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11 Horror Film Festivals You Can Attend in October

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Film festivals are always fun, and in autumn that means horror films! You have plenty of them to select from for a frightfully good time.

1. SHRIEKFEST // LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

Shriekfest Horror Film Festival via Facebook

The Los Angeles Horror/Sci-Fi Film Festival & Screenplay Competition is a long name, so you can just call it Shriekfest. Now in its 16th year, Shriekfest will feature four days of feature films punctuated by dozens of horror shorts, submitted by filmmakers around the world. Prizes are awarded for movies and screenplays separately, for both short films and features, in the categories of horror, science fiction, and thriller. The festival runs October 6-9.

2. SITGES FILM FESTIVAL // SITGES, SPAIN


The International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia is better known as the Sitges Film Festival, as it takes place in the coastal resort town of Sitges, about 25 miles from Barcelona. An international jury recognizes the best in horror and fantasy films from around the world. This year's slate of films contains hundreds of classics, competition features, and short films. Guests to be honored this year include Christopher Walken and Max von Sydow, and the festival will pay tribute to Star Trek during its 50th anniversary year. The 2016 festival runs October 7-16.

3. ATLANTA HORROR FILM FESTIVAL // ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Atlanta Horror Film Festival

This will be the 10th year of the Atlanta Horror Film Festival, so they're throwing a huge anniversary party. The festival awarded 23 prizes last year, for everything from Best Feature to Best Short Short, with awards in horror, animation, horror comedy, thriller, science fiction, and foreign films, plus special awards for best local, experimental, and zombie submissions. This year’s festival will run October 13-16.

4. TORONTO AFTER DARK FILM FESTIVAL // TORONTO

Toronto After Dark Film Festival via Facebook

The Toronto After Dark Film Festival showcases horror, sci-fi, action, and cult films. The festival will screen a total of 19 features and around 30 short films, selected from over 800 submissions from around the world. The festival will run October 13-21.

5. TELLURIDE HORROR SHOW // TELLURIDE, COLORADO

 

Approximately 25 features and 50 shorts will be screened at this year’s Telluride Horror Show. They promise to be “an eclectic mix of horror, suspense, thriller, fantasy, sci-fi and dark comedy.” This year’s festival will run October 14-16.

6. BROOKLYN HORROR FILM FESTIVAL // BROOKLYN, NEW YORK

 

The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival boasts that it’s for “badass genre films,” regardless of classification, although all are independently produced. The festival will include a concert, art show, and storytelling contest in addition to the schedule of three feature film premieres, a dozen in-competition features, and lots of shorts, shown at half a dozen different theaters. Some events are limited to those over 21. The festival will be October 14-16 this year.

7. FEAR FETE HORROR CON & FILM FESTIVAL // BILOXI, MISSISSIPPI

 

The Fear Fete Horror Con and Film Festival is a festival that grew to become much more. Movies will be presented in themed blocks of two shorts and a feature, tracking themes of traditional horror, sci-fi and fantasy, paranormal, religious/occult, comedy horror, and psychological horror. Other events will include zombie laser tag and a zombie pub crawl. The accompanying Gamer Fete brings video game fans together for gaming and cosplay. A slew of celebrities from the horror and gaming industries are expected to appear. Fear Fete will run October 15-16 this year.

8. SCREAMFEST // HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA

Which one is real, and which one is not? Come take a picture with our #KillerClown and tag #ScreamfestLa for your chance to win a #GoodyBag

A photo posted by Screamfest Horror FilmFestival (@screamfestla) on

 

Screamfest—“America’s largest and longest running horror film festival”—lets Hollywood movers and shakers get to see what’s new from up-and-coming filmmakers. It’s where Paranormal Activity, The Grudge, The Human Centipede, and other features were first screened. If you’re going as a spectator, you’ll get to watch along with producers, directors, and actors. This year’s festival will be held October 18-27.

