Two years after blazing a trail as the first film festival to go completely virtual amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chattanooga Film Festival (CFF) returns for their ninth consecutive year this summer June 23 – 28. Taking place again virtually, this year’s lineup showcases an eclectic mix of the wild and wonderful features and events the festival has become well-known for through its eight previous editions.
Highlights of this year’s first half include a pair of world premieres co-curated in partnership with Rustic Films, David Lawson Jr., Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s production company. CFF and Rustic Films are excited to share actor/writer/director Elise Finnerty’s brilliantly frightening THE ONES YOU DIDN’T BURN, and actor/writer/director Shane Brady’s (DOCTOR SLEEP, THE ENDLESS) haunting and spellbinding drama BREATHING HAPPY.
CFF fans who like their cinema with scares and laughs in equal measure will love the world premieres of filmmaker Jay Burleson’s twin love letters to the golden age of slasher cinema in the college football-themed, wildly entertaining THE THIRD SATURDAY IN OCTOBER PART I and THE THIRD SATURDAY IN OCTOBER PART V.
Documentary lovers and CFF’s head-banging fan base have Mike Schffi’s HISTORY OF METAL & HORROR documentary and MIKE MIGNOLA: DRAWING MONSTERS, a loving profile of the creator of legendary comic book Hellboy and his ever-expanding universe.
Folks looking to open their third eyes to the mind-expanding power of strange cinema would do well to check out the festival’s screening of 1981’s THRILLING BLOODY SWORD, Aristotelis Maragkos’ radical re-imagining of Stephen King’s oft-maligned but def underrated miniseries “The Langoliers” in the utterly rad and bananas TIMEKEEPERS OF ETERNITY and Avalon Fast’s lean and mean HONEYCOMB, which is sure to be a 2022 festival favorite.
As always, in addition to films, the CFF’s events lineup is not to be missed. Filmmaker Graham Skipper will be celebrating the world’s longest-running film franchise and legendary icon, Godzilla. Storyteller and author Clay McCleod Chapman returns for another installment of the infamous Pumpkin Pie Show, and our ever-popular Screenplay Pitch Competition with Rustic Films’ producer David Lawson Jr. is back.
“The world hasn’t quite ended yet, and with the summer heat about to sneak up on us, we wanted to bring another virtual edition made up of the most magical cinema from across the globe, lovingly curated and assembled,” says executive director and lead programmer Chris Dortch II. “We’re incredibly proud of this year’s line up, and know that genre film fans will love the world premiere films, the bangers from the current festival circuit, a few things that we bet have flown underneath their radar, and some bonkers deep cuts.”
VIP Badges are on sale now at chattfilmfest.org, and give attendees access to all films and events. Individual tickets to films will be available closer to the festival.
1000 DREAMS – North American Premiere l Director Marat Sarulu | 2021 | 89 mins | Drama | Kyrgyzstan | Kirghiz
Nazar, Rumia’s lover, comes to the workshop of her ex-husband Arsen. He looks into his computer and finds a file in it that changes his life. Nazar penetrates the secret of Arsen, who created fiction and disappeared into it, like a certain artist from China who painted a fantastic picture, penetrated it and disappeared forever from the world of people.
BITCH ASS l Director Bill Posley | 2022 | 83 min | Horror/Crime | US | English
A gang initiation goes wrong when a group of four recruits break into a house of horror, as they’re all forced to play deadly games for their lives. Win and you live – lose and you die.
Check out our review if you want to learn more!
BREATHING HAPPY – World Premiere l Director Shane Brady | 2022 | 97 min | Drama | US | English
In this mind-bending drama, a recovering drug addict can achieve one year of sobriety alone on Christmas day, but his demons tempt him to relapse.
CHICKEN HOUSE l Director Cate Jones | 2022 | 82 min | Comedy/LGBTQ+ | US | English
A subversive comedy about three small town actresses taking in a new mysterious roommate from LA.
DAWN BREAKS BEHIND THE EYES l Director Kevin Kopacka | 2021 | 73 min | Action/Horror/Mystery | Germany | German
A couple spend eternity in a castle until their reality starts to shift, as the unknown moves into their lives.
