The horror! The horror! It’s back! And it’s pulling Miami into the depths of terror. The Popcorn Frights Film Festival, taking place August 11 to 17 at O Cinema Wynwood, has announced the first wave of programming for its third edition.
“We're thrilled to bring the best in horror and genre filmmaking to South Florida audiences for our third annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival. We scoured the globe for the most audacious and spine-tingling films, and this first-wave selection just gives a small taste of all the exciting things to come,” Igor Shteyrenberg and Marc Ferman, cofounders and codirectors of the fest, say in a statement.
This first wave announces a new series of horror films, titled Homegrown: 100% Pure Fresh Squeezed Florida Horror! The sidebar is dedicated to renewing and reinvigorating the audience’s engagement with Miami’s local filmmakers and Florida’s homegrown talent. That means you’ll be able to watch and support new filmmakers within the Sunshine State's film community, including shorts such as Jon Rhoads and Mike Marrero’s Buzzcut, Jessica Curtright and Santiago C. Tapia’s It Began Without Warning, Brett Potter and Dean Colin Marcial’s The Midnight Service, and Luis Mendez’s Pandemonium.
And it’s not only films debuting in this section: A TV pilot that blends horror and documentary will also make its Florida premiere. Primal Screen, directed by Rodney Ascher (Room 237 and The Nightmare), is a series that explores how pop culture can scar you for life.
“This year's inaugural Homegrown slate is not only strong and diverse, but fully represents what a film festival truly is: the gathering of a community of film lovers experiencing exciting, challenging, innovative, and thought-provoking films, with many of the artists behind them in attendance,” the cofounders add.
“These are the kinds of films that get made against all odds, and moviemaking that resists any form of interference. From the macabre to the downright eerie, this year's Homegrown program will have something for everyone and also include some great surprises.”
A collection of films featuring werewolves, zombies, psycho slashers, minotaurs, and all the sinister things that go bump in the night is what this first wave of programming has in store. It opens with a triple feature on the festival’s opening night, beginning with the Florida premiere of Tragedy Girls, a love letter to slasher movies that stars Brianna Hildebrand (Deadpool) and Alexandra Shipp (X-Men: Apocalypse). The other two films have yet to be announced.
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Other features in the first wave are the U.S. premiere of the final cut of Another Wolfcop, the home-invasion genre-bender Better Watch Out, Mickey Keating’s slasher fest Psychopaths, the zombie love story It Stains the Sand Red, the head-splitting gore flick Game of Death, the horror rom-com Dave Made a Maze, and the spellbinding thriller Still Born. The festival’s centerpiece, starring a hammer-wielding Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead), is the savage thriller Mayhem.
“From the earliest days of cinema, filmmakers turned to horror as a way of engrossing audiences in storytelling. Today horror is one of the most beloved genres of filmmaking, and I'm proud to say Popcorn Frights Film Festival is the premier platform for horror films in the Southeast,” says Kareem Tabsch, founder and director of O Cinema.
Popcorn Frights Film Festival
August 11 to 17 at O Cinema Wynwood, 90 NW 29th St., Miami. Festival premiere badges are on sale for a limited time for $120 per person and $180 for couples. Single screening tickets will be available June 26. Visit popcornfrights.com.