The fourth edition of the film festival dedicated to our favorite female survivors has announced its 2019 program. The Final Girls Berlin Film Festival is showcases movies directed, written and/or produced by women and non-binary filmmakers from around the world. From January 31 to February 3, the German capital will be the place to see seven feature films, eight curated short blocks and four panel discussions.

It goes without saying that women behind the camera make for powerful female characters on the screen, as is the case with Felt, starring Amy Everson in a role that won her the best actress award at Fantastic Fest in 2014. If you liked Andrea Riseborough in Mandy, then you’ll love her as the titular character in the psychological thriller Nancy. The features also include two festival darlings; Cam (written by former sex worker Isa Mazzei) and Tigers Are Not Afraid (the gritty Mexican fairy tale directed by Issa López). As for more international films, there’s Hounds of Love from Australia, and French/Brazilian queer werewolf romance Good Manners. Finally, take a trip back to the year 1973 with Messiah of Evil, a tale of a woman who infiltrates a mysterious death cult in search of her father.

 

 

Of the eight short blocks, keep an eye out for the Two Sentence Horror Stories, a short anthology series inspired by the online trend.

For those hoping to expand their film knowledge and explore the deeper themes of horror classics, there will be panel discussions that offer a woman’s perspective on a genre normally shaped and dominated by men. First, there will be a lecture that will psychoanalyze hysteria and demon possession in film. Next, an instalment in the “Burn It To the Ground” series, where Toronto writer Alison Lang gives an intersectional critique of 80s slasher films. In the second half, Lang will analyze gender dysphoria in classics like Psycho, Silence of the Lambs, as well as a few of David Cronenberg’s body horrors. If you enjoy movies where aliens and mutants impregnate their victims, then look no further than the talk on feminism in reproductive horror. Last but not least, there will be a workshop hosted by Pretty Deadly Self Defense, where they will show how six classic horror movies could have turned out differently had the female protagonist known how to fight off her attacker.

You can read short descriptions of the films and panels below:

 

CAM

cam movie
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dir. Daniel Goldhaber, USA, 2018
CAM is a technology-driven horror film set in the world of webcam porn. It follows Alice, an ambitious camgirl, who wakes up one day to discover she’s been replaced on her show with an exact replica of herself. As this copy begins to push the boundaries of Alice’s internet identity, the control that Alice has over her life vanishes. While she struggles to regain what she’s lost, she slowly finds herself drawn back to her show and to the mysterious person who has taken her place.

 

HOUNDS OF LOVE

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dir. Ben Young, Australia, 2016
In mid 1980s Australia, seventeen year old Vicki Maloney is randomly abducted from a suburban street by a disturbed couple. As she observes the dynamic between her captors, she quickly realizes she must drive a wedge between them in order to survive.

 

TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID

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dir. Issa López, Mexico, 2017
A gritty fairytale about a gang of five street children trying to survive the horrific violence of drug cartels and the ghosts created by the Mexican drug war. Ten-year-old Estrella has three wishes, the first of which is that her missing mother returns. Her wish comes true, but she returns in the form of spectral visions. Her intuition leads her to join a gang of orphaned boys, with whom she must fight real-world and supernatural evils. A beautiful mix of fantasy and reality and an exploration of the powerful strength and resilience of children amidst the tragic horrors surrounding them. This film, which has been compared to Pan’s Labyrinth, has received sweeping critical acclaim and has been a much-discussed favorite at numerous film fests around the world, including Fantastic Fest (USA), where it premiered.

 

FELT

dir. Jason Banker, USA, 2014
Amy, a San Francisco artist, is haunted by a recent trauma. As she veers dangerously close to a complete emotional and psychological breakdown, she plunges into the world of her art as a coping mechanism. She re-appropriates the male form by creating an alter ego that assumes power and domination. When Amy meets Kenny, a seemingly nice, down-to-earth guy, she decides to open herself up to him, hoping he can restore her faith in mankind.

 

NANCY

dir. Christina Choe, USA, 2018
NANCY is a provocative psychological thriller about love, intimacy, and trust – and what happens when lies become truth. Craving connection with others, Nancy creates elaborate identities and hoaxes under pseudonyms on the internet. When she meets a couple whose daughter went missing thirty years ago, fact and fiction begin to blur in Nancy’s mind, and she becomes increasingly convinced these strangers are her real parents. As their bond deepens, reasonable doubts give way to willful belief – and the power of emotion threatens to overcome all rationality.

 

GOOD MANNERS

good manners 2018
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dirs. Juliana Rojas & Marco Dutra, Brazil/France, 2017
Set in São Paulo, the film follows Clara, a lonely nurse from the outskirts of the city who is hired by mysterious and wealthy Ana to be the nanny of her soon to be born child. Against all odds, the two women develop a strong bond. But a fateful night marked by a full moon changes their plans. With powerful visuals and an impeccable cinematography, GOOD MANNERS is a genre hybrid – an unexpected and wild werewolf movie unlike any other and a poignant social and racial allegory on modern-day Brazilian society.

