Popcorn Frights Fourth Wave Program Announced

Popcorn Frights Announces Fourth Wave of Programming for Hybrid Festival

The Ninth Annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival will be a hybrid experience presenting both in-theater and virtual film offerings from August 10-20, 2023

Popcorn Frights is about to hit the nation’s horror fans with eleven days of terrifying premieres, but it’s not just the features that will make you scream – we’ve got short films that pack a real BITE!

From the darkest corners of the genre cinema world, we are thrilled to welcome both returning short film storytellers to daring new voices who will transport you to uncharted territories of terror and innovation. Whether you’re in the theater or joining virtually, film lovers nationwide can dive in and discover the most exciting new voices in genre cinema through eight short film blocks featuring 67 film premieres during the Festival’s eleven-day program, running August 10-20.

Highlights in the short film program feature 14 world premieres, including new midnighter scaremongers EXPOSURE starring “Cobra Kai’s” Mary Mouser and directed by Jacob Kitaeff & David Grace and, JANELLE’S BABY directed by Michael Squid, LATCH directed by Ashton Arthur Shemet, PASSIVE/AGGRESSIVE directed by Abiel Bruhn, and WRITER’S BLOCK directed by Steven Schloss, as well as films from three returning Popcorn Frights alumni, including Dani Barker & Jessey Nelson’s frighteningly timely AI ARTIST, Hans Stjernswärd’s chilling SANKTA LUCIA, and Ryan Valdez’s haunting HAPPY ON MY OWN, whose film last year won the Festival’s “Scariest Short Film Award.”

Continuing Popcorn Frights’ vital commitment to celebrating the cream of the homegrown crop, the Festival proudly presents its “Homegrown: 100% Pure Fresh Squeezed Florida Horror” program that is dedicated to renewing and reinvigorating the audience’s engagement with Florida’s local filmmakers and homegrown talent. Films featured in the “Homegrown” program include the world premieres of Rostislav Vaynshtok’s creepily atmospheric NORMAL PORN FOR NORMAL PEOPLE, Brian K. Rosenthal’s sinister slasher POV, Jack Kierski’s alien satire THEY’RE REAL, and Jessica Henric’s haunted UNKNOWN. Rounding out the program is the demonic fable HARMONIOUS, the wildly adventurous THE HOUSEFLY, and the mysterious thriller NYCTO.

Many Popcorn Frights alumni are represented in a blitz of mind-shattering shorts this year, including Alexander Lee Deed’s sweetly twisted tale BUTTERSCOTCH, John Poliquin’s spine-chilling thriller SAMARITAN, Russell Goldman’s darkly comic head-trip CLOSING TIME featuring Demi Adejuyigbe; Ramone Menon’s demonic nightmare MY SCARY INDIAN WEDDING, and Chris McInroy’s outrageous zombie romp WE FORGOT ABOUT THE ZOMBIES, which marks the fifth time he has premiered a film at the Festival.

As previously announced, complimenting Popcorn Frights’ premiere showings will be industry sessions hosted by Fangoria’s Editor-in-Chief Phil Nobile Jr. at the historic Betsy South Beach on Ocean Drive. Panels will range on a variety of subjects, including a discussion about “Blood, Sweat, and Fears: Indie Filmmakers Putting It All on the Line… and on the Screen” that will feature The Horror Collective founder & director Shaked Berenson and Popcorn Frights alumni Erik Bloomquist (FOUNDERS DAY, SHE CAME FROM THE WOODS) as well as Erynn Dalton (BIG EASY QUEENS, THE GRAVEDIGGER).

Diving into the 2023 Film Festival program by the numbers, Popcorn Frights’ audience will experience a record-setting lineup boasting 116 film premieres in-theater and virtually, including 26 World Premieres, 4 North American Premieres, 4 US Premieres, 11 East Coast Premieres, and 35 Florida Premieres, among others.

Access to the “The Horror Collective Screening Room’s” in-theater experience will be available for free, but priority access will be provided to Festival badge holders. Popcorn Frights’ all-access badge provides an all-inclusive experience for films and special events hosted at the Savor Cinema Fort Lauderdale and “The Horror Collective Screening Room,” Popcorn Frights official host venues this year. Separate virtual passes are also available and will provide access to every film streaming in the festival’s virtual program throughout the US. To order an In-Theater All-Access Badge, click here, to order a Virtual All-Access Pass, click here.

The ninth edition of the Popcorn Frights Film Festival is made possible with the support of its generous sponsors, including 88 Films, AGFA, ALTER, The Betsy, Daily Dead, Bloody Disgusting, Dread Central, Fangoria, Fright Rags, Classic Gateway Theater, The Horror Collective, Kino Cult, MVD, O Cinema, Savor Cinema, Severin Films, and its loyal fans.



