2017 AudFest Horror Shorts Film Festival Winners

November 9, 2017

We asked our Audience Awards community to show us their terrifying, horrific, and grotesque short films and our filmmakers didn’t disappoint! Here are the top three jury selected winning films from our AudFest Horror Shorts Film Festival.

Just six months into the festival circuit, our first place winning film, Balloon by Mitchell Slan has screened at close to 50 film festivals. Balloon tells the story of Penny and her therapist who work to battle her phobia of balloons through psychological experimentation. However, it’s not the balloon itself… it’s the clown-like serial killer it represents.

Slan talked with us about the struggles and triumphs of making the film. He explained, “we shot the film on the four rainiest days Los Angeles has seen in a decade. Water up to our ankles unloading equipment. The rain made the first scene look amazing, but we had to adjust to the look.”

We had 7 hours to blow up 600, 36 inch round balloons in a small theater and shoot the most intense scene. We had 23 friends blowing them up while we got the lighting and camera set up. It was incredible team work.

Our second place winning film is a Brazilian horror short made by Luciano De Azevedo. Rosalita is the second film in the trilogy, Cabrito.

This gruesome short follows Evil as he returns to his roots and seeks the first love of his life with the hope of building the perfect family. Azevedo filled us in on the making of the film and how he was able to build tension with idiosyncratic visual and aural techniques.

Working on a minuscule budget of $2000, the movie flirts with unsettling lighting and camera composition that is absent from a number of films today. There’s gore, but the color palette is maintained in such a way that it doesn’t glorify the butchering; it enhances the aesthetic value. The use of music, especially the delightful folk songs, fit in perfectly as innocence is swept from under the protagonist’s feet.

Third place film, Little Lamb by Heidi Douglas takes place in 1829 and follows Louisa, a convict trapped in the living hell of a British prison in faraway Van Diemen’s Land. After ignoring warnings from her prison mate she is placed at the mercy of a new master and must obey his wishes despite her reservations or face the grim truths hidden in the darkness.

Heidi Lee Douglas is an award-winning Australian filmmaker who works across both documentary and drama. Her work can be seen on television outlets such as ABC and Al Jazeera and has screened in film festivals around the world from Japan to Wales, New Zealand and throughout the USA.

These three films awed our audience and jury and have us dying to see what their minds come up with next. We look forward to seeing the top three films premiere at AudFest 2018! To stay up-to-date on our festival winners, visit: https://audnews.com/contests/winners

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