Chicago, IL– The Chicago International Film Festival’s After Dark program��”a perennial October favorite in the lead up to Halloween��”has been expanded in its first ever competitive year to include an international mix of ten thrilling feature length and seven short films: things (human and inhuman) will go bump in the night. A Gold Hugo will be awarded to the jury’s selection for best After Dark feature.

“The After Dark competition this year represents the best new horror and genre cinema, including the first ever Israeli slasher film and the first ever Cuban zombie film. It’s a thrilling opportunity to combine the international focus the Festival is known for with an enhanced late night slate that will have hardcore horror fans and newcomers jumping in their seats…and coming back for more!,” said Festival Programmer Penny Bartlett.

From Juan of the Dead, a uniquely Cuban take on cult favorite Shaun of the Dead to Rabies, Israel’s critically acclaimed first foray into the slasher genre; A Lonely Place To Die, a breathlessly terrifying cat-and-mouse game set in the Scottish Highlands; an eerily deft recreation of 1930’s studio horror fare (Whisperer In Darkness); a thrilling short film program (Shorts 3: Midnight Mayhem) and more, this year’s After Dark competition will take audiences on a journey to the darkest corners of the human soul.

Cold Sweat Argentina (Director: Adrián García Bolagno)– Online dating? What’s the worst that could happen? Well, apparently, you could find yourself trapped in an old house at the mercy of a pair of aging right-wing revolutionaries turned sadists with a penchant for torturing young women with decaying dynamite and buckets of nitroglycerin. Prolific low-budget horror maestro Bogliano serves up a stylish slice of extreme genre cinema, which also alludes to the troubled state of generational politics in his homeland. Chicago Premiere. Director Adrián García Bogliano is scheduled to attend.

Haunters Korea (Director: Min-suk Kim)– A young thief’s ability to control minds is frustrated when he meets one just beyond his reach in this fast-paced Korean action thriller. On a routine robbery of a pawnshop, things go terribly awry and an epic cat-and-mouse game quickly ensues, taking the viewer on a supercharged tour of Seoul at night. Chicago Premiere.

The Holding UK (Director: Susan Jacobson)– After Cassie murders her abusive husband, a manipulative neighbor tries to run her off her land. Help seems to come in the form of gruff Scotsman Aden, but Cassie soon regrets letting Aden into her life when his true nature begins to manifest itself. Stylish direction and taut performances keep adrenaline running high in this accomplished, atmospheric gothic thriller. US Premiere. Director Susan Jacobson is scheduled to attend.

Juan Of The Dead Cuba (Director: Alejandro Brugues)– Juan is a lovable loser content to loaf around the streets of Havana wisecracking, womanizing, and wiling away the days with a motley crew of fellow drifters. But when what seems at first to be dissident rumblings in the city turns into a full-on flesh-eating zombie onslaught, Juan and his gang go into business as “Juan of the Dead” ��” a crack team of slayers specializing in the undead. This wild romp through the streets of the Cuban capital is a perfectly pitched blend of horror and laughs. Chicago Premiere.

A Lonely Place To Die UK (Director: Julian Gibley)– A group of friends get much more than they bargained for when a weekend of extreme mountain climbing turns into a terrifying ordeal. This tension-filled thriller makes the most of its setting in the stunning but treacherous landscape of the Scottish Highlands with immersive camerawork, an atmospheric Celtic soundtrack, and imagery straight out of The Wicker Man. Featuring a chilling standout performance from Sean Harris (24 Hour Party People, The Red Riding Trilogy). Chicago Premiere.

Rabies Israel (Director: Aharon Keshales)– Take the classic horror movie formula – hot girls lost in the woods, marauding homicidal maniacs, and gallons of blood and gore. Add some dark humor, sharp, witty dialogue, and unexpected twists and voilá, you get Rabies, Israel’s critically acclaimed first foray into the slasher genre. Sophisticated enough to appeal to a broad audience but with sufficient splatter to satisfy the hardcore genre fan, Rabies is an exhilarating and highly enjoyable viewing experience.Chicago Premiere.

