We have some amazing guests and independent filmmakers lined up this year, who will be taking part in Q&As and other special presentations. Stay tuned for more info and the complete schedule!
Mick Garris – Special Guest, Nightmare Cinema
Award-winning filmmaker Mick Garris began writing fiction at the age of twelve. By the time he was in high school, he was writing music and film journalism for various local and national publications, and during college, edited and published his own pop culture magazine. He spent seven years as lead vocalist with the acclaimed tongue-in-cheek progressive art-rock band, HORSEFEATHERS.
His first movie business job was as a receptionist for George Lucas’s Star Wars Corporation, where he worked his way up to running the remote-controlled R2-D2 robot at personal appearances, including that year’s Academy Awards ceremony. Garris hosted and produced “The Fantasy Film Festival” for nearly three years on Los Angeles television, and later began work in film publicity at Avco Embassy and Universal Pictures. It was there that he created “Making of…” documentaries for various feature films.
Steven Spielberg hired Garris as story editor on the AMAZING STORIES series for NBC, where he wrote or co-wrote 10 of the 44 episodes. Since then, he has written or co-authored several feature films (NIGHTMARE CINEMA, RIDING THE BULLET, *BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED, THE FLY II, HOCUS POCUS, CRITTERS 2) and teleplays (AMAZING STORIES, QUICKSILVER HIGHWAY, VIRTUAL OBSESSION, THE OTHERS, DESPERATION, NIGHTMARES & DREAMSCAPES, MASTERS OF HORROR, FEAR ITSELF), as well as directing and producing in many media: cable (PSYCHO IV: THE BEGINNING, TALES FROM THE CRYPT, MASTERS OF HORROR, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, its spinoff, RAVENSWOOD, WITCHES OF EAST END, SHADOWHUNTERS, DEAD OF SUMMER, ONCE UPON A TIME), features (CRITTERS 2, SLEEPWALKERS, RIDING THE BULLET, NIGHTMARE CINEMA), television films (QUICKSILVER HIGHWAY, VIRTUAL OBSESSION, DESPERATION), series pilots (THE OTHERS, LOST IN OZ), network miniseries (THE STAND, THE SHINING, STEVE MARTINI’S THE JUDGE, BAG OF BONES), and series (SHE-WOLF OF LONDON, MASTERS OF HORROR, FEAR ITSELF).
He is Creator and Executive Producer of Showtime’s MASTERS OF HORROR series, as well as creator of the NBC series, FEAR ITSELF, both anthology series of one-hour horror films written and directed by the most famous names in the fear-film genre: John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, George Romero, John Landis, Dario Argento, and several others. Garris also is a writer and director on both series. Garris was also Executive Producer and Director of Stephen King’s BAG OF BONES miniseries for A&E. He is currently developing three series.
Garris is also Executive Producer of the Universal feature, UNBROKEN, based on the life of Louis Zamperini and the book by Laura Hillenbrand. It was directed by Angelina Jolie, and has proven to be an international box office hit. His new film as producer, NIGHTMARE CINEMA, featuring five stories by five internationally renowned horror filmmakers—Ryuhei Kitamura from Japan, Alejandro Brugués from Cuba, David Slade from the UK, and Joe Dante and Garris from the USA—will soon hit theater screens.
Mick is also known for his FEARnet television interview series POST-MORTEM, where he sits down with some of the most revered filmmakers in the horror and fantasy genre for one-on-one discussions. It has since become the popular POST MORTEM with Mick Garris podcast.
A LIFE IN THE CINEMA, his first book, was a collection of short stories and a screenplay based on one of the included stories, published by Gauntlet Press. Garris’ first novel, DEVELOPMENT HELL, was published by Cemetery Dance, who also are also publishers of his novellas, SNOW SHADOWS and TYLER’S THIRD ACT, his second novel, SALOME, and this year’s novella, UGLY. He has also had many works of short fiction published in numerous books and magazines.
Mick will be at Portland Horror Film Festival on Friday and Saturday, June 7th & 8th.
Dean Yurke – Stay Out Stay AliveEnglish born Dean Yurke has worked in the film industry for over 25 years and has credits on over 50 major motion pictures. After graduating with a degree in media production and a masters in computer animation, his award winning student film landed him a job with Terry Gilliam’s visual effects company Peerless. There he headed the computer graphics department and was computer graphics supervisor on several notable features including 12 Monkeys, The Edge and Surviving Picasso.
