This past week, horror fans in Fort Lauderdale were treated to genre movie screenings and celebrations at the annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival, and this year was the biggest one yet. Daily Dead was thrilled to be one of the media sponsors of this year's Popcorn Frights Film Festival, and before we look forward to next year's festival, we're proud to share the jury prize and Audience Award winners, including John McPhail's Anna and the Apocalypse:

Press Release: FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – Popcorn Frights Film Festival, Southeast United States’ largest genre film event, has announced the winners of its Jury Prize and Audience Award. The 2018 seven-night event set a new attendance record for a third consecutive year and featured over 50 World, North American, US, and Florida premieres.

Anna and the Apocalypse, directed by John McPhail, won the Audience Award for Feature Film. In this infectious genre-mashing holiday horror musical, high-schooler Anna and her classmates face down a horde of flesh-eating snowmen and zombies before Christmas break.

“As a director you always want to win the Audience Award, these are the people I've made the film for. To get that pat on the back is pretty special in particular when you're up against so many amazing films like Tigers are Not Afraid, The Farm, and Boogeyman Pop. Thanks to everyone who voted for us and who came out and saw the film, this is our first Audience Award and it will always be special to us,” said director John McPhail.

Winning the Audience Award for Short Film was We Summoned A Demon. Chris McInroy wrote and directed the short film and is participating at the Popcorn Frights Film Festival for a third year but winning for the first time.

“I'm so honored that We Summoned A Demon won the Audience Award for Best Short! Popcorn Frights is truly an amazing festival to experience. They have some of the best audiences out there. Everyone is there for the love of horror. The audience is so engaged and there to have fun and appreciate films and filmmakers. And the programmers and staff are the same way. I had such a great time. Thanks for having me!” said Chris McInroy.

Runners-up for the Audience Awards include Wolfman’s Got Nards, directed by Andre Gower, for Feature Film, and The Sermon, directed by Dean Puckett, for Short Film.

Tigers Are Not Afraid, directed by Issa López, won the Jury Prize for Best Feature Film. It is the first time in Popcorn Frights history that a feature film directed by a woman has won the award.

“Popcorn Frights Film Festival has grown to become a beautiful hub for horror films on the East Coast, bringing together a recurring family and, every year, new adepts to the uncanny, the weird, and the eerie. I’m moved and honored that our tiny movie touched its audiences, and that its Jury decided to award us; the selection was outstanding this year! Horror rules! Long live to the chills in the darkness of a theatre full of horror lovers!” said Issa López.

Winning the Jury Prize for Best Short Film was Coyote, directed by Lorenz Wunderle. In this animated psychedelic head-trip, a coyote loses his family to a vicious attack by wolves and looks for a chance to avenge their deaths.

Joko Anwar’s Satan’s Slaves was given the Scariest Film Award by the Jury.

“Popcorn Frights Film Festival’s fourth edition was a success beyond our expectations, shattering attendance records and thrilling our audience with astonishing genre films and experiences. We’re proud to have inspired our South Florida community to celebrate the best in international genre cinema with such passion and enthusiasm all for the love of horror. On behalf of the Popcorn Frights team, we congratulate Anna and the Apocalypse and We Summoned A Demon for their Audience Award wins, Tigers Are Not Afraid and Coyote for their Jury Prizes, and Satan’s Slaves for its Scariest Film Award. We hope film lovers worldwide get to experience these brilliantly bold films — it’s the most fun they’ll ever have being scared,” said Igor Shteyrenberg & Marc Ferman, Co-Founders & Co-Directors of the Popcorn Frights Film Festival.

More than 50 films premiered at the fourth annual edition of Popcorn Frights Film Festival with a record audience attending. Several noteworthy events unfolded during the seven-night Festival, such as a patron passing out of fear during the premiere of the short Riley Was Here, director Chuck Russell hosting the 30th anniversary presentation of The Blob with his son in attendance who was seeing the film for the very first time, Italian maestro Fabio Frizzi introducing the premiere of Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich, and a live immersive performance accompanying the premiere of Anna and the Apocalypse which featured singing and dancing zombies and gallons of fake blood.

Popcorn Frights Film Festival was exclusively hosted at the Savor Cinema theater, a historic South Florida landmark that in the 1940s was a Methodist Church. Notable sponsors of the Festival included Bloody Disgusting, Daily Dead, Dread Central, Fangoria, Supercon, Horror Writers Association, IFC Midnight, Shudder, and the Villas boutique hotel.

The fifth annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival will take place on August 8-15, 2019.


Follow the Popcorn Frights Film Festival on Facebook (/popcornfrights), Twitter (@popcornfrights), or Instagram (@popcornfrights) for updates with the latest information about the Festival. Join the conversation using the hashtag #popcornfrights on social media.

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Popcorn Frights has been named “One of the Best Film Festival’s in Florida” by The Sun-Sentinel and is the largest genre film festival in Southeast United States. Popcorn Frights special focus on discovering new talent and recognizing established filmmakers has made it a natural gateway for the best in genre films from around the world.

  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.