Festival relieves genre fans spring fever


This past weekend I attended the 4th annual Toronto International Spring of Horror and Fantasy Film Festival; 10 features 24 shorts and 9 music videos, comprised this year’s offerings.  The festival opened with the touching Chinese Drama LAST SUNRISE (Screening with ANIMALS and JOG), some notable moments during the festival were the Scream Queen/King competition before Saturday’s midnight screening of the Tarantinoesque, cel-shaded animation styled THE NEXT KILL(REVENGE OF THE SLASHER), hightlight of the shorts block HELSINKI MANSPLAINING MASSACRE, and the closing night comedy/horror anthology THE FINAL RIDE (COCKROACH BRAIN, THIRD WHEEL, AND THE CHICKEN’S REVENGE).

In an interview with festival founders Jon Lewis & Lari Teräs, I learned the motivations behind the creation of TISH, the lessons learned along the way, and what the future holds for this fledgling festival.  They both watch every film which is submitted to the festival from the beginning all the way to the end credits, because the filmmakers put all that effort into it and they like to treat each submission as if it is their own film.  As neither founder has any drawing ability, their iconic logo was sketched out by friend Ashley Macdonald, and finalized by Tyler Burry.

During the past four years, the festival has received over 900 film submissions, from every continent except Antarctica (Teräs jokes, maybe they’ll screen the THING one year), with plans for expansion in the future, this festival is not going anywhere; expect year five to be even bigger and better.  Follow TISH for updates, and watch for ticket sales next year, because you don’t want to miss out on some great genre films from around the world.

Here is the interview in its entirety.  It was recorded during a working lunch so apologies for the background noise & interruptions from the waitress.

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