Don’t put away your Halloween costumes yet.
Horror in Seconds, Vancouver’s first BIPOC horror fest, isn’t quite like other film festivals. Started by local interdisciplinary artist Doaa Magdy, the festival celebrates short-form scares produced without barriers to entry.
The bite-sized horror shorts on display have all been made by BIPOC filmmakers, with only their smartphones, kept to 60 seconds or less, and without dialogue.
Without a cost to participate, the need for complex equipment, or a strict script of dialogue, the shorts on show promise to be accessible, atmospheric, and snappy—showing off how much horror you can pack into just visuals, effects, and maybe a tense soundtrack.
It’s also a chance for racialized filmmakers to challenge the stereotypes of the genre that cast people of colour as monstrous or expendable, while simultaneously celebrating the subversive power of horror.
“As a Black child, I always identified with aliens and ghosts because, like me, they represent the ‘other’ that society fears,” Magdy explains in a post. “Black and Indigenous joy in horror is telling and writing our own stories from our perspectives and sharing them with the world.”
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The November 22 opening night at the Fox Cabaret features the short film screenings alongside Horror Barbie-themed boo-lesque and live performances, finishing up with a horror-dipped dance party hosted by DJ Denise.
And November 25 sees the first-time festival continue with a horror poetry night at Massy Books, complete with creepy charcuterie from Owl Aboard.
Let’s hope you’ve got some fake blood left over from October 31.