Film Festival Face Off!

A Night of Horror_Fantastic Planet Film Festivals 2014

The 8th annual A Night of Horror Film Festival and the 5th edition of Fantastic Planet Film Festival, squared up at Dendy Cinema Newtown from November 20 to 30, 2014. Showcasing over 100 of the latest and greatest genre films from Australia and the world: the event delivered an amazing line-up that transported audiences to strange and wonderful worlds, action filled landscapes, and blood drenched nightmares. Whatever your taste in fantastic cinema the incredible joint program had your genre appetite covered. And as the festivals' audiences have come to expect, they were able to meet and mingle with an array of Australian and international filmmakers at the fest's Q&A sessions and welcoming after parties. 

In 2015, A Night of Horror will again be taking place in conjunction with Fantastic Planet Film Festival. Together the festivals provide Australia's leading showcase of independent genre specific cinema. Both festivals retain independent programs and their own specific award categories.

Below is some feedback from an assortment of  amazing guests who have screened their films at A Night of Horror or Fantastic Planet.

Filmmaker Feedback:

Kevin A. McCarthy (FURY: THE TALES OF RONAN PIERCE) "I can't say enough great things about Sydney Australia's "A Night of Horror/Fantastic Planet International Film Festival". Set in the heart of the bohemian village area of Newtown (Sydney), this festival has it all; filmmakers and actors presenting their bad-ass genre films, a beautiful venue, awesome parties, tons of new lifelong industry connections, and a festival staff that truly cares about hospitality. Unlike many other festivals that simply source their program from other festival lineups, "A Night of Horror/Fantastic Planet International Film Festival" truly wishes to unearth new talent. They are constantly looking for undiscovered films from around the planet, and I know for sure that they watch all the bundles of submissions that come their way. In fact, they relish the idea of finding undiscovered films worthy of a world premiere. I know this to be true because they gave our crazy little film a chance when it seemed no one else would. It has opened all the right doors for our film, and I owe a major thanks to Dean Bertram and his wonderful staff for giving us the opportunity to world premiere our film at his kick-ass festival in Sydney. Seriously...can't freaking wait to go back!!"

Kevin A. McCarthy and Michael McCarthy at the 2014 award ceremony, accepting Fantastic Planet's "Independent Spirit Award" for FURY: THE TALES OF RONAN PIERCE

Kevin A. McCarthy and Michael McCarthy at the 2014 award ceremony, accepting Fantastic Planet's "Independent Spirit Award" for FURY: THE TALES OF RONAN PIERCE

Kurando Mitsutake (SAMURAI AVENGER: THE BLIND WOLF): "Fantastic Planet: Sydney Science Fiction & Fantasy Film Festival is destined to become one of the most important genre film festivals in the world. The festival directors' vision, selections, and commitment to launch independent filmmakers' careers are immensely impressive. Their love and conviction for the genre picture is so real. This festival was the best film festival I've ever attended. Fantastic Planet rocks!"

Ursula Dabrowsky (FAMILY DEMONS / INNER DEMON): "Back in 2009, I World Premiered my first horror film, Family Demons, at A Night of Horror before a large audience of horror fans. I was pretty nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. That night was one of the best nights of my life. I met horror fans who embraced my film and me as a horror director. There wasn’t a big fuss that I was a chick doing it. I was just making excellent horror films and I was being supported for my work, full stop. I also met like-minded people who are passionate and respectful about intelligent, thoughtful horror films. In short, I found my tribe. If that wasn’t enough, I got super lucky (right place, right time) and got my film picked up for distribution at the festival. I’ve been back to ANOH ever since as either an audience member or a Jury member, just to get my annual horror fix and so I was really thrilled to find out that my second horror film, Inner Demon, was going to World Premiere at ANOH 2014. It was another brilliant night and incredibly, an international sales agent who came along to the screening picked up the film. Without a doubt, A Night of Horror has been a massive leg up in terms of my success as an Australian horror filmmaker and as far as I’m concerned, will continue to be one of the best ways to start off a horror film’s journey into the world."

Festival director Dean Bertram (left), with Ursula Dabrowsky (centre) and Sarah Jeavons (right) enjoying the Q&A that followed the world premiere of INNER DEMON.

Festival director Dean Bertram (left), with Ursula Dabrowsky (centre) and Sarah Jeavons (right) enjoying the Q&A that followed the world premiere of INNER DEMON.

Evan Randall Green (DARK ORIGINS): ""A Night of Horror was everything I hoped for and more. From the moment DARK ORIGINS was accepted into the festival, Dean and his support crew were extremely inviting and professional in their approach. The Australian shorts night was a hit and it was great to watch the film with a fun Australian audience, as well as check out the rising genre talent from across Australia. The selection of films the team screened throughout the event were well chosen and there was definitely something in the programme for all lovers of fantastic film. I'm planning to attend every year now. It's a very worthy trip from interstate if you have to make it. A bloody good week to mark on your calendar!"

Nathan Christoffel and Adrian Kristofferson (ERASER CHILDREN): "We're so stoked with the entire experience at Fantastic Planet - you guys put in so much work and it all payed off with a fantastic festival. Having Eraser Children for the opening night film was a big deal for us - it reassured us that there's a audience that will get behind our film in this country. We are extremely impressed with how much time and energy your team gave to us and other filmmakers, everything ran so smoothly from start to finish - Dean and Lisa are the perfect festival directors! We're both really looking forward to seeing you again, next year's festival will no doubt be something to behold!"

