TELLURIDE – Horror, thriller and splatter flick fans rejoice; Telluride has a new film festival just for you.
The Commission for Community Assistance, Arts and Special Events has added the Telluride Horror Show to the town’s official event calendar, debuting this Oct. 15-17.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said CCAASE Chair Ron Gilmer. “Someone said that no one ever comes up with new ideas, and this is a new idea.”
Rather than trying to sandwich itself into the town’s already jam packed summer festival season, the Telluride Horror Show will fall smack dab in the middle of the fall off-season when its founder and director, horror genre aficionado Ted Wilson, hopes it will prove an economic boon to the town in a notoriously slow time of year.
“The idea came up as a way to get another event in the fall to try to extend the tourist season,” said Wilson, a Telluride Film Commission co-founder.
“The hope is that it can actually grow into a fairly large, successful event,” he continued, noting that because horror film fans can be as passionately devoted to the genre as “Trekkies” can be consumed by the Star Trek fictional universe, the Telluride Horror Show has potential to grow substantial legs.
“The fans are usually diehard fans,” he explained, describing them as ranging from adolescent males to grandmothers. “It’s almost a closeted obsession.”
Wilson put out a call for submissions on an industry website about three weeks ago, and has already received more than 30 short and feature-length films to be considered for the newest addition to Telluride’s thriving film festival scene.
And while he plans to begin announcing the official film selections around mid-July, he’ll continue taking submissions until mid-September.
Wilson plans to kick off the festival with an opening reception on the evening of Friday, Oct. 15, followed by film screenings of a wide selection of unreleased or recently-released films – from horror comedies to “depraved, over-the-top gore flicks” – through Sunday night.
“The hope is that there will be a little of everything,” he said.
“We’re going to add in some fantasy and sci-fi as well, as long as they’re a little bit on the dark side.”
Wilson also plans to program question-and-answer sessions with the filmmakers following the screenings.
While the festival is presently limited to the Sheridan Opera House and Nugget Theatre that can accommodate 400-plus moviegoers between them, Wilson plans to more than double audience capacity, by securing the 600-seat Michael D. Palm Theatre, if warranted.
“We’re not going to oversell the event,” he said. “ I want everyone who has a pass to get into an event.”
To that end he plans on selling an early-bird three-day pass sometime in late July or early August, after which time he’ll have a better idea about whether to expand the size of the festival or not.
“I’m doing everything I can to keep a three-day pass under $100,” he said. “We’re going to try to keep it affordable.”
“Obviously we’re not going to have the sponsors and funding that these more established events have,” he said. So, “Anybody who’s out there who’s a huge horror film fan and wants to support us, we’d love to hear from them.”
For more information about the Telluride Horror Show or to sign up for email updates visit www.telluridehorrorshow.com.