Stranger With My Face Horror Film Festival is run by filmmakers Briony Kidd and Rebecca Thomson and a team of dedicated volunteers. Deriving its name from the young adult novel by Lois Duncan, it explores the idea of ‘the horror within’ and promotes discussion around genre and gender, from ghost stories to gore, from art house to exploitation. SWMF has a particular focus on female directors working in the genre and aims to highlight bold new work by independent filmmakers.

Jennifer Lynch and Penny Vozniak arriving on the red carpet. Image by Kristy Dowsing.

Filmmakers Jennifer Lynch and Penny Vozniak arriving on the red carpet. Image by Kristy Dowsing.

“This event fills a gap that has been largely ignored by other film festivals….” —Screen Hub

The inaugural festival was in February 2012 in Hobart, Tasmania, and was an official Women in Horror Month event. WIHM is an international movement about increasing the visibility of women in horror, a notably male-dominated sphere of an already male-dominated industry. In 2013, SWMF took place in February and March 2013 in Hobart and also aligned with International Women’s Day.

In addition to a program of outstanding short and feature films, SWMF features two content-generating components that are open to both male and female participants: the 10 By 10 Short Script Challenge and the 48-Hour ‘Tasploitation’ Challenge. Another key component is the Mary Shelley Symposium, which includes talks and workshops by leading genre experts.

“Nothing short of magical. It was transformative for me. I think what is being done there, and celebrated there and made possible as a result, is the best I have seen at any fest… I want to be there every year.”—Jennifer Lynch, guest filmmaker

 The festival’s principal supporters in 2013 were Screen Tasmania, MONA, Events Tasmania and Monster Pictures.

Sign up to the mailing list to be notified about future SWMF events. If you’d like to write about the festival, get involved as a volunteer or sponsor, or bring a filmmaker to our attention, please email us.

Voted in the Top 5 Coolest Women’s Film Festivals in the world by Movie Maker Magazine 2013.