TEACHING GEORGIA THE FRIGHT

Saturday night was another late one, even later than the night before. This means I missed a couple of the films I wanted to catch Sunday morning because I didn’t roll in till about 1pm tht afternoon. So I kicked off my day with an encore screening of “Skunk Ape,” which did get funnier the second time around. The crowd was much more receptive this time, too. There was a guy sitting in the back of the screening room who was having a shit fit he was laughing so hard. Props to Matt and Greg Brookenz. You are some funny motherfuckers. After that, I got to catch “Blood Shot,” Dietrich and Jacqueline Johnston’s terrorist ass stomper featuring Michael Bailey Smith from “Charmed.” Dietrich was so happy with Daniel Wible’s review that I won’t attempt to write my own hooey. Just trust me when I say it’s loud, angry and fucking awesome!
I would’ve seen more films, but I had to get to Pearce Auditorium for the awards ceremony where I would be presenting the first ever Film Threat Award to a feature of my choosing. Hmmm…wonder which film that could be… Anyway, top notch choice on picking Pearce for the ceremony; it was the perfect spooky setting. After we all settled into our seats, the awards ceremony was under way…
Actually, before that happened, we were all asked to stand for a singing of the National Anthem by Michelle Martin, which was very well done, and I respect that, but I think that for a room mostly filled with horror filmmakers, perhaps it would’ve been more appropriate for all of us to have done a shit load of speed and listen to the Misfits backwards. Just a thought.
Barry Norman, lord and master of the Dahlonega International Film Festival, and Ron McLellen, head pimp daddy of Fright-Fest, MC’d the evening’s award ceremony with the occasional guest presenter asked to take the stage. These presenters included Alfie Wise from “Smokey and the Bandit” and “The Cannonball Run,” Michael Bailey Smith from Blood Shot and yours truly. And the winners were:
Blood Shot – WINNER BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY HORROR SHORT-MICHAEL BAILEY SMITH ^ WINNER FRIGHT-FEST AWARD FOR BEST ACTOR SHORT FILMS-MICHAEL BAILEY SMITH
Cannibal Maniac – WINNER OF THE FESTIVAL DIRECTOR’S AWARD FOR MOST HORRIFYING SHORT FILM ^ WINNER BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS
Director’s Cut – WINNER BEST COMEDY HORROR FEATURE FILM-DIRECTED BY ERIC STACEY
Fans and Freaks – WINNER BEST DOCUMENTARY
Ghost of the Needle – WINNER OF THE FRIGHT-FEST AWARD FOR BEST FEATURE LENGTH FILM ^ WINNER BEST DIRECTOR FEATURE FILM-BRIAN-AVENET BRADLEY ^ WINNER BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR-GREG THOMPSON ^ WINNER BEST MUSICAL SCORE ^ WINNER BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY ^ WINNER BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS-LEIGH HILL
Skunk Ape!? – WINNER FRIGHT FEST AWARD FOR BEST COMEDY HORROR SHORT
Savage Island – WINNER OF THE FILM THREAT AWARD/BEST FEATURE FILM ^ WINNER BEST ACTRESS IN A FEATURE FILM -KRISTINA COPELAND ^ WINNER FESTIVAL DIRECTORS CHOICE AWARD FOR BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR-DON S. DAVIS
The Interplanetary Surplus Male and Amazon Women from Outer Space – AWARD FOR BEST SCIENCE FICTION FILM-DIRECTED BY SAM FIRSTENBERG
The Upper Hand – WINNER MOST ORIGINAL SHORT FILM
The Waking – WINNER FESTIVAL DIRECTOR’S CHOICE AWARD FOR SCARIEST FEATURE FILM ^ LIFETIME ACHIEVMENT AWARD PRESENTED TO R.G. ARMSTRONG
Transfer – WINNER FESTIVAL DIRECTORS AWARD FOR BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS SHORT FILM-KATRINA STORMER ^ WINNER BEST SCI-FI SHORT FILM
Vista Point – WINNER FRIGHT-FEST AWARD FOR BEST SHORT FILM-DIRECTED BY MIN LEE
Witch Hunters Extraordinaire – WINNER BEST ACTRESS IN A SHORT FILM-CHERI CHRISTIAN
Awards night went off without a hitch, seeing many a grinning filmmaker going off to drink excessively with their award or awards tucked under their arms. There were a couple people however who went without their awards, or even a mention of thanks. So I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Lisa and Randy Phillips myself for all of the amazing work they did, not only during the festival weekend, but the months leading up to the event. Without their help, the festival just wouldn’t have been the same. Thank you both.
And so concludes Fright-Fest 2003. I would like to thank festival director Ron McLellen for having me out. It was quite a weekend. I’ve never seen so much indie horror in one place at one time ever. Add that to the fact that many of the filmmakers came out to support their work, as well as the work of their fellow filmmakers and you can say that the weekend was a success. Everyone there made at least a few new friends, I know I did, and you know what that means, right? It means IT’S DODGEBALL TIME, BITCH!




Posted on October 17, 2003 in Festivals by
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