GATEWAY – North American Premiere l Director Niall Owens | 2021 | 80 min | Horror | Ireland | English
In an ordinary abandoned house – on what could be your ordinary street – a gang of desperate criminals have found something – or has it found them.
HONEYCOMB – Southeast Premiere l Director Avalon Fast | 2022 | 70 min | Horror | US | English
Five girls stray from society on the hunt for something more special…you can find them if you follow the sound.
INTERFACE l Director Justin Amit Tomchuk | 2021 | 116 min | Animated/Sci-Fi/Surrealism | Canada | English
A surrealist animation following a non-aging man and Mischief, a shapeshifting creature who dares to uncover his haunting past.
LANDLOCKED l Director Paul Owens | 2021 | 74 min | Sci-Fi/Drama/Horror | US | English
Summoned to his soon-to-be demolished childhood home, Mason discovers an old VHS camera that can see into the past, driving him to record as many memories as possible before the doomed house is destroyed.
Utilizing the director’s actual home movies and casting real life family members to play fictionalized versions of themselves, LandLocked combines narrative and documentary with horror and sci-fi to create a movie unlike any other.
MIKE MIGNOLA: DRAWING MONSTERS – Presented by Infinity Flux l Directors Kevin Konrad Hanna & Jim Demonakos | 2022 | 98 min | Documentary | US | English
A feature length documentary about Mike Mignola and the creation of his comic book universe centered around Hellboy.
ONE ROAD TO QUARTZSITE l Director Ryan Maxey | 2022 | 87 min | Documentary | US | English
A ragtag group of crustpunks, libertarians, snowbirds, and elderly folks become unlikely neighbors during their annual pilgrimage to a temporary longterm camping community in Quartzsite, Arizona. Steeped in rural folklore and full of a diverse and complicated set of characters, ONE ROAD TO QUARTZSITE is a beautiful, poetic, observational portrait of people trying to live outside of the constraints of American society, or to simply escape the winter.
THE HISTORY OF METAL AND HORROR l Director Mike Schiff | 2021 | 154 min | Documentary | US | English
Filmmaker Mike Schiff’s straight-up blast of a documentary explores the history of heavy metal music and horror, and how the two genres have merged over time. Various metal artists share their first introduction to horror, their favorite horror films, their influences, and more. Horror film icons also discuss how their films have influenced the horror genre, their connections to metal artists, and why metal and horror work well together.
THE ONES YOU DIDN’T BURN – CFF After Hours Opening Night Selection, Presented By Rustic Films l Director Elise Finnerty | 2020 | 70 min | Horror | US | English
After their father passes away, two siblings return to their old family farm to sell off the land. However, darker forces may be at play that will force them to reanalyze their relation to their ancestor’s land.
THE OUTWATERS l Director Robbie Banfitch | 2022 | 109 min | US | English
In filmmaker Robbie Banfitch’s masterful found footage freakout, four travelers encounter menacing phenomena while camping in a remote stretch of the Mojave Desert.
THE THIRD SATURDAY IN OCTOBER PART 1 – World Premiere l Director Jay Burleson | 2022 | 102 min | Horror/Comedy | US | English
CFF is proud to present a double feature of filmmaker Jay Burleson’s college football-themed “lost golden age slasher films.”
October 1979. Ricky Dean Logan is a man on a mission. Years ago, he lost a child at the hands of a spree killer, and as that killer escapes Death Row, Ricky Dean throws himself in the line of fire to stop him from killing again as the killer preys upon a group of friends gathered to watch a college football game.
THE THIRD SATURDAY IN OCTOBER PART V – World Premiere l Director Jay Burleson | 2022 | 89 min | Horror/Comedy | US | English
It’s Part V! A love letter to the lesser sequels to popular 80’s slasher franchises, The Third Saturday in October Part V tells the story of an unstoppable killer as he stalks and butchers the occupants of multiple homes across the stretch of one lone country road as the residents prepare to watch the yearly college football bout between the Alabama-Mobile Seahawks and Tennessee A&M Commonwealth.
