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focus on new French horror at the Haapsalu Horror & Fantasy Film Festival

The fifth Haapsalu Horror & Fantasy Film Festival (HÕFF), to be held from 23-25 April at the Haapsalu Cultural Centre, will feature a total of 30 films from 15 countries, of which 19 are full-length features.

This year's festival will focus on new French horror.


Estonia's only festival devoted to the fantasy, horror, science fiction and trash film genres will run from

23-25 April at Haapsalu, Estonia ( - once a renown summer retreat of the Russian Czars, now a picturesque spa town infamous for healing mud treatments.


Renowned British horror film director Adam Mason's latest, "Pig" will make its world premiere at Haapsalu. Mason's 2006 film "Broken", which enjoyed success on the international festival circuit, was in Haapsalu's programme in 2007.


The French documentary „Viande d'origine Francaise" will be shown for the first time outside its homeland. Stephen Manuel's and Axel Wedenkind's "Iron Doors" - a  mystery thriller  that debuted in this year's European Film Market will also have a special preview at HOFF.

Two Estonian shorts will

also be making their official debut - Tanel Rand's vampire film „Transfusion" and one of the openers at Haapsalu, Robi Uppin's ghost tale „Wanderer"


Nine feature films from 2009-2010 can be seen in Haapsalu's main programme of new films: a gory horror film from Indonesia, „Macabre", a terrifying thriller from Norway „Detour", a unique British mockumentary, "Resurrecting The Street Walker. „The Human Centipede", a Dutch award-winning body horror entry, will send shivers down spines, along with the Serbian psychological terror „Serbian Film" an account of the porn industry and its impact on the human psyche, and the nightmarish Italian film „Shadow", which made its debut at the prestigious Sitges fantasy film festival last year. To counterbalance the "fear factor", the festival will close with a US sci-fi Western musical "Stingray Sam", which has been a favourite at many festivals.


Meanwhile, the freak film programme will feature a contrast between two American films, a sci-fi romp called „Sex Galaxy" and the blaxploitation horror-comedy „Black Devil Doll". And the FX-laden Japanese extreme slice-and-dice film „Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl", brought to you by the makers of „Tokyo Gore Police", an entry in last year's festival.


Two night-time screenings are devoted to festival special guest, Andrey Iskanov - whose films have been banned numerous times in his native Russia and Khabarovsk.

Festival-goers will see his notorious

debut, "Nails" and the world premiere of the new version of Iskanov's latest, "Ingression".


As mentioned, the festival will focus this year on new French horror.

Haapsalu festivalgoers will see

two internationally well-received zombie films -- „The Horde" and „Mutants", and a documentary featuring all of the main film-makers and critics of the genre will help make sense of the phenomenon.


The other focus is on Japanese film-maker Shinya Tsukamoto's "Tetsuo"

series, which laid the

foundation for the cyberpunk film genre. For the first time in Estonia, audiences will see the first and last instalment in the trilogy on the big screen as a non-stop showing on 35mm film.

Short sci-fi, fantasy and horror films from the last two years will precede nearly every full-length film shown at the festival.


The films will have English subtitles.


Tickets go on sale on 5 April at Piletilevi outlets.


Visit for the festival programme, schedule and more information.


Accreditation for journalists and industry members until 12 April at festival's website or by writing to


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


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