In 1997 Dean moved to California to join George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic to work on the Star Wars prequels. He has worked as an animator, digital artist or sequence supervisor on some of the highest grossing franchises of all time including Star Wars, Transformers, Harry Potter, Star Trek, Pirates of the Caribbean, Iron Man, Avengers and Avatar. In tandem with visual effects Dean is also an accomplished Writer / Director. His first feature is the supernatural thriller, STAY OUT STAY ALIVE.
Kunjue Li – The Funeral
Kunjue Li, graduated from the Royal Academy of Drama. She is the only Chinese actress registered in the BAFTA. In 2018, she starred in Netflix’s “Berlin, I Love you”, which features Keira Knightley and Helen Mirren and participated in the BBC TV series “Blood Gangster”, “Kai Kai Street”, “Only Child”, etc.. She works with Ross O’Hennessy and Zara Phythian on the sci-fi movie “Knights of the Damned”. In 2017, she was invited to attend the Cannes Film Festival, her short film “Aymara”, which was named the best short film in Cannes. Her other films include “Ten Love Questions”, which was selected in The 67th Cannes Film Festival and “Happy Birthday”, which won the 12th Royal Film and Television Association’s Best Film Award.
Brie Mattson – Stay Out Stay Alive
Brie Mattson is an American actress who has been in the industry since she was 16 years old appearing in TV and FILM with shows such as: NCIS, THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK, AGENTS OF SHIELD, CHANCE. etc. with leading roles in various independent and TV films. While she loves it all, there’s something specifically lovely about the camaraderie of an independent film that sets her heart on fire.The thriller/horror genre, specifically, showcase her skills as she imbues a compelling mix of strength and vulnerability. She says “Everyone worked SO incredibly hard on this film bringing every ounce of their skill and talent and I am immensely proud and excited to share it with the world! Sit back, relax. and ‘Stay Out, Stay Alive.”
Brandon Wardle – Stay Out Stay Alive
Brandon Wardle’s performing arts career began when he and his brother built a replica of the Star Trek set in their basement and filmed their own using an RCA VHS Camcorder. In high school, he was the Senior Producer and Lead Scriptwriter for his high school’s Emmy nominated Broadcast Journalism and Video Production program. After studying journalism at Ohio University, Brandon relocated to California and has been working in TV and film. He has written and produced two award-winning short films, acted in numerous films including most recently the Transformers prequel Bumblebee (2018), Stay Out Stay Alive (2019), and Youth (2016), and stars as Sam in the feature film, Frisky (2015). For his role of Sam, he has been nominated twice for ‘Best Actor.’
Ben Heller – “Georgie”
As a young person living in Vancouver, Canada, it was easy for Ben to explore the thriving film scene as a background player circa ’89/’90. That interest led to his first audition, which was for the role of young Stan in Stephen King’s IT. Studying acting remained a passion in his life, at the same time testing the waters with different career options. Currently, Ben is a Product Engineer at a tech company he has been with for 15 years.
Recently, Ben has attended several horror film conventions socializing with IT fans. He doesn’t like to sit still and is always on the move somewhere, domestically or internationally. In addition to “GEORGIE”, you can see him in the forthcoming documentary Pennywise: The story of IT, later this year.
Aaron Pagniano – We Got A Monkey’s Paw
Aaron Pagniano is a series of interconnecting organs with a face. He enjoys making films, playing board games, and wandering in the woods. He grew up in the swamplands of Florida, where he graduated from FSU Film School. He now resides in Los Angeles with his pet python.
Alina Stircu – Fanatico
Alina Stircu is an American-Romanian learner and writer from Portland, Oregon. Raised by an immigrant single-parent, her writing and personal projects aim to surface awareness of underrepresented groups and individuals. Alina enjoys speaking various languages to enhance her understanding of cultural differences and identities. She is currently obtaining her BA from Portland State, yet, adamantly claims herself a “student of the universe.” In her free-time she’s likely taking on different roles, ie “acting,” observing her house plants daily growth, or reading.
Andrew Patrick Torrez
Andrew Patrick Torrez has worked in both the studio and independent movie world, helming several feature length films including the psychological thriller Sickness House. As a director, his dark comedy feature film Under the Gun earned the “Official Selection” at the New York Independent Film Festival in Los Angeles and “Best Feature Length Comedy” at the MiniDV Festival. As a writer, he has worked for many independent feature film companies, including NuLight Productions and Mosaic Films. He also adapted The Book of Skulls for the SyFy network.
