Free flicks to foster fear

screen shot from Garbage A scene from the opening of Hay River film Garbage, created for the 2015 edition of Dead North. The film is being taken on the road to be screened Riverview Cineplex on April 8. Directed by Daniel Harrington, it won an award for best death.

screen shot from Garbage
A scene from the opening of Hay River film Garbage, created for the 2015 edition of Dead North. The film is being taken on the road to be screened Riverview Cineplex on April 8. Directed by Daniel Harrington, it won an award for best death.

The Yellowknife-based Dead North Film Festival – which features original Northern short films in the horror genre – is about to present its first road show, and the destination is Hay River.

Ten short films from the festival will be presented at a free midnight showing on April 8 at Riverview Cineplex.

The road show is largely the brainchild of Hay River filmmaker Scott Clouthier, who said that in years past the only way to see the films in Hay River was on a computer screen when they were put online.

“But that’s not the way we want our films to be seen, ideally,” he said. “So it’s the idea that we should put together a Hay River screening where we show Hay River films, and that’s where it kind of snowballed.”

When Clouthier was in Yellowknife in February for this year’s festival, they discussed the idea, and afterward he developed a proposal for the road show and organized it.

A couple of films from Hay River are usually submitted to the festival each year.

However, Clouthier said showing just a couple of 10-minute films is not really a big event, so more films from elsewhere in the NWT and the Yukon were added to the road show.

Ten films will be shown in Hay River, including Clouthier’s own Locked In from this year’s festival which tells the story of a man with Locked In syndrome who must summon supernatural strength to help his sister.

Another Hay River film, from last year’s festival, will be shown – Garbage by Lyndon Dow and Daniel Harrington.

In addition, there will be the Yukon’s Everybody Knows Me, a film following the story of a man struggling through life in Dawson City judged to be the best film in this year’s festival, plus Helios – a film about solar flares and their striking consequences – which won the award best visual effects, Hag which won the award for best makeup effects for its story about a woman who takes refuge in a barge and finds out she’s not as alone as she previously thought – and Killer Workout which won the audience choice award for its creative killings in a fitness class.

Clouthier’s film Locked In won the award for best original music.

Due to violence and adult language and themes in some films, the free screening is intended for those 14 years of age and older.

Clouthier said the films in the festival include horror, sci-fi, thriller and fantasy.

“Of the selections that we’re showing in Hay River, I believe that they’re all pretty much horror,” he said. “Some of them are more comedy-horror but they all kind of fall around the horror side of things.”

This was the fourth year for the Dead North Film Festival which was held Feb. 26 to 28.

Clouthier explained filmmakers write original scripts which get reviewed by the festival organizers.

“After that, you kind of get your green light to go and shoot your film,” he said. “What you get at the end of the day is a whole bunch of brand-new horror films that are shot over the course of nine weeks altogether from writing to when they’re due. So this year there were 25 original Northern-made short horror films for the festival.”

The films, which are limited to 10 minutes in length, can come from the NWT, Nunavut and the Yukon.

–Paul Bickford