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Attendance records set new Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival (more than zombies)

The cavalcade of films screened at the 5th annual Haapsalu Fantasy and Horror Film Festival (HOFF), which closed on Sunday, featured 31 films from 15 countries. The festival, which also boasted a "zombie parade" for the first time and other special events, was visited by more than 2500 people - a new record for the five-year-old event.

"The participants in the opening day parade and the film festival attendance record clearly show that this festival is important and necessary part of the Estonian festival calendar. Many visitors to the festival praised Haapsalu's unique atmosphere and great audiences, which attests to Haapsalu's international calibre," said head of festival Sten Saluveer.


The main focus of this year's festival was on zombie film, the new wave of French horror and festival special guest, Russian cult director Andrey Iskanov. The festival audiences could see the best of horror and fantasy films in the last year along with the legendary Japanese director Shinya Tsukamoto's Tetsuo films. A number of international premieres were also seen, with the makers of the thriller Iron Doors, director Stephen Manuel and actor Axel Wedekind, in attendance.


For the first time, an audience award was also handed out - in a tightly contested competition it went to the Dutch body-horror "The Human Centipede", which narrowly beat out the Japanese comedy- horror „Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl". Audiences also gave high ratings to "Iron Doors", the US comedy "Stingray Sam" and the Serbian shock film "Serbia film". The director of the audience's favourite director Tom Six, who is currently completing the sequel to "The Human Centipede", will receive the White Lady glass statue, which is supported by the festival and the Haapsalu city government.


A lifetime achievement award was given out to a film-maker responsible for a number of films seen at Haapsalu - the Japanese director Shinya Tsukamoto.


The sixth Haapsalu Horror & Fantasy Film Festival will take place in the newly renovated and reopened 500-seat main auditorium in the Haapsalu Cultural Centre in April 2011.


The festival was brought to you by the Haapsalu City Government, Haapsalu Cultural Centre and Black Nights Film Festival Foundation.


For more information and festival photos, visit



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