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Weekend chills: Why you can attend this horror and sci-fi film festival in Mumbai this weekend

Updated on: 28 February,2024 07:25 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Devanshi Doshi |

The fourth edition of a horror and sci-fi film festival brings 30 movies from the genre and many interactive workshops curated to get your adrenaline rushing

Weekend chills: Why you can attend this horror and sci-fi film festival in Mumbai this weekend

A moment from the film Where the Devil Roams. Pics Courtesy/Youtube

Would you get up from your bed past midnight if you hear an unusual sound — a woman wailing in the distance or the noise from your TV set that you recall having switched off? If your answer is yes, here’s a plan for horror nuts like you. Wench Film Festival, a horror and sci-fi film festival, is back with its fourth edition.

With 30 films to be screened over the four-day festival at Andheri’s Veda Factory, the schedule includes immersive workshops, panel discussions, interaction with directors and filmmakers post screenings, and an opportunity to witness 15 enthusiasts make promising movie pitches to producers. “This is our second-ever offline event,” reveals founder Sapna Bhavnani, adding that when she started the film festival in 2020, it was aimed at making the festival women-centric.

Toby Poser
Toby Poser

“The first year, we didn’t have any one genre; we wanted to offer a platform to women filmmakers. However, I soon realised that while other genres still have women filmmakers, horror at that point had less than 0.2 per cent female creators,” she says, explaining the reason to organise a genre-specific film festival, which includes works from the people of the LGBTQiA+ community and non-binary filmmakers.

Sapna Bhavnani
Sapna Bhavnani

“The word ‘wench’ actually means a girl child, but over time, it developed a negative connotation and now alludes to promiscuous women. Our aim is to retain its original meaning,” explains Bhavnani. The opening night will witness the Indian premiere of When the Devil Roams by John Adams, Zelda Adams and Toby Poser. Poser, who flew down to Mumbai from the USA yesterday, tells this writer that the movie is about a family of murderous sideshow performers. “I am honoured to bring this movie to India. I will also conduct a workshop that will teach the participants how to make independent films,” Poser says.

Bhavnani notes that horror is scientifically proven as a tool to calm down. “It is also the best medium to offer a social message. After all, it is fantasy; you have full liberty to add demons and vampires to deliver an impactful message,” she signs off.

A still from the trailer of animated movie Sultana’s Dream
A still from the trailer of animated movie Sultana’s Dream

Age group 18 and above
On February 29 to March 3 
At Veda Black Box by Veda Factory, Versova, Andheri West. 
Log on to (for schedule); (for passes) 
Cost Rs 199 onwards

The Guide’s top 5 picks

>> Wicked beats
This performance by hip-hop artiste Krantinaari (in pic) is sure to send you on a spooky trance.
On February 29; 5 pm

>> The mysterious Matrix
In this retelling of The Matrix, popular culture podcast and collective Greek Fruit will conduct an immersive and exclusive table reading of the script with live performances.
On February 29; 4 pm

Pic Courtesy/Instagram
Pic Courtesy/Instagram

>> The power of words
Learn how to write impactful scripts with director and author Kaizad Gustad.
On March 2; 4:30 pm

>> For kids
Animated movie Sultana’s Dream by Isabel Herguera is one of the few movies at the festival that can be watched by children.
On March 3; 5.30 pm 

>> Go independent
Director Toby Poser will guide you on how to create independent films with less resources.
On March 1; 7 pm

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