And then, I discovered that I forgot a critical component of my wardrobe and I couldn’t be all dressed up for the blood red carpet. I decided to wear my A Nightmare on Elm Street shirt, might as well stick with the Nancy theme, right? Shawn looked pretty, though, in his Chinese style suit.
I look like a rosy-cheeked goofball, but whatever...lol
I sent out invites via Facebook to all of the people I could think of that live in the area so I could see and / or meet them. One of them was actress Brinke Stevens, who I met at my first ever film festival, ShockerFest, two years ago. I’ve mentioned her here before, she’s one of my favourite Scream Queens and I set up a screening of Sorority Babes at the Slimeball Bowl-a-Rama to honour her as our Queen of Hallowscreen.
She mentioned that she might be able to come, but that she was busy filming a documentary called Screaming in High Heels, the Rise and Fall of the Scream Queen as well as a trailer for a book that features her likeness called Video Pirates from Mars. I figured that she’d be too exhausted to come over, but I received a text message from her that said she was on her way! That gave me a great shot of happiness, to know that other than my brother, there was going to be at least one friendly face in the audience!
We headed over to the venue and were really early, but there was already a huge crowd milling around outside, giving blood and chatting. Linnea Quigley was there (Brinke’s co-star in Sorority Babes, another favourite Scream Queen of mine, and a good friend of hers), but Brinke hadn’t arrived yet. At the ticket table, I got to meet Brenda Fies, one of the co-founders of BleedFest. She was co-ordinating the volunteers and obviously very busy, but we were able to talk later and soon after that, we met Elisabeth, her sister and festival co-founder. These sisters are amazing people, y'all. They're lovely, warm, supportive people and great filmmakers themselves. It was so great to meet them finally!
I also finally met the awesome Heidi from FanGirlTastic! She’s an amazing force for recognizing the work of women in genre films!
Shawn and I milled around while they got the background for the red carpet set up and when Brinke arrived, I gave her her fest pass and she introduced me to Ms. Quigley. I saw her in Orlando, but I was focused on meeting Heather Langenkamp and didn’t really work up the nerve to talk to her, but it was awesome that Brinke was the one to introduce us! It turned out that Brinke told Ms. Quigley about the festival! She also introduced me to composer Chuck Cirino and director Kevin Tenney. I was in horror geek heaven!
Linnea Quigley couldn’t stay, but I gave her a copy of my compilation disc so she could check it out. I hope we can work together at some point in the future!
Brenda came out and said that they were getting ready to start the program so Shawn, Brinke, and I went in and found some seats and watched some really great films! First up was “The Horror of Our Love” by Dave Reda who was the Partnership Award winner from January, but there was an issue with his disc during his original screening and they played it again this month. Works out because I would’ve hated to miss that! It was hilarious!
Next up was a special award for Katt Shea as a trailblazer in film for women. She directed films like Poison Ivy and The Rage: Carrie 2. After that was a screening of the Producing Award winning Night of the Hell Hamsters from Elizabeth Pinto. Another hilarious short!
After that was the presentation of the award for Social Commentary to Stacy Title, director of The Last Supper, which was one of my favourite films of 1995.
Then, they jumped into the shorts package. Everything was in competition for the Audience Award and the Film Radar award, but we all received award certificates from the festival. I had two shorts in the package: “Essenger” and aftershock. “Essenger” got the award for “Best Don’t Bite the Apple...”
and aftershock got “Best All American Zombie Slayer.”
I feel confident that I can speak for the band and for Janine, the star of aftershock, when I say that we’re all honoured and thrilled to have received these amazing awards!
There was a break at that point and Brinke, Shawn, and I went out to the back patio with Chuck Cirino and chatted for a while. Kevin Tenney joined us, but I had to run out to the front to work out when I was going to be interviewed and photographed. I got caught up meeting a few filmmakers so I didn’t get to do the publicity thing before the screening for February’s Partnership Award winner Cam McCullouch’s zombie opus Home began and then award ceremony took place.
Tyrrell Shafner won the audience award for her short film Threnody, which I happened to see in New Orleans at the Vampire Film Festival this year. It was a fantastic flick and congratulations are definitely in order! The Film Radar award went to Susan Bell for The Patchwork Monkey, another fantastic film.
There was another break during which I was quickly photographed and interviewed and said farewell to Brinke who needed to go home and get some sleep, and then we watched the feature film the US premiere of the Aussie slasher Slaughtered.
Some of the shots were really good and there were pretty amazing set pieces, but it was in need of another draft or two...or three in the scripting phase.
After the festival was over, the Fies sisters, Deepika Daggubati, Ray from FilmRadar, and my brother and I went across the street and watched the rest of the Super Bowl over appetizers and fantastic conversation. Afterward, Shawn and I went back to the hotel, then got dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and went back to the hotel to go to bed early for our early flight out.
Yesterday, Monday, we got a cab to the airport for our 9 am flight and got home at 6:45 my time. We had an absolutely fantastic time and I’m so glad that Brinke and Linnea Quigley were able to come out and support women in horror and this amazing film festival!
BleedFest is one of the best film festivals I’ve been to. The venue it’s in is small and intimate which leads to better networking, and the sisters Fies have put a lot of thought into the festival and its structure. They’ve done an absolutely amazing job! It’s a wonderful festival with a worth-while message that women have just as much to give to genre film as men and are just as talented.
As long as BleedFest is around, I’ll be sending them my work and supporting the festival as much as I can!