Brennan Gilpatrick – Nest, Fog Vs The MistBrennan Gilpatrick is a writer, director and editor who relocated from Indiana to California “pioneer-style” to pursue his creative passions. While earning his degrees in Film Production and Screenwriting at Loyola Marymount University, Brennan’s thesis film YouSuck won the 2017 Bernard Abbene Comedy Writing Award at Film Outside The Frame. Currently, Brennan divides his time between directing promos for brands like Hilton Hotels and T-Mobile and producing short films with his creative partner Erin Walsh. Their debut collaboration, Bubbles, has to date amassed over 1 million views on Crypt TV.
Erin Walsh – Nest, Fog Vs. The Mist
Erin Walsh is a writer, director and producer originally from Trumbull, CT. Upon graduating from Loyola Marymount University, Erin was awarded Best Original Undergraduate Screenplay at the Film Outside the Frame Awards for her feature screenplay, Mine to Keep. Erin partnered with director Brennan Gilpatrick in 2017 to write, produce, and direct their subversive short horror film Bubbles. The project was acquired by Crypt TV in 2018, and has to date amassed over 1 million views online. Erin currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where she continues to develop and produce short film content with Brennan Gilpatrick.
Hannah May Cumming – Fanatico
Hannah May Cumming is a British-South African filmmaker currently residing in Portland, Oregon. Hannah has always had a fascination for all things gruesome and grotesque, as well as a deep love for ’60s and ’70s fashion. Her directorial debut, “Fanatico,” is an amalgamation of both of these passions. She is currently 21 years old, studying film at Portland State University, and working as a freelance production assistant and 2nd AD.
Julie Sharbutt – 3 Days
Julie Sharbutt is an LA filmmaker, writer, and actor. Member of Film Fatales LA and Alliance of Women Directors. 2017-18 Artist in the Time Warner OneFifty New Storytellers Initiative. Her film, MOVED, was distributed in 2015 (The Orchard). Her screenplays have won awards and been finalists at Bowery Film festival, Austin Film Festival and others, and her humor writing has appeared in The New Yorker. MFA in Acting from NYU. TV credits include I’M DYING UP HERE, THE GOOD WIFE. Films include THE WEEKEND and MALADIES. She is a regular performer at Upright Citizens Brigade Los Angeles.
Liz Tabish – “The Darlings”
Liz Tabish is an actress and filmmaker based in Austin, TX. Her style of filmmaking is guerilla, lo-fi arthouse inspired by 1960-70s European cinema. She received her BA in Film Theory and MA in Directing/Theater from Oklahoma State University. She co-produces at Maenad Films and is co-director of Austin Arthouse Film Festival. She recently completed an anthology series of vintage horror short films focused on female archetypes entitled Tales From the Dancing Maenads in which “The Darlings” is included.
Matthew Robinson – Witches Get Stitches
Matt says, “I am a blue collar guy. I work as a truck driver & Heavy equipment operator. A high school drop out, drug addict, and an ex con. After getting clean in 2000, a lot of things have changed about my life, but not my obsessive nature. My budgets are really limited. I was giddy when I was able to buy my flip camera, then I got a DSLR, now i’m on mirrorless. No matter what the obstacle, I get the project done. I use a lot of online sources, but mostly I have been learning by doing. I have never been burdened by confidence, but when I look back to my first videos, I can see that I have learned a lot since the beginning. I have noticed that I have a consistent trajectory, and that I will make something great. One day I will make a feature film I am proud of. I know because I have a strong work ethic, an obsessive nature, and I have the confidence that I will never run out of ideas.”
Monsieur Soeur – barrenMonsieur Soeur and associates are a rotating collective, making small, mildly convoluted films since about 2008. Due to the terrors of scheduling commitments and the audacity of day-jobs, they do a lot of timed film competitions. Monsieur Soeur are fairly unique in “filmracing” in that they make all sets and puppets from scratch during such competitions. Each film is comprised of hundreds and sometimes thousands of hand posed stills. Their Focus is mostly on darker themes with a smidge of whimsy from time to time.No, wait, that’s just dried blood.
Nate James Bakke – Vinyl Destination
Nate studied writing and directing for film and theater from the University of Colorado and spent a great deal of time acting in University projects as well as independent student films and plays. You can see him in the independent feature films Alien Valley and EAT. Nate recently finished directing his first feature, a comedy called Man Camp, which will be released Fall 2019. He enjoys punk music from all eras and loves watching films of all kinds, The Office, Parks and Rec, and Arrested Development.
