Event Date & Time: 6th annual Shiekfest awards
Location: Raleigh Studios
The final evening of the 6th annual Shriekfest film festival was a blast on Sunday, with another impressive film, Jason Todd Ipson’s UNREST, and a brief awards ceremony to honor this year’s winners, followed by a party afterwards.
To no one’s surprise – and to the enthusiast adulation of the crowd – Gregg Bishop’s THE OTHER SIDE took the award for Best Feature film. I praised this film in an earlier post here.
UNREST -about first year med students with an autopsy cadaver that’s far from dearly departed – took second place in the category.
Actress Amy Beth Sherman took home the Best Acting award for her performance in DESPERATION.
The suspenseful PENNY DREADFUL, which stars Rachel Miner and Mimi Rogers, walked away with the Best Cinematography Award.
NIGHT OF THE LEBEN TODD – a zombie flick loaded with splatter – earned a nod for best make-up.
REPOSSESSED won in the “Under 18” category – films made by filmmakers under the age of eighteen.
The audience choice award went to BAD REPUTATION.
“Itsy Bitsy,” which took first place in the “Super Short” category, was also honored for its wonderful special effects, which brought a menacing three-foot spider to life in a creepy comedy that had audiences howling with fear and laughter.
At the party at Boardner’s in Hollywood later, THE OTHER SIDE’s writer-director Gregg Bishop could be seen celebrating with some cast members from the film. I took the opportunity to speak to Jason Todd Ipson, the director of UNREST, who said that the film was inspired by his own experiences in medical school, including the feeling that he could sense the spirits of the autopsy cadavers. He went on to say that he had deliberately cast unknowns in the leads, so that the audience would believe them as young med students. Unfortunately, that made distribution problematic, especially overseas, where some kind of name value – even a faded former star – seems essential to generate interest. Luckily, Lions Gate stepped into the breech, saving the film from video obscurity.
Several awards were also given out for unproduced screenplays. A complete list should be showing up on the official Shiekfest website soon.