It took seven years, but a Michigan-made movie finally took home one of the Thriller! Chiller! film festival’s international awards last weekend.
The seventh annual Thriller! Chiller! film festival was held from Oct. 18-20 at the historic Wealthy Theatre located in Grand Rapids. 62 films from 17 countries were in competition for each of the festival’s much-sought-after “Groovy Awards.”
“This was our best year yet,” said Shirley Clemens, marketing and public relations director for the festival. “We had three times the attendance we anticipated.”
The Michigan-produced, “Low End,” co-directed by Scott Baisden and Todd Lewis, took home the Groovy Award for “Best Thrill” and the much sought after “Boomstick Award” at this year’s Thiller! Chiller!.
The Boomstick Award is presented to the best Michigan-made film of the festival and takes its name from the cult horror classic, “Army of Darkness,” which was directed by Michigan native Sam Rami (the original “Spider-Man” trilogy).
“This is a very big deal for our local film community,” Clemens said. “We are so proud of the talent in our local community for competing on this level.”
Groovy Award winners are chosen by a group of independent judges who, according to a Thriller! Chiller! press release, “examine a movie’s content as a whole, and attempt to quantify its visceral impact as a story and how it best represents its particular genre.”
The following is a list of this year’s Groovy Award winners:
Best Thrill: “Low End.” USA. Directors: Scott Baisden and Todd Lewis
Best Chill: “Zero Killed.” Germany. Director: Michal Kosakowski
Best FX: “Nervo Craniano Zero.” Brazil. Director: Paulo Biscaia Filho
Best Short: “Odokuro.” USA. Director: Aurelio Voltaire
Best Feature: “Empty Rooms.” USA. Director: Adam Lamas
Festival sponsor O1 Radical Films (a promoter/distributor of independent movies) created a new Groovy Award for this year’s festival—”The Radical,” which honors the best post-apocalyptic or zombie themed movie. The inaugural award was presented to “Abed,” directed by Ryan Lieske.
This year’s recipient of the “Storey Award” was Joseph L. Voss of Clark Hill Entertainment Law.
“The Storey Award is a community award created by Thriller! Chiller! and is presented in honor of journalist, friend, and community activist Drew Storey who passed away unexpectedly in 2009,” according to a recent press release. “The recipient is awarded based upon their body of work, their selfless contribution and its impact on building community relationships which promote and connect Michigan’s artists to a larger audience around the world.”
Every year the Thriller! Chiller! film festival features an international lineup of the world’s best genre movies. Science fiction, action, suspense, and horror films are selected for their “excellence in storytelling as well as technical skills in filmmaking,” according to festival organizers.
For more information, visit the Thriller! Chiller! Film Festival website at www.thrillerchiller.com.