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by Thomas M. Sipos, managing editor [August 14, 2012]




[]  The Viscera Film Festival -- dedicated to showcasing women horror filmmakers -- screened at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, California, on July 7, 2012. It was Viscera's third "very own" screening. Since Viscera's inception in 2007, many horror film festivals have screened Viscera films to show their support women horror filmmakers. Viscera's first "very own" screening was held in downtown Los Angeles in July 2010.



"The festival audience has tripled since we started," says Viscera co-founder Heidi Honeycutt. "It all happened by word of mouth, hard work, and our staff pushing to get the word out, and to seek the best new shorts. It's important that we only show the best horror directed by women. Competition has gotten more fierce each year. We have the lucky opportunity to screen only the best stufF."



Honeycutt is also pleased with Viscera's new location on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. "The Viscera Film Festival in Hollywood gets those women's films out where people in the horror film community can see them. The American Cinematheque (owner of the Egyptian Theater) was instrumental in helping make our festival happen. They made us part of their official programming, allowing us to screen our films in their gorgeous 600-seat classic theater."

The VFF's Viscera Award has traditionally gone to a short horror film that was entirely created by women -- in front of, and behind, the camera. Other awards are given for films wherein at least one key creator is a woman.



Honeycutt says that winning at the Viscera has helped its recipients. "Examples of our alumni who have gone on to bigger and better things include Liz Adams, our 2010 Best Film winner for Side Effect, who just finished directing her second feature for The Asylum, SuperCyclone, an action disaster film which will air on the SyFy Channel."

This year, the VFF introduced a new award. "We gave out the first Inspiration Award, for a female director who inspires our filmmakers. This year Mary Lambert was given the honor. I was so happy to involve her. She's an amazing director. That she's interested in our festival makes me so excited."

Both Honeycutt, and Viscera co-founder Shannon Lark, are actresses and filmmakers in their own right. Does running a film festival boost their other careers? "It certainly taught me about filmmaking," says Honeycutt. "As the programmer, I watch hundreds of amazing films. I can see what works, what the filmmakers do, and I learn from them."

Honeycutt and Lark have now created a new film festival -- Etheria -- to focus on science fiction and fantasy films directed by women. "It's a sister festival to Viscera," says Honeycutt. "I wanted to start it, as programmer, because we would get so many amazing submissions that were not quite 'horror' enough, so we had to turn them away. I thought, if we had another festival that was all for women directors of sci-fi and fantasy, those films would fit right in.

Etheria's premier screening is on September 15, 2012, in Boston, MA.





The winners of the 2012 Viscera Film Festival are:


Best Film ..... Barbie Girls (Vinciane Millereau)

Best Director ..... The Dump (Rebekah McKendry)

Best Cinematography ..... Bloodtraffick (Jen Thym)

Fresh Blood (Under 18) ..... Sybling Rivalry (Tara Nicole-Azarian)

Inspiration Award ..... Mary Lambert


"We have a lot of support from horror film fans, and from universities and academic institutions," says Honeycutt. "People see us as a strange hybrid of feminist intellectuals and die-hard horror fans. Which I guess we are.

"We want to show the world that women are not only making great horror films, but that we can find and show them to people every year. I am sick of hearing people say, 'Women don't make horror films, and definitely not good ones.' Every year we prove them wrong. That makes me happy."




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