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AUDIENCE AND JURY AWARDS ANNOUNCED FOR RECORD-SETTING 2024 OVERLOOK FILM FESTIVAL

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The Overlook Film Festival, America’s premier celebration of all things Horror, just wrapped up its biggest and most successful edition yet in New Orleans from April 4-7, 2024. The 8th annual festival shattered previous attendance records, welcoming 90 filmmaker guests and around 6,000 attendees for 36 sold-out screenings of the latest and greatest in Horror cinema.

As the festival drew to a close, the highly-coveted audience and juried awards were announced, honoring innovative new voices pushing boundaries in the genre.

The feature film Audience Award went to Damian Mc Carthy’s Oddity, a terrifying creepfest in which a blind medium resorts to desperate measures in an effort to find out the truth behind what happened to her sister.” The runner-up for the award was Ariane Louis-Seize’s Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person.

Image from the film Oddity

The short film Audience Award went to Masha Ko’s The Looming, hailed as “a beautiful and emotional film about aging and mental illness.” The runner-up went to Brea Grant’s MLM.

The Grand Jury Prize for Best Short Film went to Cricket Arrison’s Some Day All This Will Be Yours. A film the jury described as “an original and fearless new voice that explores the relationship between gender and Horror in playful and profound ways.”

The award for Scariest Short went to Carlos A.F. Lopez’s Dream Creep, which the jury called “a film exploring the profound Horror of intimacy that immediately hooks the viewer with an unexpected and shocking premise.”

An Honorable Mention for Cinematography was given to Alex Matraxia’s Dream Factory, for “transporting the viewer into the queer past through striking, tactile photography.” Joseph Lopez also earned an Honorable Mention for Performance for his role in The Looming. The film’s director Masha Ko, stated that “Lopez’s vulnerable performance is key to conveying both the Horror and the
empathy of this powerful short.”

The 2024 Overlook Film Festival Short Film Jury was composed of film journalist Carlos Aguilar, NEON’s Sara Cushman, and filmmaker Laura Moss. In a statement by the jury, they expressed: “It was a delight to serve on the jury for a slate of films that expand the definition of Horror with breadth and dynamic range that exceeded our already high expectations.”

More information about this year’s award-winning films is available below:

Audience Awards

Winner — Feature Film
Oddity
Director: Damian Mc Carthy
Cast: Gwilym Lee, Carolyn Bracken, Tadhg Murphy, Caroline Menton, Steve Wall, Johnny French, Joe Rooney, Shane Whisker, Ivan de Wergifosse
Ireland, 2023
A blind medium resorts to desperate measures in an effort to find out the truth behind what happened to her sister in this mystical, terrifying creepfest that will burn its lasting, nightmarish imagery into your brain.

Runner-Up — Feature Film
Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person
Director: Ariane Louis-Seize
Cast: Sara Montpetit, Félix-Antoine Bénard, Steve Laplante, Sophie Cadieux, Noémie O’Farrell, Marie Brassard, Patrick Hivon, Marc Beaupré
Canada, 2023
Struggling with her own personal ethics, a teenage vampire makes a pact with a suicidal boy after her family cuts off her blood supply in this sweet and touching tale of friendship and loyalty.

Winner — Short Film
The Looming, Dir. Masha Ko, United States, 2023
A beautiful and emotional film that touches upon the difficulties that come with aging, mental illness, and the fear of being forgotten by those we love.

Runner-Up — Short Film
MLM, Dir. Brea Grant, United States, 2024, WORLD PREMIERE
When Sarah joins a multi-level marketing company called La La Leggings, she isn’t ready for the horrific consequences of not selling.

Image from the film Some Day All This Will Be Yours,

Juried Awards

Grand Jury Prize for Short Film
Some Day All This Will Be Yours, Dir. Cricket Arrison, United States, 2023
A queer autofiction comedy/Horror short shot entirely in the filmmaker’s childhood home. Amidst a riot of crumbling 1970s interior design, Some Day uncannily twists the tropes of motherhood, home, and family legacy.

Scariest Short
Dream Creep, Dir. Carlos A.F. Lopez, United States, 2024
A couple awakens in the night to sounds emanating from an unlikely orifice.

Honorable Mention for Cinematography
Dream Factory, Dir. Alex Matraxia, United Kingdom, 2023, International Premiere
An experimental short that explores the historical role of cinemas as cruising sites, as well as the relations between nostalgia and fetish when navigating queer history, cultural memory, and the tactility of the past.

Honorable Mention for Performance
Awarded to Joseph Lopez
The Looming, Dir. Masha Ko, United States, 2023
A beautiful and emotional film that touches upon the difficulties that come with aging, mental illness, and the fear of being forgotten by those we love.

