Winners Announced: ROPES, ALONE & RENT-A-PAL Take Major Awards at GRIMMFEST 2020

This year, Grimmfest, Manchester’s Festival of Horror, Cult, and Fantastic Film, celebrated its 12th anniversary in rather different circumstances. After the ongoing pandemic situation necessitated a move online, the festival staged a successful five-day invasion of homes across the UK and Northern Ireland between October 7th and 11th, reaching a wider audience than ever before, while offering a variety of the strongest, most challenging, thought-provoking and boundary-pushing genre films of 2020.

The event presented over 23 feature film premieres, 28 short films premieres, live Q&As for nearly every feature film, and two special events: a Female Horror Icons panel which showcased a lively discussion between stars of the genre, Krista Allen, Caroline Williams, Tiffany Shepis, Pollyanna McIntosh, Kelli Maroney, and Natasha Halevi, and an interactive question and answer session with this year’s recipient of the Grimmfest Lifetime Achievement Award, Mick Garris (Masters of Horror, The Stand).

And now the festival has closed, Grimmfest announces the annual “Reaper” award winners.

Guest of Honour Mick Garris received a “Lifetime Achievement Award”, (presented in association with The Horror Channel) just before the festival. Mick also chaired this year’s festival Jury and was joined by directors Chelsea Stardust (Satanic Panic) and Abigail Blackmore (Tales from the Lodge), writer and critic Preston Fassel (Fangoria, etc), and Dread Central chief editor Josh Millican (that’s me!), for some doubtlessly difficult deliberations.

Now the Festival Jury’s votes are all in, the Grimmfest team would like to thank the jury for their commitment, discernment, and diplomacy.

Grimmfest is delighted to announce the winners in each category:

Best Feature: Ropes

Best Director: John Hyams for Alone

Related Article: ALONE Review–Will do for Solo Travel What JAWS Did for Swimming

Best Screenplay: Jon Stevenson for Rent-A-Pal

Related Article: Exclusive: Wil Wheaton, Brian Folkins & Director Jon Stevenson Talk Early ’90s VHS Dating Scene in RENT-A-PAL

With Special mention for Brea Grant BREA for 12 Hour Shift

Related Article: Fantasia Fest 2020: Interview – Brea Grant Talks 12 HOUR SHIFT and LUCKY

Best Score: Arturo Diez Boscovich for Urubu

Best Actor: Brian Landis Folkins for Rent-A-Pal

Best Actress: Paula Del Rio for Ropes

With Special mention for Marta Krol for I Am Ren

There was much praise this year for ensemble players and films where it was impossible to single out one performance, among a cast working so well together. Special mentions for The Oak Room, 12 Hour Shift, Unearth, Triggered, Revenge Ride, and The Deep Ones

Best Cinematography: Fried Barry

Related Article: Virtual Cannes 2020: FRIED BARRY Review – Alien Abduction Explores Drug Addiction and Being Human with Honesty and Humor

Best SFX: The Special

Related Article: New Clip from Dick-in-a-Box Horror THE SPECIAL (Now Streaming) + Win Download Codes

Best Scare: Urubu

Best Short film: Peter the Penguin

With special mention for Beauty Juice and The Alturist

Audience award: The Oak Room

Related Article: Fantasia Fest 2020: THE OAK ROOM Review – You Can’t Escape When You’re Behind The Bar

Festival director Simeon Halligan said: “It’s certainly been a challenging year for everyone. We didn’t take our decision to move Grimmfest 2020 online, lightly. But in light of the current situation in the UK and around the world we think we made the right choice. The Grimmfest team worked incredibly hard to make this online offering as engaging and interactive as possible, so as to create something akin to the live event. We are pleased that the horror film community and fans wholeheartedly embraced the event and we congratulate all the award-winning films and filmmakers.”

For more information, visit

Check out a broad overview of this year’s festival HERE.

Congratulations to the winners of Grimmfest 2020. And thanks to all of the creative participants and festival organizers for a truly amazing event!

Did you (virtually) attend Grimmfest 2020? What were your favorite films? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! You can also carry on the convo with me personally on Twitter @josh_millican.



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