Titusville, Florida has never been a hotbed of horror. In fact, it’s most famous for offering stellar views of launches from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, being the birthplace of Daniel Tosh, and sharing names with a town in Pennsylvania (in that order). But Oscar Garza and Patrick Phillips aim to change all of that with the first ever Picture Show Panic film festival on October 19, 2019.
The film slate, selected from over 1200 submissions, includes three categories of short films with a max runtime of ten minutes. Categories include Animated, Oddities, and Best in Show. Films are scheduled to run throughout the day, but vendors will arrive at 3:30 PM, with the show really starting to kick off around 4:30. A costume contest will take place at 7 PM.
To promote the festival, Garza and Phillips kicked off a viral marketing campaign. The pair have been by leaking “news” stories onto social media blaming Picture Show Panic for discoveries of human remains by horror movie-obsessed drug addicts. The most recent example is embedded at the end of the post, but you can see all of them on the show’s Facebook page. The viral campaign may have worked a little too well, as the pair soon noticed visceral reactions from Titusville locals with everything from calls for vigilantism to outright death threats.
Ultimately, though, Picture Show Panic is the brainchild of a pair of professional videographers and die-hard horror fans who simply want to share their love of horror with the community. The retro venue, Titusville Mall Cinema, hasn’t updated its decor in probably 30 years, making it the perfect nostalgic location to soak up some indie genre fare.
While it may be a far cry from Fantastic Fest, or any number of festivals we’ve covered, local film festivals are an important way to stay connected with the most loyal fans of the genre. As Modern Horrors co-founder Luke Rodriguez pointed out, it may also be the only chance you have to see some of these short films on a big screen the way they were meant to be seen. With titles like Off Fleek, Halloween Baby, and Princess for Apocalypse, there should be something for everyone to enjoy.
Picture Show Panic will take place on October 19, 2019 at Titusville Mall Cinema in Titusville, Florida. For more information, check out the Facebook page and the website. Tickets are only $10, and available through the Picture Show Panic event page.