Canada's newest horror film festival, the Edmonton Festival of Fear, will screen for the first time this October. The festival's founder and director, Barry J. Gillis, says that films are more likely to be accepted at his event if their stories are original and entertaining.
"We are looking for movies that will captivate the audience," said Gillis. "This starts with a great story. Original ideas. Stories that keep us on the edge of our seats and entertain the audience."
While story is king, Gillis also stresses the importance of accomplished acting, cinematography and sound. "Sound is important. We would like to see less films with bad sound. And less experimentation that doesn't work. Experimentation is fine ... when it works."
But an entertaining story can overcome even rough production values. "We don't reject all bad films," said Gillis. "Some bad films are what people like to watch, even if the cinematography or sound is not the greatest. We are more likely to reject a movie because it is boring as hell."
Finally, Gillis confirms that the world of film festivals is highly competitive. "There are great movies that we cannot get into the festival because of time slots, and time constraints."