Interview with Denise Gossett, Festival Founder/Director for the Shriekfest Film Festival

Heading into their 16th year, the Shriekfest Film Festival & Screenplay Competition is one of the top Horror Festivals in the world today. Founder Denise Gossett was voted number 5 out of 13 Most Influential Women In Horror History!

Go to the website and find out about the 2016 season.
http://www.shriekfest.com

I recently sat down with Denise Gossett to talk about her festival.

deniseMatthew Toffolo: Bottomline, what are you attempting to accomplish (and obviously succeeding at) with the Shriekfest Festival?

Denise Gossett: Well, my goal has always been to help get exposure for all of these talented filmmakers and writers that people may not know about. We are all about the indie filmmaker.

Matthew: Why do you think there is such large fan base for Horror Films? Why do so many people like being frightened and scared when watching something?

Denise: I think it’s the same reason people look at a car accident, we are curious, however, we like to experience it when it’s not a life or death situation..that’s where horror films come in. Being frightened is fun and exciting, it’s a visceral experience. Same reason people love roller coasters. The thrill of it all.

Matthew: What motivated you to start this festival?

Denise: I had starred in a horror film & realized that there weren’t any horror festivals in the U.S to help promote it, horror seems to be the ignored step child of the industry and I wanted to change that.

Matthew: What have you learned the most running a successful festival for over 16 years?

Denise: You have to be kind, you have to help people and you have to enjoy it and be passionate….these creatives are trusting me with their babies, whether it’s a script or a film, and I should treat that baby with the utmost care and love.

Matthew: How has the festival changed since its inception?

Denise: The main passion and caring has remained the same, of course, but, now we get submissions from every country out there, Shriekfest wins all kinds of awards, and we have regular fans that attend every year. Also, if you have a win at Shriekfest, it does seem to open doors for people.

Matthew: How many films do you anticipate showcasing at your 2016 Film Festival?

Denise: We will screen approximately 45 films!

Matthew: Can you give us a sneak peak of what to expect for the 2016 Festival?

Denise: Hmmm, we are discussing that right now….ways to make our “Sweet 16th” birthday extra special. New trophies, bigger, better parties, some new categories.

Matthew: Where do you see your festival in 5 years?

Denise: Oh goodness….well, I may not be running it by then. I am an actor as well and my career is really taking off and it’s making it very difficult for me to do both. We’ll see. 🙂 As long as Shriekfest is around, I will be involved in some way. It’s my baby and like I said earlier, I want it treated well. So, in 5 years, it will be extremely hard to get tickets to any of the screenings. How’s that? LOL

Matthew: What film have you seen the most in your life?

Denise: Grease 🙂 I was obsessed with it when I was younger.

Matthew: Is there a country that consistently makes great horror films that you show at your festival year after year?

Denise: Spain really produces some amazing films.

Matthew: Has there ever been a case where a film that you watch that gets submitted to your festival is just too violent or just too gory?

Denise: Well, there are some, but I have an audience that loves that stuff, so, it doesn’t affect decisions.

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

Denise: A great horror film has a great story with some new or unique ideas, great acting, great filming, great sound, great editing, basically, a complete package.

Thank you so much for the interview. I’m honored.

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the festival director for the WILDsound Film & Writing Festival.

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Today’s Instagram Posts: Doctor Who Actors, Actors Perform Screenplay Reading, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Blondies

Today’s Instagram Posts:

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Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month: http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Watch the September 2015 Best Scene Screenplay Readings

DEADLINE: Submit your best scene from your screenplay. Have it performed using professional actors:
http://www.wildsound.ca/submit_your_favorite_scene.html

Best Scene Reading of AMONG US
September 2015 Reading

Written by Renana Hancock

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Allison Kampf
EDDIE – Ben Hur
MERAZURE – Angelica Alejandro
VEE – Holly Sarchfield

Best Scene Reading of FEI JI
September 2015 Reading

Written by James C. Peters

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Laura Kyswaty
TOM – Ben Hur
HUNG BO – Chris Reid-Geisler
COLONEL PAO – Gabriel Darku
JOAN – Angelica Alejandro

Best Scene Reading of CHILDREN WANT WHAT THEY WANT WHEN THEY WANT IT
September 2015 Reading
Written by Carolyn Reese

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Holly Sarchfield
THE DUKE – Ben Hur
MARSHALL – Laura Kyswaty
CONTESTANT 1 – Gabriel Darku
CONTESTANT 2 – Chris Reid-Geisler
CONTESTANT 3 – Angelica Alejandr

Watch the September 2015 Feature Screenplay Winner. Submit your own script by Sept. 15th

DEADLINE September 15th: FEATURE Screenplay Festival – Get FULL FEEDBACK. Get script performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsound.ca/screenplaycontest.html

FEATURE SCRIPT Reading of LEGACY
September 2015 Reading
Written by Marc W. Johnson

Interview with the writer:
http://wildsoundfestivalreview.com/2015/08/31/feature-script-reading-legacy-by-marc-w-johnson/