Animation Domination
The endless possibilities of genre animation are on dazzling display in this retina-reeling, round-the-world showcase of some of the medium’s most innovative, boundary-pushing, and mind-enhancing short films:

The Flypaper Spectacular, dir. Luke Liberty (USA); Kamathipura, dir. Aayushman Pandey (India); Lost in the Sky, dir. Simon Öster (Sweden); La Melodia Torrencial, dir. José Luis Saturno (Mexico); No. 8 Reporting, dir. Aljosha Kilmov & Matthew Lyon (Canada); Skinned, dir. Joachim Hérissé (France); The Undertaker, dir. Sergei Kibus (Estonia); VRDLK, dir. Sam Chou (Canada); Vulvine Reine d’Extase, dir. Clémence Andre (France)

Homegrown: 100% Pure Fresh Squeezed Florida Horror
Celebrating the cream of Florida’s homegrown crop:

Harmonious, dir. Valery Garcia (USA); The Housefly, dir. Darshan Patel (USA); Normal Porn for Normal People, dir. Rostislav Vaynshtok (USA, World Premiere); Nycto, dir. Angel Barroeta (USA), POV, dir. Brian K. Rosenthal (USA, World Premiere); They’re Real, dir. Jack Kierski (USA, World Premiere); Unknown, dir. Jessica Henric (USA, World Premiere)

International Midnighters
A celebration of some of the year’s most fantastic international short films from new emerging voices and established filmmakers:

Bond, dir. Kam Duv (France); Bookworm, dir. Javier Yañez Sanz (Spain), Delivery, dir. Imanol Ortiz Lopez (Spain), Girl in the Dark, dir. Sergii Bazhenov (Ukraine); The Overkill, dir. Joanna Tsanis (Canada); Stop Dead, dir. Emily Greenwood (United Kingdom); Voyager, dir. Pablo Pagán (Spain); You’re Not Home, dir. Derek Ugochukwu (Ireland)

Midnighters I-V
A celebration of new works from cinematic scaremongers that bring nightmares into waking hours with thrills, chills, and spills:

AI Artist, dir. Dani Barker & Jessey Nelson (USA, World Premiere); Awake, dir. Francesco Paolo Cordaro & Andrea Cordaro (USA); Blonsh, dir. James Werner (USA); Bounce House, dir. Callie Bloem & Christopher J. Ewing (USA); Brenda and Bill (and the Pothos Plant), dir. David Solomon (USA); Butterscotch, dir. Alexander Lee Deeds (USA, World Premiere); Closing Time, dir. Russell Goldman (USA); Day of the Deb, dir. Matthew Garvin & Rachel Whittle (USA); Death And, dir. Mariah Morgenstern (USA); Exposure, dir. Jacob Kitaeff & David Grace (USA); Fiona, dir. Andy Chen (USA); Get Away, dir. Michael Gabriele (USA); HIMS, dir. Krsy Fox (USA); Happy On My Own, dir. Ryan Valdez (USA, World Premiere); Hector’s Hell House, dir. John Adam Krueger (USA); Janelle’s Baby, dir. Michael Squid (USA, World Premiere); Latch, dir. Ashton Arthur Shemet (USA, World Premiere); Manicure, dir. Carluccio (USA); My Scary Indian Wedding, dir. Ramone Menon (USA); Nightmare at Camp Bloodbath, dir. Dylan Arnow (USA); No Overnight Parking, dir. Meg Swertlow (USA); No Signature Required, dir. Kenneth Lawrence (USA); Passive/Aggressive, dir. Abiel Bruhn (USA, World Premiere); Red Gloves, dir. Santiago Saba Salem (USA, World Premiere); Red Velvet, dir. Blake Simon (USA); Ride Baby Ride, dir. Sofie Somoroff (USA); Samaritan, dir. John Poliquin (USA); Sankta Lucia, dir. Hans Stjernswärd (Sweden, World Premiere); Seaborne, dir. Dylan Ashton (USA); Sleep Study, dir. Natalie Metzger (USA); Smiley Death Face, dir. Andrew Patrick Torrez (USA); That’s Our Time, dir. Alex Backes (USA); The 44th Chamber of Shaolin, dir. Jon Truei (USA); The Knowing, dir. Erin Lovett (USA); The Spirit Became the Flesh, dir. Jesse Aultman (USA); Variations on a Theme, dir. Peter Collins Campbell (USA); Vibrator Girl, dir. Kara Strait (USA); Wait for It, dir. David J. Stieve (USA); We Forgot About the Zombies, dir. Chris McInroy (USA); Winder, dir. Case Avron (USA); Writer’s Block, dir. Steven Schloss (USA, World Premiere); Your Face, dir. Daphne Zelle (USA)