- Two-week online selection of movies sees awards distributed for the second annual Indy Film Library Halloween Horror Showcase
- Benji Wragg wins Best Director for abusive spirit story Answer Your Phone
- Powerful police drama Important Police Shit scoops Best Film wreath
Since Monday 18th October 2021, Indy Film Library (IFL) has been streaming some of the best short horror films it has received for review, for free. All seven of the films selected are still available to view via the IFL website. They will remain there until Monday 1st November 23:00 CET.
As the showcase prepares to draw to a close, however, IFL has announced the winners from the Halloween Horror Showcase shortlist. The victorious movies were selected by IFL’s jury, which consists of its team of film critics.
The list of accolades distributed sees Best Film handed to Andrew T. Betzer’s dark police training satire, Important Police Shit. A horror film for the Black Lives Matter era, the film follows the life of a new recruit as she is tormented and beaten during her initiation procedure, with the worrying implication that this brutality will ‘prepare’ her when dealing with the general public.
Best Actor was awarded to Alexia Fleres, for her work as the victim of an eating disorder in Les Yeux plus Gros que le Ventre. According to the film’s director, Marie Lormeau, the story was “very personal,” while she hoped the film could “help other people express themselves about their ED and for their loved ones to understand these ordeals and accompany them on their healing path.”
Best Screenplay went to Roy van Kessel and Arthur Menko, for Zwart. The story examines the increasingly toxic relationship between people and their online fantasies – playing with the dangers of crossing particular lines related to our real-world relationships. Isaac Ruth was meanwhile announced as the winner of the Best Cinematography category, for his workplace chiller After Hours.
Benji Wragg was named Best Director, for his work on Answer Your Phone. Wragg’s film also claimed a resounding victory in the Audience Choice category. The film pulled clear of its rivals in the last two days, eventually receiving well above half of all votes cast.
Speaking on his aims for his domestic abuse horror, Wragg told Indy Film Library, “I wanted the audience to feel unease when the phone received a message or began to ring.”
IFL Chief Editor Jack Brindelli commented, “First and foremost I have to thank every single artist involved in the films, for helping make this year’s Halloween Horror Showcase even better than the last. We couldn’t have done this without you, and it has been a joy to champion your work to new audiences around the world.
“Second, I have to congratulate all the winners. I think it’s especially fitting, given the state of the world around us, that our jury picked out films playing on the exploitation, oppression and alienation of individuals from all around the world. The winners might not all be ‘conventional’ horror films – but honestly, what could be more terrifying than the supreme, unaccountable violence of the state; the societal norms that see us go to war with our own bodies; or the long-day-low-pay work that gradually sucks the very humanity out of us, one night-shift at a time? These are all stories which mainstream cinema baulks at addressing – and each shows that the current crop not only have the talent, but the guts necessary to tell the stories that need telling in the years to come. Even as the long, dark nights of winter close in on us, that’s cause for some hope.”
Indy Film Library
Based in Amsterdam, Indy Film Library is a film-criticism platform, which delivers insightful feedback to independent filmmakers. It is currently open for its third year of submissions.
The organisation also hosts an annual gathering to celebrate the best and brightest up-and-coming talents in the industry. For more information, visit www.indyfilmlibrary.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.