The Final Girls Berlin Film Festival returns for the 4th edition with its annual showcase of horror films that were directed, written, and/or produced by women and non-binary filmmakers from across the globe.
The Festival will take place in Berlin, Germany from January 31st to February 3rd 2019.
This year the program consists of seven feature films, eight curated short blocks. This edition’s shorts will also highlight Vera Miao’s ‘Two Sentence Horror Stories’. Inspired by the viral fan fiction of two sentence horror stories, the anthology series features disturbing updated tales of horror and haunting for the digital age. In addition to the visual smorgasbord, FGBFF v4.0 will be presenting four filmmaker panels that will be dissecting some of horror’s more nuanced topics ranging from intersectionality in slasher flicks to an analysis of gender and body horror. To round out this year’s offering the fest will also host a Pretty Deadly self-defense workshop.
Festival Co-Director Elinor Lewy says “We’ve got a jam-packed and highly international program which expands and challenges definitions of the horror genre” and fellow director Sara Neidorf adds “Final Girls is bringing you a whole different spin on the genre– exploring different fears and fantasies, with more diversity behind and in front of the camera, and a critical gaze on the structures and systems plaguing society.”
dir. Daniel Goldhaber, USA, 2018
CAM is a technology-driven horror film set in the world of webcam porn. It follows Alice, an ambitious camgirl, who wakes up one day to discover she’s been replaced on her show with an exact replica of herself. As this copy begins to push the boundaries of Alice’s internet identity, the control that Alice has over her life vanishes. While she struggles to regain what she’s lost, she slowly finds herself drawn back to her show and to the mysterious person who has taken her place.
HOUNDS OF LOVE
dir. Ben Young, Australia, 2016
In mid 1980s Australia, seventeen year old Vicki Maloney is randomly abducted from a suburban street by a disturbed couple. As she observes the dynamic between her captors, she quickly realizes she must drive a wedge between them in order to survive.
TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID
dir. Issa López, Mexico, 2017
A gritty fairytale about a gang of five street children trying to survive the horrific violence of drug cartels and the ghosts created by the Mexican drug war. Ten-year-old Estrella has three wishes, the first of which is that her missing mother returns. Her wish comes true, but she returns in the form of spectral visions. Her intuition leads her to join a gang of orphaned boys, with whom she must fight real-world and supernatural evils. A beautiful mix of fantasy and reality and an exploration of the powerful strength and resilience of children amidst the tragic horrors surrounding them. This film, which has been compared to Pan’s Labyrinth, has received sweeping critical acclaim and has been a much-discussed favorite at numerous film fests around the world, including Fantastic Fest (USA), where it premiered.
dir. Jason Banker, USA, 2014
Amy, a San Francisco artist, is haunted by a recent trauma. As she veers dangerously close to a complete emotional and psychological breakdown, she plunges into the world of her art as a coping mechanism. She re-appropriates the male form by creating an alter ego that assumes power and domination. When Amy meets Kenny, a seemingly nice, down-to-earth guy, she decides to open herself up to him, hoping he can restore her faith in mankind.
dir. Christina Choe, USA, 2018
NANCY is a provocative psychological thriller about love, intimacy, and trust – and what happens when lies become truth. Craving connection with others, Nancy creates elaborate identities and hoaxes under pseudonyms on the internet. When she meets a couple whose daughter went missing thirty years ago, fact and fiction begin to blur in Nancy’s mind, and she becomes increasingly convinced these strangers are her real parents. As their bond deepens, reasonable doubts give way to willful belief – and the power of emotion threatens to overcome all rationality.
dirs. Juliana Rojas & Marco Dutra, Brazil/France, 2017
Set in São Paulo, the film follows Clara, a lonely nurse from the outskirts of the city who is hired by mysterious and wealthy Ana to be the nanny of her soon to be born child. Against all odds, the two women develop a strong bond. But a fateful night marked by a full moon changes their plans. With powerful visuals and an impeccable cinematography, GOOD MANNERS is a genre hybrid – an unexpected and wild werewolf movie unlike any other and a poignant social and racial allegory on modern-day Brazilian society.
