Announcing NIGHTSTREAM Virtual Festival

U.S. Genre Festivals Announce NIGHTSTREAM Virtual Festival

Participating festivals include Boston Underground, Brooklyn Horror, North Bend, Overlook, and Popcorn Frights

In response to the many challenges impacting the film community amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and the concerns of safety and security that presently come with physical exhibition and festivals, a collective online initiative will be launched by organizers of a number of American genre festivals for the upcoming fall season to offer a singular experience for U.S. audiences. Together the Boston Underground Film Festival (MA), Brooklyn Horror Film Festival (NY), North Bend Film Festival (WA), the Overlook Film Festival (LA), and Popcorn Frights Film Festival (FL) will join forces under the banner of NIGHTSTREAM to present a dynamic and accessible virtual festival, to run from October 8-11.

Programmers from all five festivals will collaborate on the NIGHTSTREAM feature film line up, and these films will be recognized as an official selection of each festival entity as well. The short film programs will be individually curated by each fest, along with a full slate of live events and panels taking place over the weekend. The lineup is expected to be announced in late September.

Proceeds from the event will be shared with all participating filmmakers and artists, and donations will be made on behalf of each associated festival to charitable causes and local businesses in their home cities. Earlybird Badges are now on sale, and NIGHTSTREAM will offer two options for badges: a five-film bundle and ten film package, priced at $55 and $90 respectively with each badge granting unlimited access to live events and panels.

The Boston Underground Film Festival, which usually takes place every March at the historic Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, MA, was forced to abruptly cancel their 22nd annual event due to the pandemic. Popcorn Frights Film Festival, the largest genre film festival in Southeast US, postponed its 2020 edition that was originally slated to take place this month in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Having previously been postponed for this year, the Pacific Northwest destination event North Bend Film Festival was originally set to take place this month in the famed Twin Peaks town near Seattle, WA. The Overlook Film Festival, which annually programs a celebrated slate of horror cinema alongside live performance and interactive events, postponed their upcoming edition, which had been planned for late May in New Orleans. The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, which specializes in cinema that pushes horror’s boundaries, will move its planned fifth edition up by one week with this transition to virtual.

NIGHTSTREAM will be geo-locked to the U.S. and hosted on Eventive, which offers enhanced security features including the same DRM technology used by Disney+, iTunes, and Netflix, and is trusted by leading distributors and studios including A24, Sony Pictures Classics, Starz, Showtime, and National Geographic. It will function on multiple internet browsers as well as Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, and other connective devices to ensure the most wide-reaching compatibility, as well as comfort for viewers.

The festival will feature a program showcasing a mix of international horror, fantasy, sci-fi, vanguard, and underground films that capture the distinct curatorial spirit of each festival. Highlighting imaginative, daring, and bold voices in cinema, NIGHTSTREAM will encompass the full scope of genre storytelling and provide an exciting home experience for film fans this Halloween season.

For more information about NIGHTSTREAM, please visit https://nightstream.org. You can find our open letter of intent signed by each collaborating festival below:

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to alter our collective lives in a myriad of unprecedented and increasingly disastrous ways, its impact on the industry we love is all too apparent. Amidst forced festival cancellations and upended film releases, we felt an overwhelming need to come together and join forces to present a first-class film experience for the larger genre community this Halloween season. The challenges posed this year are immense, but so too is our desire to remind our fans of the thrill, amusement, and wonder of discovering new movies, even from home.

By uniting, we aspire to both show our determination to overcome this time of anxiety and uncertainty, and demonstrate our strong will to continue to support bold and visionary films and filmmakers from around the world. Now more than ever, we are dedicated to celebrating cinema and providing filmmakers with the opportunity to have their films seen and enjoyed by eager audiences.

The launch of NIGHTSTREAM, a unique virtual festival experience, will continue each of our missions to bring communities together and showcase the best that the genre scene has to offer, while also giving back to those in need who have supported us. To that end, we’d like to stress that all proceeds from sales of NIGHTSTREAM will be shared in the manner outlined below.

The genre film community is not defined by our physical proximity to theaters. It is our love of film in all its forms that binds us and will continue to keep us close. Now is the time to reimagine the future of festivals, our future, and what can be achieved through cinema. Let’s do it together.

“It is true, we shall be monsters, cut off from all the world; but on that account we shall be more attached to one another.” Mary Shelley, Frankenstein