Screamfest winners

Screamfest LA has posted a list of the winners from its 2006 horror film festival, which concluded on Saturday, with an awards presentation on Sunday. Drum roll please...

  • Best Film: Isolation
  • Best Director: Billy O'Brien, Isolation
  • Best Actor: Mark Senter, The Lost
  • Best Actress Essie Davis, Isolation
  • Best Short: Happy Birthday to You
  • Best Editing: The Beach Party on the Threshold to Hell
  • Best Cinematography: The Marsh
  • Best Score: Frostbite
  • Best Makeup: Frostbite
  • Best Special Effects: Frostbite
  • Best Screenplay: Childish Things by Alex Greenfield

The only obviously major gaffe in the list is the editing award. BEACH PART ON THE THRESHOLD TO HELL moves at such a snail-like pace, it's hard to imagine how anyone could have voted for it in this category.

In general, the winner list does not completely reflect the best of what was on view, but I understand this may be due to elgiblity questions. Apparently, the goal of Screamfest is to help independent filmmakers find distribution, so films with deals aready in place were not eligible.

Consequently, cool stuff like THE GRAVEDANCERS (part of the After Dark Horror festival scheduled for November) and HATCHET (which is supposed to reach theatres in March) were not in the running. Still, that doesn't explain how the voters could overlook the nifty little post-apocalyptic zombie-fest AUTOMATON TRANSFUSION, which made the most of its non-existent budget and has an editing style that propels the movie forward at an unrelenting pace.

My own personal favorites list from Screamfest would include (not necessarily in any order) the following:

  • Feast
  • Automaton Transfusion
  • Hatchet
  • Isolation
  • The Gravedancers

I also rather enjoyed Tim Sullivan's DRIFTWOOD, but it's more message movie melodrama than horror, a sort of teenage version of COOL HAND LUKE, with a ghost story woven into the plot. Still it's a suprisingly effective stab at seriousness from a filmmaker who describes his previous work as "splat-stick."