It’s interesting to see the reaction on a person’s face when you invite someone for a Horror Film screening. At first they’re very excited and interested to know more about it but after a while, a lot of them will take a step back saying ‘Well Thank You but I’m scared of Horror Films!’. I should know as I’ve encountered that reaction a zillion times in the last few days every time I invite a friend for our upcoming screenings across India.
Barring a few who may choose not to enjoy the screams and the shrieks, there’s a whole lot of new people who are excited to come for the screening just for the thrill of it! And I will feel this weird though not totally out of place sense of pride if I’m able to scare them really hard. ‘Cos that’s what a horror fest is supposed to do. Horror as a genre has perhaps been one of the most fascinating ones for me and most I know, eliciting different reactions from thrills to screams to a huge adrenaline rush. You know the devil’s just around the corner when you’re watching that silent, eerie shot but the anticipation of it is just enough to kill you. And that’s what makes or breaks a horror film.
The scariest part for the filmmaker (and this case it would be me, the curator of the fest) would be if people are not scared! Evil as it may sound, the idea is to frighten the viewer and if he’s not scared, then God help you… since the Devil surely hasn’t.
With most people having seen all sorts of horror films in the last so many years, Horror as a genre needs to constantly evolve and do something exciting either in terms of camerawork, story execution or simply story-telling to keep the viewers on tenterhooks. Yes, we’ve seen some really amazing Horror flicks in the last few years but this is 2012 and the viewer has already seen a lot. So a rehashed version of Exorcist and Omen is surely not gonna scare him any longer. Pray, it may not even scare school kids today.
For me, the most challenging part was to find the best of Horror Short Films from around the world that would also be exciting to the Indian viewer. And having put together a package that will hopefully scare and entertain, it’s been a learning journey for me over the last 6 months that I’ve worked on this package. Connecting with so many new filmmakers, going through tons of films before finally selecting, knowing about so many festivals around the world that are actually dedicated to Horror Short films… it truly is fun and enriching.
At SHAMIANA we’ve always believed in bringing the best short films from all over the world to Indian viewers and this is the first ever Horror Short Film Festival in the country and we’re doing it in 7 cities – Bombay, Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Pune and Guwahati.
I’m often asked, why we chose to put up a Horror Fest. I believe it’s important to appeal to all the senses and instincts of the viewer and a Horror film connects to the most primal instincts amongst us and it would be fun if we could connect to that one instinct in you.
We’re looking to curate many more exciting themes in the coming months and fests like these would now be a regular feature at SHAMIANA. Am sure we have God to bless us on that!
The fest begins this Friday, 13th April @ Eros Preview Theatre – 6.30 pm
Do check out the trailers of some of the films that will be shown during the Horror Fest-
(An Evening with my Comatose Mother)
Grace Huang msg to SHAMIANA …