The Witch City Horror Film Festival premieres at CinemaSalem for its first annual celebration of the independent horror film on Saturday, October 27th, 2018. Sixteen films, including full-length features, documentaries, and shorts, will make their way to the silver screen on Halloween weekend to deliver the right amount of horror in one of the most widely celebrated and beloved cities surrounding the holiday.
Salem is no stranger to mainstream horror films, but many fans of the genre know that indie and underground films are just as important. Festival-going horror fans will appreciate the variety within the film lineup, seeing everything from monsters and body horror to psychological thrillers, paranormal and a documentary about cult film. Shorts will be divided into two separate programs during the festival.
Some directors will also be present for a Q&A following their film’s screening.
“With over 500,000 people descending upon Salem throughout October to experience all-things Halloween, we thought the city was deserving of having its own horror film festival showcasing the talents of independent New England horror filmmakers,” said Founder & Festival Director, Dominic Amenta. “What we didn’t anticipate was this overwhelming response of submissions coming in from filmmakers all over the country who felt the same way we did and see the Witch City Horror Film Festival as an ideal place to debut their films, docs, and shorts. Personally, I take great pride in launching this in Salem as it is the town my father grew up in, and I have fond memories of going to CinemaSalem with my grandparents as a kid.”
The impressive features, short programs, and documentaries slated to show include:
• A headliner at the WCHFF, Long Lost, the debut feature written and directed by 2-time New England Emmy Winner, Erik Bloomquist of Connecticut. A psychological thriller that begins when the protagonist, Seth, receives a mysterious letter inviting him to spend the weekend at a secluded mansion in the country, he soon realizes the people inside the house may know him better than he knows himself. Bloomquist will hold a Q&A after the film.
• Survival of the Film Freaks, a documentary that explores the phenomenon of cult film in America and how it survives in the 21st Century. Directed by Bill Fulkerson and Kyle Kuchta, Wakefield and Lynn residents, Survival features industry names like Adam Green (Hatchet, Frozen) and Ted Raimi (Evil Dead, Xena), and has already earned two “Best Film” nominations and a win at recent festivals. Fulkerson and Kuchta will hold a Q&A after the film.
• Tabitha, Witch of the Order, which Director James Dailey calls “a cop show with witches.” Tabitha, Witch of the Order depicts a modern-day Seattle, where a rookie witch teams up with a grizzled priest to stop a coven of rogue witches and uncover the truth behind magic’s reemergence. Dailey will hold a Q&A after the film.
• Witch Hunt, directed by the Boston Film Family’s Richard Chandler, is a true-grit horror film that exposes the darkness within us all. When a peaceful town is overrun by evil, an honest priest begins to struggle with his faith. Two ominous figures appear, igniting a path paved with the bones and blood of everything they touch.
• Scary Shorts I, featuring Order of the Hanged, directed by Salem’s own Luke St. Germaine; Wayward Nature, directed by Raymond Gerard Braza; C A U G H T, directed by Douglas Sullivan; Mirror Mirror – A Tale of Blood, directed by Rick Danford; The Merciless Beauty, directed by David Groom; and The Legend of Holcomb Road, directed by Matt Erman.
• Scary Shorts II, featuring Noise, directed by Steven Fox; Malacostraca, directed by Charles Pieper; Kill or Be Killed, directed by Robb Rokk; Are You Awake?, directed by Helena Karadimos; Hide in Sight, directed by Saugus native Keith Shorey; and Tell-Tale, directed by Ryan Cultrera.
All-Day Festival Passes, granting access to every screening, are available for $45 and can be reserved by going to the Eventbrite link. Anticipated festivals goers can also access the Eventbrite ticket by going to the WCHFF site. Tickets for individual screenings range from $12 – $15 and can be reserved by going to the CinemaSalem “Film & Showtimes” page on their website.
To find the full schedule and more information about the films involved in the first inaugural Witch City Horror Film Festival please visit www.witchcityhorrorfilmfestival.com. You can also find the festival on Instagram and Facebook!