Final Girls Berlin Film Festival Announces Ninth Edition with In-Person and Online Options

The FINAL GIRLS BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL proudly unveils its 9th edition, featuring a captivating array of horror cinema that includes nine feature films, twelve short film blocks, and a variety of horror-themed events and workshops led by international genre experts. This year’s program highlights queer horror narratives, digital dystopias, eco horror, folk horror, the absurd & surreal, and more. Scheduled from February 7-11, 2023, the festival will take place at City Kino Wedding and will also feature an online component for broader accessibility.

Dedicated to elevating the work of women and non-binary filmmakers in the horror genre, Final Girls Berlin Film Festival has earned recognition as one of MovieMaker Magazine’s Top 50 Genre Festivals in the World and has been named among Dead Central’s The Best Horror Festivals in the World. This edition continues the festival’s tradition of challenging conventions and showcasing groundbreaking horror that pushes boundaries and sparks conversation.

Watch our 2024 trailer here!

FEATURE FILMS

BOOGER

Written and directed by Mary Dauterman, US, 2023 (German Premiere)

Anna struggles with grief and loss of control after her best friend Izzy’s tragic death. In her search for Izzy’s escaped cat, Booger, Anna faces eerie transformations following a bizarre cat bite. Eerie and strange, Booger toes the line between cringe-comedy and tragedy in a tale of confronting grief.

MY ANIMAL
Directed by Jacqueline Castel, Canada, 2023 (German Premiere)


Bobbi Salvör Menuez (Euphoria) and Amandla Stenberg (Bodies Bodies Bodies) star in this genre-bending supernatural love story. Tormented by a hidden family curse, Heather is forced to live a secluded life on the outskirts of a small town. When she falls for the rebellious Jonny, their connection threatens to unravel Heather’s suppressed desires, tempting her to unleash the animal within.  

TIGER STRIPES
Written and directed by Amanda Nell Eu, Malaysia, 2023
An 11-year-old girl experiences puberty when her body begins to morph at an alarming and horrifying rate. In fear of being labelled as a demon, she struggles to maintain being normal at school by trying to conceal her grotesque self… that is until she decides that she no longer wants to hide from the world. 

T BLOCKERS
Directed by Alice Maio Mackay, Australia, 2023
Ancient parasites rise from a small town, taking the most fearful and susceptible hosts. A young filmmaker finds herself as the only one who can sense the possessed resistance before the horror escapes and spreads. T BLOCKERS is equal parts gross-out comic horror and heartwarming coming-of-age story. It’s a loving homage to queer cinema of the past, a “power of friendship” comedy that centres trans experiences, and a middle finger to the bigots of the world.

WHERE THE DEVIL ROAMS
Written & Directed by Zelda Adams, John Adams & Toby Poser (German Premiere)
In the dregs of Depression Era America, a family of performers travels a cold, dying carnival circuit. Seven likes books; Maggie’s fond of hammers; daughter Eve’s obsessed with scissors. On a ratty stage,quiet Eve sings for their supper, but off-stage their bloody side act is booming. When the family’s bond is severed by a violent comeuppance, Eve is there to pick up the pieces. After stealing magic from a sinister Devil-dealing carny, the family’s gruesome act begins to shine. But Eve must continue to cut and sew, as the Devil guides them from below.

SOMEWHERE QUIET

Written and directed by Olivia West Lloyd, US, 2023 (German Premiere)

After escaping a brutal kidnapping, Meg travels with her husband, Scott, to his family’s isolated compound in Cape Cod. When they arrive, they discover Scott’s odd, aristocratic cousin, Madelin, is staying next door. Soon, Madelin’s presence is inescapable, and Meg and Scott’s relationship begins to fracture. Meanwhile, Meg is haunted by vivid nightmares and a growing suspicion that Scott is hiding something. What happens to the Final Girl after the credits roll? That’s the question writer/director Olivia West Lloyd, in her feature debut, brilliantly unravels. Jennifer Kim leads a pitch-perfect cast as the traumatised Meg, along with Kentucker Audley, Marin Ireland and Micheál Neeson in an eerie and disquieting horror tale where reality is constantly in question.

