The Movie Guide Blog had the amazing opportunity to chat to Greg Day, co-director to Film 4 FrightFest. I’m really excited for this interview, The previous weekend was this year’s Film4 FrightFest. Hopefully The Movie Guide Blog will be at next year’s Film4 FrightFest.
MG:In your own words, what is Film4 FrightFest?
GD: Quite simply the biggest and baddest genre film festival in the UK. Guillermo Del Toro summed it up nicely when he called it “the Woodstock of Gore”. 26,000 people obviously think so too.
MG: Can you give us a little history about Film4 FrightFest?
GD:FrightFest was created in 2000 by film producer Paul McEvoy, journalist and broadcaster Alan Jones and film distributor/booker Ian Rattray. I became a joint director in 2007. From its cult roots at the Prince Charles Cinema it has grown to become one of the genre’s most vibrant, credible and recognisable brands and it’s helped launch the careers of directors such as Simon Rumley, Christopher Smith, Eli Roth, Neil Marshall and Simon Hunter. Apart from the annual 5-day event in London, we have an ever-growing strand at the Glasgow Film Festival and host a Halloween all-night horrorthon, which in 2012, will be screened across a number of regional cinemas.
MG: Can you tell us where the event is held and for how long?
GD: The event has been held at the Empire, Leicester Sq for the past 4 years.
MG:Can you tell us what kinds of events usually happen at Film4 FrightFest?
GD: Apart from screening over 50 films in three screens we have lots of directors and actors attending, Q & As, signings, surprise iconic guests, an International short film showcase, Andy Nyman’s Quiz from Hell, glamorous media walls and lots of giveaways.
MG: As mentioned to readers, Film4 FrightFest has been held this week; can you talk to us about it and what happened at this year’s event?
GD: Wow, so much happened. We had Dario Argento here as the Total Film Magazine Icon, Simon Pegg presented Greg Nicotero with the inaugural Variety FrightFest Recognition award. We had the Soska Sisters here with their fantastic film American Mary, we had an Italian invasion with the entire cast and crew of new Gialllo Tulpa, including the gorgeous Claudia Gerini. Gosh- too much to mention here.
MG: Can you tell us about the films which appeared at this year’s festival?
GD:Well, my top ten were: American Mary, Chained, directed by Jennifer Lynch (who was an amazing guest), Berberian Sound Studio, Sleep Tight, Before Dawn, Sinister, We are The Night, Tower Block, The Seasoning House and Tulpa.
MG:Can you also tell which guests had attended the event?
GD: This year we had over a hundred guests. I’ve already mentioned some, but others include: Michelle Ryan & Harry Treadaway (for Cockneys Vs Zombies), Sheridan Smith (Rower Block), Berberian Sound studio director Peter Strickland, Paco Plaza, director of Rec 3, Paul Hyett, director of The Seasoning House, The Manetti Brothers – who has two films in the festival: Paura 3D and Arrival of Wang. I could go on and on….
MG:Can you give us one moment that you’ve experienced doing FrightFest that has stood out to you?
GD: Well, the one that sticks out for me, was when, in 2006, after having done the PR for the fest since 2003, the others guys invited me on stage with them to open the festival and got a massive round of applause. It was very moving and I realised I was ‘officially’ part of the FrightFest family…