Neil Stevens – “The Monster”
Neil Stevens is a writer and director born in Lynn, Massachusetts. As a kid he spent a lot of time in Salem, MA, visiting the witch dungeons, camping out, and telling ghost stories. He has directed a number of short films that have played at festivals around the world, such as “The Clapper” and “Don’t Call 630-296-7536.” His main inspirations are Guillermo Del Toro, Jordan Peele, and John Carpenter. His new movie “The Monster” premiered at Mammoth Film Festival and has been terrifying audiences all throughout 2019.
Parker Finn – The Hidebehind
Originally from Northern Ohio, Parker Finn became obsessed with cinema from a young age. He received an MFA from Chapman University, and now resides in Los Angeles, where he splits his time writing features and directing short films. If it’s frightening, unnerving, or makes him jump, he’s probably going to love it. If it’s Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch, or Stephen King, he’s definitely going to love it.
Rion Smith – “The Fisherman”
Rion Smith is a bipedal, caffeine dependent mammal. He’s an ER nurse at an inner city hospital in Denver and when not working, trades off between napping aggressively and movie making. He lived for two years in the jungle in a Mayan village without power and running water and can speak Mayan, which is pretty useless in Colorado. He has many cliché interests including camping, hiking, listening to music and hunting for the Elder Gods.
Ryan Grulich – “Georgie”
Ryan Grulich is a writer/director/producer. He is the co-owner of media and press group Creepy Kingdom based in Los Angeles and works full time in the entertainment industry producing events and content for corporate and personal efforts. He enjoys long walks on the beach, bonsai, literature and Woody Allen films. He currently resides in Seattle, WA with his family and quite a few plants. He gets his headshots done in the Matrix and hates speaking in the third person, but definitely wrote this bio.
Sean Mullin – 3 Days
Sean Mullin is an award-winning screenwriter and film director. His theatrically-released films include: Amira & Sam (writer/director), Semper Fi (writer/producer), Kings of Beer (writer/director), and Allegiance (producer). As a screenwriter, he’s been hired to write screenplays for an incredibly wide range of high-profile artists, spanning the spectrum from Ridley Scott to Britney Spears. Sean holds an MFA from Columbia University and a B.S. from The United States Military Academy at West Point. Sean resides in Los Angeles, where he runs Five By Eight Productions and occasionally teaches filmmaking at USC, AFI, and West Point.
Steven Jackley – Bad Resolution
Steven K. Jackley is a Writer/Director/Producer in the Pacific Northwest. Raised in a small town in Illinois, Steven moved to Portland, Oregon in his early 20’s and fell in love with the setting. Always being a writer, he wrote several feature length scripts before he made the leap into film. His company, Sterling Falls Productions, deals primarily in Horror and Dark comedies.
Tim Blough – 2019 Horror Bumper
Tim Blough is a member of SAG/AFTRA as well as Actors’ Equity and has been acting professionally for over 35 years. He has more than 70 plays to his credit as well as numerous independent films, commercials and TV appearances, including TNT’s Leverage and NBC’s Grimm. He has written and directed several short videos. A fan of the horror and sci-fi genre he is looking forward to this year’s festival.
Ty Huffer – @SelfieJunkie
Ty Huffer resides in Seattle, Washington and is a graduate of the Seattle Film Institute. A writer, director, editor, and shooter he has made award winning films such as the feature Bite Size, a dark sci-fi indie comedy about a man who wakes up to find a talking shark in his hot tub. He is also the creator of award winning shorts and music videos. A film fanatic at a young age, it was his interest in telling fun and compelling stories, and inspiration from films like Big Trouble in Little China and Charlton Heston’s Omega Man that made him pursue a career in film. He continues to create engaging stories, think outside of the box, and push out new content aiming to stretch the viewer’s imaginations, surprise them, and most importantly make them scream and laugh.
Zack Ogle – We Got a Monkey’s Paw
Zack Ogle is writer/actor currently working away in Los Angeles. He has written and directed several award winning short films including “Death Has a Son”, “Polterghost”, and “Social Justice Strangers”. Zack is one half of the queer af, sex-positive comedy podcast duo “We’re Not Together with Zack and Haley”, and is currently writing a stage musical comedy about the War of Currents and the electrocution of a falsely accused elephant. He’ll be sure to tell you about it if you buy him a drink at the after party.