OUR FATHER, THE DEVIL
Written and directed by Ellie Foumbi, US/France, 2021 (Berlin Premiere)
Marie Cissé (Babetida Sadjo) works as the head chef at a retirement home in small-town France. Her easy day-to-day life spent caring for residents, hanging out with her co-worker and best friend Nadia (Jennifer Tchiakpe), and teasing a potential new romance is disrupted by the arrival of Father Patrick (Souleymane Sy Savané), an African priest whom she recognizes from a terrifying episode in her homeland. As he further endears himself to the residents and staff, Marie is forced to decide how best to deal with this reminder of her troubled past.

BIRTH/REBIRTH
Directed by Laura Moss, written by Laura Moss & Brendan J. O’Brien, US, 2023
Rose (Marin Ireland) is a pathologist who prefers working with corpses over social interaction. She also has an obsession—the reanimation of the dead. Celie (Judy Reyes) is a maternity nurse who has built her life around her bouncy, chatterbox six-year-old daughter, Lila (A.J. Lister). When one tragic night, Lila suddenly falls ill and dies, the two women’s worlds crash into each other. They embark on a dark path of no return where they will be forced to confront how far they are willing to go to protect what they hold most dear. 

This standout directorial debut from Laura Moss reimagines Mary Shelley’s classic horror myth Frankenstein with such a contemporary understanding that it becomes something exciting, terrifying, and singularly new.

COLD LIGHT OF DAY (Retrospective Screening)
Directed by Fhiona-Louise, UK, 1990
February, 1983. Detectives are called to a residential address in the London suburbs following reports that the drains have been clogged by human remains. This is a grim and gritty retelling of the story of “Des” Nilsen, often dubbed the “British Jeffery Dahmer”, 1989’s Cold Light of Day stars Bob Flag (Big Brother in Michael Radford’s 1984) as Nilsen-cipher Jorden March, delivering one of the most chilling and credible portrayals of a serial killer ever committed to screen. 

