Monday, 18 October 2010

Bram Stoker Film Festival

Well, we are back. The Bram Stoker Film Festival has just completed it's second year, and congrats are in order to the McCarthy's for putting on a great festival once again... if it is at all possible for you to make it to Whitby next year, 27th-30th October... get yourself some tickets!

So, back on topic...  Vampires.  We had a great exhibition from Hammer studios, with several legends from classic vampire films attending, all of whom were happy to talk... Caroline Munro, Shane Briant and UK scream queen Emily Booth among them.

As for vampire films... we started with Umbrage by Drew Cunningham, which is well worth watching, even if it isnt going to win any oscars.

A couple of shorts that really left an impression were The Familiar and Charmante Mira.  The Familiar looks to be a set up for a TV series, and quality wise it should get one!  Trailer is here.

Charmante Mira was great... another short, featuring two Parisian vampires struggling to integrate and adapt to modern society.  If you ever get chance to see the full film, do so... would have been my pick of the short films put on at the festival.  The website and trailer are here.

One film I have to mention here is Red Victoria. Its not a vampire film, rather one with an undead theme... but what a film! This one won the "Best Picture" award for the whole festival, and it got our votes and won the audience award as most popular film, so well done to director Tony Brownrigg for making an absolute must-see film.

There are other reasons for mentioning Tony Brownrigg... he has vampire material on the way, and if they are anywhere near the level of Red Victoria, they will be well worth seeing.  One upcoming project is to be based on the vampire / undead / demon society in Second Life, but the big news is that Gabrielle Faust's Eternal Vigilence series has signed up Tony to be the director for the film adaptation!

Disappointment of the festival had to be Renfield the Undead... the hype suggested more, but at a loooong 2 hrs 15mins (at least) and some not so great effects and acting... yeah, not so good.

Another director worth a mention is Devi Snively... her film Trippin' won Best Screenplay award, and she has a couple of vampire projects in the pipeline that i'll try and bring you news of here.

We had a Hammer documentary following the makeup and special effects, great to see lots of comments from Christopher Lee in there... Dracula, Prince of Darkness on the big screen was a good watch, as was another classic Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter.  Add to that an excellent vampire ball going on into the early hours one night, Vampire Wine by the bottle... as i said, if you can get there next year, do so... well worth it!


  1. Were we at the same festival??

    I guess there is a difference between festival material and commercial release material. Out of all the films there (aside from Hammer) and I sat through all of them... Renfield was the most commercial with the best production values. It was epic for a B movie, and I thought it very entertaining and fun.

    A lot of the other films, were shot on SD cameras, and had major sound and technical issues, poor Special FX, and were basic Festival fodder.

    Renfield I expect to see in wide release soon. It was said this was not the final cut, as the film was rushed out expressly for the festival. Something the organizers neglected to mention. The festival seemed to treat Renfield as an afterthought, even though it was having its world premiere there. I found that quite sad.

    I enjoyed Renfield. I thought it fun, fresh and an original re imagining of the Stoker tale.

    I thought the actor playing Renfield was tremendous and carried the movie wonderfully.

    I was dumbfounded at the films that were given awards. Really? Best screenplay for Trippin?

    And 45 minutes into the Commune I was still waiting for the suspense to build. I got tired and left that one, so I don't know if it really earned its award for best international film, but I am curious.

    Red Victoria...two awards?


    My two pence.

  2. The last post was nothing short of sour grapes. There was never any sound issues and that is an insult to the terrific work the organisers put in. This post is ridiculous in the extreme. And I wonder if you actually attended the right festival or are you the PR executive for Renfield? Make yourself known to the readers please. As you have made some very childish statements. Shame on you.

  3. Its all opinions isnt it... one of our gang of four that went loved renfied and gave it a 7/10 on the way out, but the other three of us really didnt like it... taliesin i think rated it at about 2-3, and i dont think he's a bad judge of a film. No, not for me... i'd have to agree with the second anonymous post, and for me the festival was great.