Over the years, film festivals have used their connections to expand into distribution. Film festivals directors have used their connections to segue into acting, writing, or directing.
Now, the New York City Horror Film Festival joins their ranks. On June 7th, the NYCHFF will release Devil's Grove on DVD -- co-directed by NYCHFF founder Michael J. Hein -- which the festival describes "as one of the most brutal independent horror films in recent years.":
Actually, this trailer convinced me to NOT see Devil's Grove, as it looks to be a pretty sordid affair. Just another torture porn effort. I prefer horror films with a creepy "sense of wonder" (e.g., The Ring or The X-Files). But I suppose torture porn has its fans.
The NYCHFF also announces that filmmakers George Taramas and Michael Gruosso's short film, Demented, won the festival's Killer Shorts Film Competition. Demented was voted "audience choice" at the festival's Saturday Nightmares Expo, which was held this past weekend.
Michael J. Hein replies:
"I sincerely appreciate the plug for Devil's Grove on your recent blog, but just a correction that I have been working in the film industry for 25 years and my Directorial debut was in 2000. The NYCHFF is an event I founded ten years ago to give back to the genre community which I'm so heavily involved in. For a decade, not one person involved with our event has taken a dime of salary (including myself). So no one involved with the NYCHFF has ever used the event to catapult into anything and I was the only one involved in the making of the movie involved with the festival. (Everyone else evolved are Ohio filmmakers.)
"The new label is set up to help filmmakers get an honest, reliable, distribution deal. To test the waters with the concept, I put a film that I own a share in first to see how it works. In other words: I'm my own guinea pig.
"You're correct on one thing though: Devil's Grove is a straight up grindhouse torture flick and definitely NOT for everyone’s tastes. A fact we are pretty proud of. Thanks again."
For a behind-the-scenes look at horror film festivals and the festival directors who manage them, see Horror Film Festivals and Awards. This book also includes a directory of over 200 horror film festivals, and a list of festival award winners from dozens of festivals over several decades.