Wench Film Festival 2023: India's first horror film festival showcasing films inclusive of BIWOC, LGBTQ+ women announces winners
The 3rd edition of Wench Film Festival, India's first Horror Film Festival concluded on a high note today. Three films from each category won, namely; Huesera - The Bone Women from Blood Thirsty, Growing from Dwarves and Knit one, Stab Two from the Elves Category.
The festival showcased films inclusive of BIWOC, LGBTQ+ women, and Non-Binary filmmakers, founded by filmmaker Sapna Bhavnani, was held physically for the first time in addition to virtual screenings.
Award-winning Mexican film Huesera: The Bone Woman, directed by Michelle Garza Cerver was the Opening Film and The Nightmare, directed by Alice Wadding was the Closing film of the festival.
Other highlights included a special screening of Tumbbad along with panel discussions and music performances. Also, a writers room by Kaizad Gustad and a Masterclass in horror by Vikram Bhatt and an incredible opening by Anvita Dutt.
The physical screenings took place from March 17 - 20 at Harkat Studio and Veda Factory while the virtual screenings were held from March 10 - 20, 2023.
The festival screened 23 films in the competition out of which 19 were available to be watched online at wenchff.festivalsaints.com
The films were categorized into three different sections; Blood Thirsty (More than 40 mins) Dwarves (10 to 40 mins), and Elves (Less than 10 mins).
The jury judging the three categories were comprised of; Annick Mahnert and Shari Frillot (Blood Thirsty), Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (Dwarves) and Namrata Joshi (Elves).
Sapna Bhavnani, Founder of the Wench Film Festival says, “Sapna Bhavnani, Founder of the Wench Film Festival says, “We are a horrific festival with the loveliest people and the response from the community tells us that we are on to something good.. We will Rise! Again - Bigger and Better! “No one escapes from life alive.”
Uma Da Cunha, Artistic Head says, ”Thank you Wench- for finally creating a festival that helps us perceive the horror genre as something accessible and meaningful in its ramifications: one that catapults us into a world that stirs our emotions, stokes our nerve centers, and adds perception, wonder and imagination to life as we see it ”
Vivek Rangachari, Development Head of the Festival says, “We have got an amazing response to this year's Wench Film Festival". This was the first year that we had an offline version, and the attendance along with the interaction and panel discussions of stalwarts in this field made this festival come alive! Our hope is that this festival starts the process of raising awareness and scope for this genre with more and more young filmmakers exploring this space. This year's festival is a stepping stone for bigger things to come over the next few years. We would like to personally thank the audience and the celebrities who helped make this year's edition a grand success.”
Wench Film Festival is India's First Horror / Sci Fi / Fantasy Film Festival inclusive of BIWOC, LGBTQ+ women, and non-binary filmmakers.``Women '' includes all those who identify as a woman. Period. At the Wench Film Festival, our intention is to showcase female filmmakers who don’t just have the ability to tell origin stories but to go beyond normative roles, mediums, and genres to tell good stories. This is encapsulated in our slogan -‘Shaping Perspectives By Shifting the Gaze.' WFF supports, encourages and celebrates women and non-binary storytellers by not only providing a platform to showcase their craft but also through film screenings, discussions, and professional development opportunities as well as incorporating International Women's Month in its programming.