Get ready Aussie monsters because Monster Fest is coming back and its back to cast spells on its unsuspecting victims minds. Just from looking at the poster, you know its going to be ritually haunting and an addicting festival! But please mind your obsession with your media platforms because it could take hold of your soul.

Monster Fest comes back to Australia for its sixth edition November 24-27,2016 at the Lido Cinemas in Melbourne, its supports coming from Screen Australia and Film Victoria.

The awesome poster you see above came from the wonderfully monstrous mind of Canadian artist Matt Ryan Tobin. The poster encompasses the theme of this years Monster Fest, ritual. Festival Director Kier-La Janisse wanted to have a ritual themed poster that integrated the ideas of ritual and societies obsession, almost infections, with different media platforms. I’ve binged on a few horror film but I wouldn’t call it an obsession, but on the other hand I may need some help.

Monster Fest’s Director Janisse will be joined by an impressive team of programmers such as festival co-founder and head of Monster Pictures acquisitions Neil Foley, author and long-time programmer for the American Cinematheque Chris D. renowned genre film scholar and author Alexander Heller-Nicholas, crime writer and pulp fiction expert Andrew nette, film scholar and archivist Dean Brandum, filmmaker and curator Hussein Khoder, media researcher Catherine Seccombe and ‘Trasharama’ programmer, Dick Dale.

Monster Fest 2016 will feature upcoming Australian premiers along with festival favorites, classics, international guests, panels and events, parties, vendor booths, exhibitions, and much much more. With an amazing assemble of programmer its sure to be a monstrous of a good time!

Moster Fest was established by Niel Foley and Grant Hardie in 2011 as an exhibition for Monster Pictures but since then it has it has gained popularity for showcasing some of the best new independent genre films in the world giving the Australian audience an opportunity to view the films on the big screen.

Submission for Monster Fest 2016 are open until August 12, 2016 for Features, Short Films and Expanded Cinema Projects. Submissions for Monster Fest 2016 can be processed via Film Freeway, without a box and Film Festival Life. Details and Submission guidelines are available at

Kier-La Janisse (Festival Director and Head Programmer)

Kier-La Janisse is a film writer and programmer, Editor-in-Chief of Spectacular Optical Publications, founding director of The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies and the Festival Director of Monster Fest in Melbourne, Australia. She has been a programmer for the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, co-founded Montreal microcinema Blue Sunshine, founded the CineMuerte Horror Film Festival (1999-2005) in Vancouver and was the subject of the documentary Celluloid Horror (2005). She has written for Incite: Journal of Experimental Media, Filmmaker, Offscreen, Shindig!, Rue Morgue and Fangoria magazines, has contributed to Destroy All Movies!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film (Fantagraphics, 2011), and is the author of A Violent Professional: The Films of Luciano Rossi (FAB Press, 2007) and House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films (FAB Press, 2012). She co-edited and published the anthology books KID POWER! about kids in cult film and television and Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s. She is currently working on the book A Song From the Heart Beats the Devil Every Time about children’s programming from 1965-1985 and a monograph about Monte Hellman’s Cockfighter.

Niel Foley (Official Competition Programmer)

Neil has worked in various roles within the entertainment industry since graduating from RMIT Media Arts in 1993, which ultimately resulted in him producing his first feature film in 1998  ‘BIGGER THAN TINA’ which was released theatrically by Palace Films. In the following years he has worked in various roles within the industry. In 2007 Neil and Grant Hardie began working for Melbourne based film distribution company Force Entertainment. In 2010 in partnership with Tony Romeo CEO of Force Entertainment – Neil and Grant Hardie established the label Monster Pictures. Since 2010, Neil and Grant Hardie have worked together to turn Monster Pictures into Australia’s foremost genre distribution company. In 2014 Neil and Grant Hardie took over as owners and directors of Monster Pictures. During this time they also launched Monster Fest which is now in its 6th year.

Chris D. (Official Competition Programmer)

