In Haunt

Grimmfest - Manchester's International Festival of Fantastic Film –  took place for its 11th year on 3-6 October 2019 - bringing its biggest ever line-up of film premieres to the ODEON Manchester Great Northern. From fantastic feature films to super-scary shorts, there certainly was a selection on offer – screening to packed audiences across the long weekend. Now the 2019 Award winners have been announced, plus £100,000+ worth of prizes… making Manchester stand out as a truly international destination of acclaimed horror cinema.

Grimmfest Poster

The choice was made by an impressive 6-strong Festival Jury Panel, all key figures within the industry. They were: producer and Grimmfest 2018 Lifetime Achievement award-winner Barbara Crampton, UK film critic Anton Bitel, US producer Amanda Presmyk (of Fangoria), UK producer Jennifer Handorf, UK film critic Nikki Baughan and Canadian sales agent James Fler (of Raven Banner).  They had a range of decisions to make, with 13 awards up for grabs in total, including Grimmfest’s first ever BEST WORK-IN-PROGRESS award – open to feature films that are not yet completed, instead in production or post-production. The prize for this includes £20,000 worth of post-production funding courtesy of M2 MediaPost, a year’s subscription to Screen International magazine and an exciting offer of international sales representation from Film Seekers.

The award winners were as follows:

Best Feature (Sponsored by M2 MediaPost)

WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE!

With Special Mention for EXTRA ORDINARY

Best Director (Sponsored by M2 MediaPost)

KIRILL SOKOLOV, WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE!

With Special Mention for ROB GRANT (HARPOON)

Best Screenplay (Sponsored by Final Draft and InkTip)

HARPOON

With Special Mention for A SERIAL KILLER’S GUIDE TO LIFE

Horror Channel Achievement in Horror Award

JEN AND SYLVIA SOSKA (pictured below) (AMERICAN MARY, DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK, RABID) – with both attending the festival as Special Guests, with a screening of their most recent film RABID.

Achievement in Horror Award

Best Cinematography (Sponsored by One Bright Dot)

4x4

With Special Mention for WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE!

Best Score (Sponsored by Grimmfest Films)

ARTIK

With Special Mention for TONE-DEAF

Best Actor

PETER LANZANI, 4x4

With Special Mention for MUNRO CHAMBERS (HARPOON)

Best Actress

MAEVE HIGGINS, EXTRA ORDINARY

With Special Mention for POPPY ROE (A SERIAL KILLER’S GUIDE TO LIFE)

Best SFX (Sponsored by Fangoria Magazine)

WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE!

With Special Mentions for BLOOD VESSEL and THE WRETCHED

Best Kill (Sponsored by Dread Central)

SATANIC PANIC

With Special Mention for HARPOON

Best Scare (Sponsored by Rue Morgue magazine)

THE WRETCHED

With Special Mention for BLOOD VESSEL

Best Short (Sponsored by Shudder)

LIMBO

With Special Mention for HOW TO BE ALONE and LOOM

It certainly was a productive festival for the darkly comic Russian crime drama WHY DON'T YOU JUST DIE! – recipient of both the BEST FEATURE and BEST DIRECTOR awards. The prize for this significant scoop is £80,000 worth of post-production services courtesy of Festival Award Sponsor, M2 MediaPost, which can be used as finance against a future film production. The film’s Writer-director Kirill Sokolov had this to say:

“I'm absolutely happy!  It is so important for a young filmmaker to get rewards for your work.  The best inspiration for the next steps.  Huge thanks to Grimmfest! I'll do my best!"

Michael Laundon of M2 MediaPost, also added:

 “M2 MediaPost is honoured to sponsor both BEST FEATURE and BEST DIRECTOR for this year’s Grimmfest and it's great to see Kirill Sokolov’s amazing kinetic and stylish Russian thriller picking up both awards. We are looking forward to working with him on a future project and excited to also sponsor the new WORK IN PROGRESS award of which Paul and Mike’s new project, KARLI, is a worthy recipient.”

As aforementioned, 2019 also saw Grimmfest’s first ever BEST WORK-IN-PROGRESS award, which was awarded to Paul Gerrard and Mike Clarke, the directors of KARLI – a hotel-based horror loaded with themes of grief and mystery.

If all this wasn’t positive news enough - Grimmest 2020 will take place in early October next year in Manchester! 2019 saw some of the festival’s biggest ever audiences and therefore, when it comes to exciting horror and cult cinema, Grimmfest really is the place to be. Film submissions for next year will open December 2019 via FilmFreeway. More information about the festival can be found at www.grimmfest.com

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