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Horrible Imaginings 2015 Panel: The Rise of Mexican Horror!

Anyone who has grown up in a Mexican family knows that the scary story is an important element of growing up. What makes Mexican horror tales unique? Our panelists will help discuss all these elements and more! A look at the unique brand of horror from South of the Border: where it’s been, where it is, and where it’s going.

Friday, September 11th at 7:00pm


gigiGigi Saul Guerrero! Born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, Gigi moved to Vancouver B.C., where she graduated with honors her B.A. in Motion Picture Production at Capilano University's "Bosa Centre for Film and Animation". Now in her early 20's, her recent successes include the short film Dia De Los Muertos, which has received awards internationally, including the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Canada. Now her short film is being part of something much bigger "México Bárbaro", a Mexican horror anthology. She also directed M is for Matator, which is officially a part of the ABC's of Death 2.5, and has been screened in festivals from USA to Mexico to Japan! Now Guerrero is working with horror novelist Shane McKenzie on a new Mexican Horror film "El Gigante". Guerrero made a stamp in the horror community by recreating the original Evil Dead into 60 Seconds for a local contest, and was featured on sites such as Bloody Disgusting, Buzzfeed, and Gigi also had a hand at redefining the horror genre by co-creating the audience-interactive Web Series Choose Your Victim. The past year has been a busy one for Gigi, as she co-founded the production company Luchagore Productions with fellow filmmakers Luke Bramley and Raynor Shima. Along with their many projects, they also received some air-time on television by shooting a commercial spot for Fright Nights, a local horror attraction in partnership with Playland/PNE.
aaron sotoAaron Soto is a very talented filmmaker from right across the border in Tijuana. He is a connoisseur of all things cult genre, and has a special knowledge of rare Mexican exploitation films. His impressive short Omega Shell, screened at the 2011 Horrible Imaginings, and is a special example of what can be done with a little ingenuity. Amazingly, that futuristic steampunk scifi-horror short was completely for an astounding 200 dollars! He is the Coordinator of Rue Morgue magazine, Mexican section and has programmed the FERATUM FILM FEST and the San Diego Latino Film Festival Un Mundo Extrano Showcase. His films have been praised by Guillermo del Toro and Mark Romance and have won more than 30 awards including The Morelia International Film Festival. Aaron is the only Mexican director to had a retrospective at Fantasia International Film Festival in Canada and a very well known producer and supporter of new directors from both sides of the border. He directed the "Drena" segment of the anthology film "México Bárbaro" screening Friday September 11 at 8:20 pm after he joins us as part of the "The Rise of Mexican Horror" panel at 7:30pm.
MauricioMauricio Chernovetzky is a multi-cultural and multi-lingual film director who has worked with internationally recognized talent, such as Academy Award Nominated Stephen Rea and up-and-coming British ingénue Eleanor Tomlinson (The Illusionist, Alice in Wonderland). His supernatural feature, Styria, shot on location in Hungary, received the Industry Choice Award at the Dances With Films Festival in Hollywood. It was also selected to be the opening film at both, The Macabro Film Festival in Mexico City and The Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin. After screening in international festivals all over the world, Styria was picked up for North American distribution by Revolver Entertainment in 2015 and has been playing regularly on Showtime under the title Angels of Darkness. Mauricio was recently honored by Mexico’s Lower House of Congress, where he was asked to present his work. His thesis film, Cassandra was nominated for a National Student Academy Award. He is a graduate of Reed College, where he focused on Spanish Literature and the History of Religion and he studied directing at Roman Polanski’s alma mater, the National Polish Film School in Lodz.

The "Rise of Mexican Horror" Panel will open with Cherovetzky's short film "Dos Gatos" and be followed by a screening of the anthology horror film that is taking the world by storm: México Bárbaro! Catch Gigi Saul Guerrero's short "El Gigante" on Saturday, September 12th at 3:00pm!

mexico barbaro poster

2015 Horrible Imaginings Short Film: The Revenant!


Country of Origin: France

A young man believes that death is just a matter of will... To prove it: he jumps off his roof...and survives!

A hilarious showdown with the Grim Reaper!

"The Revenant" will be featured during the "Horror-Comedy" Short Film Block, starting at 12:00pm on Saturday, September 12th!

Part of Horrible Imaginings Horror Film Festival of San Diego's full line-up! Get Full Festival Passes or single screening tickets HERE!


Thibault Fraisse
revenant directors

Director Bio: Norman Jangot & Victor Druillet

We are French directors of 29 and 33 years old. After working for years in the French video game industry we decided to give up everything to become movie directors.


First they shot a clip for the rock band Dive Bar (2010) called Hurt Time.

Then they shot their first real short movie : The Fantastic Adventures of Athanase in 2011.

In 2013, they gave birth to The Revenant, Mocking Death and Life Tutorials.

