With the ongoing pandemic, more festivals are shifting to digital. We recently saw Fantasia and FrightFest go online. Now our good friends over at Nightmares Film Festival will be doing the same transition and go digital.

“We’re excited and proud to announce NFF: Masquerade, a digital experience we’re launching to bring together the worldwide horror community during what are challenging, isolating times for everyone,” said co-founder and programmer Jason Tostevin. “We could all use some time with people who love what we love, connecting and getting inspired, and though we can’t hold our in-person event, we were determined not to let the year go by without creating that opportunity.”

The decision to call off the 2020 in-person edition of the festival was difficult, but was the right thing to do, organizers said.

“We’ve been tracking every change in COVID-19 rates and safety protocols for months in hopes we’d find a way to gather in person and still protect people’s health,” said NFF co-founder and Gateway Film Center President Chris Hamel. “It’s clear now there’s no safe or ethical way to bring people from around the world into one space for several days, and there was just no way we were going to risk harm to people.”

NFF: Masquerade will make the festival’s 2020 short and feature film selections available to event pass holders through a secure online streaming platform for the five-day duration of the fest. The platform includes apps for AppleTV, Roku and Android TV, which will allow viewers to watch on their home theater setups. While Nightmares will publish a recommended schedule, including shorts blocks and feature/short pairings, pass holders and those who purchase individual film streams will be able to watch the festival’s “better horror” program in their own order, on their own time.

The experience will also include learning labs and development workshops with leading genre creators. Confirmed presenters include Natalie Erica James (2020’s Relic), Jason Trost (The FP), Brandon Christensen (Z, Still/Born), Aaron B. Koontz (Scare Package, The Pale Door), Lukas Hassel (The Black List) and Depaul University’s Professor Shayna Connelly.

Jason Tostevin also stated that the transition to the festival digitally will not effect the original planned dates for the festival. The final program will be announced September 20th.

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