Whistler, BC

Making short horror films is supposed to be fun, but a fistful of cash at the end never hurt either.

Whistler’s Heavy Hitting HorrorFest, the longest running horror film fest in Western Canada, started as a celebration of B-grade, no-budget filmmaking, and an excuse for action sports filmmakers on BC’s West Coast to get out, get bloody and get stupid and flex their creative spirits in the months between ski and bike season.

“It’s always been about having fun with your friends and trying to make the most badass film possible with the least resources,” explains founder Feet Banks, who started the Festival in 2002 with late artist Chili Thom. “But after 15 years, everything is getting elevated. The films coming in have explosions, car chases and big, gushy exit wounds. This kind of stuff takes resources to pull off so it’s nice to be able to dangle a nice cash carrot as well as the prestige that comes with winning.”

Through generous cash sponsorship from local and national partners, Heavy Hitting Horrorfest currently has just under $4500 in cash to hand out at their HorrorFest: Apocalypse event this October.

“It’s incredible to see this kind of support,” Banks says. “Over the years this little festival has evolved into a proper incubator of independent film talent and being able to offer this kind of prize money can actually really help people on the next step of their film careers.

Banks is quick to add that while cash prizing is always awesome, the primary driver for any successful HorrorFest film will always be a sense of fun and creativity. “Everyone’s a winner at HorrorFest, it’s like Sports Day at elementary school—we all get a ribbon, but it’s covered in blood.”

A breakdown of the cash prizing looks like this:

  • $1500 for Best in Show
  • $500 for People's Choice
  • $666.69 For the Chili Thom Memorial Award
  • $250 for Best Cinematography
  • $300 for the Erin Solowey Manimal Award for Most Fearless Performance
  • $250 for Best Actor
  • $250 for Best Actress
  • $400 for Best Effect
  • $100 for Best Death Scene
  • $150 for Rookie of the Year

Total cash value: $4,416.69

The cash sponsorships have been generously provided by Gibbons Whistler, LUX Visual Effects, Sea to Sky Dream Team, the Directors Guild of Canada, Canadian Wilderness Adventures, Local Whistler and an anonymous horror benefactor.

Supplementary in-kind prizing is also offered by Gibbons Whistler, Whistler Film Festival, Bass Coast Festival, Canadian Wilderness Adventures, Elevation Hair Studio, Hy's Steakhouse, Local Whistler, Raven Room and Vancouver Bad Ass Film Festival.

Heavy Hitting HorrorFest takes place October 30, 2019 in Whistler BC. Film submissions are open until September 15, 2019.

Submit Your Film

Film Submissions: $25

Open now & close Sunday, September 15, 209 at 11:59 PM | Register, read the rules, sign the waiver & submit at heavyhitting.com/submit.

For more information on Heavy Hitting HorrorFest, visit heavyhitting.com.

Note to media:

HorrorFest images are available for editorial use upon request at mask@heavyhitting.com

HEAVY HITTING HORRORFEST CONTACTS Chantal Limoges 604.935.4899 mask@heavyhitting.com

Feet Banks feet@heavyhitting.com


The Heavy Hitting HorrorFest was hatched in Whistler in 2002 by Feet Banks and Chili Thom as a one-night blender of horrorific, hilarious and very independent short films screening to a group of local filmmakers and their friends.

Over a decade later, The HorrorFest has evolved into the largest and longest-running horror film festival in Western Canada attracting film fans and filmmakers from around the world. In a town known for its massive parties and huge events, Heavy Hitting HorrorFest is one of the most anticipated events on the Whistler calendar packing rabid film fans into an evening of movies, costumes and musical mayhem.

Since its inception, the HorrorFest has been a launching pad for young filmmakers and continues to attract industry pros with its emphasis on making movies for the pure and simple joy of it. At Heavy Hitting HorrorFest your art film might get booed and your bad taste might get cheered, but either way you’re gonna have the night of your life.