MESSIAH OF EVIL
dirs. Willard Huyck & Gloria Katz, USA, 1973
A young woman named Arletty goes searching for her missing artist father. Her journey takes her to a strange Californian seaside town governed by a mysterious undead cult. Despite many warnings to stay away from the town which consumed her father, especially as the portentous “blood moon” approaches, Arletty delves deeper into the town and the uncanny people within it. Are they vampires? Cannibals? Zombies? This obscure cult classic unfolds its own eccentric mythologies and atmospheric amidst haunting music and cinematography. Film Comment called it “one of the top 10 classic, overlooked horror films of all time.”
Talks and Workshops
Hysteria and Demonic Possession: A Psychoanalytic Investigation
Mary Wild leads a talk that focuses on cinematic representations of demonic possession as a manifestation of unresolved unconscious conflict. Iconic depictions of possession are startlingly similar to fits of hysteria, where language no longer functions normally. Words, memories, experiences and impulses become ‘trapped’ in the interior psychic space, forced under house-arrest in the hysteric’s body, and manifesting in chilling ways.
About the instructor: Mary Wild is the creator of the PROJECTIONS lecture series at Freud Museum London, applying psychoanalysis to film interpretation.
Burn it to the ground: Looking back at the problem of intersectionality in 80s slasher films and the way forward &
Gender and Body Horror: A New Paradigm of Terror
‘Burn it to the ground’ begins with an intersectional analysis of three slasher films from the 80s – an era of horror frequently critiqued for its marked lack of nuanced characters and, more pertinently, presenting a cookie-cutter version of American society that is markedly lacking in diversity. Lang compares with modern horror films that seek to create a more fulsome depiction of intersectional characters: Tragedy Girls, Boo!, May, People Under the Stairs and others, to examine a spectrum of bodily representation.
For her second talk at FGBFF Lang will look at the way women and trans bodies have been used in horror films as sites of terror and metaphors for the monstrosities of psychological/sexual trauma in film taking examples from Teeth, Rabid, In My Skin, Raw, Thanatomorphose, Contracted and others. Lang will also examine and discuss how horror films deal with gender dysphoria and trans characters in a variety of films like Psycho and Silence of the Lambs, and the early works of David Cronenberg.
About the instructor: Alison Lang is a writer and editor based in Toronto, Ontario. She writes about music, horror movies, DIY culture and other weird things.
Feminist Takes on Technology and Reproductive Horror
A graphically illustrated tour through the mutant offspring, weaponized tools and evolutionary agendas of feminist reproductive horror films that explore brave new worlds of reproductive technologies. From the Alien series through Evolution and beyond, we’ll look at the badass, broody bitches from post-pill cinema leading up to today.
About the instructor: Alanna Thain is Associate Professor of Cultural Studies and World Cinemas at McGill University in Montreal. She is the author of Bodies in Time: Suspense, Affect, Cinema (U. of Minnesota Press 2017). She is also a member of the Montreal Monstrum Society.
What If She Fought Back? Pretty Deadly Self Defense Workshop
Pretty Deadly Self Defense takes scenes from six of our favorite classic horror films and turns them around on the bad guy. Here’s your chance to learn some self defense techniques to fight back against villainous favs Jack, Jason, Freddy, Candyman, and more!
Pretty Deadly Self Defense is a self-trust building, self-empowering, self-defense program based in Berlin.
