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The first-ever Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival recently announced a call for film and script submissions, as well as screenings for Disney's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, and a tribute to the late Fox series Sleepy Hollow. Also: release details for Smaller and Smaller Circles and a Devil May Cry 5 Q&A with composer Cody Matthew Johnson!

Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival Call for Submissions: "Announcing the first annual SLEEPY HOLLOW INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (SHIFF) to take place in Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, New York, on October 10-13, 2019. The fest’s official site www.sleepyhollowfilmfest.com is now accepting film and script submissions!

Exciting premiere feature films and groundbreaking new films in competition will screen alongside thrilling retrospectives, live events, and panels. Venues include the historic Tarrytown Music Hall, the Warner Library and others to be announced.

“Certain it is, the place still continues under the sway of some witching power that holds a spell over the minds of the good people, causing them to walk in a continual reverie." -- Washington Irving, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”

And the reverie continues: 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of Washington Irving's classic tale, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," an iconic American original of immortal wonders that have firmly gripped the very psyche of our culture. This special place, this remarkable hollow of the indescribable, bewitched not only Irving but also artists of every creative pursuit for the next two centuries—including masters of the cinematic arts.

Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival celebrates this legacy of artistic inspiration and achievement. In addition to the bicentennial of his story—and an uncanny happenstance worthy of Irving himself—2019 is also the 70th anniversary of the beloved 1949 Walt Disney animated classic The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and the 20th anniversary of Tim Burton's acclaimed 1999 feature film, Sleepy Hollow. The festival will commemorate both of these big-screen landmarks with one-of-a-kind event showings, complemented by special guest appearances and panel discussions. And just added to the roster of fun is a special celebration of Brian De Palma's cult classic feature film Phantom of the Paradise, a salute to the legendary TV and film franchise Dark Shadows (two feature films of which were shot in Sleepy Hollow and Lyndhurst) and a tribute to the FOX TV hit series Sleepy Hollow.

But it is not enough to look back. Just as Irving used the Hudson Valley as a wellspring of extraordinary ideas to push his art forward, Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival strives to bring important works from current and future filmmakers into the world with exciting new films in competition and premiere screenings.

The festival's advisory board, selection committees, and the jury will include film and literary professionals with industry experience who will program and award new films of quality, of all genres, and that touch upon, relate to or simply explore the otherworldly or unknown.

Special lifetime and individual achievement honors will be bestowed upon artists whose influential work recalls the spirit of Irving's creativity.

There is no more perfect place or season to launch such a mission than in the actual, historic Sleepy Hollow, New York—the very cradle of the American supernatural. Filmmakers and fans alike are welcome to participate October 10-13, 2019, for the inception of a new legend, where the breathtaking whirl of unthinkable sounds and visions witnessed will inspire us all for centuries to come!

More info and further updates, including film and screenplay submission instructions, are available via the website www.sleepyhollowfilmfest.com

Explore and visit Sleepy Hollow, NY, at www.visitsleepyhollow.com"

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Smaller and Smaller Circles Release Details: "Two Jesuit priests perform forensic work to solve the mystery revolving around the murders of young boys in one of Metro Manila's biggest slum areas. While dealing with the systematic corruption of the government, church and the elite, the two priests delve into criminal profiling, crime scene investigation, and forensic analysis to solve the killings, and eventually, find the murderer.

Based on the award-winning novel by Filipino author F.H. Batacan, SMALLER AND SMALLER CIRCLES illustrates the best and worst of human nature: the antiseptic and dirty, the sublime and rotten, the hellish and divine.

SMALLER AND SMALLER CIRCLES was directed by Raya Martin and written by Raymond Lee and Ria Limjap. The film features both English and Filipino language. It has a running time of 111 minutes and will not be rated by the MPAA.

Uncork'd Entertainment will release the film in Los Angeles and additional select markets on March 1. It will then be released digitally on March 19 (iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, Fandango Now, Xbox and local Cable)."

