Greetings, fiends! Today we’ve got some exciting news to bring you, including the announcements of our theatre show, music event, a very special film screening, our submission dates and more! Following our recent announcement of this year’s festival dates – 11th-16th November – we wanted to give you an early taster of what to expect from us this year! Before we get into some details though, we’re very excited to reveal that this year we’ll be celebrating that most reviled of institutions, the Video Recordings Act 1984, that brutal throwback to the dark ages that turned many wonderful (and not so wonderful films) into video nasties. We won’t be letting this anniversary go by without paying proper tribute, so with that in mind, and our shameless embracing of the 1980’s throughout the whole festival, what have we got in store for you?
Professor Martin Barker, who was one of the highest profile opponents to the video nasties panic, will be giving an exclusive presentation all about his role fighting the government, the media and Mary Whitehouse herself. He’ll be looking at how it all came about, exposing the lies and fabrications, and sharing with us this whole sorry affair from his own personal experience.
To complement this, our regular contributor Gavin Baddeley will be taking the stage for his talk ‘Likely to Deprave and Corrupt - A Celebration of Three Centuries of Wrongness’. While the video nasties scandal of the 1980s is perhaps the best known media panic over the potential power of horror to debase and pervert the unwary, it was far from the first, or indeed last such hysterical episode. Infamously depraved and corrupt author Gavin Baddeley takes us on a thrilling tour through the most lurid examples of tawdry tabloid outrage and lynch mob censorship, before speculating whether, just maybe, we have all been twisted by our addiction to horror...
We divert attention from the 1980s for our big showpiece event for this year’s festival: we’ve never done anything like this before, and are stupidly excited to pull it off! We’ve taken over Aberystwyth’s steam train “The Vale of Rheidol” and will be offering an atmospheric Edwardian train journey, drinks and a screening of the Peter Cushing / Christopher Lee classic Horror Express on the platform itself - not to be missed!
Our celebration of all things 80s continues with some splendidly cheesy gimmicks which we know you’ll love! We won’t spoil all the surprises just yet, but keen-eyed visitors to Aberystwyth Arts Centre will have already seen the start of our decorations, which is the sign of bigger things to come!
We are also very, very excited for this year’s music event. The Leisure Hive presents Last Night a DJ Took My Life, a full-on disco…with a twist. The Leisure Hive is a club night run by Hedonism Bot and familiar face Dellamorte, a DJ and production duo who came together via a shared love of space disco, forgotten pop, weird prog rock and, of course, creaky old sci-fi and horror movies. Currently based in East London’s cutting-edge nightlife scene, they specialise in entertaining their audiences with a mix of freshly unearthed sounds, stone cold classics, their own edits and remixes, unbridled enthusiasm and the occasional ridiculous outfit. For their Abertoir debut they are promising to mash up, mix and remix classic horror themes, forgotten songs about horror films, and the kind of proven floor-fillers that you might expect to hear in a 1984 disco. There might also be one or two (un)pleasant surprises along the way…the night promises to be so much fun that it’s bound to be banned! If you’re a hoarder of old clothes, or just have a really bad taste in fashion, we invite you to dress up for the occasion, as there will be prizes available for the people with the best costumes!
We’re very excited to also announce this year’s theatre show, The Temple, a claustrophobic and atmospheric adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft’s undersea tale of possession and madness, devised and performed by actor Michael Sabbaton. It is 1917. When a strange ivory, carved head comes into the possession of the commander of the U-29, the boat becomes cursed as it is drawn into a spiralling descent of dissention and madness. The last survivor, the Captain, surrounded by his dead crew, is gradually taken over by fear and paranoia as the horrors on the boat, and the horrors outside it, await.
Phew, keeping up?! We’ve also got some very important dates to announce. Submissions for this year’s festival will open on April 28th. Submissions will close July 28th. Further details about the submission process will be available nearer the time, but as ever we want your short films and your feature films! Short films must be no longer than 15 minutes and made in 2013 or 2014, while features must be over 60 minutes long. As always, we’re looking forward to finding the best and brightest of new horror filmmaking!
There’s plenty more things planned, plenty of guests we’ve got lined up, and plenty of surprises we won’t reveal just yet…but we’re shaping together a splendid festival this year, and we look forward to welcoming you back!