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Local Event: The Blacklist Art and Film Festival

Horror Fest Comes to San Diego

Above: Grant Ensminger is one of the artists highlighted in the art half of The Blacklist Art and Film Festival this Saturday.

It's no secret that I am a fan of horror so I'm happy to say that this weekend you can find horrors at The Blacklist Art and Film Festival.

The festival has a manifesto on its website that states: "The Blacklist Art and Film Festival is a celebration of unapologetic and fearless creativity that goes beyond the formula of mainstream culture. Each two-day spectacle proudly showcases the emerging talents and unknown innovators of Art, Film, and Rock N Roll. This event of cerebral debauchery is an effort to inspire the next wave of artists with original and unconventional content."

Okay. That sounds promising. This weekend's event is a single day (with an after party spilling into Sunday) with an art show and showcase of horror shorts (screened at the Birch North Park Theater) followed by an after party and music at Queen Bee's Art and Cultural Center.

According to Jeff Speed, one of the event organizers, "The Blacklist started out five years ago as a group of friends getting together to showcase our talents to our hometown of South Lake Tahoe, California. I was in film school at SDSU and I had a few films that I had directed, my twin brother Chris was making films at City College here in San Diego, and we had a few other friends that were experimenting with film at the time. We combined all of our films with some of the best films to come out of SDSU that year and that was our first film program. From there things just escalated."

The festival will highlight two hours of extreme filmmaking from around the globe. Speed says, "One thing I do now, when I program the films, is research what films have been winning or screening well at the major horror and sci-fi festivals around the world, contact the filmmaker and request a screener. If the film is Blacklist worthy, then we promote it proudly. Our whole gig is promoting fearless and unapologetic creativity. We are not interested in mainstream ideas which are jammed down our thoughts on a daily basis. The same goes for the Art and Music. We feel that the Art, Film, and Rock n' Roll all compliment each other perfectly. You see/hear creativity on all different levels and senses. At The Blacklist you get to immerse yourself in this unconventional content and hopefully come out inspired and with a refreshed mind. This is a celebration dedicated to the artists and unknown innovators that reach far beyond the formula of mainstream culture."

But is San Diego ready for a festival dedicated to horror? Speed's not sure about the festival's future: "We would like to keep this thing going in it's current format of an annual blitzkrieg of Booze, Blood, Art, Film, and Rock 'n' Roll, but only time will tell. I think North Park is a perfect place for this event and we are excited for the opportunity."

So if you're interested in going someplace dark, The Blacklist might just have what you are looking for.

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