The Summer of Scares will get off to a chilling start this weekend with the Horror Realm Film Festival at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont.
Horror filmmakers have submitted 16 films to undergo judging by horror film experts. They will be shown multiple times Friday through Sunday for attending fans.
Seven of the films are shorts, running 45 minutes or less; the remaining nine are longer features.
Winners will receive awards and, ideally, contracts to distribute their work from impressed buyers from film release companies.
The festival is part of the Summer of Scares events leading up to Horror Realm's fall show. Friday and Saturday will give fans the chance to watch movies from morning to night, with an abbreviated schedule on Sunday along with the awards ceremony.
"We decided to show some of the films -- particularly shorts -- several times to give them more audience exposure rather than have Q&A sessions and panels," said Sandy Stuhlfire, convention coordinator for Horror Realm.
On Friday, the films start at 11 a.m. with "Missing" written and directed by Joey Medina and produced with Liz Lohof. It's reshown at 11 p.m.
On Saturday, the first two films share a connection: "Salvation" (10 a.m.) and "Blood Fare" (11:30 a.m.) are both written and directed by J.A. Steel, who produced the "Blood Fare" story with Christian Koch.
The final film Saturday, "13 Score" (8:30 p.m.), is written by James "Doc" Herrmann, Jennifer Walters and Christian Bareford with direction by D. Max Walters; the producer is Jason Bareford. The day will close with a party for filmmakers and fans.
During Friday and Saturday, fans can vote for audience favorites which will be shown Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with the awards ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
Later this summer, the Horror Realm will join with Chiller Films to bring "Animal" to the Hollywood Theater June 17-18. On June 21, there will be a screening of "Polyester" plus an appearance of Mink Stole, one of director John Waters' Dreamlanders ensemble. The Horror Fan Flea Market returns to the Hollywood Theater on July 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"We hope that this gives [the filmmakers'] exposure to people who want to market and distribute their films," Ms. Stuhlfire said of this weekend's film festival. "They could potentially come from anywhere. We are promoting that event so we're hoping people will come who have that interest."
The judges are Michael Exler and Drew Seidler from the local East Coast Horror Group, and Rick Fusselman, of Girard, Ohio, co-owner and president of Resurrected Video, which Ms. Stuhlfire said distributes horror and exploitation films on VHS and DVD.