The Demonic Brilliance Film Festival promises a three-day celebration of all things blood and guts.
There’s a new film festival in town. After many years spent producing his own blood-soaked works of cinema, Fredericton filmmaker Jared Carney decided it was time to take his love for the genre up a notch by creating a platform to showcase and celebrate the horror film in all its dreadful glory. The Demonic Brilliance Film Festival will make its online debut this fall.
With support from the New Brunswick Filmmaker’s Co-operative, the DBFF will run over three days in September with selected films available for limited-time viewing. The event will also hand out 14 awards honouring everything from Best Actor and Best Screenplay to the recently added category, Best Quarantine Film.
“The original idea for the Demonic Brilliance Film Festival was to celebrate excellence in horror,” said Carney. “You almost never see acting, directing, or cinematography awards go to a horror film, but there are some amazing works of horror out there. Horror films are often not even eligible for awards or looked at in an artistic manner, but I wanted to change that.
“I also want to put a focus on highlighting the people who make films, an area where I find a lot of festivals are also seriously lacking. The filmmakers are just as interesting as the films they make,” he said.
The festival takes its name from a quote Carney found on the cover of one of his favourite films. In blood red letters across the cover of Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses where two simple words – Demonic Brilliance.
“That’s one of my favourite films and it’s what got me interested in filmmaking,” said Carney.
As a filmmaker, Carney has produced a number of projects that have been featured locally at the Silver Wave Film Festival and at more than 15 other film festivals across Canada, the United States and Europe. He was awarded the Short Film Venture Grant in 2017 for his project Infinity Land and was recently awarded the 2019 CBC NB Joy Award for his newest short film.
For a first year film festival, Carney says the response from filmmakers has been better than he initially expected with interested filmmakers from around the world submitting work with the hope of being selected. The inaugural DBFF will feature 32 short horror films including works from Canada, Brazil, the U.K and Germany.
“…what I loved about horror is that it bursts you’re bubble. It reminds you that the world is unfair and messed up and ugly and gross.”
Carney’s combination of experience and deep-rooted love for the genre are both major driving forces behind the DBFF. For the festival’s inaugural event, he has been joined by fellow filmmakers and NBFC members Ashley Phinney and Cat LeBlanc.
“I’ve been obsessed with horror films since I was way too young to be allowed to watch them,” said Carney. “In those days I think I admired their rebellious and shocking nature. They felt kind of wrong in a way, but it was so much damn fun. I know it’s kind of strange to say, but I loved being scared. The more I watched them, the more I wanted the blood, the monsters, and ridiculous kill scenes.
“As I grew older and became a filmmaker, I realized that what I loved about horror is that it bursts you’re bubble. It reminds you that the world is unfair and messed up and ugly and gross, but from a safe, fun vantage point. It’s very voyeuristic yet therapeutic in a way. What excites me most are horror films that are beyond fucked up but also make you think.”
The Demonic Brilliance Film Festival takes place online September 11-13. Learn more at dbfilmfest.com