really looking for may be something she refuses to see.

Director: Roshni “Rush” Bhatia is a horror writer-director. Grown up in Mumbai, Rush has been inspired by filmmakers like James Cameron and Ridley Scott and writers like Richard Matheson and Rod Serling. With a wide range of storytelling from sci-fi to horror, Rush went to the US to study film. As of 2020, Rush has five shorts in festivals with selections at Leeds International Film Festival, Morbido Film Festival, etc.

Her one minute short film, shot on an iPhone, was singled out by Hollywood Heavyweights like Die Hard screenwriter Steven E. De Souza. Recently, after producing scripts and shorts non-stop, Rush got her first movie deal of an action thriller feature with a renowned production company in LA. She also had one of her stories featured in an anthology called “Surviving Tomorrow” among authors including Neil Gaiman and Andrew Mayne.

September 18, 2020
730pm EST Block

A film with a comedic take on a familiar setup: when too-woke-for-their-own-good college kids are terrorized by an unstoppable masked killer, the final girl must outsmart him to survive. Only in this movie, the killer literally cannot be stopped (or killed).

Director: Alex Montilla has been making movies since high school when he and his friends took over the morning announcements. Through that process, Alex learned the basics of filmmaking: acting, writing, directing, editing, visual effects, scoring… you name it. All of these skills came in handy when he attended the University of Miami’s film school.

After making the leap to Los Angeles, he worked in the editing room for studio films like Hot Tub Time Machine and The Muppets, on the sets of Hop and The Hangover Part III and as an Assistant Editor for ESPN’s Grantland. All the while, Alex continues to write, direct and edit his own films. His last effort, Cheat Day, was a hit with audiences and he looks forward to sharing OverKill with the world.

September 18, 2020
5pm EST Block

A man’s Arab imaginary friend refuses to let him sign divorce papers.

Director: Ali Alkhafaji is an award-winning Middle Eastern Writer/Director based in Austin, TX. Aside from directing, Ali runs three film festivals (Austin Under the Stars, Austin Spotlight, & LA Under the Stars) which donate a portion of all proceeds to Autism Society of Texas.

Director statement: Hyder is based on my parents’ relationship. My Dad is Arab and my Mom is Dutch. Growing up with differing religious views & cultural backgrounds was pretty entertaining. Some fights would stem from cultural differences, but most were a power struggle about being “right”… I thought it was funny, so I made a short. My parents are still together, so at least their story is a happy ending.

September 20, 2020
730pm EST Block

An Indian-American mystery thriller that explores the power of faith and beauty of Hinduism.

Director: Raj Krishna is a producer, writer and director. Raj began his career by producing several shorts and documentaries which played at film festivals around the world and won awards. Raj then transitioned into writing with his cannibal horror script Varna Heights, which was selected as one of ten projects to be featured at the India’s Film Bazaar Co-Production Market in 2019.

In 2020, Raj directed his first film, Padmavyuha, starring Nikhil Prakash, Ross and Pooja Batra. Padmavyuha world premiered as the opening night gala film at the International Indian Film Festival of Toronto (IIFFT) on August 9, 2020.

Waking Nightmare: Stories of Sleep Paralysis
September 19, 2020
930pm EST Block

Do you ever feel like you are sinking into your bed on these hot summer nights? What are your stories of sleep paralysis?

Lead Actor: Sonja Cirilo is an actor and director from St. Croix USVI. She obtained her BFA in theater performance from Randolph College in 2015. After graduation, she moved to New York City to continue her acting training with the Atlantic Acting Theater Company’s Full-Time Conservatory. Sonja is honored to become a part of the production team for Nun Habit as a director and looks forward to creating beautiful work

Peek A Boo: I See You
September 18th 2020
2pm EST Block

Theresa and her husband are moving to her new home, but a sinister presence is stopping her from having an easy moving day.

Director Jose Escorcia: “Growing up in San Francisco I was always a huge movie geek. Delving into worlds that I could never imagine was always something magical. Filmmaking has always been a passion of mine ever since I got my hands on a camera. I wanted to be in the same ranks as my teachers that have paved the way for my career. People like Steven Spielberg, Sam Raimi and Akira Kurosawa have been my mentors and my tools to attempt anything as long as I have the passion and drive to make it. I never let budget or equipment get in the way of making what I wanted to make.

It especially wasn’t easy living in a tough neighborhood, with a low income family where my parents relied on working long hours and laboring jobs in order to give us a roof over our heads. I made what I thought would help me grow as a filmmaker, and I think that this mentality of being deprived of something grows an appreciation and sense of urgency to keep grinding no matter what is in my way. Family means everything to me and without them I would not be able to pursue this career path. Now with a new sense of knowledge and years of experience I feel like It;s nothing but up from here.”

Bliss Burger
September 19th 2020
2pm EST Block

For Ajit’s wife, his voyage to the United States is to complete his PhD in Engineering. For Ajit, it’s an opportunity to escape the clutches of an arranged marriage.  After Ajit cuts himself off from his cultural roots he finds himself isolated in a new world and remedies his guilt of running away through the solace of Bliss Burger.  This is a story about an immigrant’s assimilation into America’s national religion – Consumerism, and the search for God’s warm embrace through cheeseburgers.

Lead Actor: Known only as Tasmay, he is a fresh-faced actor who makes a tremendous mark on his first major lead role as Ajit Sandu in Bliss Burger.

And last but not least, our own short film (which by the way, has been nominated from here for four awards — Best Cinematography, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Short Film)!

Make A Wish
September 19, 2020
2pm EST Block

A light-hearted comedy about the sweetest fiancé giving her boyfriend the best present ever. 

Director: Dinh Thai is an Asian American writer/director by way of commercial directing based in Los Angeles. Born in Vietnam, fled to France, and finally settling in Los Angeles, the ’80s and ’90s nurtured a fascinating cultural mix that strongly informs Dinh’s filmic approach and aesthetic. He brings a youthful, multi-cultural viewpoint to his creative and energetic productions. His work blends visual style with realism, focusing on social media influencers, dialogue, comedy, celebrities, and storytelling — all with strong musical influences.

Along with being in the Disney|ABC Director Program, Dinh has shadowed on American Horror Story (Ryan Murphy’s Half-Initiative), MAYANS M.C. (Fox 21 TV), and directed an episode of New Amsterdam (218 ‘Matter of Seconds”) through NBC’s Emerging Director Program. he is also actively pursuing film and TV directing assignments as well as developing a show based on his short film and other multicultural ideas.