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Double, Double Toil and Trouble!

2017 Horrible Imaginings “Toil and Trouble” Jury and Audience Awards!

It should go without saying that every film selected for exhibition on the gorgeous MOPA cinema screen deserves recognition, applause, and deepest respect. We received tons of great feedback over the course of the festival, but again and again the biggest compliment was to the strength and power of the programming. Congratulations to every single filmmaker who was selected this year!

Click on titles for more info on each film! Please scroll down to read about our wonderful judges!

In Recognition of a Lifetime of Achievement in the Arts

Dee Wallace

Best Youth or Student Film


Best San Diego Film


Best Score in a Short Film

Fabio Frizzi – Saint Frankenstein

Best Score in a Feature Film

Simon Birch & Dan Jones – B&B

Best Effects in a Short Film

The Call of Charlie

Best Effects in a Feature Film

Happy Hunting

Best Cinematography in a Short Film

A Nearly Perfect Blue Sky

Best Cinematography in a Feature Film

Joe Dietsch – Happy Hunting

Best Screenplay of a Short Film

A Nearly Perfect Blue Sky

Best Screenplay of a Feature Film


Best Actor in a Short Film

Niko Verona – Downunder

Best Actress in a Short Film

Melanie Gaydos – A Nearly Perfect Blue Sky

Best Actress in a Feature Film

Alex Essoe – Midnighters

Best Actor in a Feature Film

Paul McGann – B&B

Best Director of a Short Film

Quarxx – A Nearly Perfect Blue Sky

Best Director of a Feature Film

Joe Ahearne – B&B

Funniest Horror Comedy


Best Animated Film

The Servant


A Nearly Perfect Blue Sky



Best “Monster Show” Short Film


Best Dramatic Short Film

A Nearly Perfect Blue Sky

Best Feature Film


Meet Our Judges!

beth accomando

Beth Accomando covers arts and culture around San Diego for KPBS News, and “satisfies our celluloid addiction” with her Cinema Junkie Podcast! Beth studied film at UCSD and had her student film Writer’s Notebook screened as part of the Museum of Contemporary Art’s “Forty-Two Emerging Artists” showcase in 1981. She has edited the sequels to “The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” and video documentaries on Billy Wilder and roller hockey.

Beth has been a film critic for more than 20 years and began at KPBS in 1987. Since 1997 she has been covering independent and international cinema as well as pop culture for National Public Radio and Public Radio International’s The World. She has received numerous Society of Professional Journalist Awards and San Diego Press Club Awards for her radio and web site work at KPBS. She has also received 11 southwestern area Emmy Awards in the categories of producing, writing, and sound design for promotional spots as well as national Pro Max and Telly Awards while working at Fox.

She has a passion for Hong Kong cinema, Japanese monster movies, horror, and film noir. She collects movie posters and toys, and loves putting on a haunted house every year.


Cathy Alberich was born in Mexico City in 1981. She studied Communications in the University of Tijuana. In 2006 she obtained the Mexican National Arts Found Grant to produce her first Horror Sci-Fi short film “Algesia” in partnership with Escandalos Productions. Her work has been selected in Festivals around the world including Film School Confidential, Horrible Imaginings Horror Film Festival of San Diego, Alt. Picture Shows, Mórbido Film Festival, The Morelia International Film Festival, Fantasia Film Festival and Mercado de las Flores in Spain.  

Her fashion and social content short documentaries were also produced by state and national grants in 2008 and 2010. In 2011 she founded and directed the First Horror Film Festival in Tijuana México in collaboration with Mórbido Film Festival and Aaron Soto, produced by the University of Tijuana where she also functioned as Communications, Media and Film Studies coordinator.

In 2012 she was featured in “Obra Negra” a National Culture Council for the Arts catalog publication in Mexico that gathers a group of representative artists of Tijuana Baja California. She has collaborated as a writer for the film sections of Pulso and Nylon Magazines. After living in the Tijuana-San Diego border for 29 years, she now resides in Vancouver Canada where she continues to explore and enjoy the art of filmmaking.