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Q&A with Devil May Cry 5 Composer Cody Matthew Johnson: "With only a few days left until the Devil May Cry 5 release, Capcom gave a tease Thursday of what fans can expect with the final trailer reveal. Under the trailer were the cautionary words, WARNING! Spoilers ahead, though they may be very motivating… The world as we know it is falling apart and it's up to Nero, Dante, and V to team up and face the ultimate challenge in ” sparking even more chatter online. It's been eight years since Devil May Cry 4 and six years from the last Devil May Cry game altogether, so followers of the game are ecstatic the wait is almost over.

The music has always been a major component of the Devil May Cry series, this chapter being no different. Tracks such as ‘Devil Trigger’, ‘Subhuman’ and ‘Crimson Cloud’ have already been released and together garnered over 20 million listens. An original soundtrack consisting of 136 tracks is also being released March 20. In the below exclusive interview composer Cody Matthew Johnson discusses his track, ‘Subhuman’ and what fans can expect, musically, from Devil May Cry 5.

How did you get connected with or approached to compose for Devil May Cry 5? What was your initial appeal of the project?

Cody Matthew Johnson: I was first connected to Capcom when I worked on one of their premiere titles, “Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.”It was really a great project as “Marvel vs. Capcom” was one of the first games I played as a kid. I was hired as one of a group of composers and producers to compose, arrange, and remix classic themes of Capcom characters spanning their first games, such as“Ghosts n’ Goblins” and “Mega Man”, up through their most recent franchises like “Monster Hunter” and “Devil May Cry .” After hearing my music, Capcom asked me to do some of the metal, industrial, and electronic hybrid themes, including the remix of “Devils Never Cry,” as well as some classic Marvel vs. Capcom themes for Captain America and Spider-Man.

It was after “Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite” that Capcom reached out to me to compose and produce the main character theme for an upcoming sequel to one of their biggest franchises. At the time I didn’t know it was “Devil May Cry 5” and it wasn’t until weeks later I found out. Initially, I was just staring at my computer screen with my mouth open in shock, but after about 10 seconds I cracked this big grin and knew it was time to lock-n-load. Coming from a fairly eclectic background, metal and industrial styles have always appealed to me, so it was an amazing opportunity to flex that muscle and create something totally brutal.

How familiar were you with the Devil May Cry universe before starting work on this game?

Cody Matthew Johnson: As a gamer, I was very familiar with the Devil May Cry franchise, specifically how beloved the game, and specifically its music, was by its cult fan base. Even without playing the first 4 games (plus the off-canon “DmC” by Ninja Theory), any serious gamer knows about Devil May Cry! Personally, I played “Devil May Cry 4” quite a bit as well as “DmC: Devil May Cry”, but never ventured to the first three games (heresy, I know.) Because of this, I made a point to play each game to get a better feel for the franchise and understand its musical roots from the first game to the most recent. Side note: the first couple of Devil May Cry games are really really damn hard, even now as an experienced gamer. As part of my work for “Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite,” I spent a decent amount of time already researching the music in the Devil May Cry series and had an edge of advantage before being thrust deep into “Devil May Cry 5.”

Musically, which previous Devil May Cry has been your favorite?

Cody Matthew Johnson: From playing “Devil May Cry 4,” I definitely have an attuned ear for the music in that game. Resulting from part relentless and constant bombardment of the music while playing the game and part from doing a deep dive research for “Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite” and “Devil May Cry 5,” “Blackened Angel” is definitely my favorite theme to date -- every DMC fan has the theme they hold near and dear to their heart. I kept “Devils Never Cry” on repeat while working on MVCI, so it’s also crept into my ear like an earworm. Low key, I still sometimes blast it on the way to the studio, really gets me amped up! Shocker that fans like it so much -- ha!

How would you describe your track, Subhuman, for Devil May Cry 5? What was Capcom’s original direction to you about this track?

