Overlook VI: RENFIELD, EVIL DEAD RISE Premieres To Bookend This Year’s Fully Loaded 2023 Festivities!
The sixth edition of the Overlook Film Festival is gearing up for its four-day event, host to an exciting raft of new titles. I’ve been busy otherwise but our own Christina Ortega was accredited and so I’m quarterbacking her this time while she heads up her own coverage of the films being presented this year, some of which have landed quite well in the past year at festivals like Spanish horror thriller The Elderly which earned actor Zorion Eguileor an Outstanding Performance award during Fantasia’s Cheval Noir Competition last year.
Some other titles caught my eye, including the feminist short film anthology Give Me An A which I enjoyed for Fantastic Fest last year, as well as one of Ortega’s 2023 picks, this year’s Overlook closer Evil Dead Rise which I know she’ll gravitate to being the loyal Deadite she is, and Nicolas Cage/Nicholas Hoult topliner, Renfield – opening for Overlook this year – which delighted horror fans with a spectacular trailer out of the starting line earlier this year for Universal. There’s also Quentin Dupieux’s Smoking Causes Coughing which lands in late March via Magnet, and one of this year’s SXSW picks, The Wrath Of Becky, continuing the vengeful saga led by Lulu Wilson who can be seen covered in the red stuff aplenty in the first look photo that’s been making the rounds for some time now which you can view in the gallery at the bottom of the press text.
There’s more in store in addition to a retrospective line up of films, shorts presentations and live events and more you can learn about over at the official website where passes are now available.
February 28, 2023 | New Orleans, LA – The Overlook Film Festival announced today the full lineup for its upcoming 2023 edition, taking place March 30 – April 2 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The horror festival will welcome audiences back to America’s most haunted city with 50 films (26 features and 24 short films from 12 countries), along with extensive offerings including interactive events, live performances, immersive programming, parties and more scary surprises
The festival will open with the world premiere of the highly anticipated modern vampire tale Renfield, starring Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men franchise) as the titular tortured aide to history’s most narcissistic boss, Dracula, played by Oscar® winner Nicolas Cage. A Universal Pictures film based on an original idea by The Walking Dead and Invincible creator Robert Kirkman, Renfield is directed by Chris McKay (The Tomorrow War, The LEGO Batman Movie) with a screenplay by Ryan Ridley (Ghosted, Rick & Morty), and will be followed by a live Q&A featuring Nicolas Cage and Chris McKay. Renfield arrives in theaters April 14. The evening will continue with the Opening Night Vampire Ball.
Returning to the Prytania Theatre at Canal Place in Downtown New Orleans and expanding its programming at the Uptown location, the festival will also present a special 30th anniversary screening of Joe Dante’s loving ode to the great B movies, Matinee, featuring a live Q&A with legendary actor John Goodman and master of horror Joe Dante. A celebration of the 10th anniversary of Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, Alfred Hitchcock’s silent thriller The Lodger with a live score and a special screening of William Castle’s horror classic The Tingler, featuring surprise live elements, are also amongst the 2023 lineup highlights.
Along with Opening Night presentation Renfield, world premiere titles include Philip Barantini’s Accused, Alexis Jacknow’s Clock, Nick Kozakis’s Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism, Ariel Vida’s Trim Season and Anthony Penta’s We Kill for Love.
Closing Night of the festival will feature a screening of New Line Cinema’s/Renaissance Pictures’ Evil Dead Rise, distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures. Written and directed by Lee Cronin, the film stars Lily Sullivan, Alyssa Sutherland, Morgan Davies, Gabrielle Echols and Nell Fisher. The latest installment of the classic series is produced by longtime franchise producer Rob Tapert and executive produced by series creator and horror icon Sam Raimi and cult legend (and “Ash” himself) Bruce Campbell, along with John Keville, Macdara Kelleher, Richard Brener, Dave Neustadter, Romel Adam and Victoria Palmieri. The screening will be followed by the Closing Night Halloween Party.
In addition to the films and special guests, the Overlook Film Festival will be generously packed with live presentations, music performances and immersive programming.
For its 2023 edition, Overlook will debut its first music sidebar, made possible by the generous support of Kickstarter, the premier crowdfunding platform for bringing creative projects to life, which is presenting two exciting concerts on the festival’s opening and closing nights. Audiences will be treated to a special live performance by SQÜRL — Carter Logan and Jim Jarmusch’s enthusiastically marginal NYC rock band whose distinctive sound beautifully encompasses a range of genres, including big drums, distorted guitars, loops, feedback, sad country songs, molten stoner core, chopped & screwed hip-hop and imaginary movie scores. Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, which was scored by the band in collaboration with Dutch lutenist Jozef Van Wissem, will screen at the festival in celebration of the 10th anniversary of its world premiere. The sidebar will also feature famed American sludge metal band, Thou. Originally from Baton Rouge, LA, the band’s distinctive sound blends the shuddering heaviness of doom with the atmospherics of black metal, promising an unforgettable performance that Louisiana audiences won’t want to miss.
The Overlook’s signature live and special event programming will include How To Sell A Haunted House In A Challenging Market, a one-man show by New York Times bestselling author Grady Hendrix, exploring our collective obsession with ghosts and a live session of THE KINGCAST podcast featuring hosts Eric Vespe and guest co-host Bryan Fuller who will discuss the work the legendary Stephen King with attending filmmakers, presented by FANGORIA.
Through a partnership with the Academy of Magical Arts, the organization that resides in the world famous Magic Castle®, the 2023 program will also formally introduce magic to the festival. Special events curated by the Academy will include The Last Magic Show, created and performed by the renowned Zabrecky and featuring highlights from his global act along with new material, which is part of the live performance programming. In the festival’s immersive program, guests will experience the world premiere of one-on-one interactive theater experience The Oracle, from Tarologist and Soothsayer Jared Kopf. Attentive attendees may find additional magical secrets, if they know where to look.
The 2023 immersive offerings will also welcome back an audience favorite, The Overlook Immersive Game, but with a thrilling twist. While the games of years past have featured standalone storylines, this year’s multi-day interactive experience, titled Lingering Echoes and presented by guest designers The Ministry of Peculiarities, will wrap around the festival as a whole, connecting every piece of immersive programming as part of an overarching mystery. Free to all pass holders, “the game” will extend from Opening Night to the Closing Night party.
“We are thrilled to unveil our expanded 2023 programming, featuring an eclectic selection of films, captivating live performances, immersive experiences and a brand-new music sidebar showcasing thrilling acts that will undoubtedly add to the fun,” said Festival Director Lisa Carbonari. “Horror is such an exciting and diverse way to tell stories. We are grateful for the continued support of our partners and proud to be a part of the growing appreciation of the horror genre, which we see as a testament to the ever-expanding vibrant spirit and vitality of this creative community.”
“Anything is possible when you’re talking about horror movies, and we celebrate that. From the terrifying to the hilarious, from original visions of classic frights to fresh new fears you didn’t even know you had, this year’s program embraces it all. The creativity of our filmmakers is boundless, and our filmgoers have so many exciting discoveries ahead of them,” added Artistic Director Doug Jones.
The Festival is programmed by Co-Founders Landon Zakheim & Michael Lerman; Artistic Director Doug Jones; Program Manager Keith Garcia; Short Film Programmer Katie Rife; and Immersive Curator Bryan Bishop.
The full lineup of films, experiences, live events, and immersive content is included below.
Opening and Closing Night Presentations – Presented by Fotokem and Louisiana Entertainment
Feature Film Presentations – International Titles Presented by MUBI
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