With Screamfest LA celebrating its 11th anniversary this fall (the venerated Los Angeles film festival – which is spearheaded by Rachel Belofsky – runs this October 14-23 in Hollywood, CA), the fest hosted last Thursday night another of its monthly mixers, and we were there to snap a few photos and to chat with the filmmakers in attendance.
On hand for the event (which took place at Hollywood Boulevard’s tequila bar Te’Kila) was FX artist and reality TV star Frank Ippolito, who stated of the release status of his short film Night of the Little Dead (a flick we were able to see the subsequent night at the cast and crew screening, and a trailer to which you can see here), “It’s finished. We have a 5.1 Surround mix, it’s all HD and shit, and we are shopping it around to find what film festival we are going to premiere it at. Those crazy Fantasia guys up in Montreal already denied us, so good for them, so I think the next one we are going to is Fantastic Fest, and if they turn us down, we’ll be going to Screamfest for our world premiere. It’s all about the timing.”
Also on hand was Finale filmmaker John Michael Elfers, who chatted up his recent shoot for his Kiss Before the Slaughter trailer.
“We just finished the trailer, which is incredibly fucking exciting,” gleamed Elfers over a margarita. “I’d been working on it for a year, trying to get the money for it which I never got, but over the course of that year I got a million people that gave me all of the resources I needed: cameras and film stock and lenses, so that I could make it happen, and my manager just started sending it out a week ago.”
Hell’s Belles writer, director and producer Chris Ackerman too made the festivities and told us of the status of that flick (which we were also on set for, and you can see our coverage stemming from that here), “I just completed a pick-up shoot yesterday for some of the things that we couldn’t get to in February, and I’m going to be plugging that in and fixing the Foley and sound within the next month, and we should be rocking the short exclusively to Dread by July.”
As for what’s in the future, Ackerman (like Elfers) intends his short film to pave the way for a more substantial piece of cinema.
“I’ll be working on finishing the Hell’s Belles feature script over the summer,” said Ackerman, who produced the short with Drina Durazo, “and will be focusing on making the feature film.”
The independent film spirit was evidently still alive and well in Robert Parigi, too, as the director of the 2003 horror feature Love Object teased of the current planned feature he is scripting, “It’s a very small, indie horror film set in the Silver Lake, CA filmmaking community. It’s kind of like mumble-core meets body-horror, and it basically follows some very strange events in the lives of some indie filmmakers, and by the end almost everyone is dead in ways that I do not think that you’ve yet seen in a film.”
More bodies are planned to cinematically drop in California as well, those at the hands of filmmaker Craig Ouellette, who filled us in on his in-development feature Mojave Massacre, which he plans to shoot in the desert environs of Ludlow.
“We are aiming to shoot in late September,” said Ouellette of the project, which was scripted by Straight on Till Morning writer Neal McLaughlin, “and it’s going to be an awesome 70’s/80’s throwback slasher flick with lots of blood, boobs and suspense.”
Screamfest LA’s 2011 call for entries is now open so filmmakers and screenwriters looking to submit to the festival should do so ASAP. Information on submission guidelines and all things Screamfest can be found at Screamfest L.A. online, and be sure to also check out the official Screamfest L.A. Facebook page for more.
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