Cody Matthew Johnson: My battle theme for Dante, “Subhuman”, is a bit of a nasty monster to describe -- it’s the result of a lot of musical and sonic desires from Capcom to break their musical mold a bit and go in a few new directions. At its core, “Subhuman” was created around a few words Capcom had sent with its original brief. Along with gameplay footage, stills, and description for characters, story, Capcom sent the words, “aggressive metal hybrid with brain-shaking synths and requiem choirs.” So, that’s exactly how I describe it now! Through a lot of creative collaboration with Capcom, and the music team pushing to experiment with ideas and to build on the original demo I wrote, “Subhuman” grew into a sort of cross-genre hybrid beast, somewhere between heavy metal, dubstep, and EDM, that we started calling ‘metalstep.’ Due to the dynamic nature of the song and musical combat system in Devil May Cry, the song can exist not only as is as a cross-genre hybrid, but as you play the song it can remix itself to exist purely electronic, purely metal, or even remix itself with elements from other sections in the song. TLDR; “fully dynamic, adaptable, remixable, metal step hybrid with brain-shaking synths and requiem choirs.” -- that’s how I would describe “Subhuman”.

You brought in Mark Helymun, who is a well know heavy metal guitarist, to perform on ‘Subhuman’. Can you talk about your collaboration with him? What did he bring to the table?

Cody Matthew Johnson: Even though I am an adept guitar player, we wanted to bring someone onto the project for some pure unadulterated attitude. Mark Helymun brought some truly hell-raising guitar riffs and solos to the track, but is also responsible for coining the hook, “You cannot kill me, I am omega.” Mark came over to the studio one afternoon, jammed through the song, changed some ideas here and there, and on a whim started riffing on some lyrical ideas. We were both quick to CMD+S and save it. We sent it to Capcom before Mark and I were finished, and they quickly came back to us - they loved the idea. For the recording itself, we had a large chunk of the dev team from Capcom visiting from Japan, including producer Michiteru Okabe and composer Kota Suzuki, who were a big part of the feedback process while we were recording. Mark really shined during the recording session and was able to do all sorts of crazy sound effects, solos, and brought lots of ideas for them to use. A lot of the sound effects and solos Mark contributed didn’t end up on the final soundtrack album, but there are quite a few little sonic easter-eggs that stemmed from Mark’s recording session, some of which fans have started pointing out in gameplay videos.

There are a few other composers on this game, 2 of them being Casey Edwards & Jeff Rona. How closely did you work with them?

Cody Matthew Johnson: We were each independently responsible for composing our respective themes, though I’m friends and colleagues with both Jeff and Casey, and they’re excellent composers. Capcom had three unique visions for the tracks, and never once crossed or shared information -- they wanted to make sure the three themes for the characters represented solely that character.

Was it hard to make sure you all had a cohesive sound?

Cody Matthew Johnson: While we all worked separately on our themes, the main guiding hand that kept us all within the same sonic universe, was Capcom’s talented development team and the producers of the game. They were so involved in the feedback process and were incredibly thoughtful and insightful about what kind of music would represent the characters (in the case of my track, “Subhuman” for Dante) and how the music would translate that character to the player.

What is one of your favorite horror video games in the last 5 years? Why?

Cody Matthew Johnson: I’m definitely one of those people who have a hard time playing horror video games alone, let alone watching a horror movie alone -- games are always much scarier because I’m the one controlling the outcome! “Resident Evil: Revelations” was a great middle ground to this. Anyone who has played the game will know you can play as one of two characters or play co-op, which really helps share that horrifying burden with someone else. Michiteru Okabe worked on “Resident Evil: Revelations 2”, and after he gifted me a copy when he visited during the “Devil May Cry 5” sessions, I was hooked.

You can learn more about Cody at https://www.codymatthewjohnson.com/

Devil May Cry 5 releases for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC worldwide on March 8, 2019.

Photo by Alessandro Serra:

Tamika Jones
About the Author - Tamika Jones

Tamika hails from North Beach, Maryland, a tiny town inches from the Chesapeake Bay.She knew she wanted to be an actor after reciting a soliloquy by Sojourner Truth in front of her entire fifth grade class. Since then, she's appeared in over 20 film and television projects. In addition to acting, Tamika is the Indie Spotlight manager for Daily Dead, where she brings readers news on independent horror projects every weekend.

The first horror film Tamika watched was Child's Play. Being eight years old at the time, she remembers being so scared when Chucky came to life that she projectile vomited. It's tough for her to choose only one movie as her favorite horror film, so she picked two: Nosferatu and The Stepford Wives (1975).

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