On July, 17, 2010, I attended the Viscera Film Festival, which I covered for the Hollywood Investigator. Founded by Shannon Lark and Heidi Martinuzzi, the Viscera is a horror film festival devoted to "horror by women." To win a Viscera Award, a film must be created entirely by women, in front of and behind the camera. Lark also founded the Chainsaw Mafia film collective, while Martinuzzi runs FanGirltastic.
One nice thing about horror film festivals, apart from seeing horror films, is the chance to meet horror celebrities. Among the people I met was Amber Benson, perhaps best known for her role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though she's appeared in many other horror films (e.g.Intermedio and One Eyed Monster). Benson is also an author.
An old cliché is how "nice" celebrities are in person, but Benson's affability seemed sincerely. Asked to pose for a photo, she behaved as though she were the one receiving the favor. Every year I run the Tabloid Witch Awards horror film contest and festival. I follow the screenings with panel discussions with the actors and filmmakers. I want every film represented, but since there are so many short films, a constant concern of mine is that the panel may end up crowded. I like small, intimate panels, so we can have a discussion. I thus have a rule: only one representative from each film can sit on the panel. I worry when I have over four people on a panel, and have (luckily) never had more than eight. Time constraints often prevent breaking up a panel into two smaller panels. I guess Viscera was also constrained by time. They had only one panel -- with over 20 people participating! Even so, everyone seemed to have a good time, audience and filmmakers alike.