Still in its infancy but already a firm fan favourite, the Blood in the Snow Canadian Film Festival is a vibrant three day gore-soaked event with a mission to promote the best in contemporary Canadian horror film and their filmmakers.
From a buzzing and busy inaugural festival that launched just two years ago in 2012 to wild acclaim from directors and producers – many of whom were so impressed they could barely believe it was in its first year – Blood in the Snow (or BITS to its fans, a deliciously apt acronym) is now a slick weekend of terrifying features, dread-filled documentaries and, new for 2014, genre ‘making of’ shorts, and provides attendees with the chance to meet filmmakers, soak up some bloody midnight screening debuts and mingle with like-minded horror movie lovers.
Running at Toronto’s Carlton Cinema from Friday November 28th to Sunday November 30th this year, the now annual get-together has quickly managed to acquire the support and sponsorship of some horror industry big guns, not least Anchor Bay Entertainment – responsible for a raft of re-released classics from Argento to Hammer, along with many in-house productions – and the iconic Fangoria, the gorehound’s magazine of choice for decades. With the increased exposure has come increased interest, and BITS is expanding their programming for 2014 in order to accommodate all those seeking a nightmarish few days holed up amongst the cinematic grue and body parts.Previous years have seen debuts for impressive indie movies such as ‘In the House of Flies’ starring Henry Rollins, and ‘SICK’ with Canada’s renowned scream queen Debbie Rochon. Last year a clutch of horrors walked away with one of ‘The Bloodies’, Blood in the Snow’s awards handed out for the festival’s best productions, and 2014 is shaping up to have just as impressive a line-up.
Festival director Michael Kelly Stewart is especially proud of what he has helped create, describing BITS as the first and only Canadian festival focusing specifically on Canadian horror talent, and a real celebration of Canadian independent cinema. Filmmaker Ryan M Andrews, director of the aforementioned feature ‘SICK’, was just as enthusiastic about the event, citing the huge underground horror scene currently going on in Toronto meaning that people don’t need to go to Hollywood to get a good dose of gore.
Blood in the Snow is one to watch – it may unearth the next Toronto horror master to follow in the footsteps of the city’s David Cronenberg…