In 2007, Shannon Lark created the Viscera Film Festival as a means to encourage the work of female horror filmmakers and give them a place to thrive. Growing each year, they have now been established as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. What started out as a touring festival, Viscera is now an annual Los Angeles genre extravaganza complete with a "Bloody Carpet" ceremony. This year features an an incredible line up and the presentation of the "Inspiration Award" to filmmaker Jennifer Lynch, known for her works like Boxing Helena, Surveillance, Hisss, and Chained. The Viscera Film Festival is one of the largest jumping off points for many female filmmakers in horror, and it continues to prove that yes, there are women horror directors making good films.
Below is more information from the official press release.
VISCERA ANNOUNCES ITS 2013 FILM FESTIVAL LINE-UPCO-PRESENTED BY AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUEFilmmaker Jennifer Lynch to Receive 2013 Inspiration Award at Ceremony on July 13thLos Angeles, CA – June 3rd, 2013 -- Today, the Viscera Organization announced the stellar line-up of 13 brand new short films that have been selected to screen on July 13, 2013 in a co-presentation with the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre (6712 Hollywood Boulevard) in Hollywood for this year's Viscera Film Festival. The festival’s gala celebration will spotlight emerging female horror directors from around the world, including the UK, Japan, Spain, Mexico, Canada, and the US and will serve as host to four world premieres and two Los Angeles premieres.This year’s Viscera Film Festival line-up was carefully selected by an esteemed panel of industry judges who had the difficult task of selecting winners from the record-breaking number of entries for the 2013 festival and tour season, ultimately proving that innovative and dynamic short-form storytelling is still alive and well within the horror community."This year we had over 200 amazing entries,” says programmer Heidi Honeycutt. “It was mind-blowing. So many new filmmakers are taking a crack at horror and making some truly unique and amazing films. Unfortunately, we can only program about a dozen shorts, so we have to turn away a lot of great films. It's incredibly heartening to see so many new women making horror films and so much enthusiasm and dedication. The 2013 lineup is truly the best we have ever had and I can't wait to show our audiences what women are making these days. They are going to be shocked at how good these films are!"This year’s panel of judges for the prestigious 2013 Viscera Film Festival includes Rachel Talalay (FREDDY’S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE), Jeffrey Reddick (FINAL DESTINATION series), Amber Benson (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Trent Haaga (CHEAP THRILLS), Anthony Masi (HIS NAME WAS JASON), Brea Grant (“Dexter”), Andrew van den Houten (Lucky McKee’s THE WOMAN), Elizabeth Stanley (TRAILERS FROM HELL), Anthony DiBlasi (DREAD), Shade Rupe (“Dark Stars Rising”), Jim VanBebber (THE MANSON FAMILY), Drew Daywalt (LEPRECHAUN’S REVENGE), Kier-La Janisse (“House of Psychotic Women”), Chris Alexander (BLOOD FOR IRINA), John Skipp (legendary splatterpunk author), David DeCoteau (SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA), Alan Spencer (SLEDGEHAMMER), Barbara Peeters (HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP), Jennifer Thym (Viscera Winner 2012, Best Cinematography for BLOODTRAFFICK) and Mae Catt (Viscera Winner 2011, Best Director for 12-15-96).Also serving as a judge this year is pioneering female filmmaker Jennifer Lynch (CHAINED, SURVEILLANCE) who will receive the 2013 Inspiration Award during the festival on July 13th.Barbara Stepansky, the Viscera Organization’s newly named Chief Operations Officer says, "I'm thrilled to have joined the Viscera Organization as the new COO. I've been a part of the festival in the past as a filmmaker, and it’s an honor to now be a part of the organization as a key staff member. I’m really looking forward to the 2013 festival, we have a fantastic line-up and it’s really exciting to see how rapidly Viscera is expanding in its ways of supporting our genre fans and filmmakers alike.”Those that attend Viscera Film Festival will experience films created by many of the most original and dynamic voices in independent filmmaking today as well as a star-studded carpet ceremony (www.facebook.com/events/
553487211357304) and an after party (www.facebook.com/events/ 453050628119448) to be held directly following the festival at the legendary Hollywood hot spot and VFF sponsor, Cat & Fiddle (6530 W Sunset Blvd.). For those interested, they may return to the scene of the VFF after party for a special "recovery" brunch where fans and filmmakers alike are encouraged to come out, drink some coffee and work off those hangovers together at the Cat & Fiddle on Sunday at 11 am (www.facebook.com/events/ 181999185291813).The Viscera Film Festival will also be kicking off an international tour for the selected short films as well as a handful of tour selections that aren’t screening at the premiere event. This past year, the Viscera Tour landed at over 20 venues around the world ranging from independent movie houses to universities, screening an eclectic program of shorts that have been curated by the Viscera Organization since 2007. The tour provides an outlet for up-and-coming female filmmakers around the world to have their work shown on the big screen