You. A camera. 48 hours. Go!

The Stranger With My Face  Horror Film Festival 2013 begins with you…

The Challenge asks filmmakers to make a short horror film of five minutes or less—from concept to full execution in a 48-hour period. Fourteen registered teams took on the Challenge, 11 teams from Tasmania and three from other Australian states, and all fourteen delivered films.

The judges for 2013 were: Ben Hellwig of Monster Pictures; curator and artist Kirsha Kaechele; Andrew McPhail of Screen Tasmania; Abi Binning of Wide Angle Tasmania; and filmmakers Jennifer Lynch (Chained, Surveillance) and Ursula Dabrowsky (Family Demons, Inner Demon).

See the jury bios HERE >>

Award winning films included a stop-motion animation about an ambitious girl-demon (Malum: Evil Incarnate), an outrageous take on the horror of a ‘boys night out’ (Ring Finger), and the story of a young girl growing up in an oppressive environment (Ravenous).

The films screened were as follows, with prizes indicated:

  • Hair directed by Tatiana Doroshenko
  • Ring Finger directed by David Pyefinch and Mike Sampley – Audience Choice Award/ Best Special FX Award
  • Ravenous directed by Carmen Falk – Screen Tasmania Best Film Award/Best Fright Award
  • Notechis by Claire D’Este and Jason James
  • The Hairwolf of Hobart directed by Karen Cooper – Tasmaniana Award
  • Who directed by Tristan J Nankervis
  • Evil Incarnate directed by Animachin Studios – Special MONA Prize
  • The Hazards of Gum directed by Stuart Attenborrow and Sam Waterhouse
  • I’m Fine directed Jacqui Dawborn – Best Performance (Jen Archer)
  • Untitled by Lou Conboy– Wide Angle Tasmania Best New Filmmaker Award/Most Innovative Horror Concept Award
  • The Red Shoes by Heidi Lee Douglas,  Bryony Geeves and Vivien Mason
  • Apprehension by Jarret Gahan
  • Strange Faces by Maximillian Korobacz
  • The Delivery by Sarah Badcock and Isabella von Lichtan


  1. One thing needs to be made absolutely clear, you are being encouraged to make a film. You are absolutely encouraged to be creative, to see what happens under pressure, to be surprised, to experience the satisfaction of seeing it through and, above all to learn that which you can only learn by doing. You are absolutely not encouraged to break the law, you are not encouraged to put anyone in danger and you are not encouraged to disturb the public. Legally, this is the hand-off. You are responsible, and the Stranger With My Face Horror Film Festival (including staff, volunteers and all associated organisations) is not. Okay? Good.
  2. There’s a registration fee. It’s AU$30.00 for Tasmanians and $AU20.00 for everyone else. We’ll tell you how to pay it once you register. Your registration will lapse if we do not receive payment! There. It’s been said. That cash will go to whatever it needs to go to. There are things to be hired, budgets to be blown and such like. Never you mind. It’s cheap by worldly standards and you’ll get to see your film played in a big place with a lot of other filmmakers watching OR online exposure (if you’re not a Tasmanian participant).
  3. Stranger With My Face Horror Film Festival reserves the right to not screen any film that it believes has been produced in an unethical fashion — for example, in terms of ignoring reasonable safety standards, using copyrighted material without permission, in the nature of the film’s content (for example, something we may not be legally able to exhibit). This is not negotiable.
  4. Filmmakers retain the rights to their completed films (excepting any use granted to the festival as per the registration form or the submission form accompanying the completed film—such as to use an excerpt for promotional purposes). The festival will deal only with one nominated individual per team. This is the person whose name appears at the bottom of the registration form. It is up to the teams themselves to determine who ‘owns’ the film —ie. the director, the writer, the caterer—and the festival won’t enter into any discussions about this.
  5. The film you make should be 5 minutes long (or less). It can have credits if you want, but it doesn’t have to.
  6. The film you make should be a horror film—or at least contain significant aspects that might be described as such. So what is horror anyway? Allow Wikipedia to explain. It’s not necessarily all about blood and gore… There are many ways to talk about this idea and many subgenres and traditions of horror. A comedy can also be horror or contain horror elements. You could have a melodrama with horror elements. We don’t care if you don’t like horror…consider that part of the challenge of the Challenge.
  7. We encourage you to think about gender stereotypes, and how you might want to use, not use or reference them!  Stranger With My Face Horror Film Festival focuses on films by women in the horror genre because women are underrepresented in this genre in behind-the-camera roles and, as such, stories are less likely to come from an authentically female perspective. The Challenge is open to male and female participants, and we don’t have any specific rule asking for, say, films that pass the Bechdel Test. So really, it’s just something you might want to bear it mind. If you make a film that’s about a girl in her underwear running around screaming and getting stabbed at the end and dying, and that’s it… Well, that’s up to you. But you’re unlikely to win the Most Interesting Exploration of Gender Award, you know?
  8. Your film must include something – a special, secret something – that we can’t describe yet. If you’re registered you will receive this information by email at 8 pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Time) on 8 February, which will be your signal to begin the Challenge.
  9. When we say ‘Tasploitation’, what do we actually mean? ‘Tasploitation’ has to do with the idea of an ‘exploitation’ film, in the sense of a B-film (see Wikipedia’s definition) and it refers to a film that’s made in or about Tasmania. Think of the notion as a starting point, a provocation. We can’t bind you to any specific definition because it’s a made-up word. Nor would we want to… Figure it out, but don’t let it give you too much of a headache. You’ll need all your brain cells for what lies ahead…

Desperate to sign up?


Then what? Once you submit the registration form you will receive an email confirming receipt and advising how to make payment of the registration fee. You won’t receive it immediately, but within 48-hours. If you haven’t received this email after a few days check your spam folder. If still nothing, get in touch. Once you’ve made payment, that’s all you need to do until you’re ready to start making your film on 8 February.

From now up until 8 February feel free to ask questions and chat with your fellow contestants in the Facebook group that’s been set up for this purpose. ‘Black Paul’ is the coordinator of the competition, and you can also email him with any queries.

At 8pm, of February 8, Friday night, we will make known the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle….


It’s the thing your film must contain to prove that it was made specifically for the Challenge. It won’t be anything too controlling, nobody wants to box up those wild imaginations…It might be a line of dialogue, it might be an object, it might be an article of clothing. It might be all three. It might be something so diabolically clever that you will need to write something new.

This information will be sent to you at 8 pm on 8 February by email.

It will go to the nominated contact email that you provide us on registration. If you later need to change any of these contact details, let us know as soon as you can. (If you miss the information somehow via email, note that it will also be posted on the Stranger With My Face Horror Film Festival’s Facebook page and via Twitter at the same time.)

Your production must not begin until 8pm on 8 February, otherwise, no glory for you!


By 8pm, of February 10, Sunday night, you need to have delivered the digital file of your five-minute masterpiece… either:

by meeting the festival staff member who will be waiting at the main entrance to the Salamanca Arts Centre,


through file sharing online (you will be emailed information about how to do that as a registered Challenger).

The point is, the file is delivered, editing is over. What you have done in 48 hours is what ultimately  horrifies/thrills/amuses/provides catharsis for yourself and the masses at the Awards Night on 7 March.

So to recap….

In 48 hours, you are encouraged to write, act, film, edit, convert your film into a single file and deliver it.

It can be done and you can do it.