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A Very Halloween Thursday Spotlight: Meet the Founder of FEARnyc

New York City’s scariest film festival, FEARnyc, will conclude its 2019 festival tonight at Film Noir Cinema (122 Meserole Ave) with a tingly, sensational, and sneakily immersive screening. But who’s the man behind the madness? Get to know festival founder, advocate, and horror film fanatic John Capo in this week’s Thursday Spotlight. And remember, if you’re looking to join the spooky fun, Greenpointers get a 20% discount on tonight’s Halloween Night Tingler Event with code GREENPOINTERS20. 

Greenpointers: I see that this is your third FEARnyc; how long have you been affiliated with Film Noir Cinema?
John Capo: I founded the festival in 2016 but we took 2018 off to reassess our model. This is our first year at Film Noir Cinema! We were previously in Manhattan but we moved to Greenpoint this year because I love the neighborhood’s vibrant community. We love Greenpoint.
Are all of the film entries original ones? I love that you are spotlighting underrepresented groups in your programming.
We’ve had over 60 films, events, and other activities over the past eight days. Most of them are premieres although we did show some retrospectives including the 35th anniversary screening of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Fritz Lang’s M, a program of surreal short films by David Lynch, and the premiere of the new 4K restoration of George A.Romero and Dario Argento’s Two Evil Eyes. We always spotlight underrepresented groups in our programming. That’s a big part of our mission. This year we focused on queer horror with a discussion on queer themes and characters in horror films curated by The New York Times‘ Erik Piepenburg and the world premiere of the LGBT thriller Hurricane Aaron. We also had films centering on the Native American and Latinx communities.
Now in its fourth year, how do you think FEARnyc has evolved?
We’ve matured just as horror filmmaking has matured. Almost all of our films this year focused on the horrors of real life, whether that’s the dark underbelly of Instagram culture, beauty obsession, conversion therapy, Grindr hookups gone deadly. We even had a film about a mass shooting. I know these topics sound dark, but they really show that horror filmmakers are focusing on relevant issues and moving away from the stereotypical “let’s kill a bunch of pretty girls” tropes that have defined the genre.
Tonight’s the Tingler event! What can audiences expect?
It’s going to be insane. So when The Tingler came out in 1959 its producer William Castle knew that even thought it was a Vincent Price movie it wasn’t the greatest film so he marketed it by staging all these gimmicks in the theater. Buzzers on seats to jolt people, fainting audience members being carried out on stretchers, a monster jumping off the screen and into the theater. We’re recreating that experience at Film Noir Cinema just like it happened in the ’50s. We have showings tonight at 7pm and 9pm. People can get tickets in advance at FEARnyc.com or at the door.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Just a big thank you to the people of Greenpoint for embracing our festival and to all our filmmakers who’ve come from everywhere from Brooklyn to LA to Germany who’ve made this experience incredible.
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NYC’s Biggest Horror Film Festival Comes to Film Noir Cinema (10/24 -10/31)

New York City’s biggest horror film festival, FEARnyc, will present its 2019 festival from October 24 – 31,  at Greenpoint’s Film Noir Cinema (122 Meserole Ave.) and The Green Room 42 at The Yotel in Manhattan.

 

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More than 60 films and events are featured from world premieres to retrospectives and reimaginings, panel discussions, experiential events, and an award ceremony. Tickets are now available at FEARnyc.com.

Greenpointers get a 20% discount on Festival and VIP Festival Passes and the Halloween Night Tingler Event with code GREENPOINTERS20. 

Called “a huge, authoritative horror film festival” by Time Out New York film editor Joshua Rothkopfand “the best thing happening in the entire country this October” by Dread Central, FEARnyc was founded in 2016 by John Capo out of his lifelong love of horror movies.

“Our theme this year is Real/Surreal,” said John Capo, founder and festival director of FEARnyc. “From the morning commute to the evening news, New Yorkers are barraged by moments that are relentlessly real and surreal, often simultaneously.”

“Our selections this year, which deal with everything from obsessive Instagram culture, conversion therapy, and a school shooting to severalGrindr-gone-wrong tales, demonstrate that horror filmmakers are moving away from traditional let’s-kill-some-pretty-women tropes and focusing instead on the real life horrors that affect so many of us. In that sense, this year’s selections represent the maturity of horror filmmaking in 2019. I’m also excited to be spotlighting underrepresented groups in horror like the Native American, Latinx, and Queer communities and could not be more proud to present our annual Legacy Honor to iconic producer Debra Hill and our inaugural Trailblazer Award to the team behind Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror.”

The FEARnyc Award Ceremony, which will take place at The Green Room 42 at The Yotel, will include the presentation of this year’s Juried Awards as well as the FEARnyc Honors.

The FEARnyc Legacy Honor will be posthumously presented to Debra Hill, writer/producer/director whose credits include the original Halloween, Halloween II, Escape from New York, Clue, and The Fog. Featuring tributes by Paul Reubensand Hill’s producing partners, with Ms. Hill’s brother, Bob Hill, accepting the honor on her behalf, Ms. Hill will be recognized not only for her filmmaking but for her groundbreaking commitment to advancing the visibility and employment of women in film. Ms. Hill is only the third recipient of the Legacy Honor. Past recipients include Wes Cravenand George A. Romero.

Greenpointers is a sponsor of FearNYC.

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