This fall, Cinephile Film Arts, a local non-profit media arts group, will present a film festival like nothing Bloomington has ever seen. The second annual Dark Carnival is a festival of independent horror films from all over the US and all over the world, including New Zealand, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Canada, Great Britain, and Switzerland. The festival features special guests, multiple film screenings, live music, and a live carnival sideshow.
The festival will screen of dozens of the absolute best independent horror films, divided into separate screening sessions at multiple venues throughout Bloomington, including the Cinemat Screening Room, the Starlight Drive-In, the Buskirk-Chumley Theater and the Rose Firebay in the John Waldron Arts Center.
The Dark Carnival welcomes visiting filmmakers from all over the world, and special celebrity guests including Ari Lehman ("Jason" from the horror classic Friday the 13th), John Dugan (“Grandpa” from Texas Chainsaw Massacre ), Indiana’s legendary horror host Sammy Terry, reigning indie scream queen Tiffany Shepis, renowned horror artist Jeff Gaither, local horror actor Marv Blauvelt, and many more.
The main festival kicks off under the big top, at the Starlight Drive-In on Thursday, September 18 with live bands, including First Jason, featuring the original “Jason Voorhees” (Friday the 13th), Ari Lehman. The event also features live sideshow entertainment including belly dancers, fire eaters, snake handlers, and more – as well as a fireworks show and special film screenings!
The festival continues on Friday with even more of the world’s best indie horror films, as well as celebrity guest appearances including a celebrity meet & greet autograph session – then be sure to stay with us late into the night for an “adults only” screening series (18 & over).
Saturday, begins with “Women In Horror,” a Q&A panel that explores women’s evolving roles in horror cinema, both in front and behind the camera. Panel guests include actress Tiffany Shepis (Detour, Nightmare Man, Black Friday, Dark Reel), and writer/producer/director Susan Adriensen - followed by multiple screening series throughout the day. Saturday wraps up with a VIP Awards Banquet at Scholars Inn, welcoming celebrity guests and visiting filmmakers. The banquet includes an open bar, and a very limited number of banquet passes will be available for sale to the public.
Dark Carnival wraps up on Sunday, September 21 at the Rose Firebay with our Festival Favorites film screenings which include hand-picked favorites from members of our festival selection panel. Sunday also includes special effects and filmmaking seminars.
And while the ‘official’ start of the festival is Thursday, horror fans can get a taste of the Dark Carnival at the Cinemat Screening Room, beginning at 7:30pm on Tuesday and Wednesday (Sept. 16-17) as festival organizers present FREE mini-screenings including a variety of shorts, feature length films and trailers.
There will also be vendor/merchandise booths at the Buskirk-Chumley on Friday and Saturday, and concessions, including beer, will be available for sale. (Must be 21 or older to purchase beer.)
Weekend passes get you into all the festival events and are on sale now for only $25 or $19 for students. (VIP Banquet Passes sold separately). Individual day passes are only $12 and just $6 on Sunday.
You can visit www.DarkCarnivalFilmFest.com for more details.
The Dark Carnival is presented by Cinephile Film Arts, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting independent filmmaking. The Dark Carnival is sponsored by Rue Morgue Magazine, Avid Software, Final Draft, B97 FM Radio, Bucceto’s, Summerhouse Inn, Campus Costume, and Haunted Indiana Magazine.