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Which Films Did Audiences Vote For?

hiff2014 trophy


(Design and sculpt by Tyler Ham; photo by Dante Moran)

I am in the middle of my reflection about this year’s festival, but who am I kidding? You all want to hear about the awards, right? So let’s do this! First a word about how the categories were chosen:

The awards categories has been a difficult piece of the festival for me philosophically because I dislike putting the films I have chosen in competition with one another. I think of myself as an art curator, and the competition feels crass, like doing the same for a gallery of paintings or sculpture. Finding a way to reconcile my feelings with the reality of filmmakers’ expectations has taken some soul searching, but I think I have found two ways.

The first is to make the audience my jury. Ultimately, having the general audience member see a list of films in a category after a festival of almost 50 films, have to remember the films, and then having to make a choice of one says something about how much that particular film must have stood out. This is about how memorable a film was, but also about how effective it was holistically.

The second way is to base my awards categories on that holistic approach to a film’s effectiveness. Our whole philosophy of horror is that it is the most sincere and honest of storytelling genres. Its tendency towards baseness simultaneously tends to address the core of who we are: our fears, or worries, our insecurities, and more.

That is why I decided to cut the bullshit of awards categories and focus on exactly what a film was attempting to accomplish. Did it want to scare you? Did it want to make you laugh at the darkness? Were you supposed to be repulsed? Invited to think? The categories are largely based elements such as these in order for you to decide how successfully a film set out to do what it intended. Of course, some films will fit multiple categories. For films to qualify, they had to be completed in either 2013 or 2014. 

I got told by most of the audience again and again how painful and difficult these decisions were to make. One person went as far as to say, and I quote: 

“Curse you Miguel Rodriguez! Only a monster would make us pick favorites amongst such an awesome selection of films. It’s like having to pick a favorite child!”

We had one of the best programs of films we’ve ever had this year, and every single film we played should feel huge loads of pride in their work. I sincerely believe that. 

By the way, did you get left out of the SOLD OUT Horrible Imaginings Film Festival this year? Fear not! You will be able to see the local shorts, as well as the 3rd, 2nd, and 1st place short film WINNERS at the San Diego Film Consortium’s Halloween Costume Party on Friday, October 24th at BANG ZOOM POW! downtown! See the winning films, get delicious food and craft beer, and don’t forget your costumes! For more info and to RSVP, click on the pick below or here for the Facebook Event!

fc halloween

That’s about it! So let’s get started with the feature film categories. 

Best Overall Feature Film

Third Place: Hi-8: Horror Independent 8

Second Place: Call Girl of Cthulhu

1st Place: Dead Snow 2: Red Vs. Dead

dead_snow_2_poster2 (Duplicate) (Duplicate) (Duplicate)


Best Feature Film to Use Extremely Limited Resources

I decided to add this category because extreme low budgets can lead to some interesting ideas. In order to qualify, the film budget had to be below 2 million dollars.

Third Place: Another World

Second Place: Hi-8: Horror Independent 8

1st Place: Call Girl of Cthulhu

Films So Far! (Duplicate) (Duplicate)




And now for our short film categories!

Short Film: Paranormal and Sci-Fi

Both the paranormal and science fiction try to consider the unknown or our place in the universe. Which film addresses those feelings best?

Third Place: The Tour

Second Place: Insane

1st Place: The Stomach



Short Film: Zombie & Creature Feature

Zombie and other monsters are a classic staple of the genre. Which one left the greatest mark on you?

Third Place: Dead Hearts

Second Place: Tales of a 5th Grade Zombie Slayer

1st Place: Naked Zombie Girl



Short Film: Finger Mask Films

Which film really made you squirm? This could be because of disturbing content, or because it was just plain gross. Which was most effective and making you want to cover your eyes? 

Third Place: I Am Monster

Second Place: La Carne Cruda

1st Place: Silk

Silk  Final Poster med


Short Film: Go Ahead. . .Make Me Laugh!

Which films were best at communicating dark material through comedy?

Third Place: Waterborne

Second Place: Bad Company

1st Place: The Working Dead



Short Film: The Slasher or Human Killer

Which films showed how vicious a human being can be, or focused on a killer who was a regular human being?

Third Place: Bad Company

Second Place: Kira

1st Place: The Wyatt



Short Film: Surrealism or Experimentalism

Third Place: Sinnside

Second Place: Lady and the Tooth

1st Place: Black Lullaby

black lullaby

Best Overall Short Film

Did one stand out as your absolute favorite–the best in every category? Which short film will remain in your memory for a while to come?

Third Place: Alexia

Second Place: Black Lullaby

1st Place: Dead Hearts

The Kiss _Dead Hearts_


Well, there you have the winners of the 2014 Horrible Imaginings Film Festival! All winners were selected by votes from the audience members! If you are near San Diego and you missed these excellent films,  you can have the chance to see them at the San Diego Film Consortium’s Halloween Costume Party on Friday, October 24th at BANG ZOOM POW! downtown

fc halloween


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