SYNOPSIS:

After a werewolf slaughters the family of a pregnant newlywed and she loses her child, she becomes a cold-hearted hunter and uncovers it’s her best friend.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
ROSE – Erynn Brook
VIRGINIA – Pip Dwyer
GILES – Neil Kulin
BETH – Alissa DeGrazia
VINCE/MULDANO – Ryan Anning
TALBOT – Steve Rizzo

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Watch WINNING Screenplay Readings – Watch videos of past winners performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/feature_script_readings.html

READ 100s of testimonials from past submitters –
http://wildsoundfestivalreview.com/feature-screenplay-submission-testimonials-wildsound-screenplay-contest-review

ALIEN Stories from the Writing and Film Festival

Watch winning stories and movies showcased at the Writing and Film Festival in the ALIEN Genre: Short, Feature, TV Screenplays. Short Stories. Novels. StALIEN Plays. Poems. Stories from festival made into movies: http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/alien_stories.html

Watch the best of ALIEN Stories:

Feature Script: ORIGINS
May 2015 Reading
Written by Michael Panek & Guershon Moreno

SHORT – BATMAN/SUPERMAN FAN Script
March 2015 Reading
Written by Glenn Magas & Dale Fabrigar

Chapter 7 Novel: SURVIVAL YEAR
June 2015 Reading
Written by Jennifer Shearer French

TWITTER Short Story – To Boldly Go by Jonny Kratzel

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Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month: http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Watch PRISON Stories from the Writing and Film Festival

Watch winning stories and movies showcased at the Writing and Film Festival in the PRISON genre: Short, Feature, TV Screenplays. Short Stories. Novels. Stage Plays. Poems. Stories from festival made into movies:
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/prison_stories.html

See the best of PRISON Stories from the Festival:

SHORT SCRIPT: GIVE MY LOVE TO ROSE
December 2014 Reading
Written by Michael Sieve
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/give_my_love_to_rose.html

SHORT SCRIPT – MEN OF COLOR
October 2013 Reading
Written by Mike Kirby
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/men_of_color_short_script.html

ALMOST LEGIT Video Pitch
TV PILOT
Written by Miriam Goodspeed and Ellen Schnur
http://wildsoundfestivalreview.com/2015/04/01/video-pitch-for-almost-legit-by-miriam-goodspeed-and-ellen-schnur/

Feature Screenplay Reading – SHOOTING STAR
September 2014 Reading
Written by Richard Harrison
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/shooting_star.html

FEATURE SCRIPT – LUDLOW
August 2013 Reading
Written by Bradd Hopkins
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/ludlow.html

FEATURE SCRIPT – RUM HOUSE
January 2014 Reading
Written by Michael Sieve
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/rum_house.html

STAGE PLAY: VEILS OF JUSTICE
February 2015 Reading
Written by Chris Payne
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/veils_of_justice.html

The Price Has Been Paid – Poetry Reading by Julie Clark

Watch SERIAL KILLER Movies, Novels, and Screenplay Readings from the Festival

Watch the best of movies, novels, and screenplay readings with a SERIAL KILLER setting in its plot:
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/serial_killer_stories.html

Poetry Movie: HAMMER
Horror/Serial Killer Poem
Written by Cassandra Swan

Written by Cassandra Swan

Produced by Matthew Toffolo

Edited by Yujin Song

Music by Andrey Kireyev

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UNLEASH HELL
May 2014 Reading
Written by GK Parker

STORY Read By – Sean Ballantyne

SYNOPSIS:

A sociopathic LAPD cop terrorizes Los Angeles during the 1984 summer Olympics. As his horrific crimes become more frequent he is hunted by indifferent detectives who have no idea they are searching for one of their own.

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SHORT STORY READING – THE BABYSITTER
July 2014 Reading
Written by Sean Hood

STORY Read By – Holly Sarchfield

SYNOPSIS:

The Babysitter” tells the story of Annette, a teenage girl who is possessed by a spirit who is forcing her to commit violent acts against animals, and eventually the children that she is charged with taking care of.

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WATCH – HANNIBAL TV Show Spec
April 2014 Reading
by Ibba Armancas

SYNOPSIS:

Hannibal Lecter’s attempts to leave the country are thwarted when Jack Crawford pulls him into a politically charged case that leaves children robbed of their hands, tongues, and eyes. Meanwhile, successfully framed for Lecter’s murders, Will Graham negotiates how much of himself he’s willing to compromise in order to get back at the man that destroyed his life.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
HANNIBAL LECTER – Scott McCulloch
WILL GRAHAM – John Tokatlidis
JACK CRAWFORD – Donovan Hardy
MASON VERGER – Tyson Vines
ALANA BLOOM – Kassandra Santos
BLANCHE – Amanda Mona Weise
BEVERLY – Denise Yuen

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Also, Free logline submissions. Festival network averages over 95K visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month: http://www.wildsoundfestival.com