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SHORT FILM BLOCKS

I. ECO HORROR 

Unborn Biru – Dir.  Inga Elin Marakatt, Norway, 2023

Expectant – Dir. Hannah Bang, US, 2023 

Out of Plastic – Dir. Maxfield Biggs, US, 2023 

Abnormal Prime Time – Dir. Kirin Sinn, South Korea, 2023 

The Taster – Dir. Sophia Bierend, Germany, 2023

II. BODY POLITICS

Only Yourself to Blame – Dir. Noomi Yates, UK, 2023

Volition – Dir. Ashley George, US, 2023 

Gravid – Dir. Laura Jai Smith, UK, 2023 

Pissen aufs Patriarchat (Piss on Patriarchy) – Dir. Lena Fakler, Germany, 2023

Growing – Dir. Agata Wieczorek, France/Poland, 2023 

3pm Thursdays – Dir. Michele Kaye, Canada, 2023

III. LE PETIT MORT

Chrysalis – Dir. Oran Julius, US, 2023

You’ll Be Sorry – Dir. Maryann Peony, Germany, 2023

Vibrator Girl – Dir. Kara Strait, US, 2023

TaiL – Dir. Yichien Lee, Taiwan/US, 2023 

The Girl With The Haunted Vagina – Dir. Samantha O’Rourke, UK, 2023 

Karada – Dir. Oscar Lopera, Venezuela, 2023

IV. QUEER HORROR 

Possum – Dir. Daisy Rosato, US, 2023 

Deprivation – Dir. Caitlan Arthur, US, 2023

Pool Party – Dir. Ellie Stewart, Canada, 2022

Smooth – Dir. Sepi Mashiahof, US, 2023

SKIN – Dir. Cyrus Gainer, US, 2023

GLORY, HOLE – Dir. Hiram Harrington, UK, 2023 

The Journey Home – Dir. Noah Lei Underwood, UK, 2023

V. ABSURD & SURREAL 

Baby Yoga – Dir. Megan Chumbley, US, 2023

Gertrude and Yvan Party Hard – Dir. Louise Groult, France, 2023

Poppy’s Saturn – Dir. Nicole Tegelaar, Canada, 2023 

All Is Lost – Dir. Carla Pereira & Juanfran Jacinto, Spain, 2022 

FCK’N NUTS – Dir. Sam Fox, US, 2023 

Hellmark – Dir. Jessie Doucet, US, 2023 

Sorry sorry – Dir. Ella Crowley, Australia, 2023

Amanita Muscaria – Dir. Hajdi Đukić, Serbia, 2021 

VI.  FAMILY HORROR 

Lamb – Dir. Sinéad O’Loughlin, Ireland, 2023

Primogeniture – Dir. Savanna Menzel, US, 2023 

The Thaw – Dir. Sarah Wisner & Sean Temple, US, 2023 

Aviya – Dir. Aviya Hanina, Israel, 2023 

Stump – Dir. Silva Kuusniemi, Finland, 2023 

Schluckauf (Piecemeal) – Dir. Maxie Le Dévéhat & Marcel Schuhardt, Germany, 2023

Where The Witch Lives – Dir. Marial Sharp, Canada, 2023

Blind Spot – Dir. Alexandra Mignien, Canada, 2023

Said Of A Deer That’s Shed Its Antlers – Dir. Salomé Crickx, Belgium, 2023

VII. WORKPLACE HORROR

Thread Tension – Dir. Ruby Mastrodimos, UK, 2023

Hope Chest –  Dirs. Dycee Wildman &

Jennifer Bonior, US, 2023

Overnights – Dir. Shannon Brown, US, 2023

Chispa – Dir. Karina Ripper, US, 2023 

Ride Baby Ride – Dir. Sofie Somoroff, US, 2023

The Score 97.9 – Dir. Violet Shoshana Pask, Canada, 2023 

Ask For Help – Dir. Gina Deangelis, US, 2023 

Ten Of Swords – Dir. Faye Jackson, UK, 2023 

Sweet Tooth – Dir. Josephine Hopkins, France, 2023 

VIII. TECH HORROR

Mara – Dir. Catharina Schürenberg, US, 2023

Influence – Dir. Rachel Thomas, US, 2023 

Iris – Written & Directed By Lex Benedict, US, 2023

Carly – Dir. Emily Lerer, US/Mexico, 2023 

The Influencer – Dir. Lael Rogers, US, 2023

Bowling 4 Eva – Dir. By Aelfie, US, 2023

IX. MIDNIGHT MOVIES 

Chomp – Dirs. Suki-Rose & Cricket Arrison, US, 2023 

The Möbious Trip – Dir. Simone Smith, UK, 2023

Anxiety Bites – Dir. Sunny Keller, US, 2023

Inner Demons – Dir. Jasmine Johnson, US, 2023 

Pu Ekaw Tnod – Dir. Rebecca Culverhouse, UK, 2023

Through The Meat Grinder – Dir. Abby Brenker, US, 2023

Storm – Dir. Lena Tsodykovskaya, US, 2023

Stop Dead – Dir. Emily Greenwood, UK, 2023

The Intruder – Dir. Janine Hewitt, Australia, 2004

Fabrik – Dir. Sverre Aunne, Germany, 2023

Blood And Flowers – Dir. Sabina Gryczan, Poland, 2023

Poppy’s Saturn – Dir. Nicole Tegelaar, Canada, 2023 

Trashold – Dir. Teri Verhol, Czech Republic, 2022

 The House That Hungers – Dir. Maria Lewis, Australia, 2023

X. FOLK HORROR

Nian – Written & Directed by Michelle Krusiec, US, 2023 

The Pencil – Dir. Thomas Calvin Schultz, Kazakhstan, 2023

Mosquito Lady – Dir.  Kristine Gerolaga, US, 2023 

Days of Spring – Written & Directed by Arianne Hinz, The Netherlands, 2023

HEIRLOOMS – Dir. Devina Sofiyanti, Indonesia, 2023 

Valley of Souls – Dir. Edileuza Penha de Souza & Santiago Dellape, Brazil, 2023

A Dire Strait – Written & Directed by Liang-Chun Lin, Taiwan/US, 2023 

XI. CLOSE TO HOME 

Make the Call Dir. Chelsea Gonzalez, US, 2023 

I Could Just Die, And That Would Be Alright – Dir. A.K. Espada, US, 2023

112 – Written 6 directed by Mireia Boté, Spain, 2022

Hollow –  Dir. Allison Miller, US, 2023

I Don’t Need Adult Conversation – Written & Directed by Vika Evdokimenko, UK, 2023 

