Etheria Toronto was hosted by the voices behind The Faculty of Horror: Andrea Subissati and Alexandra West, two women in horror that definitely deserve the title. As well as hosting the popular podcast, they’ve written about horror extensively, both in academia and popular media. You can find more about them at www.facultyofhorror.com, with past podcasts, bios and great information on all things horror.
De Noche y De Pronto (Suddenly, One Night), directed by Arantxa Echevarria.
This almost 20 minute film from Spain brings us a story about a woman’s uncertainty and trusting her instincts. She has to decide whether a neighbour is telling the truth when he seeks refuge from apparent robbers in his apartment. Tense and paranoia-inducing, this film won the 2015 Etheria Jury award.
Mitten directed by Amanda Michael Row.
This 3 minute gem is all tension as a man finds a mitten and searches for the owner.
Seiren directed by Kat Threlkeld.
When a model is bitten in the water at a photoshoot, she becomes infected and slowly transforms into a nightmare.
The next question asked them how they reacted to the resistance against WiH/girl power and if they were perceived as wanting to bring down all the men. The panel all agreed that people tended to be suspicious of women in horror, and feminists to boot. Amanda hadn’t experienced any resistance and just did what she wanted in terms of directing. Brigitte found that with her highly technical job of editing, people assumed she wouldn’t know her job just because of her gender. She also pointed out that woman editors were behind some of the most famous films out there, and many don’t acknowledge that fact. Richelle noticed a weird pre-judgement towards female directed films, and Kat made a great point about women and horror.
She said that women know horror better than anyone in film because of our gender and experiences, so who better to represent the genre behind the scenes. Ultimately she made horror because it was fun, and wondered who cared who did what? They agreed that this could be overcome by doing what feels right to you, with Vivian adding that you should direct what you want.
As far as having a mentor, receiving great advice, and facing obstacles, the women all had some great things to say. They unanimously agreed that fostering relationships and creating a community around you for support was extremely important, as well as abolishing the competition mentality. Vivian pointed out that even though at first you may not be accepted because, for instance, you may not “look like a director”, you had to sidestep stereotypes and eventually you’ll find like-minded people who support you. Laura stressed that there should be conversations about why people think it’s weird that women and people of colour do genre film.