Team Abertoir has been hard at work over the past several months and we’re so pleased to present the first wave of programming for the 2023 festival! These brand new films, cult classics and special presentations only scratch the surface of the treats in store and we hope they whet your appetite!
RAGING GRACE, the feature debut from director/writer Paris Zarcilla and producer Chi Thai, is fast establishing itself as one of the year’s most acclaimed horror films. An undocumented Filipina immigrant lands a job as a care-worker for a terminal old man, securing a better life for her and her daughter. But a dark discovery threatens to destroy everything she’s strived for and holds dear.
In TIGER STRIPES (Amanda Nell Eu), rebellious Zaffan is the first among her friends to hit puberty. Ostracised, she discovers secrets about herself that she must learn to embrace. Offering a genuinely uplifting take on body horror and the coming of age film, Tiger Stripes is one of this year’s true gems.
RED ROOMS (Pascal Plante) is the intense story of a serial killer on trial and those who watch from the side-lines. The film combines high-tension with a scathing account of our obsession with true crime.
We’re also delighted to be screening the brand-new documentary SCALA!!! and that directors Jane Giles and Ali Catterall will be joining us to delve even deeper into the history of this remarkable cinema and its community!
In taut mystery MONOLITH (Matt Vesely), a disgraced journalist tries to salvage her career by turning to investigative podcasting, leading her to a strange artefact that may be linked to an alien conspiracy.
In the superfluous SHE IS CONANN (Bertrand Mandico), underworld dog Rainer recounts the six lives of Conann, perpetually put to death by her own future, across eras, myths and ages. This excessive and stylish delight is an inventive re-telling of – you guessed it – Conan the Barbarian, and is surely destined to enthral some and enrage others.
It’d be remiss of us not to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the film that arguably brought Abertoir into existence, but having shown The Wicker Man a couple of times before, we knew we had to do something a little different. Enter: SING-ALONG-A-WICKER MAN! Director approved and a guaranteed party, David Bramwell and Eliza Skelton will be leading us through a raucous and entertaining sing-a-long in the ultimate celebration of this classic.
Another classic turning 50 this year is THE EXORCIST – can you believe we’ve never screened it? The Exorcist is the perfect film for this year’s exploration of all things illicit and 18-rated, as well as serving as a tribute to the late, great William Friedkin. We’ll also be screening Bill Gunn’s GANJA AND HESS in its 50th anniversary year and as tribute to star Marlene Clark.
And finally – for now – we’re celebrating Welsh horror past and present with the premiere of Julian Richards’ new director’s cut of DARKLANDS – marking the second time the film’s premiered in Aberystwyth! We’ll also have a double-bill of brand new Welsh short films – Craig Williams’ THE WYRM OF BWLCH PEN BARRAS and Kelly Holmes’ THE SIN EATER – followed by a Q&A on horror in Wales. Better yet, we’ll also get to learn about the real-life inspiration behind some of these films with Dr. Delyth Badder joining us to talk Blood, Toili, Tears and Sweat: Death Customs and Morbid Folk Beliefs in Wales.
Stay tuned for even more programme announcements over the coming weeks, including our Short Film Competition, off-site screening and even more special guests! Abertoir Horror Festival takes place 14-19 November at Aberystwyth Arts Centre. Festival passes go on sale 10am, 2 October.