Photo by Dave Waldman

#143 Merging the Horrific with the Beautiful: A Conversation with Performance Artist Anna Yanushkevich

Photo by Mike Oehl

Photo by Mike Oehl

I often say I like to use this podcast to discuss horror in art, history, literature, film, and beyond. Film tends to hog the limelight there, but today I get to talk art. Specifically, dance and performance art. Russian-born Anna Yanushkevich has been performing her curious acts in San Diego for at least as long as I've lived here. They mix dark and sometimes disturbing imagery with the beautiful fluidity of classical ballet, aerial art, and other kinds of abstract or interpretive dance.

It's not often you can hear a horror fan say, "I'm going to check out this interpretive dance piece," but I hope acts like Anna's can help open people's minds to different forms of expression. That's one of the things I wanted to talk to her about. Anna Yanushkevich is not afraid of going to some very dark places in her work, and the result is that it can be even more effective than the scariest horror film. Her latest show was San Diego's first Black Mass, which was held back in June. People feel genuine discomfort at this and a lot of her other work, which is why I find it so important. Sadly, she is moving away from San Diego to terrorize the arts community of Northern California, so I knew I had to get her on the podcast before she left. Dammit.

Anna and I ask discuss:

1. Leaving San Diego

2. Who is Anna and what does she do?

3. The genesis of Anna's art

4. Merging horrific imagery with beauty

5. The importance of classic training

6. The process of choreography

7. Working with the neo-burlesque troupe Pink Boombox

8. Staging San Diego's first (and last?) Black Mass

fire dance

Listen to the episode:


2015 Horrible Imaginings Local Spotlight Short: Lady in the Walls!

Country of Origin: San Diego Local Spotlight!

Something goes terribly wrong after some kids play a game and try to contact the dead.

"Lady in the Walls" will be featured in the "Supernatural Vs. Natural 'Supernatural'" Short Film Block, starting at 1:25pm on Sunday, September 13th!

Part of Horrible Imaginings Horror Film Festival of San Diego's full line-up! Get Full Festival Passes or single screening tickets HERE!


Maya Waterman

Laura Bohlin
Anything But Frogs, Desperadas, Ghostline, Carving a Life

Lia Marie Johnson

Director Bio: Brent Bokovoy

Brent was born in San Diego, Ca. His first short horror film "Monster in My Swimming Pool" won the Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights Short Film Contest. He was also nominated for Best Director and Writer for a Short Film at the 2014 San Diego Film Consortium Awards for "The Butcher Fairy." Brent also runs a horror filmmaking organization called ScreamMakers.


2015 Horrible Imaginings Short Film: Thorn!


Country of Origin: Japan

Synopsis: Atsushi is a high-school boy who has developed the power to move and explode objects by telekinesis. He lives a regular life by concealing his special power in his pet cactus whenever he feels that he is about to lose his temper. Things take a horrible turn when he becomes the target of a brutal gang of bullies and gets badly beaten at school. He endures the bullying for some time, but finally loses control and kills two of the bullies using his pent-up power. One of the bullies manages to escape. Devastated at what he's done, Atsushi jumps off a bridge to his death. The cactus is now passed onto Atsushi's mother and she is about to learn the secret of the strange cactus and who is responsible for her son's death......

"Thorn" will be featured during the "Natural Vs. Supernatural 'Supernatural'" Short Film Block, starting at 1:25pm on Sunday, September 13th!

Part of Horrible Imaginings Horror Film Festival of San Diego's full line-up! Get Full Festival Passes or single screening tickets HERE!


Asuka Kurosawa

Yuhei Sagawa

Hayate Matsuzaki
Director's headshot

Director Bio: Soichi Umezawa

Born in Kanagawa,Japan, Soichi shot his first short film using 8mm when he was 12. Ever since than, he’s made 6 short films unit he turned 15. His interest in special effects makeup sparked during high school where he was asked to make ghosts for a haunted house at a school event. He then began to teach himself the techniques and mailed photos of his creations to legendary FX artists like Dick Smith, Rick Baker and Steven Johnson and received feedbacks from the masters. After working as a cinema projectionist for 2 years, Soichi begun his professional career as an artist at a special FX company through Rick Baker’s introduction. He launched his own studio in 1997 and has been working on numerous movies, TV dramas and commercials and has won Japanese special FX makeup championships as part of the TV Champion, a popular Japanese variety show. In 2004, he worked as a special fx artist and a writer on a segment “Real” for a horror anthology “Prayer Beeds”. His latest director credit is “Y is for Youth” which is one of the segments of the horror anthology feature, ABCs of Death2.


2015 Horrible Imaginings Short Film: Balloon!

balloown poster

Country of Origin: USA

A little girl frees all of her birthday balloons. Halfway across the world, one of those balloons arrives at its destiny.

From the director of LOVECRAFT: FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN, THE SPLAT PACK, and MEN IN SUITS, all of which have been screened by Horrible Imaginings!

"Balloon" will be featured during the "Horror-Comedy" Short Film Block, starting at 4:45pm on Saturday, September 12th!

Part of Horrible Imaginings Horror Film Festival of San Diego's full line-up! Get Full Festival Passes or single screening tickets HERE!


Graham Skipper
FrankDirector: Frank H. Woodword