WENCH FILM FESTIVAL 2024 is back! And it’s bigger, bolder & better!

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Indeed, the Wench Film Festival is back! …And the perimeters have now hit the skies… As India’s first and foremost celebration of horror, sci-fi and fantasy cinema, their monumental fourth edition is landing on February 29 – a special date for a special event. TheGlitz finds out more from the Founder of Wench Film Festival – Sapna Bhavnani.

Sapna Bhavnani, Founder, Wench Film Festival, avers, “As the founder of the Wench Film Festival, now in its exhilarating fourth edition, I am thrilled to announce a unique celebration of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy that transcends boundaries and delves into the heart of storytelling. This leap year, we’re showcasing an unprecedented lineup of 29 films, each handpicked to honor our rich cultural heritage while pushing the boundaries of imagination. Our focus on India this year is a testament to the untapped potential of our storytellers and filmmakers, who are ready to take you on a journey through the unseen, the unknown, and the unimaginable. Join us, as we explore the depths of fear, fantasy, and wonder through the lens of Indian cinema. The Wench Film Festival is more than an event; it’s a gateway to the extraordinary.”

Film producer Toby Poser avers, “Joining in person the Wench Film Festival team and attendees in Mumbai feels like I’m stepping into my own genre-tinged dream – talk about fulfilling a fantasy! I’m so very grateful to be welcomed to the fun and creative genius of Wench. For me, the essence of the word itself -“wench!” – is one of brazen courage and full-tilt go-my-own-way independent wild-boogie expression. Um, count me in, please! I cannot wait to share with viewers our film, Where the Devil Roams, on opening night. (Ok, I’m so excited that I might have to sit a few rows back or the proverbial butterflies – or bats? – in my belly may escape and explode all over the screen.) And what an honor to share through Terror Tutorials our love of genre movies and unusual methods of making them.”


Poser adds, “But I am most thrilled to be introduced to India’s creative community – its filmmakers and film lovers – to feel my heart burst out of its cage, to see with eyes cracked open wider, letting all that good light and learning flow in. I’ve never been to India, and I cannot fathom a more glorious, more perfect way to get to know India than through the lens of artistic expression – film, art, music – and with new friends who live, love, and represent them all. Thank you, Wench Film Festival and wenches near and far, for having me along for this wicked-wonderful ride!”

About Wench Films:


Wench was created in 2020 to bridge the gender gap in India by driving opportunities and conversations through the gaze of a Woman inclusive of BIWOC, LGBTQ+ women, and non-binary in Art, Fashion, and Film powered by Tech.

About the Festival:


Wench Film Festival is India’s first Horror / Sci-Fi / Fantasy Film Festival showcasing films inclusive of LGBTQ+ women, and non-binary filmmakers. This time around, we’re taking giant leaps in the world of genre films, presenting a meticulously curated selection of 29 films that will transport you to worlds unknown. We have an incredible lineup featuring 14 India Premieres and 10 Asia Premieres, ensuring that you’ll be among the first to witness these cinematic marvels.

Sapna Says

Sapna Bhavnani says, “But that’s not all! We are really excited to see the number of submissions from India rise by 70%. This not only means that genre films are finally finding their place in India but also how we have been responsible in the process. On March 2nd, we’re shining a spotlight on Indian talent with a dedicated day featuring 10 captivating films, accompanied by the brilliant minds behind them. Directors will be present for engaging Q&A sessions, offering a unique opportunity to delve deeper into the magic behind the movies. Besides films, we also have an epic curation of panels/ Masterclasses and music performances.”

Dates

Wench Film Festival‘s 4th edition FEB 29 – MAR 3, 2024.

Feb 29 – OPENING PARTY / OPENING FILM / SPEAKER AND PERFORMANCE

MARCH 1-3 – PHYSICAL FILM SCREENINGS / PERFORMANCES / PANELS

Tickets

Buy it on Insider.

FILMS MASTERCLASSES WORKSHOPS PANELS JURORS

-TERROR TUTORIALS WITH TOBY FRASER

-OPENING FILM SPONSORED BY SPECIAL ORDER

WHERE THE DEVIL ROAMS

DIRECTOR TOBY POSER PRESENT FOR QNA

-SCI FI OPENING PARTY WITH KRUNK AT KHAR SOCIAL

-PITCH IT TILL YOU MAKE IT

Forum for filmmakers to pitch to an esteemed panel :

Bhaskar Hazarika

Shyam Bora

Pavan Kirpalani

Arati Kadav

Rucha Pathak

GAYATRI GULATI

-COPYRIGHT INSIGHT

Sunil Zalmi

-ARTIFICIAL IMMERSION

with Ari Jayaprakash

Varun Gupta

Pratik Chitalia

Namaah K

Sakshi Bhatia

Ms. Dombay

-Final Draft Writers Room with Kaizad Gustad

JURY

Lisa Dreyer – Fantastic Fest – US

Vishal Furia – Filmmaker – India

Thomas Naam – BIFAN – Korea

Lisa Ogdie – Sundance | SOHO House Programmer (North America)

Mitch Davis – Fantasia – US

Irene Soriano – Sundance – US

Aseem Chhabra – NYIFF

Imani Davis – American Cinematheque – US

Wench Film Festival Team:


Artistic Director, Uma da Cunha, who has had one of the most enduring careers in cinema spanning programming, writing and casting. Over the years, she has organized film festivals and related events in India and abroad, assisted major festivals like Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Toronto and Busan, and served as a member of multiple film societies. She has been a Founder-Advisor to several Indian film festivals held abroad (London, Los Angeles, Stuttgart) and has been on the International Jury for Cannes’ Un Certain Regard and the FIPRESCI Award at Busan.

Programmers –
Heidi Honeycutt (co-founder of Etheria Film Festival, the world-famous showcase of new genre films directed by women. She is the producer of the six-season fantasy/horror series “Etheria” and the horror anthology show “Beyond the Dark” for Shudder as well as several special features documentaries including “Killer Cuisine: The Making of Blood Diner.”)

Shelagh Rowan-Legg (Director of the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, Programmer for FrightFest, and Contributing Editor for ScreenAnarchy. Writer / Director, her short films have been screened at festivals around the world. She holds a PhD in Spanish Fantastic Cinema from King’s College London.)

Founder, Sapna Moti Bhavnani (Producer/Director of the award-winning feature documentary Sindhustan, currently writing a screenplay Bearlike Man (Selected at NAFF 2021) and a book “Chapter One,” and enjoying the festival journey of my hybrid feature “My Dog Is Sick (2021) which world premiered at New Horizons International Film Festival.)

Head of Development, Vivek Rangachari Formerly an investment banker, Vivek is an Indian film producer, known for popular Bollywood films like The Lunchbox, Ugly, Mickey Virus and many more..

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