Music Box Theatre’s CINEPOCALYPSE Film Festival Announces Katie Rife as New Senior Programmer

Returning to Chicago’s Music Box Theatre June 4th – 7th
Submissions Now Open and Badge Sales Launched for 2020

Katie Rife, Senior Programmer of Cinepocalypse

CINEPOCALYPSE, Chicago’s premiere annual genre festival, produced and presented by the Music Box Theatre, is proud to bring in the New Year with the announcement of Katie Rife as new Senior Programmer of the festival. Rife, a Senior Writer for The A.V. Club who previously helmed the festival’s shorts programming, joins in this new bolstered capacity ahead of the festival’s 4th edition, of which she will begin overseeing feature programming as well. The four-day event returns to the Music Box Theatre on June 4th-7th, promising a potent slate of fresh and exciting genre movies from around the world and related special events. “Genre festivals have been my home as a critic for many years, and it’s thrilling to get the opportunity to be more deeply involved as a festival programmer,” she says.

Michael Lehmann in attendance for 25th anniversary celebration of Airheads

Submissions are now open via FilmFreeway for shorts and features for the festival named a top genre festival in the world by MovieMaker Magazine, and badges to attend are available on the official website.

Since 2017, Cinepocalypse has presented Music Box audiences with a slate of dynamic features, shorts, guests, and a variety of other surprises. The festival has played host to the likes of Lana Wachowski, co-creator of cult-hit The Matrix trilogy; Scott Derrickson, director of Sinister and Doctor Strange; celebrated director and cinematographer Ernest Dickerson, known for his frequent collaborations with Spike Lee and directorial works such as Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight and Juice; late cult exploitation filmmaker Larry Cohen; horror actress Barbara Crampton, from the cult-hits Re-Animator and From Beyond; Stephen Hopkins, director of Judgment Night and A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; and more prestigious filmmakers from around the globe.

Cinepocalypse hosts a Special Advance Presentation of Annabelle Comes Home

Featured in Entertainment Weekly, People Magazine, and The AV Club, 2019 proved to be the festival’s most explosive edition yet, shattering attendance records and featuring the buzzed-about world premiere of rock legend Glenn Danzig’s Verotika; a lifetime achievement award for actor Michael Ironside; a career retrospective of the band GWAR; our jury president Joel Schumacher; film critic/commentator Joe Bob Briggs’ notorious lecture ‘How Rednecks Saved Hollywood’; a 25th anniversary celebration of Airheads, with director Michael Lehmann; the first-ever public screening of the original, uncut, R-rated, gore-filled lost “classic” Tammy and the T-Rex; and so much more!

Cinepocalypse promises to showcase even more thrills, chills, special guests, and exciting premieres in 2020!

Gigi Saul Guerrero in attendance for screening of Culture Shock

Regular events produced, presented and hosted at Music Box Theatre include the 70mm Film Festival; the annual 24-hour horror-movie marathon Music Box of Horrors; and Noir City: Chicago, co-presented by the Film Noir Foundation.

For more information see the website,

Follow us on Twitter (@cinepocalypseff), Instagram (@cinepocalypse), and on Facebook for more updates.

About Music Box Theatre:
Operating since 1929, the Music Box Theatre has been the premier venue in Chicago for independent and foreign films for more than three decades, playing host to over 200,000 patrons annually. It currently has the largest theater space operated full time in the city. The Music Box Theatre is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation. SMBC, through its Music Box Films division, also distributes foreign and independent films in the theatrical, DVD, and television markets throughout the United States.

Follow the Music Box Theatre on Facebook (, Twitter (@musicboxtheatre), and Instagram (@musicboxchicago)

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