The Overlook Film Festival Announces Award Winners in Record-Setting Year

The eighth annual Overlook Film Festival held in New Orleans was the biggest yet, setting a record in attendance with up to six thousand audience members and 36 sold-out screenings.
Oculus - Copurtesy Overlook Film fest
Oculus - Copurtesy Overlook Film fest /

Earlier this month, the city of New Orleans hosted the eighth annual Overlook Film Festival. The Festival, a celebration of horror, featured world premieres, contest entries featuring short and feature films, and screenings of classics within the genre. Some of the most significant names in horror today also appeared at the Festival.

Over the course of four days, from April 4-7, the Prytania Theatres in Downtown and Uptown New Orleans were the primary venues for the Overlook Film Festival. The event saw a record-breaking 36 sold-out screenings for the 2024 edition. This year's Festival, the highest attended in the history of the event, was a resounding success, further cementing its status as a must-attend event for horror film enthusiasts.

The film awards are split into two. The Audience Awards for both feature and short films are voted on by those who attended the Festival, making it that much more of a prestigious honor for the winners. The second is the Juried Awards, primarily for short films voted by a group of judges. This year's Juried Awards were judged by a varied panel, including Los Angeles-based film critic and journalist Carlos Aguilar, Sara Cushman of film distributor NEON, and New York City filmmaker Laura Moss.

Damian McCarthy's Oddity earned the night's coveted Audience Award for feature film. It is a story about a blind medium in search of the truth behind what really happened to her sister. The runner-up for the feature film Audience Award was Ariane Louis-Seize's Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person, a tale of a teenage vampire who bonds with a boy on the verge of suicide.

The Looming by Marsha Ko won the Audience Award in the Short Film category. The film explores the nature of life and the dread of being forgotten. Joseph Lopez of The Looming was also recognized with an Honorable Mention for Performance in the Juried Awards. Some Day This Will Be Yours by Cricket Arrison won the Grand Jury Prize for Short Film in the Juried Awards section, which was amazingly shot in the director's childhood home. The winner of the Juried Awards for Scariest Short went to Dream Creep by Carlos A.F. Lopez.

Adding to the festivities surrounding the contest entrants and winners were the screenings of upcoming and anticipated horror films such as Abigail, Arcadian, Cuckoo, and In a Violent Nature.

(from left) Abigail (Alisha Weir) and Sammy (Kathryn Newton) in Abigail, directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett. - Courtesy Overlook Film Fest /

"Screening Abigail with such an incredible audience at the Overlook Film Festival was an amazing experience," said the directors of Abigail, Radio Silence. The dedication and love that Overlook fans have for the horror and vampire genres is unmatched, and it was a thrill to be in a theater with people who love this genre as much as we do, especially in a city as special as New Orleans."

One of the highlights of the Festival was the recognition of one of horror's current kings, Mike Flanagan. The famed director/writer was awarded the Festival's Master of Horror Award and a special screening of his film Oculus, celebrating the 10th anniversary of its release.

"I had an absolute blast at the Overlook Film Festival," Flanagan stated. "The audience, the festival staff, and the fantastic New Orleans locations are just brimming with spirit; I loved being so swept away. The anniversary screening of Oculus will remain one of the most surreal and satisfying screenings of my career, and I just can't wait to find my way back for more. I left New Orleans with a smile on my face and swing in my step."

The 2024 and eighth iteration of The Overlook Film Festival was a rousing success from all angles. The Festival highlights the passion both fans and filmmakers have for the horror genre. Next year, 2025, looks to be just as memorable.

Next. Awesome-looking horror movies to check out in the next four months. Awesome-looking horror movies to check out in the next four months. dark