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SCREAMFEST 2020: Awards Announced


LOS ANGELES, CA (October 16, 2020) – The 20th annual Screamfest Horror Film Festival awarded their 2020 top movies, filmmakers, actors and screenplay during the fest’s closing night on Thursday, October 15. The festival, which ran from October 6-15, 2020, is the largest and longest running horror film festival in the United States. This year, the festival made an unprecedented move entirely to drive-in screenings with a lineup of ten back-to-back nights of fright, kicking off with Hulu’s Books of Blood at Calamigos Ranch and following with nine nights at the Regency Theaters’ The Plant Drive-In. 

Staying true to their mission of steadfastly supporting filmmakers and screenwriters in the horror and science fiction genres, Screamfest was home to 91 independent filmmakers during the course of its 10-day drive-in series, including 83 short film directors, 67 short film producers, 11 feature film directors, and 13 feature film producers, including 16 female directors and 15 POC filmmakers. In addition to the full festival line-up, the festival also hosted a variety of classics programming including favorites such as Halloween, Halloween II, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, Halloween 4 and Halloween 5

Film entries are accepted in the categories of Best Picture, Directing, Cinematography, Editing, Special Effects, Musical Score, and more.  This year’s Best Picture and Best Director went to Adam Stovall’s imaginative paranormal romance A Ghost Waits, which also nabbed Best Actor for MacLeod Andrews. Best Actress and Best Cinematography went to Australian psychological horror Sweet River. French film Anonymous Animals took home Best Editing and Best Musical Score, while the first ever Icelandic gay splatter vampire flick Thirst won Best Special Effects Makeup and Best Visual Effects. Please see awards recipients below.

Screamfest 2020 Winners

Best Picture –  A Ghost Waits

Best Director –  Adam Stovall – A Ghost Waits

Best Actor – MacLeod Andrews – A Ghost Waits

Best Actress – Lisa Kay – Sweet River
Best Cinematography – Tim Tregoning – Sweet River

Best Editing – Baptiste Rouveure – Anonymous Animals

Best Special Effects Makeup – Geir Njarðarson – Thirst

Best Visual Effects – Atli Þór Einarsson – Thirst

Best Musical Score – Damien Maurel – Anonymous Animals

Best Screenplay – Bloody Mary by Dan Ast and John C. Thursby
Best Short – Vikaari

Best Comedy Short – Kalley’s Last Review

Best Student Short – The Rule of Three


Screamfest provides a platform for filmmakers and actors to showcase their latest work to horror film enthusiasts and general audiences.  Among the numerous films that have been discovered and/or premiered at the festival include Tigers Are Not Afraid, The Wretched, We Summons the Darkness, Pledge, The Master Cleanse, Tragedy Girls, American Mary, Paranormal Activity, 30 Days of Night, Trick ‘r Treat, and The Human Centipede. A launchpad for careers, many of the festival’s filmmakers have garnered distribution and representation, including Paranormal Activity, which was discovered and premiered at the festival in 2007.  Screamfest has launched the careers of many filmmakers, most notably, the director of Paranormal Activity. Due to Screamfest, director Oren Peli was signed by CAA, who in return sold his film to Stephen Spielberg as a result. The rest is box office history. Filmmakers have garnered managers and agency representation with William Morris Endeavor, CAA, UTA, Paradigm etc. Numerous feature films have garnered distribution with companies such as Lionsgate, IFC Midnight, Epic Pictures, Dimension and more. Director Thomas Aske Berg said the best thing to ever happen to his indie film (Norway’s Vidar the Vampire) was coming to Screamfest, because that’s where they saw it and bought it. In past festivals, Screamfest has hosted 2 days of free screenings and educational workshops for underserved youth (4th grade – 12th grade students).

For more information or the latest news, visit screamfestla.com


Formed in August 2001 by film producer Rachel Belofsky, Screamfest Horror Film Festival is a female-run 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that gives filmmakers and screenwriters in the horror and science fiction genres a venue to have their work showcased in the film industry. Among the numerous films that have been discovered and/or premiered at the festival include “Tigers Are Not Afraid.”, “The Wretched”, “We Summons the Darkness”, “Pledge”, “The Master Cleanse’, “Tragedy Girls”, “American Mary”, Paranormal Activity,” “30 Days of Night,” “Trick ‘r Treat” and “The Human Centipede.”  Screamfest hosts monthly screenings year-round such films include “Mom and Dad” starring Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair and many retrospective screenings.


Screamfest is sponsored by Birns & Sawyer,  ELMA, HorrorPack, Deadly Grounds, Simple DCP, Screenplay.com and InkTip. Screamfest is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Department of Arts and Culture. Screamfest is made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs. This activity is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov.


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