The Monster Inside My Head – Dir. Maude Michaud, Canada, 2023 

XII. HORROR HAGS
Olga’s Eyes – Written & Directed by Sarah Carlot Jaber, Belgium, 2023 

Deadhead – Dir. Virginia Powers Hendry, US, 2023 

Spoor – Dir. Sunita Soliar & Statten Roeg, UK, 2023

Scam – Dir. Julie Sharbutt, US, 2023 

Declin – Written & Directed by Élise Huyssen, France, 2022

Forever Flowers – Dir. Joe Solomon, Written by Francesca Lin, UK, 2022

The Old Hag and the Crow – Dir. María Lucía Bayardo, Mexico, 2023

The Hand that Feeds – Written & Directed by Helen Hideko, Austria, 2023

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EVENTS AND WORKSHOPS

Horror Film as Feminist Archive: A Doing Women’s Global Horror Film History showcase / Dr. Alison Pierse & May Santiago

 Dr. Alison Pierse & May Santiago lead a showcase exploring women’s global horror film history through insightful video essays, highlighting overlooked female contributions to the genre.

Queer For Fear Book Launch / Dr. Heather Petrocelli & May Santiago

Join Dr. Heather Petrocelli & May Santiago for the launch of “Queer for Fear: Horror Film and the Queer Spectator.” The event will include discussions on themes and films covered in the book, followed by a Q&A session.

Nightmarish Collage Workshop / Carlota Pérez Ortiz & Leticia Quirós

 Dive into the world of dreams and nightmares with Carlota Pérez Ortiz & Leticia Quirós. This workshop teaches the art of collage, capturing deep fears and dreams using various materials.

Unsafe Spaces: Trans Anxieties in Digital Horror / Mars Nicolí
Mars Nicolí discusses the role of online spaces in transgender horror narratives, exploring the works of transgender artists and the specific fears in online communities.

Fearless Vampire Killers –  Pretty Deadly Self Defense / Susie Kahlich

Susie Kahlich will teach  the most powerful self defence moves from the most iconic vampire killers (and sometimes vampires themselves), from the great Buffy Summers to Lauren in Bit. 

Production Design for Indie Horror Workshop / A.K. Espada

A.K. Espada provides insights into the importance of production design in horror, offering tips for creating immersive worlds on a budget and effectively using sets for storytelling.

“Do You Want to Tell me Something?”: Vomiting Women in Horror / Sarah Kathryn Cleaver

 Sarah Kathryn Cleaver examines the significance of vomiting scenes in horror cinema, exploring their links to verbal violations, aggression, and female sexuality.

My Monstrous Mirror – Video Essays and Horror Memoir led by Ariel Baska

In this presentation, disabled and queer horror and documentary filmmaker Ariel Baska (they/them) will teach participants the basics of creating a video essay as a horror memoir. They’ll be sharing techniques in editing, effects, sound, and writing to craft compelling autobiographical narratives, and showing us a work sample of Monstrous Me, their video essay about their relationship with cinematic monsters while forming their disability identity.

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JURY ANNOUNCEMENT

For the first time ever, the FINAL GIRLS BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL introduces an esteemed jury panel to evaluate the cinematic offerings, alongside their traditional audience award. 

SHORT FILM JURY:

Rachel Pronger (UK-based curator and writer in Berlin; co-founder of Invisible Women, a feminist film collective).

May Santiago (Essay filmmaker and cultural studies scholar, focusing on Puerto Rican cinema and horror, queer, feminist studies).

Toby Poser (Co-director of HELLBENDER and WHERE THE DEVIL ROAMS; founder of Wonder Wheel Productions).

FEATURE FILM JURY:

Sarah Kathryn Cleaver (London-based film and culture writer; runs Zodiac Film Club and co-hosts Projections Podcast).

Sabrina Mertens (Director of Time of Moulting)

Alison Peirse (Film Professor, Women Make Horror Editor)

For more information about the festival, please visit https://www.finalgirlsberlin.com/

Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.