Eric Elick is an American composer based in Los Angeles, California and has been composing music since 1998 in diverse genres ranging from singer-songwriter, classical, alternative, pop, experimental, new age, jazz, epic, solo piano, electronic, to most recently breaking into film scoring. Eric has also been a judge for best score at the 2015 Horrible Imaginings Film Festival in San Diego.

He began his film scoring career with the award winning independent film, The Tour (2014). Eric has recently completed the original score for the feature film Egomaniac (2016) and will be attending the world premiere this August in London at FrightFest. Eric has just signed on to score two new films: The Jitterman (2016) directed by Alex Mathieson and Dissociative (2016) directed by Damon Rickard. Mr. Rickard’s film will be played at this year’s Horrible Imaginings Film Festival in San Diego and Eric will be reprising his role as judge for best score in short and feature film categories. Other projects set to be announced later this year.

Eric can be found on all major social media platforms @ericelickmusic and at ericelickmusic.com

Kirsten McKallionKirsten McCallion went to SDSU film school, directed some award winning shorts, like STASH. She has worked on numerous projects in the film industry as a writer, including TCM3D and most recently EXETER. She doesn’t think she should mention that she did a TV movie for Oxygen, but I’m totally mentioning that anyway! She was also born on Halloween Night, which has always been a reason she has felt close to all things horror!

Shant Hamassian is a Horrible Imaginings Alumnus with his viral short, NIGHT OF THE SLASHER. It played in over 180 festivals, won 50 awards, became the first horror short to be a Vimeo Staff Pick Premiere, and is OSCAR qualified. Night of the Slasher has also won the best screenplay award from Horrible Imaginings. He is currently developing the feature film and other projects.

Frank woodwardFrank H. Woodward is an award-winning producer, director, writer and documentary filmmaker with over 25 years experience in film and television production.

His feature documentaries are fueled by a deep love of sci-fi, horror and fantasy. His first documentary was the award winning LOVECRAFT: FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN. This chronicle of the life, work and mind of author H.P. Lovecraft featured interviews with Neil Gaiman, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Peter Straub, John Carpenter and Guillermo Del Toro.

His other documentary work includes the critically acclaimed MEN IN SUITS, a look at the art of creature suits and the actors that bring those characters to life including Doug Jones, Tom Woodruff, Jr. and the original Godzilla, Haruo Nakajima.

As a screenwriter, Frank wrote the sequel WRONG TURN 6: LAST RESORT for Fox and the SyFy Original Movie BLACK FOREST. He was also an executive producer on the SyFy International film FIREQUAKE.

Currently, Frank completed the short films BALLOON and QUINT IN ’58 (co-directed with Jack Bennett) while writing three of the ELEMENTS OF DISASTER TV film series and an animated film for Dark Dunes Productions. A “film entrepreneur”, Frank is thrilled to explore new frontiers for independent filmmakers beyond the Hollywood system.

Our Trophy Sculptor!

Tyler Ham

Tyler Ham is an accomplished artist with demonstrated business acumen, Tyler has directed successful projects across multiple media including film, animation, 2D/3D product design and digital sculpting. His portfolio of work includes feature length movies, animated shorts, commercials, toys and apparel, collaborating with established brands across his career: Star Wars, Marvel Comics, Universal Monsters, Ghostbusters, PlayStation, Sonic the Hedgehog, Game of Thrones, Bare Essentials, Ford, Verizon and Mobile One among others.

Tyler’s professional background includes stints at leading studios and production houses, PDI / DreamWorks and Industrial Light & Magic (he contributed significantly to their 2007 Academy Award for Best Visual Effects on Pirates of the Caribbean 2). He has led multi-disciplinary teams comprised of internal staff and third party vendors for licensing initiatives at SEGA of America and Factory Entertainment, and has been sought out for his expertise on specialized freelance projects.

Tyler’s reputation for efficiency is well deserved; he always finds faster and better ways to achieve superior results that benefit both the client and the entire team. He’s also known for his resourcefulness, positive attitude, laser focus and meticulous eye for detail, believing that research is essential to product integrity. A mentor to his team, he provides clear direction, collaborates extensively and delights internal and external audiences.