Last year I was fortunate enough to attend the first-ever Portland Horror Film Festival as it took over Portland’s historic Hollywood Theatre for a couple of days. I had an absolute blast taking in the many short films and two features the fest played over its two-day run. There was a bunch of good films, many of which I reviewed, and just a few days ago we premiered one of those films, Eternal Coma, 1994, online right here at Bloody Disgusting.
The festival is currently gearing up for its second year with plans to hit the Hollywood on June 8th and run through June 10th and as it stands now things are shaping up to be bigger and better than last year’s impressive debut. The first wave of films have already been announced and even though it’s just a small portion of the things to come there already looks to be something for everyone from Satanic guitarists to zombie children and some good ole fashion revenge! Just like last year the Portland Horror Film Festival is keeping things diverse with this first wave including films from the US, Canada, UK, Brazil, Norway, France, Turkey, and Iran. You can view the full list of films scheduled so far by visiting the official site of the Portland Horror Film Festival.
Included in the first wave announcement is Lilith’s Awakening (read our review) from Brazilian director Monica Demes, which will be making its Oregon premiere. Lilith’s Awakening was shot in black-and-white and has been described as evoking Universal horror and the world of David Lynch. The film stars Brazilian pop-star Barbara Eugenia in the titular role.
Filmmakers will be in attendance participating in Q&A after each programming block and there will be an awards ceremony. Awards include “Goule D’or” for best director, “Main de Gloire” Jury award, “Abby Normal” award for innovation, “Horde Award” for audience choice and “Funny Bone” for the funniest short. There will also be a “Bloody Judge” award to be given out by the acclaimed director of Hardware and Dust Devil, Richard Stanley.
Official Press Release:
Portland Horror Film Festival was launched in 2016 by Gwen and Brian Callahan, who are also the directors of the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. In 2016, Portland Horror Film Festival showcased independent films from 10 different countries, including many from North and South America, Europe, Taiwan, and even Iran and Egypt. While a few of those films were made by women directors (including 2 under the age of 18, and one from Iran!), the directors think they can do better service to the horror film community and the audience by encouraging yet more diversity in the 2017 festival.
Portland Horror Film Festival supported Women in Horror Month by waiving film submission fees for women directors during February and continues to encourage diversity and multi-cultural sharing with the “F*@k the Muslim Ban” where filmmakers from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Egypt, Syria, and Libya may submit for free until the deadline.
Portland Horror Film Festival does not support oppression, gender inequality, or other government-sponsored injustices in some countries, the organizers strongly believe that opening borders to filmmakers who have stories to tell, especially tales of terror, is an important part of understanding the lives of all fellow humans. “It’s our festival’s mandate to showcase horror films from every corner of our planet, so we’re doing our part to encourage filmic diversity,” says co-director Gwen Callahan. “Now, it’s up to filmmakers in these countries to show us what they’ve got!”
Portland Horror Film Festival takes place June 8-10th at the beautifully restored Hollywood Theatre in Portland, OR. Early Bird ticket packages are on sale now by visiting the Portland Horror Film Festival tickets page. Full weekend and single night tickets go on sale soon.