Eraser Head cast and crew (Left to Right: Adrian Kristoffersen, Nathan Christoffel, Jonathan Welsby, Rob Alec, Shane Nagle and Peter Stratford) at Fantastic Planet 2009

Eraser Head cast and crew (Left to Right: Adrian Kristoffersen, Nathan Christoffel, Jonathan Welsby, Rob Alec, Shane Nagle and Peter Stratford) at Fantastic Planet 2009

James Naylor (A DARK MATTER): "Fantastic Planet Film Festival along with Dr. Dean Bertram and his crew soared beyond my expectations. The Dendy is a fantastic venue with a fantastic staff. Sydney is a city full of life that craves fantastic film. The screenings were well attended and the Q&A was professional and well thought out. I have nothing but applause for this growing festival I was so lucky to be part of. A DARK MATTER will be remembered because of Fantastic Planet!"

Steven Christopher Wallace (VENGEANCE DE LOS MUERTOS): "Out of towners being treated well on the festival circuit is generally the norm, however Fantastic Planet really sets the gold standard when it comes to hospitality. From the moment I set foot in Sydney I felt like one of the family. Dean introduced me to all the staff and I felt right at home. Not only that, they had a killer programme and the after parties were really great too. Finally, I’ve made numerous relationships I expect to collaborate with in the near future. Fantastic Planet has been a wonderful experience and I cannot begin to express my gratitude. They get my highest recommendation."

Nay Htat (THE DRAWING): "Fantastic Planet Film Festival is a marvel! I had an amazing experience at the festival, and I was very honoured to be part of it. It is so huge and very well organized with excellent programming. And very welcoming and supportive to the filmmakers. So I personally think that it is one of the best filmmaker friendly festivals. I definitely look forward to entering my next film."

Lucas Till (ALL SUPERHEROES MUST DIE): "A festival rife with talent, paralleled only by its hosts' hospitality."

Jason Trost (WET AND RECKLESS): "A two week long vacation into the insanity of film with the world's best host as your tour guide."

Left to right: Jason Trost, Dean Bertam (festival director) and Lucas Till at Fantastic Planet Film Festival 2013

Left to right: Jason Trost, Dean Bertam (festival director) and Lucas Till at Fantastic Planet Film Festival 2013

John Michael Elfers (FINALE): "Saying that we had a tremendous experience at A Night of Horror would be an understatement. It was our world premiere and exceeded our expectations. The festival staff was on call to answer questions, pass out programs and promote, not to mention their proud sponsors offering wine and energy drinks to power through long nights networking and celebrating. The screenings were packed, projection was gorgeous and the Dendy theater is beautiful. We had a blast with the Q&A after our screening. A Night of Horror is committed to helping independent horror filmmakers find their audience and get noticed. They put our film in the hands of distributors, reviewers, and got us on the radio. The personal attention was unlike anything I've experienced at other festivals."

Mike Masters (REEL ZOMBIES): “I’ve attended all types of festivals across the world with “Reel Zombies” and my experience at A Night of Horror ranks amongst the best of them all. Festival Directors Dean Bertram and Lisa Mitchell do a great job and the festival is extremely well organized with a great selection of films making inclusion in the festival an honour. I look forward to seeing this festival continue to grow and expand and it will be at the top of the list for festivals to submit to with my next genre picture”

John Elfers (left) and Mike Masters (right) relaxing at the Dendy Newtown bar after A Night of Horror 2009 awards ceremony

John Elfers (left) and Mike Masters (right) relaxing at the Dendy Newtown bar after A Night of Horror 2009 awards ceremony

Steven Kastrissios (THE HORSEMAN): "A Night of Horror is fast becoming a major player on the Australian festival circuit. With so little support for local genre films, Dean Bertram and Lisa Mitchell's festival is a shining beacon of light. There's a genuine warmth and celebration of the films they support and it infects everyone who comes along."

Seve Schelenz (SKEW): "I am very honored to have been accepted and showcased at A Night of Horror. I can't think of a better place then this outstanding festival to kick off the world premiere of SKEW... I had an unforgettable experience here and look forward to submitting my future films in a hope to have my world premieres at A Night of Horror Film Festival."


Damien Slevin (A BREAK IN THE MONOTONY): "I was very honoured to be a part of A Night of Horror International Film Festival. As a lover of the genre it is one festival that I would want to attend, let alone be included in. It is the only festival flying the horror flag in Australia, which in some respects is unfortunate; but on the other hand horror could not have better representation than this gem of a festival. Aside from the great line up of quality international and domestic films it would have to be about the friendliest and most welcoming fest I have attended. I look forward to next year’s line up."
 

Damien Slevin at an interview for Machete Girl, during the 2013 A Night of Horror and Fantastic Planet Film Festival.

Damien Slevin at an interview for Machete Girl, during the 2013 A Night of Horror and Fantastic Planet Film Festival.

Wade K. Savage (THE DEAD WASTES): "A Night of Horror is one of the most incredible horror festivals you will go to. Put together by people who love horror, it's an utter blast. Dean Bertram and the team are championing horror content in Australia, and what's more importantly, they are supporting true upcoming talent. If there is any horror festival you need to be apart of A Night of Horror is it. "

Daniel Giambruno (THE NEW LIFE): “At last! A film festival in Sydney which is not about having cocktails with public servants!… unless they have been dead for three weeks and still willing to tear the Scream Queen’s dress into shreds… to start with! Horror and fantasy are without doubt the genres that give film directors the most creative freedom. And if A Night Of Horror is the only festival in Australia that celebrates these genres, that also means that is the only festival in the country that cares about the true essence of filmmaking.”

David Curzon (OVERBOARD): “A welcoming and well organised festival with a great atmosphere.”

Lee After (THE LONE WOLF): "Going to A Night of Horror was definitely one of the best experiences of my life. From seeing awesome films to meeting the great people running the show, everything about the fest was fantastic! If you're thinking about going, don't think, just go!"

 

Lee Arter (left) during a video interview at A Night of Horror 2013.  

Lee Arter (left) during a video interview at A Night of Horror 2013.