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Horrible Imaginings Film Festival Celebrates 10th Anniversary This Weekend

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Horrible Imaginings Film Festival started in San Diego 10 years ago but moved to The Frida Cinema in Orange County last year. This year's festival runs Friday through Sunday.

Speaker 1: 00:00 Horrible imaginings film festivals started in San Diego and now it takes place at the Frida cinema in Orange County. KPBS arts reporter, Beth Doc Amando previews the festivals 10th year with its founder and executive director, Miguel Rodriguez, Miguel. Horrible Imaginings Film Festival is entering its 10th year. You started this festival here in San Diego and last year you moved it to Orange County. So what was the motivation for moving it?

Speaker 2: 00:28 Well, largely the motivation for moving it was to, we got an offer from an art house cinema in Santa Ana in Orange County and it was a great size cinema. And their enthusiasm was intoxicating because it ha finding a home and a venue in San Diego has always been an up hill battle. And uh, and, and finding a venue that really fits what we're doing has been really challenging. So, uh, you know, we were at the Museum of photographic arts for the last three years that we were here and it got to be financially extremely burdensome, not just for the theater itself, but for being in bubble park, which closes early and there's no food. So we had to buy food to bring it in and there were just so many challenges that the uh, dual mode of them wanting us to be there and US having so much trouble here, it just really facilitated the choice to to move even though it was a tough choice

Speaker 1: 01:33 in watching some of the films, because I'm one of the judges, so I'm getting to see a lot of the movies that you are running. Full disclosure. Yeah. Full disclosure, one of the judges, but one of the things I've noticed this year, and it's not something that's particularly new, but I think just seeing a number of films in a row that were similar brought this to my attention, but there are a number of films this year that work without dialogue. I wanted to talk to you a little bit just about what it is about horror that I think does lend itself to this kind of wordless narrative and makes it very kind of global and international because you can show that anywhere without subtitles. Yeah, I think there are a couple of things

Speaker 2: 02:14 going on. I'm glad you brought up the international aspect. I think one of my favorite dialogue, free short films that we have is from Mexico.

Speaker 3: 02:24 Uh,

Speaker 2: 02:25 and it does make it universal. And one thing that we're trying to show is that we can come together. Different types of people can come together because of fears so universal that that emotion is so universal. So there's that aspect, but also there's just something about the leaving out words that kind of makes it a little more nightmarish. It makes it a little more ethereal, a little less real dialog and words tend to ground things in a way that them potentially, it makes them familiar and a little less

Speaker 4: 03:03 scary. Whereas without the dialogue, it has this effect.

Speaker 2: 03:08 The fact that

Speaker 4: 03:09 maybe you're dreaming, maybe something is askew

Speaker 2: 03:13 that is a little hard to describe.

Speaker 4: 03:17 And if done correctly, it can be very effective.

Speaker 2: 03:21 There's one film called lovers that a, we're world premiering and it's all about not just abusive relationship, but more interestingly to me why someone chooses to stay in an abusive relationship. I find that really interesting. I find it really, uh, more personal

Speaker 5: 03:38 [inaudible]

Speaker 1: 03:40 and we talked about these homes that are wordless, but there was one film I saw that really jumped out for me that is very scripted. How to be alone. Oh yeah. Had a great script of someone who's just trying to spend some time by themselves and letting their patients,

Speaker 6: 03:57 let me go crazy. It's not so bad. Just follow the steps. Don't slip into old habits. Stick to the plan. The truth is it doesn't matter. You've always been alone. You always will be. So

Speaker 2: 04:21 how about the visual medium? The, this is picture with words, right? It's really, the words are used to describe an emotion or to instill an emotion rather than tallow. A, a kind of more traditional type story that was actually written and directed by one of the writers from stranger things, the show. But you know, I like it better even than the show stranger things. So, uh, I'm excited to show that one.

Speaker 1: 04:44 And I just recently spoke to the organizers from the San Diego underground film festival here in San Diego and like them, you also have some live performance. So you have a a ballet component. Yeah.

Speaker 2: 04:59 Yes. Yeah. I like ballet and I like it in a horror context because being a ballet dancer means you're doing horrible things to your body and things that seem unnatural and traditionally they are unnaturally beautiful there. You know, the grace that is on display is something that we look at as divine, but what we have is a troop doing a Zombie Ballet. So it's taking something unnatural to present something darkly unnatural. Part of our mission is to, to show horror and a variety of art and, uh, and this is trying to adhere to that mission.

Speaker 1: 05:44 All right. Well, I want to thank you very much for talking about horrible imaginings. Thank you for inviting me on. It's always a pleasure. That was Beth OCHA, Mondo speaking with horrible imaginings. Miguel Rodriguez. The film festival starts tonight and runs through Sunday at the Fritas cinema in Orange County.

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Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon host KPBS Midday Edition, a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.