Friday, September 14, 2018

Requiem Fear Fest: Keep It Short

Many horror film festivals die after one screening. Some last only two years. But a film festival that reaches its third anniversary is likely in it for the long haul.

The Requiem Fear Fest will hold its third annual screening this September 22, in Montreal Canada. If you plan on entering for their 4th event, festival director and co-founder Steve Villeneuve offers this advice:

* Keep short films short.

"If you are doing a short film, try to make it around seven minutes. If you go over that, be sure your film is rock solid. Every festival will take three 'okay' 10 minute films over an 'okay' 25 minute film."

* Hook 'em early.

"Timing is important. For feature films, you have about 15 minutes to catch the attention of the judges. If he's not hooked after 15 minutes, it's strike one. After 20 minutes, strike two. Twenty-five minutes and they are still not hooked, strike three [and you're out!].

* Sound is important.

"Bad sound is just bad. If your film has bad sound, you start with two strikes."

Requiem isn't solely about catering to filmmakers. Requiem also cares about its audience. "I'm all for the public," says Villeneuve. "Bring me some fun film that people will find epic. On our first year, we screened Night of Something Strange. It was amazing. This year we are screening Camp Death III in 2D!"

What distinguishes Requiem from other horror film festivals? For one thing, "We're doing a horror flea market," says Villeneuve. "Fans shop for a while. Then they stop to watch a film. Then they go shop again. That's the beauty."


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.

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