Horror Festival
of Wales

14 – 17 November 2024

Abertoir horror festival 2023 Line up Short Film Competition – Part 1

Short Film Competition – Part 1

Wed 15 Nov 10:30

Each year Abertoir invites filmmakers from across the globe to submit short films for the Abertoir Short Film Competition. As always, the response has been phenomenal and it’s not possible to show all of the amazing entries. Here we present our shortlist.

There are two prizes on offer. The first being the Audience Award for Best Short Film, and the second is the Méliès d’argent awarded to the best eligable European film.

Logo for Melies International Festivals Federation, featuring a half moon face with a telescope coming out of its eye.

As part of Abertor’s role in the Méliès International Festivals Federation, our short film competition will award a Short Film Méliès d’argent. This is an internationally recognised prize specific to the Federation and is a testimony to the talented filmmakers in Europe. The winner of our Short Film Méliès d’argent will go forward to the final lineup at Sitges for the prestigious Méliès d’or Award for the Best European Fantastic Short Film. All our European fictional short films are eligible.

Films are showing over two sessions:

Part 1 (Wed 15th Nov 10.30am)
Films from Alicia to Don’t Talk to Strangers, Nap, Honeymoon at Cold Hollow to Maria Jose Maria

Part 2 (Thurs 16th Nov 10.30am)
Films from Geronimo, Ride Baby Ride to Villain

The shortlist

A poster for the film Alicia. It shows a teddy bear sitting against a wall with dark hands reaching towards it.


Dir. Tony Morales
Spain, 2023, 6mins

Carolina will have to deal with the childhood fears of her daughter Alicia, who has just gone blind and believes that an old woman lives in her room.

A poster for the film Caraoscura, which features black and white image of a scarecrow made of wooden sticks, flames rising beneath it.


Dir. Germán Sancho / Raúl Cerezo
Spain, 2022
, 10mins

Legend has it that during a cold January night, Darkface wanders the streets of a remote village. Little Carla wakes up frightened in the middle of the night. Her older brother, Lucas, tries to reassure her and convince her that Darkface does not exist.

A poster for the film Detox, in which a woman is sitting on a rock by a body of water, the sky blue beyond her, though she looks over her shoulder. The image is framed by the shape of a mobile phone.


Dir. Alex Hanno
USA, 2023, 9mins

While away on a technology detox in the northern reaches of Maine, an impressionable social media addict becomes the target of an unexpected visitor.

A poster for the film Don't Talk To Strangers, in which a small frame from the film appears at the top right, showing a girl looking up at a pair of hands holding a camera.

Don’t Talk To Strangers

Dir. Imanol Ortiz López
Spain, 2023, 5mins

My mum always told me not to talk to strangers, but Agustín is not a stranger, because whenever we go to his store he offers me treats.

A poster for the film Nap, which features an image of a red road-sign triangle, but within it is an icon of someone lying in a bed.


Dir. Javier Chavanel
Spain, 2023, 15 mins

Four people are about to undergo a dangerous experiment. The rules are simple: you will have to sleep if you want to live.

A poster for the films Honeymoon at Cold Hollow which is 'hand drawn' in style and shows a man and a woman, in shades of black and light blue, embracing, and beneath them a trail of red leading to the door of a cabin.

Honeymoon At Cold Hollow

Dir. Nat Rovit
USA, 2022, 14mins

In the winter of 1974, newlyweds are snowed in to a remote cabin in the wilderness and learn that they never really knew each other at all.

Grey poster with the title Knit One Stab Two and a picture of two people wearing masks, knitting, looking at an old-style TV.

Knit One Stab Two

Dir. Alison Peirse
UK, 2022, 10mins

This essay film examines the representation of knitters and knitting, in over sixty horror films made by women, from the 1920s – 2020s.

A poster for the film Lands of Steel, showing a robot, standing upright, siloutted in a doorframe.

Lands of Steel

Dir. Cyril Vrancken
Belgium, 2023, 14mins

A CGI-animated short film about genocide through the eyes of a mindless robot, set in an apocalyptic world.

Various characters from Lord of the Free Range, including a woman protectively holding a young boy, a middle-aged man looking sternly, and a religious leader with arms raised up, a live chicken in front of him.

Lord of the Free Range

Dir. Simon Dymond
UK, 2023, 14mins

When a proud, meat-eating father learns his wife and child have turned vegan, he pushes them away, into the arms of a mysterious vegan cult who worship a chicken. Can he overcome his own stubborn nature and win them back, or is the changing tide too much to take?

A poster for the film Maria Jose Maria, showing a black and white image of a woman standing on a bed, wearing a long white night gown, her arms held out to the sides while she looks down at a white rabbit at her feet.

Maria Jose Maria

Dir. Chico Noras
Portugal, 2022, 15mins

On the same night that a dismembered and decapitated body is found in the city streets, Maria José wakes up startled by the absence of her mother. The authorities try to find the author of this heinous crime, but soon they will face unexpected circumstances.