 

MESSIAH OF EVIL

dirs. Willard Huyck & Gloria Katz, USA, 1973
A young woman named Arletty goes searching for her missing artist father. Her journey takes her to a strange Californian seaside town governed by a mysterious undead cult. Despite many warnings to stay away from the town which consumed her father, especially as the portentous “blood moon” approaches, Arletty delves deeper into the town and the uncanny people within it. Are they vampires? Cannibals? Zombies? This obscure cult classic unfolds its own eccentric mythologies and atmospheric amidst haunting music and cinematography. Film Comment called it “one of the top 10 classic, overlooked horror films of all time.”

 

Short Film Programs

Tainted Love

My Monster (Dir. Izzy Lee, USA, 2018, German Premiere)

Instinct (Dir. Maria Alice Arida, USA, 2017, German Premiere)

Sell Your Body (Dir. Jannelle Yee, USA, 2017)

Pages (Dir. Shaan Couture, France/USA, 2018, European Premiere)

Supine (Dir. Nicole Goode, Czech Republic/Canada, 2018, German Premiere)

Puppet Master (Dir. Hanna Bergholm, Finland, German Premiere)

 

 

Obsessions

Two-Sentence Horror Stories: Singularity (Dir. Vera Miao, USA, 2017, European Premiere)

Real Artists (Dir. Cameo Wood, USA, 2017)

Just After Midnight (Dirs. Anne-Marie Puga & Jean-Raymond Garcia, France, 2017)

Enid (Dir. Brad Netherclift, Australia, 2016)

42 Counts (Dir. Jill Gevargizian, USA, 2018, German Premiere)

Dreams From The Ocean (Dir. Carolina Sandvik, USA, 2018, German Premiere)

Asian Girls (Dir. Hyun Lee, Australia, 2017)

 

Social Horror

Devil Woman (Dir. Heidi Douglas, Australia, 2018, German Premiere)

Knock Knock (Dir. Kennekki Jones-Jones, USA, 2018, European Premiere)

Dulce Hogar (Dir. Giovana Olmos, Mexico/Canada, 2018)

My Final Girl: Black Women in American Horror (Dir. Laura Spark, UK, 2017)

11 Minutes (Dir. Hilda Lopes Pontes, Brazil, 2018, German Premiere)

Catcalls (Dir. Kate Dolan, Ireland, 2017)

Baptism (Dir. Mackenzie Bartlett, USA, 2017)

 

A Real Scream

All Men Must Die! (Dir. Kate Beacom, USA, 2018, European Premiere)

Allen Anders – Live at the Comedy Castle(Dir. Laura Moss, USA, 2018, German Premiere)

Control (Dir. Kimmy Gatewood, USA, 2018, European Premiere)

Panic Attack (Dir. Eileen O’Meara, USA, 2018)

Pink Trailer (Dir. Macey Isaacs, USA, 2018, German Premiere)

Cherry (Dir. Paul Holbrook, UK, 2018)

Polyfilia (Dir. Scarlett Anderson, UK, 2018, European Premiere)

Evströnger (Dir. Silvia Conesa, Spain, 2017)

The Party (Dir. Mackenzie Bartlett, USA, 2018)

The Only Thing I Love More Than You Is Ranch Dressing (Dir. Sydney Clara Brafman USA, 2018, German Premiere)

Mouse (Dir. Celine Held & Logan George, USA, 2017)

 

 

Long in the Tooth

I Am Albert (Dir. Aurélia Raoull, France, 2018)

Entropia (Dir. Marinah Janello, USA, 2018, German Premiere)

The Old Woman Who Hid Her Fear Under the Stairs (Dir. Faye Jackson, UK, 2017, German Premiere)

Shell Phone (Dir. Miren Mujika, Spain, 2018, German Premiere)

Grammy (Dir. Jill Gevargizian, USA, 2015, German Premiere)

Centrifugado (Dir. Mireia Noguera, Spain, 2017, German Premiere)

La Proeza (Isaac Berrocal, Spain, 2018, German Premiere)

Two Sentence Horror Stories: Second Skin (Dir. Ryan Spindell, USA, 2017, European Premiere)

 

Growing Pains

Caroline (Dir. Celine Held & Logan George, USA, 2018)

Little (Dir. Brittany Brock, USA, 2018, German Premiere)

TiCK (Dir. Ashlea Wessel, Canada, 2018, German Premiere)

¿Quieres que hoy te bese? [Do You Want Me to Kiss You This Time?] (Dir. Miriam Ortega Domínguez, Spain, 2018, German Premiere)

A Death Story Called Girl (Dir. Nathalia Beahand, USA, 2018)

