In 2014, emerging women directors of genre films will have a platform to share their new shorts with the world. Heidi Honeycutt, former Director of Programming for the Viscera Film Festival, has teamed up with fellow former Viscera Board Director Stacy Pippi Hammon to revamp the Etheria Film Night, Honeycutt’s science fiction and fantasy festival, originally held in Somerville, MA, in partnership with the former Viscera Organization and movie website/screening series All Things Horror. The content of Honeycutt’s all-female-directed action and thriller festival, Full Throttle, will be combined with the new Etheria Film Night.
With the closure of The Viscera Organization in 2013, which curated and screened new short horror films directed by women, there is a void in the world of independent and genre film. The new Etheria Film Festival will also fill that empty space by including horror when they present a one-night showcase of the best brand new and innovative genre films directed by women at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, California, on July 12, 2014.
Co-owner and Director of Programming Heidi Honeycutt says, “It’s time to expand our concept of what it means to be a genre film director. I am going to deliberately seek out films that will make people think, scream, feel, and rethink what it means to be a ‘female director.’ I want to see the number of women making great genre films go up; I want women to feel an unprecedented sense of equality in the film industry, and I think this is one small way we can help make that happen. Things can only go up from here for women directors; I am excited that we can do something to change the perception that women directors are only good at period dramas, documentaries, and romantic comedies. There are some vicious, violent, stunning, surreal, scary, and crazy films being made by women every day; and we’re going to show you just a few of the very best ones to blow your mind.”
Hammon is co-owner and the Film Night Director. From Hammon: “Although I left the Viscera Organization after the 2012 festival, I have remained passionate about providing a venue for women filmmakers to have their hard work celebrated. I had no interest in ever competing against Viscera as a perfect outlet for the filmmakers already existed. Now that this is not available for the filmmakers, I want to ensure that they continue to have a voice supporting their work. In meeting with Heidi and learning her ideas to reorganize her existing ventures into one, consolidated product that keeps the filmmakers and their work front and center, how could I say no?”
American Cinematheque, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting all forms of films through screenings at the historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, are just as dedicated to providing an outlet for women genre filmmakers. The 2014 Etheria Film Festival will be co-presented by American Cinematheque on July 12, 2014, at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, California.
Though the main event is being moved to Hollywood, Etheria will continue to partner with All Things Horror to include Somerville, MA, as the East Coast premiere location. The tour will include stand-alone events, other festivals, and university presentations around the world and will be under the direction of another Viscera alum, Director of Media and Distribution and co-owner James Morgart. “The lack of women filmmakers in Hollywood is a social problem,” says Morgart. “A festival like Etheria, where we plan to screen films internationally in varied commercial and academic settings assists, is accomplishing three things: raises public awareness of established female talent and of the current social problem, cultivates aspiring talent, and encourages the public to demand more of their art and entertainment.”
Completing the Etheria team is Film Programmer and co-owner Kayley Viteo. “Etheria Film Night is about widening the scope not only for what it means to be a female director in general, but also what it means to be a genre film director in particular,” she says. “I think that making and viewing genre film both have the potential to be powerfully transgressive, and Etheria Film Night recognizes that at its core. Giving female filmmakers a space to showcase their creative ability across any number of genre lines is an important step forward in the movement for equality in the film industry. I’m extremely excited about being a part of that.”
The Etheria Film Night is open for submissions now through March 31st, 2014. Filmmakers can submit online at etheriafilmfestival.com/submissions. The lineup will be curated by an array of film festival programmers from around the world such as Mitch Davis (Fantasia Film Festival), Kier-La Janisse (House of Psychotic Women), and Briony Kidd (Stranger With My Face Film Festival), and many more.
The Etheria Film Night is currently at work on a new website. In the meantime, they will post updates on their Facebook page.