Five Australian Women Directors, One Horror Anthology

So delighted that, following on the heels of XX, there's a new all-female-horror anthology in the works from the gals down-under in OZ. The anthology will be set in a small Tasmanian town and will be produced by Lizzette Atkins under Unicorn Films’ ‘Horror from Down Under’ brand.

Isabel Peppard (BUTTERFLIES),  Donna McRae (JOHNNY GHOST),  Ursula Dabrowsky (the DEMON Trilogy), Briony Kidd (THE ROOM AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS) and Rebecca Thomson (ZOMBIE LESBIAN MUSICAL) are the five Australian women directors, and this is the film's synopsis:

Australia`s hottest female directors grab horror by the balls and deliver tales of terror and mayhem. Apocalyptic visions, bloodthirsty curses, creatures gone mad, a voodoo granny, a rape revenge reversal and a sadomasochistic sugar daddy make up one gory and gruesome horror flick that will change the cinematic landscape forever. In a small Tasmanian town, haunted by its past and terrified by its future, five stories play out…

In a recent interview in ScreenHub, project helmer Briony Kidd said,

“First of all we have to have another ‘horror camp’ – like we did earlier this year – where we get together and have a road trip and look at spooky locations and discuss and develop our ideas. We all have pretty solid stories, but what we’re working on now is how to twine them all together in the most interesting way. Standard anthologies can often seem a bit slapped together, but we are very concerned that they fit together and have an overall story arc. We have very different styles but we have a lot in common, and we can each play to our strengths. The idea is to create quite a sophisticated story world that’s quite realistic, but within that realist world outrageous stuff starts occurring – as you’d guess from the project description!”

You can read the entire Screen Hub article by Rochelle Siemienowicz right here.




Newest Trailer For Donna McRae's Aussie Ghost Story 'Johnny Ghost'

Donna McRae's supernatural rock n' roll thriller "Johnny Ghost" has a brand new, much slicker trailer.

Millicent, a professional musician, lectures in music at a Melbourne university.  Popular with the students, she loves her job and the opportunities it brings herMillicent lives alone in her flat. She is also a recovering alcoholic who has a commemorative tattoo – ‘Johnny Ghost’ – that stretches across her shoulder.  It signifies a past that she has long since buried – the time of post punk Melbourne in the early ‘80’s, when she was a different person.  In fact she has suppressed the past so effectively it is concealed like a crypt inside her.  So she lives her life in almost  solitary confinement – paying for an old sin.  When she decides to take a risk and remove the tattoo she encounters ghosts who won’t let her move on so easily. They want her to pay for what she has done.

Check out more of Millicent and some dialogue the old teaser didn't have:

Plenty Of Women Directors Win At The 2012 PollyGrind Film Festival


At the third annual PollyGrind Film Festival in Las Vegas, which ran for five weeks with 17 days of programming in October, 13 feature films had world premieres. Of this huge and amazing lineup of underground, independent, innovative, and awesome films,m many women directors were recoignized for their contributions to the horror, exploitation, fantasy, and action genres.

"Nightmare Factory", Donna Davies' documentary about special FX legend Greg Nicotero, won Best Documentary.

"Best Woman Director" of a feature film went to director Lindsay Denniberg for her 80s video fantasy/horror send-up "Video Diary of a Lost Girl." The film also took home the specialized "It Came From the 80s Underground Award," and lead Priscilla McEver won "Best Actress in a Fantasy Film" for her performance.

Donna McRae's Aussie rocknroll, black and white ghost story "Johnny Ghost" was named the film with the "Most Heart."

Thomai Hatsios' short crime thriller "Gasp" won "Best Crime Short."

Jessica Burgess' "The Graveyard Shift" won "Best Action Short."

Mink Stole won "Best Supporting Actress" in Rebecca Lorenne Doppelt's short horror comedy "Bugbaby."

Jennifer Campbell was given "Best Woman Director" of a short film for her thrilling horror "Hike."

Last, Elizabeth Herrick was awarded "Best Director Under 15" for her short animated comedy "My License."

I have to give mad props to film programmer Chad Clinton Freeman for programming such a varied and amazing lineup; one that includes more equal numbers of new and innovative female and male directors than other genre film festivals out there.

Pollygrind Film Festival: 'Johnny Ghost', 'Video Diary of a Lost Girl', 'Danland', 'Smell of Love, 'Nightmare Factory'

The 2012 Pollygrind Film Festival is, yet again, screening some amazing grindhouse, underground, indie, and awesome new films.

Among the lineup are some oldies but goodies and some *yay* newies that I'm excited about!