Chris D. (aka Chris Desjardins) received an MFA in Communication Arts (emphasis Screenwriting) from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles in 1977 and became involved in the Los Angeles punk scene as a writer for Slash magazine later that same year. He was an A&R rep and in-house producer at Slash Records/Ruby Records from 1980-1984. He is also known as the singer/songwriter of the bands The Flesh Eaters, Divine Horsemen and Stone by Stone. He saw release of his first feature film as director, I PASS FOR HUMAN, in 2004 (and its DVD release in 2006), and worked as a programmer at The American Cinematheque in Hollywood, California from 1999-2009. His groundbreaking study on 1960s-1970s Japanese genre filmmakers, OUTLAW MASTERS OF JAPANESE FILM, was published by IB Tauris in 2005. Chris also taught film genre history courses, including Evolution of the Horror Film and Examining Film Noir, at Academy of Art University in San Francisco between 2009 – 2013. His anthology A MINUTE TO PRAY, A SECOND TO DIE, a 500 page collection of all of his poetry and song lyrics, plus dream journal entries was published in December, 2009. He wrote chapters on Joseph Losey and Otto Preminger in FILM NOIR: THE DIRECTORS, edited by Alain Silver & James Ursini, from Limelight Editions in 2012. Between 2010 – 2013, Chris D. published 5 novels and a short story collection, and April 2013 saw the release of his 800 page non-fiction GUN AND SWORD: An Encyclopedia of Japanese Gangster Films 1955-1980, all from Poison Fang Books. He is also the author of a chapter (“Punk as a Young Adult”) in the UNDER THE BIG BLACK SUN book by John Doe & Tom DeSavia, published in April, 2016 by DeCapo Press.

Alexandra heller-Nicholas (Shorts Programmer)

Alexandra Heller-Nicholas is a writer and award-winning film critic. She is a co-host on the Triple R film criticism programme Plato’s Cave and a co-editor of the journal Senses of Cinema. Alex writes books on horror and cult film, including Rape-Revenge Films: A Critical Study (2011), Found Footage Horror Films: Fear and the Appearance of Reality (2014), Devil’s Advocates: Suspiria (2015) and Cultographies: Ms. 45 (2017), and has written for Metro Magazine, Scream Magazine, Overland Literary Journal, Radio National, Bright Lights Film Journal, 4:3 and Kill Your Darlings.

Catherine Seccombe (Shorts Programmer)

Catherine has been in love with horror and genre film and TV since the age of 7, when a dodgy babysitter let her rent whatever she wanted from the video store and she proceeded to work her way through the shelves, cover by lurid cover. Since completing a Cinema Studies degree, Catherine has worked in film preservation and archival research at the National Film and Sound Archive, content acquisition and programming at SBS Television, theatrical distribution with Madman Entertainment and program research at ABC Television. She was the Monster Fest 2014 Shorts Director and head shorts programmer and is very excited to be involved again in 2016.

Hussein Khoder (Shorts Programmer)

Hussein Khoder is a filmmaker and festival programmer from Melbourne, Australia. When he is not sucking in as much knowledge as possible from all the films he watches, he works on any film he can get on. While still in film school he joined the Melbourne Underground Film Festival, where he held the position of assistant director and short film curator from 2012-2014. Monster Fest 2016 is his second year as a short film curator for Monster Fest.

Andrew Nette (2016 Guest Programmer)

Andrew Nette is a writer of fiction and non-fiction, with an interest in film and Australian television. His articles and reviews have appeared in a number of print and on-line sites. He is the author of two crime novels, Ghost Money, a crime story set in Cambodia in the mid-nineties, and Gunshine State, out in the second half of 2016.  He is co-editor of Beat Girls, Love Tribes and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture, from the 1950s – 1980s. His online home is You can find him on Twitter at @Pulpcurry.

Dean Brandum (2016 Guest Programmer)

Dean Brandum achieved his PhD in 2016, focusing on a new methodology for interpreting historical box office data. He has taught at a number of universities in Melbourne and has contributed to various books, magazines and journals. Although his interests cover the gamut of cinema – from sexploitation to classical Hollywood, his prime interest lies in the history of film exhibition. As a collector of memorabilia and ephemera, his website, examines how films were exhibited in Melbourne. Currently he is working on the first issue of a spin-off magazine devoted to the topic.

Dick Dale (Trasharama Programmer)

Dick Dale has been creating short award-winning filthy films since 1993.  In 1997 he founded Trasharama, the nastiest film program in Oz, sourcing the most sick and twisted, goriest, bad taste horror shorts on Earth. Spawned in a local rock dive followed by punk acts, it now premieres at Monster Fest annually and tours Australia as the ‘Roadkill Roadtrip tour’. Dick’s other activities include being Trasharama MC, punk rock vocalist, spoken word artist, film reviewer, roadie and worst barman. He is currently producing and directing Australia’s first Splatter Punk video nasty feature film, Ribspreader, which he wrote.

About the Author: Rosalia Chavez

Rosalia likes to spend her nights watching Netflix or reading a good book. Her interest for horror came from a very young age. Her mother nurtured this obsession and she thanks her for it. She also thanks the film IT for her dislike for clowns. She is currently finishing her Bachelor Degree in Cinema and Television Arts and hopes to be behind the camera shooting the next big thriller.
By Published On: June 12, 2016Categories: FIlm Festivals, Monster Fest, MoviesComments Off on Monster Fest 2016 returns for its Sixth EditionTags: , , , , , , , ,