Smuggler Japan (Director: Katsuhito Ishii)– From the man who created the celebrated “O-Ren Ishii” animated sequence in Kill Bill, Vol. 1 comes this stylish and outrageous but brutal film that makes Tarantino’s work look like family fare. In serious debt to local yakuza gangsters, Kinuta is coerced into taking a job as a smuggler of dead bodies for the Japanese underworld to settle the accounts, only to find himself caught in the middle of a bloody gang war. Based on the popular eponymous manga, Smuggler has all the makings of a midnight classic. Chicago Premiere.

Snowtown Australia (Director: Justin Kurzel)– Based on true events, this skillfully crafted psychological thriller centers on 16-year-old Jamie, who lives in a squalid, crime-ridden slum on the outskirts of Adelaide. When John Bunting, a charismatic older man, enters his life, he offers friendship and escape from his deadbeat existence. But as Bunting’s behavior becomes increasingly sinister, Jamie finds himself caught up in horrors he could never have imagined as he realizes his new father figure is actually a cold-blooded serial killer. Chicago Premiere.

The Yellow Sea South Korea (Director: Na Hong-Jin)– When taxi driver Gu-nam finds himself in financial straits, he accepts a proposal from a local mob boss to travel to Seoul to carry out a hit on a professor. Once Gu-Nam arrives in the capital city, he discovers he isn’t the only person targeting the professor and in a quick turn of events, finds himself on the run. Gu-nam must use every survival instinct he has in order to stay one step ahead of his pursuers in this thrilling man-on-the-run crime drama.Chicago Premiere.

The Whisperer In Darkness USA (Director: Sean Branney)– Based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft, The Whisperer in Darkness is an eerily deft recreation of classic 1930’s studio horror fare. Professor Albert Wilmart, a smug skeptic, is forced to question his views by a series of increasingly bizarre encounters with the supernatural. Genuinely terrifying and highly entertaining, Whisperer is a fitting homage for Lovecraft aficionados and, for newcomers, a perfect introduction to one of the great horror masterminds of the 20th century. Chicago Premiere. Director Sean Branney is scheduled to attend.

Shorts 3: Midnight Mayhem– Thirty years after a zombie epidemic, the undead are used for cheap labor in the stylish The Unliving (Sweden). A mysterious vagrant is hiding in an empty house in the menacing Ghost (South Korea). There’s a new addition to the family in the form of a benign severed head in the darkly comedic Cropped (Australia). A little boy and a yeti-like monster go on a disturbing adventure in Dream Of 1st Of April 1999. (France). A gruesome scene unfolds in a peaceful home by the sea in Bleeding Hearts (USA). A young mother’s mental state deteriorates rapidly in the nightmarish Foal (Austria) and an army of mutant flies is unleashed in an orgy of bloodlust in Friend Of Flies (Sweden). Directors Christoph Rainer, Dave Wade and Matthew Garrett are scheduled to attend.



All events, except Opening Night, are at the AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois Street. Tickets for the 47th Chicago International Film Festival are on sale now. Opening Night tickets and festival passes may be purchased on the Festival website. All individual tickets must be purchased by phone 312-332-FILM (3456), in person by visiting the Festival box office at AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois St.), or through Ticketmaster.

FESTIVAL SPONSORSLed by Presenting Partner, Columbia College Chicago, the 47th Chicago International Film Festival’s sponsors include: Premiere Partners– American Airlines, Lincoln; Producing Partners– AMC Theaters, DePaul University’s School of Cinema and Interactive Media, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; Major Partners– Allstate, Intersites; Supporting Partners– Applitite, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Brugal Rum, Kodak, Second City Computers, WBBM, and the Festival’s Headquarters Hotel, JW Marriott Chicago. ABOUT CINEMA/CHICAGOCinema/Chicago is a not-for-profit cultural and educational organization dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image. The Chicago International Film Festival is part of the year-round programs presented by Cinema/Chicago, which also include the International Screenings Program (May-September), the Hugo Television Awards (April), CineYouth Festival (May), Intercom Competition (October) and year-round Education Outreach and Member Screenings Program.
For images and press materials go to http://www.chicagofilmfestival.com/press/ ;
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