Good morning, good evening, and good night, Los Angeles.
All the way from beyond the grave, Beyond Fest is back for its fifth year of cinematic excess.
Much like last year, and the year that preceded, and the year that preceded that, pulling this together has only become harder. We always try to top the previous year, programing a slate that not only covers a vast spectrum of cinema but also creates experiences that you just can’t find anywhere else – no mean feat when you live in the greatest cinema city in the world.
But here we are, with twelve days of cinema that celebrate the old and new with passion, fervor and a demand to share them on the big screen with the biggest audiences possible. We really hope you love what we’ve built for you.
As you wade into Beyond Fest with us, there are five things that we’d love for you all to think about during the fest and afterward when the circus leaves town.
#1 Support Independent Theater
Movie theaters are under siege in every city, in every country and the plight is even more significant for independent theaters. Indies in LA fight a constant battle just to stay open but those crazy enough to run them do so because they believe in film, they believe in the vision of the filmmaker and they believe in giving you the best experience.
There’s no turning back the clock on this – when theaters are gone they’re gone. We recognize this, which is why we haven’t taken a single penny from Beyond Fest – it remains a not-for-profit entity with all ticket sales going to the 501c3 non-profit American Cinematheque and all sponsor dollars covering festival costs.
#2 Support our Partners
Without our partners it would be impossible to make this happen. They provide the means that allow us to keep prices low, bring in guests and show some of the films that have become our trademark.
This is the third year Shudder has supported Beyond Fest and it remains a critical partner. Not only does it provide valuable funds to make this festival happen, but it also supports genre cinema like no other. Amongst other things, Shudder’s support allows us to bring you twelve brilliant West Coast Premieres for FREE in the aptly named Shudder Theater.
Amazon Studios has graciously come aboard this year to bring us our favorite show of the year, JEAN CLAUDE VAN JOHNSON, along with the big man himself and some very special surprises.
Our promotional partners, Mondo, Creature Features, Etheria Film Nights, Friday Night Frights and Dark Corner Studios have long histories of defying convention and are the best in the game. And then there’s the big three: Meltdown Comics, Death Waltz Records and the American Cinematheque – they’ve all been here from the beginning and we couldn’t do this without them.
#3 Do Something
From posting a selfie at the Egyptian to building your own festival, to making a film, we encourage you all to do something – anything. As big or small as it may seem, everything contributes to the benefit of the genre community in LA and cinema overall. We started Beyond Fest without a plan, without a film, and without any idea what we were doing; all we knew was that we wanted to create something where genre films, filmmakers and fans were given the respect they deserved. Hopefully, we’ve adhered to that goal and have brought good times to this great city along the way. With that in mind, we encourage you all to be active participants in the future of film in LA in any way you can.
#4 Be Kind
It shouldn’t need to be said but in light of the recent revelations it’s worth restating: be kind to each other. Beyond Fest is a safe place for everyone regardless of gender, race, age, orientation or species. As such we have zero tolerance for any anything and anyone that compromises this. We’re all here to celebrate cinema, let’s do that and only that. In the event that anything untoward happens, please notify a member of staff immediately and we will take care of it.
# 5 Remember
We lost some good ones this year.
There’s simply no way to underestimate the impact of George Romero and Tobe Hooper. Without these two there’s no Beyond Fest and there’s no way cinema exists in the way it has for the last 50 years. These two fearless mavericks defied every convention throughout their entire careers, refusing the easy path and staying true to their core to the very end.
Closer to home, we mourn the passing of Monty Lewis. Always first in line at Beyond Fest, the Egyptian and the New Bev, he lived for film and lived it every day. Seeing him rush the doors to get his favorite seat is a memory that we’ll carry as long as we do this. We’re indebted to his spirit and support as a member of this community.
Once again, we’re incredibly thankful to you all for giving us the opportunity to return. If you’d have told us five years ago that we’d be sharing this slate with you we would have laughed you out of the room. But here we are and it’s all down to your continued support. Thank you for being the best film fans in the world, we fucking love you.
Christian, Spencer, Evrim, Gaston, James, Nicole, Grant