After reviewing all your fantastic horror shorts, decision time has come.
Our judges reviewed the films according to 3 criteria: Story, production value and, of course, the scarier, the better. Artlist’s panel of judges viewed over 250 submissions for our Halloween Horror Film Contest and 3 films stood out from the rest.
Working with Creative Constraints
The contest rules were pretty straightforward: create a scary film that is no longer than 3 minutes and use at least one song from our curated Halloween collection.
Making a film in 24 days is quite a feat, no matter the film’s duration. Creating a narrative in 3 minutes is a big challenge, and we are glad to see many of you took the time to develop a story as well as the scary atmosphere.
So, without further ado, here are the 2019 Halloween Horror Film contest winners, with our judges’ comments explaining why these films were selected.
3rd Place - Fish by PoChun Chen
Judges' Statement: With excellent use of lighting and smart camera work, director PoChun Chen deftly sets a thick, sweaty and creepy atmosphere. The lack of dialog lets the music, as well as Cynthia Zhou’s fine acting, keep an eerie feeling throughout the film. The result is a film that blends gross-out moments with smart philosophical ideas.
2nd Place - Social Silence by Tom Ahedo
Judges' Statement: Being providers of music for movies, we were highly impressed by the use of music here. Not only is Roza’s See Me Fly an awesome song by itself, but it also fits the sensual mood of the film, and the lyrics perfectly match the narrative. If anyone wants to learn how to use music in videos, 'Social Silence' is an excellent example of how to do it right.
Other than music, the film’s slick music video style, vivid colors and nonlinear narrative all come together to build a seductively scary movie. And on top of everything, it’s able to send a message about the dangers lurking in social media.
1st Place - Latrodectus by Yoni Azulay
Judges' Statement: Writing a short film is not easy, If you want to learn how to tell a complete story in 3 minutes, see Latrodectus. The power of this film lies in the fact that it’s based in reality, through a mix of known psychological issues - namely paranoia - and social problems like urban violence. Through a perfectly built narrative structure, Yoni Azulay takes us on his protagonist’s journey as he tries to deal with anxieties from the dangers lurking in the city all the way to the surprising twist ending at the subway station.
There were a couple of films that came close to reaching the podium, and we want to acknowledge them here:
The Cliché Monster by João Guinho
Judges: The Cliché Monster is a spoof of the horror genre that is both smart and funny. The film starts scary and ends in laughter. The soundtrack is cleverly used for both the scary and the humorous moments.
Mirror by Shirel Ankri and Ron Kohen
Judges: 'Mirror' features excellent use of our music and product placement of our platform. The directors creatively used songs in different genres organically. The film also mixes humor and scariness nicely, resulting in a fun horror short.
There are, of course, many other great entries to this year’s contest and you can watch all of them by searching ‘Artlist Horror Film Contest’ on YouTube. Hope to see your horror shorts in next year’s Halloween contest. Until then, check out our blog to get tips that will help you improve your filmmaking skills. Stay creative!