9. FREAK SHOW HORROR FILM FESTIVAL // ORLANDO, FLORIDA

FREAK SHOW Horror Film Festival via Facebook

This will be the 11th year for the Freak Show Horror Film Festival, which will showcase at least 30 independent and international films, with Q&A sessions with some of the filmmakers. A full schedule of featured movies will be available soon. The 2016 Freak Show will be October 21-23.

10. SAN ANTONIO HORRIFIC FILM FESTIVAL // SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

 

The San Antonio Horrific Film Festival’s theme for 2016 is "Aliens, Monsters, and Heroes." Twenty features and shorts will be competing for the Chainsaw Awards in various categories, as well as the Johnson Family Awards for writing in different horror categories. Horror film celebrities will be there, and attendees are encouraged to come dressed for the cosplay competition and costume party. Participants in horror or sci-fi costumes will get a discount on day passes. The Horrific Film Festival will be held October 21-23.

11. BRAM STOKER INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL // WHITBY, ENGLAND

Bram Stoker International Film Festival via Facebook

What better way to celebrate Halloween than to watch horror films at a festival named after the author of Dracula? The Bram Stoker International Film Festival will feature around 35 independent feature films, plus documentaries and shorts from around the world. In addition to the movies, the festival has an art show, live dramas, concerts, lectures, and the annual Vampire’s Ball. Performers include daredevils, magicians, a mind reader, a Gothic belly dancer, and various other sideshow and cabaret acts. The festival runs October 27-30.

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11-Headed Buddha Statue to Be Revealed in Japan for First Time in 33 Years
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Buddha statues come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The various poses and hand gestures of the Buddha represent different virtues, and any items he happens to be holding—say, a lotus flower or a bowl—have some religious significance.

But not all Buddha relics are created equal, as evidenced by the reverence paid to one particularly holy statue in Japan. The 11-headed figure is so sacred that it has been hidden away for 33 years—until now. Lonely Planet reports that the Buddha statue will be revealed on April 23 during the Onsen Festival in Kinosaki Onsen, a coastal town along the Sea of Japan that’s famous for its hot springs. The statue is kept inside Onsen-ji Temple, a religious site which dates back to 738 CE.

Al altar inside Onsen-ji temple

Patrick Vierthaler, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

The big Buddha reveal, however, will be held elsewhere. For that, festivalgoers will need to ride a cable car to the top of Mount Taishi, where they’ll catch a glimpse of Juichimen Kanzeon Bosatsu, a name which means “11-faced goddess of compassion and mercy.” It will be hard to miss—at 7 feet tall, the statue would tower over most NBA players. Considered a natural treasure, it’s displayed in three-year blocks once every 33 years. So if you miss the initial reveal, you have until 2021 to catch a glimpse.

“The people of Kinosaki are very excited about this event, especially the younger generation," Jade Nunez, an international relations coordinator for the neighboring city of Toyooka, told Lonely Planet Travel News. "Those who are under 30 years old have never seen the statue in its entirety, so the event is especially important to them."

After paying their respects to the Buddha, festival attendees can take a dip in one of three hot spring bathhouses that will be free to use during the Onsen Festival.

[h/t Lonely Planet]

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Miami to Host Inaugural Canine Film Festival
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There’s an annual festival dedicated to internet cat videos, so it only makes sense that dog-lovers would create their own film event. As the Miami New-Times reports, the Magic City will host the inaugural Canine Film Festival on July 15 and 16. The fundraising event encourages movie lovers to enjoy submitted flicks with their furry friends.

The festival will take place at the Cinépolis Coconut Grove and Hotel Indigo in Miami Lakes. Festivities kick off on the first day with “A Day at the Movies With Your Dog,” featuring film screenings attended by dogs and humans alike. Other events scheduled throughout the weekend include a dog fashion show, dog yoga, silent auctions, a canine costume contest, an after-party at Miami Lakes' Hotel Indigo, and an awards ceremony.

Admission costs $10 to $1000, and 50 percent of ticket proceeds will benefit local animal rescues and shelters. For more information, visit the Canine Film Festival's website.

[h/t Miami New Times]

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