Stanley Film Festival ’15: Award Winners Announced, 2016 Edition ConfirmedBooks/Art/Culture,News Ken W. Hanley
For those following FANGORIA on social media, you may have noticed our coverage of the Stanley Film Festival last weekend, which included multiple incredible films, a one-of-a-kind immersion game and some live events that would make the gruesome gods of horror proud. And now, the festival has officially come to a close with the announcement of the 2015 Award Winners, as well as the first official confirmation that the Stanley Film Festival will return in 2016.
The audience award for feature film was one of the few that were not disclosed at the festival itself, as tallying was still in progress, but the winner is not a huge surprise: Todd Strauss-Schulson’s THE FINAL GIRLS took home the prize; look for coverage on that film as it becomes available in the coming days. For those unfamiliar, the film stars Taissa Farmiga (AMERICAN HORROR STORY) as Max, a young girl who finds herself and her friends sucked into the fictional slasher movie that established her late mother as a scream queen. Co-starring Alia Shawkat (ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT), Thomas Middleditch (SILICON VALLEY), Alexander Ludwig (LONE SURVIVOR), Nina Dobrev (REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA), Adam DeVine (WORKAHOLICS) and Malin Akerman (WATCHMEN), THE FINAL GIRLS is an imaginative, hilarious and even heartbreaking spin on the meta-horror film, and was one of this writer’s highlights of the festival.
Both the Jury Award and Audience Award for Short Film went to Ryan Spindell’s THE BABYSITTER MURDERS, the subversive short that was one among the festival’s most-anticipated- and for good reason. For those looking to see it, keep an eye on the festival run, but also look out for THE MORTUARY COLLECTION, the anthology film in which THE BABYSITTER MURDERS is intended to be the first chapter. And make sure look for our chat with director Spindell in the upcoming days as well.
The Stanley Dean’s Cup Prize for a Colorado Short Film went to Meritt Crocker’s MOON STUDIOS, while the Stanley Dean’s Cup Prize for International Short Film went to Karol Jurga’s INHERENT NOISE. Furthermore, Alix Bannon’s WHITE ISLAND won the Birth.Movies.Death. Stanley Filmmaking Frenzy, which challenged filmmakers to create a short film (5 minutes or less) about ghosts, and the winner of which earns a free two-night stay in the infamous Room 217.
Previously announced award winners included the Visionary Award for Radius-TWC Co-president Tom Quinn, whose release strategy for IT FOLLOWS and work with both Radius and Magnet Releasing furthered the scope of independent genre distribution as a whole, and the Master of Horror Award for Stuart Gordon, who described the festival as “the scariest Film Festival I’ve ever been to.” And while dates are currently unavailable, Stanley’s announcement did indeed state the festival will return in 2016. This writer will undoubtedly be there… will you?