Final Girls & Babysitter Murders Win at Stanley Film Festival

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Beyond the Immersive Horror Game, panels, wheelchair-bound VR experience, séances and live performances, The Stanley Film Festival is about the movies. And what a stellar lineup the 2015 edition was. Past and present embraced as the likes of contemporary fest hits like The Invitation, The Final Girls, We Are Still Here, Shrew’s Nest and Goodnight Mommy shared audiences with Re-Animator, Diabolique and Repulsion. At the Stanley’s Horror Brunch, fest awards were announced and presented, honoring Stuart Gordon, Tom Quinn and short film, The Babysitter Murders. Today, the Audience Awards have been revealed.

Taking home the Audience Award is Todd Strauss-Schulson’s very sweet, very funny meta slasher, The Final Girls (review), while Ted Geoghegan’s wintry horror story We Are Still Here proved runner-up. The Babysitter Murders, from Ryan Spindell, won both the Jury and Audience Awards in the Short category, while the excellent Polish short Inherent Noise took the International Prize.

Find the full release, below. For more on The Stanley Film Festival, see Shock’s reports & photo galleries from Days One, Two and Three & Four.

From the release:

The Stanley Film Festival (SFF), presented by Chiller and produced by the Denver Film Society, announced the audience and jury award winners, Birth.Movies.Death Filmmaking Frenzy winners and presented Tom Quinn, co-president of RADiUS, with the 2015 Stanley Film Festival Visionary Award. During his speech at the Stanley Awards Horror Brunch, Quinn referred to SFF as, “… the single most regal film festival, even though it’s a horror film festival. I feel like I’m walking around this country club and then at night it turns sinister.

The Final Girls, directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson, received the Audience Award for Feature Film. Audience Award for Feature Film runner-up goes to We Are Still Here, directed by Ted Geohegan, which opens at the Denver Film Society’s year-round home, the Sie FilmCenter on Friday May 15. 

The Stanley Dean’s Cup showcased 8 short films from local, national and international students. The competition featured a Colorado and International prize, with a $2,500 cash prize to the winning director, funded by The Stanley Hotel. The winner of the Colorado Prize was Moon Studios directed by Merritt Crocker and Inherent Noise, directed by Karol Jurga, received the International Prize.  The Short Film Jury was comprised of Col Needham,founder and CEO of IMDb, the #1 movie website in the world, Jen Yamato, Entertainment Report for The Daily Beast, and Adam Krentzman, Director of Community Outreach CreativeFuture. The Babysitter Murders, directed by Ryan Spindell, was awarded the Jury Award for Short Film and voted the Audience Award winner for Short Film. Special mentions were given to The House is Innocent and The Salt of the Earth

The Birth.Movies.Death Stanley Film Festival Filmmaking Frenzy challenged filmmakers to create a short film (5 minutes or less) about ghosts. Alix Bannon’s, White Island, was selected as the winner by a jury comprised of Blumhouse Productions’ Ryan Turek, The Daily Beast’s Jen Yamato and SpectreVision’s Daniel Noah. Bannon won a two-night stay in the famed room 217, the room that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining.

Stuart Gordon, the 2015 Stanley Film Festival Master of Horror, described the 4 day horror retreat as the “…scariest Film Festival I’ve ever been to.” Throughout the 4 days, the festival screened over 21 feature films, 6 retro titles and 18 shorts, 8 student shorts with 18 countries represented, while providing a fully immersive experience, thanks to a unique horror immersion game, panels, special events and more.

“This has been a phenomenal year for the genre. We are truly honored to host master storytellers, passionate filmmakers, innovative distributors and dedicated genre lovers throughout our four-day celebration of the finest in classic and contemporary world horror,” says Director of Programming, Landon Zakheim. “We look forward to supporting these macabre artists at our immersive playground for years to come.” 

The 2016 Stanley Film Festival Dates will be announced at a later a time. 

Awards were given out in the follow categories:

Audience Award for Feature Film

Winner: The Final Girls directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson

Synopsis: Max (Taissa Farmiga) and her friends find themselves trapped in the famous 80’s slasher flick that made her late mother a scream queen. The millennial gang joins the throwback camp counselors with raging libidos (featuring a standout performance from WORKAHOLICS’s Adam DeVine) to battle the psychotic killer.

Jury Award for Short Film

Winner: The Babysitter Murders directed by Ryan Spindell

Synopsis: A dark and stormy night. An innocent babysitter all alone. An escaped psychopath out for blood. You know how this story will play out… Or do you?

Audience Award for Short Film

Winner: The Babysitter Murders directed by Ryan Spindell

Synopsis:  A dark and stormy night. An innocent babysitter all alone. An escaped psychopath out for blood. You know how this story will play out… Or do you?

Stanley Dean’s Cup Colorado Prize

Winner: Moon Studios directed by Merritt Crocker

Synopsis:  A great song is a living thing.

Stanley Dean’s Cup International Prize

Winner: Inherent Noise directed by  Karol Jurga 

Synopsis:  A girl who comes to the house of an old, disabled soundman. The mysterious frequencies he produces guide her to a grizzly discovery.

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