New Yorkers can now celebrate Halloween a few days early. The Museum of Arts and Design hosts the 3rd edition of the short film fest Daggers, featuring 12 exquisitely creepy films that will share the spotlight on October 20, 2011, at 7:00 pm, and on October 22 at 3:00 pm in the Theater at MAD. Curated by noted critic Peter Gutiérrez, the all-shorts Daggers showcases work by up-and-coming talents, as well as contemporary classics by renowned filmmakers such as Denis Villeneuve and Jason Eisener. This mini-fest sports a macabre mix that is sure to please horror-hounds of all stripes.

“Horror is a much richer and more diverse genre than it is often given credit for,” observes Gutiérrez, who founded Daggers in 2008. “With Daggers we get to show off that range of artistry. In this year’s lineup, for example, we have surrealism, gothic mystery, psychological horror, a silent film, a musical, Cronenberg-style body horror, stop-motion animation, an experimental dance piece, and even gore-comedy. The goal is to represent the unsettling, the poetic, the thought-provoking, and yes, the stomaching-turning.”

Unspooling its dozen films in about two hours, Daggers will screen some of the best short-form horror from around the world, giving local audiences a chance to enjoy titles that are typically accessible only via major film festivals. Shot on the streets of Prague, Prahands recalls classic avant-garde cinema while New Born is an early effort of Israel’s Navot Papushado, co-writer and co-director of this year’s Tribeca favorite Rabies (Kalevet). Tasmania is represented by Briony Kidd’s The Room at The Top of The Stairs, which makes its New York premiere. And of course there will be films by American, Canadian, and British filmmakers.

These include the H.P. Lovecraft adaptation The Other Gods, Matthew Garrett’s Beating Hearts, Firas Momani’s Fantasia-winning The Adder’s Bite, and the world premiere of (Baby) It’s You, a fun twist on the archetypal “mad scientist” film. Also making its New York premiere is Jerome Sable’s acclaimed Sundance hit, The Legend of Beaver Dam. As always, the programming strategy seeks to combine fresh titles, many of which are new to Big Apple audiences, with ones that are well worthy of encores. Faye Jackson’s Lump was shown directly before Pan’s Labyrinth at 2006’s New York Film Festival, and Jason (Hobo with a Shotgun) Eisener’s Treevenge won the audience award for best short at the 2008 edition of the New York City Horror Film Festival. Moviegoers will know Next Floor’s Denis Villeneuve as the director behind the Oscar-nominated Incendies, but may not have been able to catch this short, a prize-winner at TIFF, Sitges, and Cannes, not to mention a recipient of the Genie, Canada’s highest filmmaking award. The lineup also happens to boast another Genie-winner, Pedro Pires’s unforgettable Danse Macabre.

“From last year’s Zombo Italiano and Jodorowsky series to this fall’s Sion Sono retro, MAD is proving itself to be a force in bold yet offbeat genre programming,” explains Gutiérrez. “That’s an approach that appeals to New York’s cinephiles and horror fans alike. It also happens to be very close to Daggers’ sensibility, so I couldn’t be happier that this unique event has found such a great venue.”

Daggers will screen in the Theater at MAD on October 20, 2011 at 7:00 pm and on October 22, 2011 at 3:00 pm.

Both screenings $10 General
$7 MAD Members and Students.

Daggers is curated by film critic Peter Gutiérrez, frequent contributor to Rue Morgue and TribecaFilm.Com.

For more information, or to order tickets, please visit: Mad Museum – Daggers

The 2011 Daggers Lineup (All films will be projected digitally):

The Adder’s Bite (2010)
Dir. Firas Momani
9 min

(Baby) It’s You (2011)
Dir. David Cowles, Jeremy Galante, and Brad Pattullo
3 min

Beating Hearts (2010)
Dir. Matthew Garrett
11 min

Danse Macabre (2009)
Dir. Pedro Pires
9 min

The Legend of Beaver Dam (2010)
Dir. Jerome Sable
12 min

Lump (2006)
Dir. Faye Jackson
12 min

New Born (2006)
Dir. Navot Papsushado
14 min

Next Floor (2008)
Dir. Denis Villeneuve
11 min

The Other Gods (2006)
Dir. Mike Boas
6 min

Prahands (2007)
Dir. Charles Pieper
5 min

The Room at the Top of the Stairs (2011)
Dir. Briony Kidd
15 min

Treevenge (2008)
Dir. Jason Eisener
16 min

The Museum of Arts and Design explores what Chief Curator David R. McFadden calls “the blur zone between art, design, and craft today.” It focuses on contemporary creativity and the ways in which artists and designers from around the world transform materials through processes ranging from the artisanal to the digital. The Museum’s exhibition program examines and illuminates issues and ideas, highlights invention and craftsmanship, and celebrates the limitless potential of materials and techniques when used by gifted and innovative artists. MAD’s permanent collection is global in scope and focuses on art, craft, and design from 1950 to the present day. Central to the Museum’s mission is education. The Museum’s dynamic new facility features classrooms and studios for master classes, seminars, and workshops for students, families, and adults. Its Open Studios enable visitors to engage artists at work and further enhance exhibition programs. Lectures, films, performances, and symposia related to the Museum’s collection and topical subjects affecting the world of contemporary art, craft, and design are held in the building’s historic 144-seat auditorium.

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