Bleedfest is the Badass Genre Film Festival that happens the first Sunday of each month, featuring women film makers and their projects. The festival was started by sister filmmaking team of Brenda and Elisabeth Fies. To cover all genres of film the sisters present a different theme at every film festival. The badass genre of February was horror to celebrate Women in Horror Month. To mark the occasion the sisters presented awards to two female directors who made their own path in the horror genre. One award went to Katt Shea who is most known for “Poison Ivy”, and “The Rage: Carrie 2”. Another award went to Stacy Title whose satirical pitch black comedy “Last Supper” points out the horrors that happen when intellectuals take themselves too seriously. These two women received the Inana award for their great contributions to women’s place in the film industry. Bzzzline was able to get interviews with these award winner’s as well as the winner of December’s partnership award Dave Reda.
February marks the 4th Bleedfest. The first Bleedfest was started in conjunction with The Viscera Film Festival which is a yearly festival dedicated to horror shorts made by women. Bzzzline’s Jeffrey Damnit was able to catch up to the founder of Viscera, Heidi Martinuzzi, and get a sneak peak at what to expect at this year’s festival. The 5th Bleedfest will be March 6th, and that will be Fantasian, a festival that will be filled with musical pieces done by Asian women, and April 3rd is the ThrillHer festival with Canadian film maker Maude Michaud as the featured guest.
Even with Bleedfest gaining speed, and their feature “The Commune” under their belt the Fies have barely started their film career. Brenda and Elisabeth Fies are both currently involved in the creation of a badass independent cable network called Bijou Studios. Bijou Studios is already making waves in the industry with Bijou films already set for theater distribution, and the summer launch of their cable network the Bijou Channel. Bijou just announced Elisabeth Fies as the vice president of Programming, and Brenda Fies VPs the marketing department. With these two ladies at the helm of this network the Television industry might want to keep an eye on their ratings. Bzzzline also got some face time with another executive of Bijou Studios Nic Brown.
Red carpet walkers sported bandages on their arms after participating in the blood drive that was held during the film festival. Jeffrey Damnit took Bzzzline on a tour of the blood van and caught an interview with Lisa Coffelt of Crimson Stained Lace Productions as she was giving blood. We also caught an interview with cult film director Kevin Tenney of “Night of the Demons” fame. Holy Cross Tarzana Medical Center collected over 20 pints of blood throughout the day making Bleedfest a successful blood drive.
The Bleedfest awards ceremony was full of pomp and circumstance, as awards for “Best Should Have Listened Moment”, and “Best Stunts” were given out. Marichelle Daywalt accepted an award for her film Mockingbird, and Tara Cardinal also took an award home for her trailer “Legend of the Red Reaper”. Bzzzline also caught up with Lori Bowen who came all the way from Sarasota FL, to accept her awards for the music video “Essenger, and for her short film “Aftershock”.
After 3 months of waiting the Inana statues finally arrived, and were given out. The recipients of the statues were the audience choice pick for December Cindy Baer for her film “Morbid Curiosity”, and Anne Norda received her Inana statue for the audience choice for January. The votes were tallied, and at the end of the day Tyrrell Shaffner won February’s audience choice award for her film “Threnody”. The surprise winner of the day was Susan Bell who won the Radar Film award for Patchwork Monkey. Bzzzline unofficially gave out an award to Pearl the dog for being the cutest attendee. Go to www.bleedfest.com to check out all the winners for present and past Bleedfests.
In Part 2 of the interview with the Fies sisters, Brenda and Elisabeth talk about what drove them to start this Badass Film Festival. They produced, and directed a film called “The Commune”, and when this hit the festival circuit running they were surprised to find other female film makers out there. The festivals they found were flooded with stereotypical female films like romantic comedies, and melodramas that had no appeal to them or the other women they met on the festival circuit. This festival experience coupled with their overall experience in the film industry made them take the festival circuit and the industry into their own hands, and give women a venue to show films they make, and show films they want to watch. Bzzzline also caught up with Miguel Rodriguez who runs a partnering film festival in San Diego called Horrible imaginings film festival, as well as another San Diego film maker Sophia Segal, and scream queen Michelle Tomlinson.
Jeffrey Damnit broke new ground at bleedfest when he gave an interview while giving blood. After an extreme close up of the needle being put into his arm he interviewed Anne Norda as his contribution to the blood drive filled a plastic bag. Anne Norda talked about the premeire of her new short film Hard To Love which is part of a trilogy of love stories set against the backdrop of the undead. As Jeffrey’s O positive finished filling the bag Bzzzline learned that Anne Norda made a feature called Red is the Color Of which can be found on Netflix. Bzzzline also caught red carpet quotes from film maker Julia Camara, and Domain of Horror blogger Sarah Barrett. Keep checking Bzzzline for coverage of Anne Norda’s Monster Bash.
The last part of Bzzzline’s interview with the Fies sisters reflects how they feel about making genre films, and what projects they have coming up. Brenda Fies talks about the first film she directed called “Distraught”, and how it was much harder to direct than her sister made it look. They also talked about future projects they have coming up including “Psycho Sexual”, and “I Hate LA”. Jeffrey also got some red carpet time in with triple threat, Diana Hart. Vida Ghaffari talked about her role in Joe Castro’s new project, and Michael Worth talks about his new project “Bring Me the Head of Lance Henrickson”. Bzzline will continue it’s Bleedfest coverage at next months festival titled “Fantasian”.