Horror film festival introducing Walk of Fame

Ljutomer – The 18th Grossman Festival of Fantastic Film and Wine, kicking off on Saturday, will see five feature films competing for the main award, Vicious Cat, while it introduces a Hollywood-style Walk of Fame, and Nightmare on Vine Street, a wine-themed event.

The festival will open in the town of Ormož today and move to its original location in Ljutomer on Tuesday until Saturday.

The guests of honour will be actor Robert Englund, who brought Freddy Krueger to life, and director Jack Sholder, known for his film The Hidden. Both will receive the Honorary Vicious Cat awards, with the latter also presiding the judging panel for the best feature film.

The competition section will feature five films: horror movies from Taiwan and Finland, The Sadness and Hatching, respectively; Irish dark comedy Let the Wrong One In; and thrillers Follow Her from the US, and Malencholia from Spain.

Among the guests will also be Sylvia Caminer, the director and producer of Follow Her, Alfonso Zarauza, the screenwriter and director of Malencholia, and the actress in the same film Ledicia Sola.

Seven music documentaries are vying for the Noisy Cat award, while 25 short films will compete in two sections, Slak’s Vicious Cat and Melies d’Argent.

There will be 18 out-of-competition films, including a retrospective on Korean genre film and screenings in the Enchanted Cinema for children.

The screening of the iconic film Nosferatu will be accompanied by a live performance in honour of the 100th anniversary of this unofficial adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula that brought to life one of the most recognisable monsters in cinematic history.

The festival will feature a new Slovenian fiction-documentary series Inhumanum: The Inhumanity of Men on the dimensions and consequences of murder.

The festival brings the Prlekija Walk of Fame to Ljutomer, honouring with a star ten celebrities who have either visited Ljutomer or participated in the festival in the past.

These are Fritz Lang, Roger Corman, Ruggero Deodato, Josee Mojica Marins, Christopher Lee, Menahem Golan, Enzo G. Castellari, Franco Nero, Udo Kier and Gary Sherman. The 11th star, to be unveiled on the first day of the festival, will honour Englund.

Following a pandemic-related break, the accompanying program will return with concerts, book launches, a subculture fair, workshops on feature film-making in Slovenia, film critique, fanzines, horror and special effects, and creative workshops for children.

After last year’s zombie motorcade in vintage cars, the traditional parade of zombies will once again take over the streets of Ljutomer on foot.

The entertainment program Nightmare on Vine Street will crown the Vicious Cat Wine Champion and feature the first ever Grossmann’s fantastic duel, pitting local winemakers against craft beer makers.