and to industry professionals."This year's incredible line-up proves, yet again, that women are equal to men in every facet of storytelling, particularly in horror,” said Lori Bowen, Viscera’s Director of Operations. “It's so wonderful to see so many women at the helm, putting their stories up on the screen and sharing their unique visions with the rest of the world. I'm honored to be a small part of the Viscera Organization's hugely important mission to help get their voices heard."The 2013 Viscera Film Festival Official Selections:Anniversary Dinner - USADirected by Jessi GottaSynopsis: A survivor of the zombie apocalypse is about to discover that 'Til Death Do Us Part' was just the beginning.Dead Crossing - LOS ANGELES PREMIERE - Canada/MexicoDirected by Gigi Saul GuerreroSynopsis: A Mexican family attempting to cross the border with a group of immigrants encounter a vicious and terrifying secret involving the way the United States deals with illegal immigration.Eternal Springs - WORLD PREMIERE - USADirected by Kate Rhamey, Allison RohmSynopsis: Erma, a deranged old woman who thinks she's eleven years old, captures young women to be her dolls.Halloween Bash - WORLD PREMIERE - USADirected by Jenn WexlerSynopsis: A mean girl bent on playing tricks receives a mysterious Halloween treat.In the Dark - USADirected by Helen TruongSynopsis: As the only survivor of a psychological experiment that killed her fellow participants, a woman must find the courage to face a terrifying truth -- one that will finally set her free or trap her forever.My Brother’s Keeper - UKDirected by Jen MossSynopsis: Holed up at the end of the world with her well-meaning but dim-witted brother Jo (Alex Esmail), Jess (April Pearson) isn’t sure what will destroy her will to live first: the zombies or Jo’s incessant optimism.No Place Like Home - WORLD PREMIERE - JapanDirected by Nicholas HumphriesProduced by Mai Nakanishi, Christine DeJoySynopsis: What happens when Dorothy's desperate wish to go home faces a most unexpected turn where she finds herself in zombie apocalyptic Kansas?Orange County Hill Killers - USADirected by Katie DownerSynopsis: Storytelling and reality are blurred when four teenagers enter the infamous Blackstar Canyon.Outbreak - LOS ANGELES PREMIERE - USADirected by Maddison LopezSynopsis: A toxic plant explosion releases a fume that does strange things to nearby high school students. Everyone's trying to get out alive.Phantom Limb - WORLD PREMIERE - USADirected by Lark O. ArrowoodSynopsis: Jeffery has always suspected that something was wrong with his body. We find him in the eye of the storm, on the verge of collapse. He is disheveled and beginning to suspect that he has made a grave error.Self-Portrait - CanadaDirected by Jovanka VuckovicSynopsis: In the process of taking off her make-up, a young woman reveals her true face.Slumber Party - USADirected by Jenn WexlerSynopsis: A dark wish becomes a nightmarish reality when best friends play a game of Bloody Mary.The Meeting - US Premiere - CanadaDirected by Karen LamSynopsis: In a weekly meet-up, four serial killers confess their sins and hope for redemption. But all hell breaks loose when a newcomer pops in, and threatens to join the group...**This film was made by a member of the Viscera Staff.**Other films that will be joining the 2013 Viscera Tour include:Estigma - SpainDirected by Sara Ibáñez MayorSynopsis: A girl commits murder in a bath, but the crime may not be over... still.Fashion Victim - CanadaDirected by Caroline TrudelSynopsis: A woman awakens in her party dress & heels. The sounds of distress she hears make it clear she needs to find a way out fast. Will her attire impede her ability to escape? Will she be fashion’s latest victim?Racist Zombies - USADirected by Jennifer TreutingSynopsis: The only thing worse than zombies is racist zombies. A comedy short by The Charlies.Shelter - USADirected Eve EdelsonSynopsis: A battered woman finds an unusual way out of a very unusual relationship in a night of cosmic justice in an animal shelter.Tickets for the 2013 Viscera Film Festival can be purchased through the American Cinematheque's website at www. americancinemathequecalendar. com/egyptian_theatre_events and out-of-town attendees are encouraged to stay at The Redbury (1717 Vine Street), Hollywood’s premiere boutique hotel and official sponsor of this year’s festival (www.theredbury.com). The special rate, which is only available until June 14th, and accommodation information for attendees can be found at www.viscerafilmfestival.com/#! __carpet-ceremony/hotel.This year's award ceremony is sponsored by Vincent Damyanovich of SoulFX Studio, www.soulfxstudio.com; the 2013 Viscera Film Festival poster was designed by Irene Langholm with photography by Joshua Hoffine.The Viscera Film Festival is a co-presentation of the Viscera Organization and the American Cinematheque in Hollywood, California. Both organizations are 501(c)3 not-for-profits.Official sponsors for the 2013 Viscera Film Festival include Cat & Fiddle, The Redbury, Diabolique Magazine, Final Draft, Fangoria Magazine, Western Digital, Evil Supply Company, Too Fast Brand Alternative Apparel, Mago's Magic Shoppe, The House of Mirthquake, Joshua Hoffine, Irene Langholm, The Homicidal Homemaker, Laughing Vixen Lounge, Deep Midnight Perfumes, Fangtastic Cards, The Art of Kamille Freske, Solocosmo: Art by Jessica Grundy, NikytaGaia Photography, The Shoggoth Assembly Special Effects, SoulFX Studio, Jungle Software, Sony Creative Suites, and The Poisoned Apple.