Short Film Programs
-My Monster (Dir. Izzy Lee, USA, 2018, German Premiere)
-Instinct (Dir. Maria Alice Arida, USA, 2017, German Premiere)
-Sell Your Body (Dir. Jannelle Yee, USA, 2017)
-Pages (Dir. Shaan Couture, France/USA, 2018, European Premiere)
-Supine (Dir. Nicole Goode, Czech Republic/Canada, 2018, German Premiere)
-Puppet Master (Dir. Hanna Bergholm, Finland, German Premiere)
-Two-Sentence Horror Stories: Singularity (Dir. Vera Miao, USA, 2017, European Premiere)
-Real Artists (Dir. Cameo Wood, USA, 2017)
-Just After Midnight (Dirs. Anne-Marie Puga & Jean-Raymond Garcia, France, 2017)
-Enid (Dir. Brad Netherclift, Australia, 2016)
-42 Counts (Dir. Jill Gevargizian, USA, 2018, German Premiere)
-Dreams From The Ocean (Dir. Carolina Sandvik, USA, 2018, German Premiere)
-Asian Girls (Dir. Hyun Lee, Australia, 2017)
-Devil Woman (Dir. Heidi Douglas, Australia, 2018, German Premiere)
-Knock Knock (Dir. Kennekki Jones-Jones, USA, 2018, European Premiere)
-Dulce Hogar (Dir. Giovana Olmos, Mexico/Canada, 2018)
-My Final Girl: Black Women in American Horror (Dir. Laura Spark, UK, 2017)
-11 Minutes (Dir. Hilda Lopes Pontes, Brazil, 2018, German Premiere)
-Catcalls (Dir. Kate Dolan, Ireland, 2017)
–Baptism (Dir. Mackenzie Bartlett, USA, 2017)
-All Men Must Die! (Dir. Kate Beacom, USA, 2018, European Premiere)
-Allen Anders – Live at the Comedy Castle (Dir. Laura Moss, USA, 2018, German Premiere)
-Control (Dir. Kimmy Gatewood, USA, 2018, European Premiere)
-Panic Attack (Dir. Eileen O’Meara, USA, 2018)
-Pink Trailer (Dir. Macey Isaacs, USA, 2018, German Premiere)
-Cherry (Dir. Paul Holbrook, UK, 2018)
-Polyfilia (Dir. Scarlett Anderson, UK, 2018, European Premiere)
-Evströnger (Dir. Silvia Conesa, Spain, 2017)
-The Party (Dir. Mackenzie Bartlett, USA, 2018)
-The Only Thing I Love More Than You Is Ranch Dressing (Dir. Sydney Clara Brafman USA, 2018, German Premiere)
-Mouse (Dir. Celine Held & Logan George, USA, 2017)
Long in the Tooth
-I Am Albert (Dir. Aurélia Raoull, France, 2018)
-Entropia (Dir. Marinah Janello, USA, 2018, German Premiere)
-The Old Woman Who Hid Her Fear Under the Stairs (Dir. Faye Jackson, UK, 2017, German Premiere)
-Shell Phone (Dir. Miren Mujika, Spain, 2018, German Premiere)
-Grammy (Dir. Jill Gevargizian, USA, 2015, German Premiere)
-Centrifugado (Dir. Mireia Noguera, Spain, 2017, German Premiere)
-La Proeza (Isaac Berrocal, Spain, 2018, German Premiere)
-Two Sentence Horror Stories: Second Skin (Dir. Ryan Spindell, USA, 2017, European Premiere)
-Caroline (Dir. Celine Held & Logan George, USA, 2018)
-Little (Dir. Brittany Brock, USA, 2018, German Premiere)
-TiCK (Dir. Ashlea Wessel, Canada, 2018, German Premiere)
– ¿Quieres que hoy te bese? [Do You Want Me to Kiss You This Time?] (Dir. Miriam Ortega Domínguez, Spain, 2018, German Premiere)
-A Death Story Called Girl (Dir. Nathalia Beahand, USA, 2018)
-Silhouettes (Dir. Sarah Brill, USA, 2018, International Premiere)
-Lucy’s Tale (Chelsea Lupkin, USA, 2018, European Premiere)
Flesh and Blood
-Blood Runs Down (Dir. Zandashé Brown, USA, 2018)
-Hana (Dir. Mai Nakanishi, Japan, 2018, Berlin Premiere)
-Colony (Dir. Catherine Bonny, Australia, 2018, European Premiere)
-Ma (Dir. Vera Miao, USA, 2017, European Premiere)
-The Pig Child (Dir. Lucy Campbell, UK, 2014)
-9 Steps (Dir. Marisa Crespo & Moises Romera, Spain, 2018, Berlin)