Heavy Hitting HorrorFest Media Release For Immediate Release – Monday, June 8, 2020
Heavy Hitting HorrorFest Tentatively Cancelled For 2020
Before the mayhem at Heavy Hitting HorrorFest: Apocalypse in 2019. Photo by Joern Rohde. WHISTLER BC – Heavy Hitting HorrorFest is tentatively cancelling this year’s festival on Friday, October 30, 2020. Due to the ongoing uncertainty around hosting events over 50 people, as well as the health and safety surrounding COVID-19, organizers have decided to take a year off and regroup for 2021.
“We’re going to focus on making kick-ass movies this summer and come back strong, and safe, for next year’s HorrorFest,” says festival co-founder Feet Banks.
Since 2002, Heavy Hitting HorrorFest has brought the excitement of bloody horror and independent cinema to Whistler every October 30. After the success of Apocalypse in 2019, the producers of HorrorFest were looking forward to growing the festival this upcoming October but with the current pandemic, plans are being put on hold, potentially until 2021.
“HorrorFest has always been about bringing our community together to cheer on creative, blood thirsty filmmakers.” says Banks. “The power, the real joy, comes from being in that room together, sharing savage DIY cinema, dressing up, and having a killer time. Since the end of March, we’ve been checking out what other festivals are doing and trying to figure out an option that could work for us. We didn’t see any way to preserve the spirit of our festival and serve our filmmakers, partners, and audiences in the same way we always have so we are calling it off, tentatively. IF event restrictions change in September / October, we have plans in place to move forward. This is a crazy year, things can happen fast, so you never know. Everyone should definitely be out working on their films this summer, make them as badass as possible for 2021.”
Bringing new and established filmmakers together to celebrate horror, creativity, and the joys of making movies has made HorrorFest an iconic not-to-be-missed event for the arts community in the Sea to Sky region. In early April, HorrorFest opened film submissions with a drop of optimism that they would be able to light up the big screen with films from local and international filmmakers. Since opening film submissions, HorrorFest has received over 400 short films from over 50 countries. Film submissions have now been closed for 2020. Filmmakers whose films were shortlisted will be contacted over the next few months to discuss the festival status.
“It’s a disappointment,” Banks says. “For our fans and filmmakers, and for us as well—a shitload of work has already gone into planning this year’s festival and we’d normally be hosting the annual Pitch-to-Screen seminar right now to help everyone get stoked and hone their craft. But obviously this is not a normal year, half the time it feels like reality is a weird horror movie. So we’re following the recommendations of Dr. Bonnie Henry to ensure the health and safety of our fans and filmmakers. Patience is a virtue, so let’s take things as they come, stay safe, and start working on scripts, planning shoots, and making movies however we can. One thing’s for sure and that’s when this pandemic does finally end we are all going to be ready to get together, blow off some steam, and recapture that Horrorfest mayhem.”