Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival in Estonia to celebrate films of Ben Wheatley
by Laurence Boyce
- Sightseers director given festival focus as Estonian horror festival prepares to hold first edition since becoming member of European Federation of Fantastic Film Festivals
The small Estonian town of Haapsalu will resonate with the sound of screams between April 25-28April, as the Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival (HÕFF) will take place before a dedicated audience of genre fans. This year’s festival, the 8th edition, is the first since HÕFF became a member of the European Federation of Fantastic Film Festival, and the festival’s affiliation with the network of genre festivals should see it’s already rapidly expanding profile increase even more.
Highlights this year include a focus on UK director Ben Wheatley – who is gradually becoming one of the most talked-about UK genre directors - with screenings of Kill List [+see also:
interview: Ben Wheatley
film profile] and Sightseers [+see also:
interview: Ben Wheatley
film profile] alongside one of the chance to see horror anthology The ABCs of Death, which contains a segment by Wheatley. The festival will also play host to the World Premiere of Spanish horror Omnivores, in which a young journalist discovers a world of rich people who indulge in cannibalism, that will be attended by director Óscar Rojo. The festival’s affiliation with the EFFFF also means that it will hold a Melies D’Argent to choose a winning horror short with the programme including Is It You?, a short by Estonian director Moonika Siimets, which was recently lauded at the Best of the Baltic Film and Media School Gala.
Other films in the programme include Peter Strickland’s multi-award winning Berberian Sound Studio [+see also:
film profile] and the French remake of cult horror film Maniac, starring Elijah Wood as disturbed serial killer. A section entitled ‘For Freaks’ does exactly what it say on the tin, with a selection of sick and twisted surprises, while there will also be a chance to catch old favourites such as Mad Max II.
The festival’s new director Maria Reinup, who was appointed last year, told Cineuropa:"There is more and more interest by the audiences and trust from our partners. Today we are proud to be the biggest genre film festival in the Baltics."
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