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Also announcing the 2nd annual Apocalypse Later International Fantastic Film Festival!
Filmmakers, submissions for horror and sci-fi shorts are open through Film Freeway.

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Tuesday, 18 July 2000

International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival 2011

The International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival used to be a sister festival to The Phoenix Film Festival, run in regular genre season in October. It was shorter, cheaper and more personal, as well as being restricted to genre film. However it effectively ceased to be as a separate entity after the sixth event in 2010.

In 2011, the genre festival was subsumed by the main festival. It moved from its mobile status, having played at three different theatres over six years, to a permanent home at the Harkins Cine Capri, where it effectively became the late night programming for the Phoenix Film Festival in April. Special guest slots dropped to one, in this instance Heather Langenkamp, here to promote her documentary I am Nancy.

The 2011 festival suffered immensely from arriving only six months after the previous one. Very little was shown and mostly at the same time on different screens, so it was impossible to see much of anything. I managed to see a total of four films, whereas in previous years I'd seen that much even before the weekend arrived and everything got busy. What's more, the presentations were consistently mangled with bad introductions and broken sound and video. Triple Hit wasn't a bad movie, but it ran against itself as the only sci-fi feature in competition.

On the more positive side, the shorter schedule was at least countered by some strong movies, including Absentia, the winner of Best Horror Feature and possibly the best competition film ever screened over the festival's history. The showcase features included Tucker and Dale Versus Evil and Stake Land.

The people running this festival stayed consistent. Check them all out if you're into film in Arizona, beginning with Chris and Jason and the folks at the The Phoenix Film Foundation. Andrea, the Midnite Movie Mamacita handled the horror/sci-fi programming. Program directors remained Danny and Brandon from I Can Smell Your Brains for horror; and science fiction writer Mike Stackpole for sci-fi.

Here are all the films screened in 2011, with film titles linking to my reviews and the IMDb pages added for reference.

Rating System
1 - Abysmal | 2 - Bad | 3 - Poor | 4 - OK | 5 - Good | 6 - Excellent | 7 - Classic

Horror Competition Features
Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Absentia 2011 7 7 Mike Flanagan IMDb
Midnight Son 2011 6 6 Scott Leberecht IMDb
The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue 2010 5 6 Mike Bradecich & John LaFlamboy IMDb

Sci-Fi Competition Features
Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Triple Hit 2009 4 5 Huw Bowen IMDb

Showcase Features
Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Hisss 2010 4 4 Jennifer Lynch IMDb
I am Nancy 2011 5 5 Arlene Marechal IMDb
The People vs George Lucas 2010 5 5 Alexandre O Phillippe IMDb
Stake Land 2010 5 6 Jim Mickle IMDb
Tucker and Dale vs Evil 2010 5 5 Eli Craig IMDb

Horror Shorts
Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Zombiefication 2010 4 5 Stefan Lukacs IMDb
I Rot 2010 4 4 Josef J Weber IMDb
Last Seen on Dolores Street 2010 5 5 Devi Snively IMDb
Cold Sore 2010 5 5 Matt Bird IMDb
Bugbaby 2010 5 5 Rebecca Lorrene IMDb
Red Umbrella 2010 5 5 Andri Cung & Edward Gunawan IMDb
Cell Phone Psycho 2010 4 5 David S White IMDb
Escape 2010 4 4 Andres Rosénde IMDb

Sci-Fi Shorts A
Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
The Island 2010 5 5 Nathan Fisher IMDb
Earthship 2010 5 5 David K Wilson IMDb
Picture Show at the End of the World 2009 5 5 David Rusanow IMDb
Roman's Ark 2011 5 5 Seth Larney IMDb

Sci-Fi Shorts B
Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Earwigs 2010 5 5 Bruce Legrow IMDb
Antedon 2010 4 4 Alejandro Ayala Alberola IMDb
The Hollow Men 2010 6 5 Ashley Denton IMDb
SNAFU 2010 5 5 Julian Caldow IMDb
The Turing Love Affair 2010 4 4 Natasha Kermani IMDb
The Recipient 2010 5 5 Javier Bermudez IMDb
Carry Tiger to the Mountain 2011 4 4 Arnold Barkus & Bennett Lieberman IMDb

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