[Stanley Fest '14] Why You Should Be Going Next Year - Bloody Disgusting!

[Stanley Fest ’14] Why You Should Be Going Next Year

While I’m still getting my Stanley Fest coverage out – look for some additional reviews and interviews from the fest later this week – I wanted to briefly touch on the festival as a whole. I’m not great at fest blow-by-blows, so I’ll keep it brief and focus most of my energy on talking about the films in other pieces.

However, there are a few things that are worth noting. The Stanley Fest this year was the best time I’ve ever had at a film festival. Full stop. I say this not to brag about the time I just had, but to urge anyone and everyone who has the means to attend next year. It’s just such a great environment to view movies in. The hotel itself is iconic and fantastic, but the people make it truly special. All of the team organizing the fest, from the programmers to the publicists, are among some of the most friendly people I’ve encountered and they truly, truly care about making the event special for the attendees. They’re not just taking your money. As good as this year was I know that they were constantly evaluating the response to each and every component of the fest in order to make next year even better.


I really felt like I was among friends the entire time, and I’m hoping to see all the folks I hung out with again at the Fest next year. Again, this isn’t adventures in networking or anything, it’s about the fact that the fest is filled to the brim with people who truly love horror movies and enjoy talking about them. If you’re seeking out that kind of interaction, book a trip to Estes Park next spring.

The programming is killer. You may have already read my pieces on The Green Inferno, The Sacrament, Tales From Beyond The Pale, The Babadook and What We Do In The Shadows. I’ve got a few more interviews and reviews coming and there were also amazing films that I happened to have seen before, like Starry Eyes. That’s before you even get to the great retro screenings of stuff like Gremlins, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Who Can Kill A Child.

All of the theaters and venues are close together, with a good amount of the screenings taking place at the hotel itself. Remember that feeling you get at SXSW after you see a midnighter and realize it’s another hour at least before you can climb into bed? Not here. You’re only a few steps away from your room… or another party. There is no shortage of parties and special events on the grounds. From the opening night gala to the zombie walk and ghost tours to the closing night party.

It also doesn’t hurt that the scenery is flat out beautiful. Just as sure as being a few steps away from a party, you’re only a few steps away from a peaceful moment if you need one. You can actually take time to reflect on things here, which may sound cheesy but I found it incredibly valuable in regard to sustaining momentum.

It was also nice to see Joe Dante awarded with the Master Of Horror Award at a brunch served by zombies, cannibals and psychopaths.


And, without further adieu, here are the other award winners from the fest.

Audience Award for Feature Film
Winner: What We Do In The Shadows directed by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement.

Audience Award for Short Film
Winner: Here Be Monsters directed by Paul Glubb and Nic Gorman.

Jury Award for Short Film
Ghost Train directed by James Fleming and Kelly Hucker

Stanley Dean’s Cup Audience Award
Winner: Wormbug directed by Arlen Konopaki

Stanley Dean’s Cup Jury Award
Winner: Wormbug directed by Arlen Konopaki

Next year, I register for the Big Wheel race early.

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