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HÕFF announces 2020 programme

  • The 15th edition of the Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival, that will be taking place 100% online, is screening 22 feature films and 16 short films. 
  • The festival launches a new programme – the Estonian Genre Competition.
  • Get tickets and watch films at Elisa Stage.
  • The programme is available only in the territory of Estonia (sadly).

The Main Programme of the festival consists of seven films, kicked off by the critically acclaimed oddball thriller Come to Daddy, directed by Ant Timpson, and starring Elijah Wood who plays a 30-something man visiting his estranged father who lives in a remote seaside cabin. Another acclaimed favourite is the psychological horror film Swallow, directed by Carlo Mirabella-Davis, where lead actress Haley Bennett gives a remarkable portrait of a newlywed housewife running into an identity crisis. 

The Faceless Man

The programme also features two premieres as HÕFF will screen the international premiere of The Faceless Man, the Australian slasher aka the Ozploitation-genre film will have its international premiere. It’s the feature debut of director-writer-co-producer James Di Martino, following a young woman, a recent cancer survivor, and her group of friends, thrown into extraordinary events as they travel to a rural area for the weekend. 

Also, the Ukrainian esoteric detective thriller Stranger directed by Dmytro Tomashpolskyi will have its European premiere, after having won eight awards at film festivals in Japan, Canada, the USA and Colombia. The story follows a detective studying the cases of a missing synchronized swimming team and a health clinic worker. 

The Main Programme is rounded off by the fresh director’s cut of Midsommar by director Ari Aster, The Mortuary Collection by Ryan Spindell and Wretched by Brett Pierce and Drew T. Pierce. 

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

The Host

This year’s Special Screenings will make three nods to three creative entities: to the recent three-time Academy Award winner Bong Joon Ho with the screening of creature thriller The Host, to director Nabwana IGG and the Ugandan film industry dubbed “Wakaliwood” by screening the first international hit to emerge from there called Who Killed Captain Alex and the Estonian creative unit Õ Fraktsioon, screening their cult classic The Attack of the Killer Beer Yoghurt 2-1.

130 YEARS OF H.P. LOVECRAFT 

Color Out of Space

The festival will also celebrate the 130th anniversary of the influential sci-fi and horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, screening three films based on his films, including the latest release Color Out of Space
 
Considered as one of his favourite works by H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937), Color Out of Space is a story about a mysterious meteorite that falls to the lands of a farmer called Gardner and gradually turns their lives into a nightmare. This tale of cosmical horror, one of Lovecraft’s trademarks, was directed by Richard Stanley, known for cult films like the cyberpunk sci-fi Hardware and the road horror Dust Devil, with Nicholas Cage making another outrageous genre performance as the leading character Gardner. 
 
The other two films to be screened are Andrew Leman’s The Call of Ctulhu (2005), directed as rediscovered ‘lost silent film’ and Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator (1985), the horror-comedy of a medical student who invents a reagent that can re-animate deceased bodies. 

The Estonian Genre Competition 

Dora Who Came From the Highway

The inaugural edition of the Estonian Genre Competition will see six films produced or co-produced by Estonian production companies competing for the Best Estonian Genre Film Award. These include Dora Who Came From the Highway by Urmas E. Liiv, whose previous feature film the Ghost Mountaineer screened at the Black Nights First Feature Competition in 2015, Eerie Fairy Tales by Mart Sander, the surreal espionage sci-fi thriller Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway by Miguel Llansó and the comedy Chasing Unicorns by Rain Rannu which both screened at the last edition of Black Nights as well, the animated comedy Old Man Cartoon Movie by Mikk Mägi and Oskar Lehemaa and the lo-fi crime drama Justice by Toomas Aria. 

Short films 

Two Bodies on the Beach

As a member of the European Federation of Fantastic Film Festivals HÕFF continues to host the Méliès Short Film Festival Competition in which six films will compete for the Silver Mélièsi aka Méliès d’Argent´, awarded by an international jury. The jury members are Swedish film producer and Lund Fantastic Film Festival founder Magnus Paulsson, Portuguese director Miguel Llansó and Estonian producer and set designer Helen Lõhmus. 
 
The films in competition are Downs of the Dead by director Even Husby Grødahl (Norway), Two Bodies on a Beach by Anna Paavilainen (Finland), The Burden by Nico van den Brink (Netherlands), The Rave by Johannes Magnus Aule (Estonia), Snowflakes by Faye Jackson (United Kingdom), Smiles by Javier Chavanel (Spain). 
 
The second short film programme, titled the Little Nightmares, is a best-of selection of films that have already screened at various festivals around the world.  

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