Behind Phoenix Fearcon

October 29, 2014

Phoenix’s horror film festival, Phoenix Fearcon to showcase local and international independent horror films the weekend of Halloween.

AudNews: What is the story behind this festival and your involvement with it?

Chris McLennan: Jim and Chris McLennan started the festival in 2006 as the Phoenix Fear Film Festival out of a small art gallery in Phoenix. We have since grown over time to larger theaters and venues, and have been a vanguard event, dedicated to strengthening the general understanding of the Horror genre film culture by providing audiences independent, cutting‐edge, original films – and authentic representations of horror.  The festival has evolved to include a wider variety of horror genres for audiences to enjoy, all of which portray a different aspect of terror along with an atmosphere dedicated to the horror movie fan, including special musical presentations, special effects demonstrations, panel discussions, Q&A with cast and crew, fashion shows and more. To reflect these changes and highlight the festival’s evolution, the name of the festival was changed to “Phoenix FearCON” in 2011.

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 11.55.00 AM

Image courtesy of Phoenix Fearcon.

AudNews: What are some of your favorites films from this year’s film festival?

McLennan: This year we have received over 100 submissions and have had to whittle them down to 6. These 6 represent our perspective of some of the best independent films released this year.  We are very excited specifically about a feature film screening at our event called Circus of the Dead directed by Billy Pon and starring Bill Oberst Jr. In addition, we have a Brazilian feature film called Mar Negro that is unbelievable. We also have about 19 shorts screening at our even.

AudNews:What is unique and exciting about Phoenix Fearcon?

McLennan: Phoenix FearCON is a mashup of an independent horror film festival, mixed in with sideline entertainment, celebrity guests signing autographs and taking pics with fans, panel discussions with filmmakers, film distribution companies, flashmobs, Department of Zombie Defense military exercises, Caskets and Hearses on display, workshops with Special FX artists, Zombie choreographers, Zombie Runway Fashion shows, live musical entertainers, freak show artists and vendors of every kind of horror themed item on the planet.

What makes it unique is that the FearCON is an independent horror film festival and convention that is still focused on the independent filmmaker. All our film winners are offered an international and domestic distribution contract by our Film Sponsor – Empress Road Pictures and in the past by our previous sponsor, Brain Damage Films.

AudNews:What film festivals inspired you to get involved?

McLennan: We have been going to film festivals over the last 15 years by invitation to review for our fanzine, Trash City. At those festivals, we saw amazing gems of moviemaking that we knew would never see any kind of distribution simply because the filmmakers do not have the connections, the money or the know how to get their films distributed. We wanted to give them the opportunity to get noticed and we felt having our own festival would be that opportunity. Our relationship with several film distribution and sale companies provide that opportunity.

AudNews: Is there anything else you would like our audience to know about your festival?

McLennan: The 2014 Phoenix FearCON VI Film Festival will provide a significant opportunity for audiences to come and see what independent horror is all about from different perspectives and reflect.

Cinema is a bridge that connects us all. We, our staff and volunteers have a passion and energy dedicated to this event. Although the festival is still young, it is supported by its members with unlimited potential. We hope to continue this event, not only for 2014, but for the coming years as well.

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