Five FrightFest Facts From James Quinn director of Daughter of Dismay

The Twentieth FrightFest is here so obviously our exclusive interview feature Five FrightFest Facts From… is back with a vengeance. Below we hear from James Quinn director of Daughter of Dismay and you can read more FrightFest Facts from 2019 and beyond by clicking HERE.

1. Tell us about your film?
Daughter of Dismay was sort of an experiment in “what if someone made an independent short on a studio budget?”, trying to prove that short films can be just as epic and gripping as Hollywood cinema. The film revolves around a story of witchcraft, motherly love and occultism, packed in a shell of epic cinematography and immersive, dramatic sound. The film was shot in a special 65mm format, and we’re the first narrative short to be presented in 70mm IMAX, regular 70mm, 35mm, Dolby Atmos and digital IMAX. IMAX is a beautiful and engaging format that very much pulls you into the experience unlike any other format, in digital as well as in 70mm. The aspect ratio and the screen size contribute to a feeling of immersiveness, being placed in the center of the action. The FrightFest premiere will be in IMAX Laser, a beautiful 4K system that is the tallest in image height after the 70mm IMAX version, and will look absolutely stunning.

2. How did you get into making horror movies?
It all pretty much started with an extremely controversial experimental horror short titled ‘The Law of Sodom’ (which is available for purchase and rent on Vimeo). It’s the first film I made that went on to screen at festivals, and deals with the topic of psychosis and schizophrenia, an illness that affected me massively back at that time. The film was a complex way of demonstrating emotions that could not be put into words otherwise, sort of a “if I can’t tell you, I’ll show you”. I still consider it my most emotional and disturbing piece, we literally had someone have a mental breakdown during the world premiere, it was a beautiful experience at the same time though, since it sparked a lot of talk about mental health and the actual illness, as well as compassion.

3. What film would you love to see screened at FrightFest and why?
If I’d have to pick an upcoming film, I think I’d pick The Lighthouse. Eggers has proved himself with The Witch already, and The Lighthouse speaks to me even more on a purely artistic level, especially as hardcore defender of analog film. They used old lenses and shot in black and white 35mm, which gives it the brilliant look it has. The whole feel of it, judging from the trailer, is very claustrophobic and conveys a great sense of madness, something I think is coming across in an extremely visual manner, which I appreciate.

4. If you could create your own award to give at the FrightFest, what would it be and why?
I’d probably make it something like a “Vision Award” of sorts, an award given to the most unique overall vision, paired with the passion and effort that went into it. From looking through the FrightFest line up and doing some research on the films, and having watched most of their trailers, I think it’s incredible just how unique some of these concepts are, and how much attention to detail and passion there seems to be in some of these, which is very inspiring. I think besides the typical awards, these are the ones that should receive the honor of a special award for their vision alone.

5. If your life was made into a horror film, what would it be called and who would play the starring role?
The title already exists, and I made the film, though not with me as a character in it. It’s titled ‘Flesh of the Void’, a title that originated in (watch out, personal detail!) a suicide note. If it was a character driven story though (which Flesh of the Void is not), I’d pick Jake Gyllenhaal as the lead, based on his portrayal of Donnie Darko, which is still the most hard-hitting thing I’ve personally seen, simply due to my personal history.

Daughter of Dismay will have its world premiere in IMAX Laser on Saturday, August 24th at 6:30 pm at the Cineworld Leicester Square, paired with the UK premiere of Jordan Rubin’s feature The Drone. Find out more HERE.


Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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