Image from the film Dream Creep

Beyond the awards, other highlights of this year’s Overlook Festival included the world premiere of Abigail, the new film from the acclaimed filmmaking collective Radio Silence, which debuted at the historic Prytania Uptown theater as the festival’s Closing Night film.

Regarding the screening of their film, Radio Silence stated “Screening Abigail with such an incredible audience at the Overlook Film Festival was an amazing experience. The dedication and love that Overlook fans have for the Horror and vampire genres is unmatched and it was a thrill to be in a theater with people that love this genre as much as we do. Especially in a city as special as New Orleans.”

Horror master Mike Flanagan was also in attendance, receiving the prestigious Master of Horror Award and presenting a 10th-anniversary screening of his breakout Oculus. Previous recipients of the award include legends like Roger Corman, Mick Garris, Stuart Gordon, and Joe Dante.

“I had an absolute blast at the Overlook Film Festival,” Flanagan raved. “The audience, the festival staff and the fantastic New Orleans locations are just brimming with spirit, and I loved being so swept away. The anniversary screening of Oculus will remain one of the most surreal and satisfying screenings of my career, and I just can’t wait to find my way back for more. I left New Orleans with a smile on my face and swing in my step.”

Image from the film Abigal

One of the major highlights was the 50th anniversary celebration of Brian De Palma’s cult classic rock musical Phantom of the Paradise. Legendary composer, singer, and actor Paul Williams was the guest of honor at this exciting, one-of-a-kind event. It featured a screening of the film along with a presentation by Swan Archives archivist and noted Phantom scholar Ari Kahan. The festivities also included a Q&A moderated by John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) that left audience members buzzing.

“Consider these words my standing ovation,” Williams said. “A salute to the kind hearts and creative wizardry of all at the Overlook Film Festival. You didn’t overlook a single detail. Didn’t miss a beat. A weekend in New Orleans is always special but this was one for the record books. With my friend Ari Kahan providing a print, the enthusiasm and knowledge of the Overlook staff and my pal John Cameron Mitchell serving as ringmaster of the Q&A…it was the sweetest celebration. Much love to the audience. You were the best. I miss you already!”

Returning to the festival for his second year in a row was David Dastmalchian, who joined the festival last year with his film Late Night With the Devil. This year, he introduced a 75th-anniversary 3D screening of the Horror classic Creature from the Black Lagoon, appearing in character as his TV host persona Dr. Fearless. “Being back at Overlook to feel the incredible, one-of-a-kind energy of the genre fans and to interact with all of the Late Night with the Devil fans was an unforgettable experience,” Dastmalchian said. “Helping present Creature From the Black Lagoon (in 3D no less!!!) was the spooky cherry on top of one of the best film fests around.”

Image from the film Cuckoo

Other highlights included the Opening Night screening of Tilman Singer’s Cuckoo, the festival premiere of Don Hertzfeldt’s new animated musical Me; Looking Over the Garden Wall,  a 10th-anniversary panel celebrating the beloved Horror-tinged animated series featuring creators Patrick McHale and Nick Cross. There was also a live recording of the Scream Dreams podcast co-hosted by Catherine Corcoran, Horror legend Barbara Crampton, and special guest David Dastmalchian.

To keep up to date with The Overlook Film Festival, visit overlookfilmfest.com.

Follow The Overlook Film Festival on Social Media

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/OverlookFilmFestival/

Twitter – @TheOverlookFest

Instagram – @OverlookFilmFest

Join the conversation using this hashtag: #OverlookFilmFestival

About The Overlook Film Festival
The Overlook Film Festival is a 4-day celebration of all things Horror held in haunted, historic & iconic venues throughout New Orleans. Presenting superior film programming with an expanded focus on experiential events, the festival showcases exciting work in new and classic Horror cinema alongside the latest in interactive and live shows for a fully immersive weekend. As a summer camp for genre fans, The Overlook is a community event bringing the best of Horror storytelling to an enthusiastic and appreciative audience within an intimate and inspirational environment. Evoking the spirit of the Overlook hotel, Horror’s most infamous fictional haunt, the 2024 Overlook Film Festival runs from April 4 – April 7, headquartered at the Prytania Theatres at Canal Place in Downtown New Orleans with additional screenings at Prytania Theatres Uptown. The festival advisory board includes Joe Dante (Filmmaker – Gremlins, The Howling), Karyn Kusama (Filmmaker – Jennifer’s Body, The Invitation), Ryan Turek (VP of Feature Film Development, Blumhouse Productions), Leigh Whannell (Actor / Writer / Filmmaker – Saw, Insidious), Diana Williams (CEO & Co-Founder, Kinetic Energy Entertainment), Elijah Wood (Founding Partner, SpectreVision), and more.


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