Friday the 13th has come and gone, and although this inauspicious day may have inflicted bad luck on others, it gave nothing but good fortune to the Rio Theatre where Curio Media, with the assistance of IRL Events, delivered a showing of the 2012 Viscera Film Festival. The eerie extravaganza of short horror films created by female filmmakerswere impressive.
The festival was hosted by special guest Fiona Forbes of Urban Rush and sponsored by Super Channel and PacBlue Printing, with prominent appearances by two of the talented filmmakers featured in the festival – Karen Lam and Lori Bowen. The films themselves were judged by Bill Hurst, Telefilm Canada Executive, and Rachel Talalay, director of such films as Tank Girl, Ghost in the Machine, and Freddy’s Dead: the Final Nightmare.
Each of the films at Viscera was a unique and chilling display of its particular artists’ vision, a few of them stood out in particular ways and were acknowledged as follows:
Best Creature – The disquieting zombie-esque figure who haunted Marichelle Daywalt’s “The Many Doors of Albert Whale.”
Best Blood Bath – The blood flowed fast in “Adventure Girls” by Dara Jade Moats, Dan Emery, and Jon Deitcher, a tribute to Japanese splatter films.
Best Cinematography – The juxtaposition of picture-book narration and ghoulish visuals in Helen Komini Olsen’s “Daddy’s Girl.”
Best Film Title – The adorably alliterative “Blood Bunny,” Molly Madfis’s cut-out animated tale of the Easter Bunny’s bloody vengeance.
Best Performance (Male) – David Lewis, whose serial killer suffered a very bad day in Karen Lam’s “Doll Parts.”
Best Performance (Female) – Victoria Winge, who starred as the sweet, naïve young murderess in Helen Komini Olsen’s “Daddy’s Girl.”
Best Screenplay – Emily Carmichael’s “The Ghost and Us,” a comedic exploration of a time when dead love just wouldn’t stay dead.
Best Director – Nikki Wall for “Box,” the story of a pregnancy delivered from a dark source and the horrifying abortion that resulted from it.
Honorable mention was given to Briony Kidd for “The Room at the Top of the Stairs,” where a young artist moved into a new house and becomes obsessed with the strange young woman who used to rent her room.
And last, but certainly not least….
Best Film – Laura Whyte’s “Nursery Crimes,” a mixed-media animated short about the crimes an insane Bo Peep committed against the inhabitants of the Land of Mother Goose, all told through charming rhyme.
Honorable mention was given to Mae Catt’s “12/15/1996,” where two serial killers worked-out their emotional issues in their own darkly dysfunctional fashion.