The critically lauded HOLLYWOOD HORRORFEST (HHF) is game-changing the horror film festival scene once again by launching its own branded Amazon TV series this week.
In conjunction with one of Amazon Video’s longest running and independent aggregator/ distributors “HOLLYWOOD HORRORFEST PRESENTS” is a 6 part horror anthology TV series comprised of award winning entries from past HHF events.
Founded in 2014, at Quentin Tarantino’s indie movie mecca, the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles, HHF is a film festival that prides itself on being very indie filmmaker friendly. In fact it was set up to help filmmakers navigate the realities of the indie horror film business. After the screenings, awards and red carpet, Festival Director Miles Flanagan saw too many of these wonderful films and film-makers not getting the exposure their work deserved. So he decided to change that.
“We saw both a gap in the market place for quality and a need to showcase award- winning work to as wide an audience as possible. We also wanted to help film-makers actually make money from their shorts.”
The premiere series of “HOLLYWOOD HORRORFEST PRESENTS” picks the best 6 shorts and packages them together into a classically creepy horror anthology.
The series starts with a powerful shocker, the stunning “SERVICE” (Winner of HHF “Best Director” and “Best Actress”) directed by Jerry Pyle. A deceptively simple home invasion story about a maid and her daughter it opens with a truly jaw-dropping and unexpected few minutes. “The first time I watched “SERVICE” with the HHF audience, they audibly gasped at the opening. It truly was an amazing thing to experience” says Flanagan.
The series ends with a couple of films by Lowell Northrop, including the HHF “Best Short” and “Best of the Fest” “BAR TALK.” As Northrop says,
“Bar Talk is basically a Twilight Zone episode that takes place at a trucker bar in East Texas. There’s this slow burn with the back-and-forth dialogue and you don’t know whether to believe anything that’s coming out of this guy’s mouth.”
…indeed you can’t, and that’s what makes the film so riveting. Plus this awesome little gem of a film has a killer ending and is unnervingly funny to boot.
HHF is constantly striving not only to screen the best films, give out awards, honor past horror greats (previously Joe Dante and Dick Miller) and raise money for the wonderful Vincent Price Art Museum, but to teach filmmakers about the realities of the industry. Whether filmmakers are just starting out or are indie veterans, the festival is designed to help filmmakers network, find finance, “good” distribution and hopefully bring in some income too.
“To that end we decided to be incredibly pro-active and create and distribute ourselves. It’s a risky endeavor and one we haven’t seen any other festival doing, so I guess we’re breaking new ground here. But by working with a respected company – one of Amazon’s longest running distributors/aggregators – we have a safe, trusted and fast-tracked route into Amazon Video.”
The series also features more overtly comic episodes, including “BRIGHT EYES” (“Best Horror Comedy”) – a film that pokes fun at an incredibly over-used horror trope. And the insanely outrageous “HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR. ZOMBIE” (“Best Make-up”) about a regular Zombie Joe being surprised on his birthday and suffering all the social pressures that go with it, with blood- drenched consequences.
The series features a diverse mix of stories – from truly disturbing real-life stories to darkly comical, transcendental and ingeniously plotted. But the thing that unifies them all together is their high quality. Packaging the films together as a series makes them attractive to viewers and fans alike, something a stand-alone short often fails to be. So there’s strength in numbers.
Everyone is extremely excited about this new approach to helping talent from a festival. As “BRIGHT EYES” Director Jamie Rivera explains,
“I never expected this micro-budget short I made to get distributed on Amazon. No other film festival I’ve attended has offered me such an exciting opportunity!“
All winning entries from next year’s HHF will have the opportunity to be in the next TV series of “HOLLYWOOD HORRORFEST PRESENTS”. The series will also be upping its production values and adding wrap-around life-action footage for each episode.
“We’re in talks with a great actor who’s well known to many for his horror work for the creepy host role in Season Two. So it only gets better and better.”
Festival organizers see the series as not only a great platform for emerging talent but, as it grows, a wonderful way for filmmakers to hopefully make money from all their hard work. As Flanagan puts it,
“Festival trophies are fun, but cheques in the mail are even funner.”
So go to Amazon Video and watch the entire series. It’s scary, fun and directly supports the indie filmmakers involved. And if you enter HHF 2018, who knows, you may see your work on Amazon Video in Season Two.
Submit entries to HOLLYWOOD HORRORFEST 2018 through FILMFREEWAY:
The series “HOLLYWOOD HORRORFEST PRESENTS” is available NOW on Amazon Video: