H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary with a Stellar Streaming Version

September 28, 2020

Written by Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry is the Film Festival Editor for Horror Fuel; all film festival related queries and announcements should be sent to him at [email protected] He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.

More than 60 feature-length and short films inspired by the work of H.P. Lovecraft are slated for this year’s H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, which marks the 25th edition of this highly revered cinematic event. Festival directors Brian and Gwen Callahan are taking the fest online this year — as they did in June with Portland Horror Film Festival — which opens up H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival to a much larger audience than in the past.

As one of H.P. Lovecraft Film Fesetival’s selection judges, I can personally attest to the quality of the films that the fest has on tap. These include the wild, wooly, and jaw-dropping ride The Hill and the Hole, based on a short story by Fritz Leiber, in which a state-employed archaeologist comes across a strange, undocumented mound in a highly remote area, and the Estonian portmanteau Eerie Fairy Tales, which collects a fine group of occult stories, ancient myths, and urban legends. A complete lineup of the features and shorts can be found at https://hplfilmfestival.com/hplfilmfestival-portland-or/films. Following is the festival’s official press release.

The Hill and the Hole

This October 1-4 is the 25th Anniversary of the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival®, and this year the celebration of Independent cosmic horror cinema will be served directly to your living room!

This huge, vibrant festival usually takes place on 3 screens and in secondary venues with multiple art, music, film, and live events.

Fans in the U.S. can get streaming passes through the Hollywood Theatre website at https://hollywoodtheatre.org/events/25th-annual-hp-lovecraft-film-festival-cthulhucon/.

This year’s virtual Guests of Honor are Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, Reborn, From Beyond) and award winning author Victor LaValle (The Changeling). Festival programming features new independent feature and short films in the cosmic horror and Weird tale tradition, plus live and interactive events, Q&As, presentations, and panel discussions that make this much more than just watching movies at home.

Festival directors Brian and Gwen Callahan are looking forward to celebrating this milestone with their festival family even if it’s in virtual space, but in light of the pandemic, they firmly believe moving to a streaming format is the safest and best course of action. “We knew we didn’t want to cancel the festival outright. It’s something we all look forward to every year, and maintaining some sense of normalcy is extra important!” said Gwen Callahan. “Things keep getting weirder and we’re all isolated here in the US, so we think the right thing to do is to bring the right kind of Weird directly into your home!” 

Eerie Fairy Tales

Gwen and Brian are also the directors of Portland Horror Film Festival, and took that event online in June, making it the first all-horror film festival in the U.S. to stream its entire program. The H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival was founded in 1995 by Andrew Migliore to promote the work of Lovecraft-inspired independent filmmakers from around the world. Since taking the reins in 2011, current directors Gwen and Brian Callahan have grown the festival to a three-day extravaganza of film, art, author readings, scholarly presentations, live performances, tabletop gaming demos, and are working hard to bring a taste of all these experiences to the streaming festival.

The H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival stands with the Black Lives Matter movement. H. P. Lovecraft was a pulp author during the 1920s and 1930s, and is one of the most influential horror writers of the modern era. Like many American historical figures, he is problematic due to his racist personal beliefs. The festival believes in celebrating his substantial influence on art, music, film, and literature, while acknowledging but firmly rejecting his racist views. The H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival’s mission has always been to encourage and showcase new voices that expand on the cosmic horror genre.  Featuring over 60 films from 20 countries with filmmakers and panelists of diverse ethnicities, gender identities, and sexualities, an integral part of the festival’s programming is highlighting the amazing breadth of modern cosmic horror.

Regular passes and single day tickets will be available shortly through the Hollywood Theatre.

For the latest updates, please visit the official festival website at https://www.hplfilmfestival.com


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