Interview with Festival Director Bobby Keller (Nepa Horror Film Festival)

I recently sat down with the Festival Director of the new festival Nepa Horror Film Festival. Bobby Keller is a big champion of Horror and it shows in this interview. Enjoy:

Matthew Toffolo: What is the Nepa Horror Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

Bobby Keller: Getting their films shown to an audience. The festival is still just starting out, but as a filmmaker, I am grateful for ANY screening of my movies, so I would hope that I am helping other horror filmmakers out.

Matthew: What would you expect to see if you attend the festival?

Bobby: Our first festival was in October. It was 13 short horror films, local, national, and international. Now I do monthly screenings at Ale Mary’s in Scranton, which have been consisting of ‘cult following’ shot-on-video horror movies from the 1990’s feature films along with a few short films prior to the features. Last month I did a tribute to Todd Sheets and screened his Zombie Bloodbath trilogy. And February 18th, we will be showing Boardinghouse, Death Metal Zombies, and Warlock Video’s remake of Evil Night.

Matthew: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

Bobby: For the short films, basically be under 20 minutes, be horror themed, and don’t suck.

Matthew: What are people’s fascination with horror films?

Bobby: “It’s a way of life, maaaaan!” Seriously though, horror fans are the greatest people in the world. I think that’s part of what makes the festival so much fun. If 100 people show up or 5 people show up, everyone is still going to have a great time and get along. It’s not a bunch of hipsters with Twin Peaks TEETH saying “Shutter Speed” loud enough for girls to hear them.

Matthew: What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

Bobby: I started it to ‘showcase’ local filmmakers in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. And maybe one guy in Nanticoke. I had shown my own films locally with a friend of mine, Stachio. He asked me if I wanted to do anything in October, and I figured since it would be around Halloween, a horror film festival would be a great idea. I set up a FilmFreeway page for submissions, and ended up getting dozens of films from all over the world. The theme was “13 Short Films”, so only being able to pick 13 was tough. I guess my love for horror, being a filmmaker, and wanting to provide something for people in my area to do besides GET THEIR GLUG ON.

Matthew: How has the festival changed since its inception?

Bobby: We’re slowly and surely getting to the point where we won’t screw something up at a screening. Haha. It’s usually just little things that I’m sure the audience doesn’t even notice, but I’ll be sitting in the back having an anxiety attack and choking on popcorn.

Matthew: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

Bobby: In space.

Matthew: What film have you personally seen in your life?

Bobby: I think I saw Creepshow 700 times.

Matthew: In one sentence, what makes a great film?

Bobby: Chainsaws and The Butter Cream Gang.

Matthew: How is the film scene in your city?

Bobby: Not bad.. Voyager Video, JVW, and Twenty Five Eight are doing some cool stuff. But then you have assholes who spend more time updating the trivia on their IMDB page that nobody is going to read. I’m more into the Frog scene in Scranton. Philadelphia isn’t too bad either, check out Johnny Dickie and NEPA native Sam Valenti’s stuff.


Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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