Silhouettes (Dir. Sarah Brill, USA, 2018, International Premiere)

Lucy’s Tale (Chelsea Lupkin, USA, 2018, European Premiere)

 

Flesh and Blood

Blood Runs Down (Dir. Zandashé Brown, USA, 2018)

Hana (Dir. Mai Nakanishi, Japan, 2018, Berlin Premiere)

Colony (Dir. Catherine Bonny, Australia, 2018, European Premiere)

Ma (Dir. Vera Miao, USA, 2017, European Premiere)

The Pig Child (Dir. Lucy Campbell, UK, 2014)

9 Steps (Dir. Marisa Crespo & Moises Romera, Spain, 2018, Berlin)

Nose Nose Nose EYES (Jiwon Moon, Korea, 2018, German Premiere)

 

Midnight Movies

I Am Albert (Dir. Aurélia Raoull, France, 2018)

Friendsgiving (Dir. Samantha Kolesnik, US, 2018)

Nepenthes (Dir. Ariel Hansen, Canada, 2018, German Premiere)

EAT ME (Dir. Helena Aguilera, Mexico, 2018)

Road Trash (Dir. Natasha Pascetta, USA, 2018, German Premiere)

Nightmommy (Dir. Maïra Rachmadiev, The Netherlands, 2018)

Call Girl (Dir. Jill Gevargizian, USA, 2014)

Hair Wolf (Dir. Mariama Diallo, USA, 2018)

Donor (Dirs. Lori Alex & Aria Sini, Canada, 2018, German Premiere)

Eternity (Dir. Pina Brutal, Germany, 2018)

Feast (Dir. Melissa Kunnap, USA, 2018, European Premiere)

 

The Stare (Dir. Louisa Weichmann, Australia, 2018)

The Body Corporate (Dir. Stepanka Cervinkova, Australia, 2018, International Premiere)

 

Talks and Workshops

Hysteria and Demonic Possession: A Psychoanalytic Investigation


Mary Wild leads a talk that focuses on cinematic representations of demonic possession as a manifestation of unresolved unconscious conflict. Iconic depictions of possession are startlingly similar to fits of hysteria, where language no longer functions normally. Words, memories, experiences and impulses become ‘trapped’ in the interior psychic space, forced under house-arrest in the hysteric’s body, and manifesting in chilling ways.
About the instructor: Mary Wild is the creator of the PROJECTIONS lecture series at Freud Museum London, applying psychoanalysis to film interpretation.

 

Burn it to the ground: Looking back at the problem of intersectionality in 80s slasher films and the way forward & Gender and Body Horror: A New Paradigm of Terror


‘Burn it to the ground’ begins with an intersectional analysis of three slasher films from the 80s – an era of horror frequently critiqued for its marked lack of nuanced characters and, more pertinently, presenting a cookie-cutter version of American society that is markedly lacking in diversity. Lang compares with modern horror films that seek to create a more fulsome depiction of intersectional characters: Tragedy Girls, Boo!, May, People Under the Stairs and others, to examine a spectrum of bodily representation. For her second talk at FGBFF Lang will look at the way women and trans bodies have been used in horror films as sites of terror and metaphors for the monstrosities of psychological/sexual trauma in film taking examples from Teeth, Rabid, In My SkinRawThanatomorphose, Contracted and others. Lang will also examine and discuss how horror films deal with gender dysphoria and trans characters in a variety of films like Psycho and Silence of the Lambs, and the early works of David Cronenberg.
About the instructor: Alison Lang is a writer and editor based in Toronto, Ontario. She writes about music, horror movies, DIY culture and other weird things.

 

Feminist Takes on Technology and Reproductive Horror


A graphically illustrated tour through the mutant offspring, weaponized tools and evolutionary agendas of feminist reproductive horror films that explore brave new worlds of reproductive technologies. From the Alien series through Evolution and beyond, we’ll look at the badass, broody bitches from post-pill cinema leading up to today.
About the instructor: Alanna Thain is Associate Professor of Cultural Studies and World Cinemas at McGill University in Montreal. She is the author of Bodies in Time: Suspense, Affect, Cinema (U. of Minnesota Press 2017). She is also a member of the Montreal Monstrum Society.

 

What If She Fought Back? Pretty Deadly Self Defense Workshop


Pretty Deadly Self Defense takes scenes from six of our favorite classic horror films and turns them around on the bad guy. Here’s your chance to learn some self defense techniques to fight back against villainous favs Jack, Jason, Freddy, Candyman, and more!
Pretty Deadly Self Defense is a self-trust building, self-empowering, self-defense program based in Berlin.

For more information on FGBFF, visit their website. Will you be in attendance at this year’s Final Girls Berlin Film Festival? Let us know on Twitter, Reddit, and in the Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook!

 

final girls berlin film festival
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