Donna McCrae's "Johnny Ghost":

"Video Diary of a Lost Girl" by Lindsay Denniberg:

And finally Donna Davies' documentary about Greg Nicotero's SFX workshop, "Nightmare Factory," is getting some play

"Danland"  – a documentary co-directed by Alexandra Berger

"The Smell of Love", co-directed by Alexandra Zhuravleva, for which there is no teaser or trailer, but a very strange synopsis:

 The first in the history of the city of Tver (Russian Federation) full-length trash-movie featuring the iconic representatives of Tver fringe elite and the intellectuals, based on the story "FEN" by the German underground writer Karl Heinz from Berlin.

Not sure what to make of that!



All The News That's Fit To Eat: 'American Mary', 'Adventures in Plymptoons', 'It Came From Kuchar', 'Beat Down', 'Johnny Ghost'

Donna McCrae's supernatural feature "Johnny Ghost" won Best screenplay and special jury prize at Melbourne Underground Film Festival Yesterday!

"American Mary"'s Katharine Isabelle scores Best Actress at London' sFright Fest courtesy of Total Film. Also – you can read about 900 positive reviews of Jen and Sylvia Soska's horror feature on their Facebook Page. It's incredible! I'd link them all but I'd be here for hours. That's how many people loved it.

Deanne Foley's action feature "Beat Down" got a great spread in local Canadian rag "Telegram":

Jennifer M. Kroot's documentary "It Came From Kuchar" got a great write-up in EYEBLAZE #3: "It certainly gives us an invaluable insight on the men behind the no-budget masterpieces Hold me While I’m Naked, Craven Sluck, Sins of the Fleshapoids, The Secret of Wendal Samsom and Eclipse of the Sun Virgin, amongst others."

Check out this awesome Q n A with cartoonist Bill Plympton and director Alexia Anastasio at the 2012 Animation Film Festival in Los Angeles about their film "Adventures in Plymptoons":

 Enjoy your news!

Awards at the Minneapolis & Super Shorts Film Festivals

The 2011 Minneapolis Underground Film Festival, here which took place last week, prostate awarded Best Editing to the horror/thriller feature "Johnny Ghost" by Donna McRae; Best Cinematography to the experimental scifi "Simulacra" by Sumie Garcia, and Best Documentary Award to "Noise & Resistance" from German avant-garde horror director Julia Ostertag.
The Maiden and the Princess, the fantasy directed by Ali Scher, has been nominated for "Best Director" at Super Shorts International Film Festival.

"Johnny Ghost" Premieres at Minneapolis Underground

This is exciting new! "Johnny Ghost," the new Lynchian ghost rock 'n' roll story directed by Aussie Donna McRae, will have its world premiere at the Minneapolis Underground Film Festival (December 2-4, 2011) on Sat Dec 3 at 12 noon. Donna McRae and her production designer Michael Vale will be in attendance.

The feature-length ghost story, which I've been looking forward to since seeing the teaser, is about "Millicent, a professional musician, lectures in music at a university. She is also a recovering alcoholic who has a commemorative tattoo that stretches across her shoulder.  When she decides to remove the tattoo, she encounters ghosts of her post-punk past who won’t let her move on so easily.


Also screening at the MUFF is the feature-length documentary "Noise and Resistance" on December 3 at 2:15 pm. German filmmakers Julia Ostertag  and Francesca Araiza Andrade follow DIY subculture in Europe; featuring punks, squatters, artists, musicians, you name it. Ostertag also directed the post-apocalyptic experimental sexual film "Saila." Check out the trailer for "Noise and Resistance":

On Saturday, December 3 at 10:00 am, Daina Krummins's experimental thriller "Glass" will play. I don't know how else to describe this film, except just 'watch the trailer':

There's also a short film that everyone there should check out: Emma Varker's "Repetition Compulsion," also on December 3, at 5:15 pm as part of the HORROR shorts lineup. Also Aussie Varker created the short experimental fantasy "Hansel and Gretel" set in some kind of Arcadian alterverse, which has been screening around festivals (and which I am dying to see). "Repetition Compulsion" seems to involve pathological behaviors and… blood… somehow.  No trailer for this anywhere, but I'll keep you posted on the elusive Emma Varker and her films.

The Minneapolis Underground Film Festival takes place Dec 2-4, 2011 at MCAD – The Minneapolis College of Art & Design, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

Teaser for Donna McRae's "Johnny Ghost" Channels Lynch

Donna McRae wrote, produced, and directed this black and white rock n roll nightmare of a movie from Autsralia.

The feature-length horror film presents a "Twilight Zone"-ish story, with a bit of David Lynch for good measure to judge by the teaser, about Millicent: a professional musician who lectures in music at a university. She is also a recovering alcoholic who has a commemorative tattoo that stretches across her shoulder.  When she decides to remove the tattoo, she encounters ghosts of her post-punk past who won’t let her move on so easily. Think drugs, nightmares, regrets, music, and the clash between class-conscious punk-rock sensibilities and normal, bill-paying day-to-day mundania that forces one to live within the system.

McRae made the film for about $30,000 Aussie dollars and it only took ten days to shoot. I'll let you know when it's coming to a festival near you and you can keep up with it here.