THRILLING BLOODY SWORD – Director Hsin-Yi Chang | 1981 | 96 min | Action/Fantasy/Adventure | Taiwan | Mandarin
If He-Man and the Masters of the Universe dropped acid with the Shaw Brothers while knocking out a martial arts horror-fantasy movie, that movie would be THRILLING BLOODY SWORD. This head-spinning slice of Taiwanese psychotronic cinema builds a movie out of SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, impossible fight scenes, and wild monsters that include a cyclops, a pterodactyl, and Satan himself! A comet impregnates a queen. She gives birth to a fleshy egg. In disgust, the king tosses the egg in the river. Seven little people stumble onto the egg. They stab it with a knife and find a cute baby inside—one who grows up to be a beautiful princess. One day, she runs into a prince, who is fighting a multi-headed dragon. Of course, the two royals fall in love. Unfortunately, a group of dastardly wizards want to keep them apart, and they’ll use every creature at their disposal to do it! Previously only available via VHS bootlegs, Gold Ninja Video is proud to present this hallucinogenic fantasia in a new 2K preservation from the only known 35mm print in existence, courtesy of The Chicago Cinema Society Film Archive.
TIMEKEEPERS OF ETERNITY l Director Aristotelis Maragkos | 2021 | 64 min | Animation/Mystery | Greece | English
A classic Stephen King miniseries is re-envisioned in this radical collage animation experiment by Greek director, Aristotelis Maragkos: A group of passengers aboard a routine flight to Boston wake up to find themselves alone on the plane. Things get even worse when they land and find a dead world, empty of all other human life. Unfortunately, one of the passengers, Craig Toomey is having a mental breakdown — which summons the mysterious creatures known as the Langoliers.
WULVER’S STANE l Director Joseph Cornelison | 2021 | 91 min | Fantasy/Art/Horror | US | English
Stoney Claire McKenzie, fighting to bury blood dreams and a grizzly past, builds herself a new life by hustling a mind-altering elixir.
CFF 2022 VIRTUAL AFTERPARTY with Special Guests FROZEN SOUL
So you’ve just watched Mike Schiff’s incredible HISTORY OF METAL & HORROR documentary, and now you’re itching to improve your mental health with some metal health? We anticipated this situation, and we’re pleased to announce from the depths of their frosty crypts in Fort Worth, Texas, the iciest band in the world! Death metal masters FROZEN SOUL.
Godzilla Takes Chattanooga with Graham Skipper
Filmmaker and CFF alum Graham Skipper returns to Chattanooga virtually to talk about one of his greatest passions: the Godzilla franchise!
Graham will lead a virtual discussion that will serve as not only an introduction and overview to the franchise for those new to Godzilla lore, but will also discuss some deep cuts, interesting behind the scenes info, and explore how and why Godzilla captured the hearts of fans around the world, headlining the world’s longest-running film franchise. This will be a Godzilla lovefest where we can all talk about what we love most about the world’s most famous monster, and learn a few things along the way.
*Graham recently wrote the literal book on the King of the Monsters, authoring GODZILLA: THE ULTIMATE ILLUSTRATED GUIDE for the legendary Toho Studios, in association with Welbeck Publishing (out September 13th, 2022!), so he knows a thing or two about Big G.
The Pumpkin Pie Show: The Remaking with Clay McLeod Chapman
Clay McCleod Chapman’s live storytelling mind-frick THE PUMPKIN PIE SHOW has become a fan-favorite staple of our live CFF events for many years now, and it’s our supreme honor to bring the mad master storyteller back in 2022:
Inspired by a true story, this supernatural thriller is for fans of horror and true crime. In the 1930s, Ella Louise and her daughter Jessica are dragged from their home at the outskirts of Pilot’s Creek, Virginia, in the middle of the night. Ella Louise is accused of using her apothecary for witchcraft, and both are burned at the stake. Ella Louise’s burial site is never found, but the little girl has the most famous grave in the South: a steel-reinforced coffin surrounded by a fence of interconnected white crosses. Some wonder: If the mother was the witch, why is Jessica’s grave so tightly sealed?
Rustic Films 3rd Annual Screenplay Pitch Competition with Producer David Lawson Jr.
Acclaimed producer and CFF Mayor (to some) David Lawson Jr. of Rustic Films returns for the 3rd annual edition of our popular screenplay pitch competition. If you’ve got a project you’d like to submit for this year’s competition, simply send your submission to email@example.com. Submissions are open now and close on Sunday June 12th.