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Dead North Film Festival makes its mark on the city

Horror fans and filmmakers united this past weekend at the Dead North Film Festival to watch and premiere 48 indie movies.

Filmmakers across the Canadian north (and beyond) converged on Yellowknife to showcase their hard work and dedication. The official program has films from Inuvik, Hay River, Fort Simpson, Yukon – and of course in and around Yellowknife.

Daniel Dahl goes through zombification by Andrea Aindow's hand at a zombie makeup workshop on Mar. 3 2018 put on by the Dead North Film Festival. Bogdan Stanciu/NNSL photo

The movie makers were given nine weeks to complete their films, which were to be filmed entirely in the “circumpolar north” according to the regulations.

Movies must be a maximum of five minutes long, and had their scripts submitted and read over by festival coordinators to ensure they met the rules. To make sure that no previously created movies were made, filmmakers were given a mandatory element that had to be in the films – the line “Take it easy” and some sort of portrayal of fire.

The festival was not limited to just Canadian participants – two of the films submitted were from Finland and Sweden, with the Swedish director Daniel Lehmussari making the overseas trip to watch his film on the big screen. Also of note was this year’s festival featured the film with the youngest ever director – Paige Loreen’s “Run Away.”

As part of the festivities, the festival offered a zombie special effects makeup workshop hosted by Veronica Speers on Mar. 3.

Speers, a professional trained makeup Artist who has experience both beauty and special effects training, has been in the industry for 13 years. She also just opened up a home spa in Yellowknife.

She recites her background in make up while touching up Allistair McCreadie’s now zombified face. The class watches and then afterwards gets to work on trying their hand at shifting the lively into the seemingly dead and lively.

At the “Zombears” filmmakers and VIP pass holders gathered at the Top Knight pub to watch as the films got the recognition they deserved. The awards themselves resembled a bloody bone fragment, and after the last one was handed out, guests got out of their seats for a dance party hosted by DJ Saylor Taracuse.

According to festival organizers, the amounts of entries have been doubling each year. With 48 submissions this year, Jay Bulckaert and Pablo Saravanja announced on live stream at the awards ceremony that next year, they’re hoping to break the 100 entry mark.

If you missed out on the opportunity to view the films, there will be a screening of ten specially selected films will be shown at the Snowking’s Snow castle on Wednesday Mar. 8.