Australia’s premier festival of cult, horror and the fantastic, Monster Fest have announced the appointment of its new Festival Director, renowned Canadian film programmer and author Kier-La Janisse (pictured above). Acclaimed author of the autobiographical House of Psychotic Women, Janisse arrives at Monster Fest after nearly two decades of experience on the genre festival circuit, having worked for such prestigious events as Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival, Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX and founding Canada’s first horror film festival, CineMuerte (1999-2005) as well as co-founding revered Montreal micro-cinema Blue Sunshine.
In addition to her Monster Fest duties, Kier-La also runs Spectacular Optical Publications (Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s) and founded the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, which has branches in Montreal and London, with a US branch opening later in the year. Says Monster Fest founder Neil Foley:
The appointment of Kier-La signals a real intent on behalf of Monster Fest to permanently etch its way into the Australian cinema landscape” “In recent times genre film festivals have emerged to become among the most exciting, important and well-attended screen culture events on the planet, both in terms of launching new talent, and celebrating their more established counterparts. Kier-La brings a dynamic mix of experience, knowledge and vision to the festival that we are confident will see Monster Fest take its place alongside some of the world’s finest film festivals. If you’re a fan of sensational genre cinema, whether from behind a camera, or in front of a screen, then this is an exciting day!
I can’t wait to start plotting out this year’s event with the Monster Fest team. I was wooed by the vibrant Australian genre film community when I visited Monster Fest as a panelist two years ago, and I feel this is an incredible opportunity to let my inner ‘monster kid’ out to play. The pool of local collaborators include some of the most important voices in genre criticism today, constituting a veritable brains-trust that ensures that this year’s festival will be a curatorial powerhouse and a massively fun event.
Monster Fest was established in 2011 as the exhibition arm of Monster Pictures, and since that time has garnered a reputation for showcasing some of the finest new independent genre films in the world (and we’ve reviewed quite a number of films shown there), giving Australian audiences an opportunity to see them on the big screen. Returning to Melbourne’s Lido Cinemas for its sixth edition, Monster Fest 2016 has been scheduled for to take place November 24th-27th.
Monster Fest has also announced that submissions for Features, Short Films and Expanded Cinema Projects open on February 26 with an Early Bird Deadline of April 29, a Regular Deadline of June 3 and a final, Extended Deadline of August 12, 2016. Submissions for Monster Fest 2016 can be processed via Film Freeway, Without a Box and Film Festival Life. Details and submission guidelines are available at www.monsterfest.com.au