Etheria Film Festival welcomes female horror/sci-fi creators and big name guests
The Etheria Film Festival, an esteemed showcase of new horror and sci-fi films directed by women, will welcome special guests Joe Bob Briggs and Darcy of The Last Drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs at their July 1 event.
The pair will make an appearance on the red carpet along with legendary scream queen Brinke Stevens at the Screenland Armour in North Kansas City. After a 9:30 kickoff, Joe Bob and Darcy will present Stevens with the 2023 Etheria Inspiration Award, recognizing the legend’s trailblazing career which continues to inspire women in the horror genre.
The women-led festival was founded in 2013 by Heidi Honeycutt and Stacy Hammon to support increased visibility for women filmmakers on the horror and sci-fi scene. Honeycutt, the festival’s Director of Programming, says that though the genre has seen an increase in women’s representation since 2013, women’s films were sparingly shown at festivals at the time of Etheria’s founding.
“Women are definitely getting hired a lot more for horror and sci-fi TV and film,” Honeycutt says. “But we still love doing our showcase, because it helps draw attention to new filmmakers or women that are ready to step into that place in film and television, but maybe just haven’t been recognized by someone who’s in a position to hire yet.”
This year, the showcase will feature ten short films by women filmmakers, three of whom will be in attendance and participate in a panel following the screenings. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask Chelsea Gonzalez (Make the Call), Jennifer Zhang (Autopilot), and Meg Swertlow (No Overnight Parking) about their respective short films.
Previously held in Hollywood, this will be the first year Etheria hosts their main event in Kansas City featuring a red carpet and star-studded guest list. Festival attendees will have the opportunity to get signatures from horror celebrities Joe Bob Briggs, Darcy the Mail Girl (Diana Prince), and Brinke Stevens.
Widely regarded as a horror icon, Stevens has amassed an impressive film portfolio including roles in The Summer of Massacre (2012), Scream Queen Hot Tub Party (1991), and Teenage Exorcist (1991). It wasn’t until recent years that she started channeling this experience in directing horror films of her own.
“Instead of just being in horror films, [Stevens] is now the one in control of making the movie,” Honeycutt says. “We love that she has gone in that direction and is using all of her expertise and years of knowledge to now be behind the camera.”
Honeycutt also says horror host and career-long friend of Stevens, Joe Bob Briggs, is excited to be the one to present the award. Audience members will recognize Joe Bob as the host of the hit variety television series The Last Drive-in, along with his on-stage sidekick Darcy (Diana Prince).
Etheria has always been a celebration and opportunity for the supportive, die-hard horror community to connect and celebrate what they love. This year, Kansas Citians will have a front-row seat.
“The festival really is just about having fun and celebrating really good filmmakers that happen to be women,” Honeycutt says. “It’s about everybody coming together and celebrating the things about horror and science fiction that they love.”
The Etheria Film Festival starts at 9:30 p.m. on July 1 at Screenland Armour, but festivalgoers wanting the red carpet experience and signing opportunities should arrive at 7 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.