Stanley Film Festival Announces Visionary Award and Panels

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The upcoming Stanley Film Festival—that which takes place at the famed Stanley Hotel, which inspired King to pen The Shining—announces the recipient of the 2015 Visionary Award, as well as a host of panels on the business and crafting of modern horror. 

Stanley announces the terrific Tom Quinn will be honored at the 2015 festival. Quinn is co-president of Radius-TWC and spent seven years as senior vice-president and head of acquisitions at Magnolia Pictures, where he was at the forefront of the then emerging distribution model of VOD and day-and-date. Quinn created Magnet Releasing and is responsible for bringing many contemporary horror favorites and standouts to the U.S., including Let the Right One In. Quinn is also behind the release, a shifting one thanks to its breakthrough appeal, of current indie horror hit It Follows and will follow it this year with the great Goodnight Mommy and Danish werewolf film, When Animals Dream.

The Stanley Film Festival’s Visionary Award is specifically bestowed upon innovative figures in contemporary horror. Quinn is certainly a fine choice deserving of more recognition. “Mr. Quinn is the catalyst behind some of the most groundbreaking titles in modern horror,” says Denver Film Society Festival Director, Britta Erickson. “Not only does his work elevate the genre, he has been at the forefront of providing unique and innovative platforms for distribution that are changing the industry.”

At the festival, Quinn will host Visionary Distribution: A Conversation with Radius-TWC Co-president Tom Quinn on Saturday, May 2. It’s one of four panels throughout the day, including Scare Tactics: Creativity in Modern Horror, hosted by myself and featuring Karyn Kusama (The Invitation), Leigh Whannell (Insidious: Chapter 3) and Todd Strauss-Schulson (The Final Girls).

These panels, as well as the newly announced Catatonic: A Virtual Reality Experience are just some of what makes Stanley a very experiential festival, populated by people and events that make this weekend a singular one.

Find full details on the panels, below. If you’re attending Stanley, you can also now register for Dead Right Horror Trivia, hosted by myself and Blumhouse Director of Development (and former Shock editor) Ryan Turek here.

• SELLING SCREAMS: THE BUSINESS OF INDIE HORROR

Saturday May 2, 12:00pm

Learn the secrets of the trade in this passionate discussion of the grueling work of producers, sales agents, buyers and fans who make independent horror thrive. 

Panelists: Roxanne Benjamin (Producer, V/H/S, V/H/S/2), Nate Bolotin (Partner, XYZ Films), Daniel Noah (Producer, SpectreVision), Ryan Turek (Director of Development, Blumhouse) 

Moderator: Eric Kohn (Indiewire)

• VISIONARY DISTRIBUTION: A CONVERSATION WITH RADIUS-TWC CO-PRESIDENT TOM QUINN

Saturday May 2, 1:30pm

2015 Visionary Award Recipient Tom Quinn discusses his history of championing great genre cinema – including LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, HOUSE OF THE DEVIL and THE HOST – and uniquely shepherding them into the world as with the recent highly innovative release strategy behind current horror breakout title IT FOLLOWS.

• SCARE TACTICS: CREATIVITY IN MODERN HORROR

Saturday May 2, 2:30pm

In a genre often clogged with cliché and unoriginality, new auteurs emerge with gruesome ideas and innovative executions that keep the scares fresh and unique. Learn how these exciting voices keep their vision alive while navigating the studio system. 

Panelists: Karyn Kusama (THE INVITATION, JENNIFER’S BODY), Todd Strauss-Schulson (THE FINAL GIRLS), Leigh Whannell (INSIDIOUS CH. 3, writer of SAW 1-3 and the INSIDIOUS franchise) 

Moderator: Sam Zimmerman (Shock Till You Drop)

• FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN: HORROR OF THE FUTURE

Saturday, May 2, 4:00pm

Hear from the virtual reality, immersive theater, and interactive game designers pioneering the next generation’s experience with horror storytelling as they embrace an audience’s increasing thirst for new adventure with rapid advancements of technology. 

Panelists: Jon Braver (Creator, Delusion), Julian McCrea (Founder, Portal Entertainment), Guy Shelmerdine (Director, Catatonic)

Moderator: Devin Faraci (Badass Digest)