Friday, October 5, 2018

Hotlanta Wants Fast-Paced, Exciting Horror

Horror Films in Hotlanta will hold their second annual screening this October 25 - 26, in Atlanta, Ga. It's a film festival that emphasizes "exciting horror."

According to festival director Caroline King, Hotlanta seeks horror films that are "Action packed and scary. The last thing we want for our audience is boredom. Our films really need to be exciting."

Toward that end, there are a few things to avoid. "Slow editing is a deal breaker. If your film is a long, teary-eyed drama, where someone gets stabbed at the end of the film, then submit it to a drama film festival.

"Great horror films scare the crap out of people. They make people jump, cover their mouths, hide their eyes and cringe. We like antagonists, villains, monsters, scary situations or circumstances that wake people up!"

She also advises filmmakers to avoid "Long, slow, time-wasting, rolling credits. And production company logos that never end. They kill the momentum at the event and slow everything down. Make festival cut with credits that are 60 seconds or less. It keeps the audience pumped up, ready for the next film."

Although Hotlanta wants exciting scares, there's also room for laughs. "We like to select a few comedic horror films that can bring some great laughs to the event, if they are really clever. But they must still be horror films."

Some filmmakers worry that their films will only get a cursory peek at festivals, before being unfairly rejected. King assures that's not the case at Hotlanta. "We have twelve judges that watch every film, and read every screenplay, before final judgment is passed."

Yes, that's right. Hotlanta also has a screenplay contest.


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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