Make Believe Seattle Film Festival Promises Humanist Vampirism and Atrocious Things

Make Believe Seattle Film Festival got off to a fine start last year, and the initial announcements for its sophomore edition sound like another cinematic blast is in the offing. Genre-film aficionados, take note! Following is the official press announcement.

The second annual Make Believe Seattle Film Festival announced today its Opening Night Gala on Thursday, March 21 will be the West Coast Premiere of the documentary SHARI AND LAMB CHOP directed by Lisa D’Apolito and the Closing Night Gala on Sunday, March 24 is the Pacific Northwest Premiere of Ariane Louis-Seize’s French feature HUMANIST VAMPIRE SEEKING CONSENTING SUICIDAL PERSON.

Shari Lewis was a dancer, singer, and magician but was best known as the ventriloquist behind beloved sock puppets Charlie Horse, Hush Puppy, and, of course, Lamb Chop. SHARI AND LAMB CHOP is a heartfelt and entertaining documentary that charts the life, loves, and career hits and misses of the spunky perfectionist who forever changed the face of children’s television. Director Lisa D’Apolito is scheduled to attend the screening.

Collecting nominations and wins at film festivals across the globe, including the Vancouver International Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival, and the Palm Springs International Film Festival, HUMANIST VAMPIRE SEEKING CONSENTING SUICIDAL PERSON is about Sasha, a young, sensitive vampire who hates the idea of killing people for their blood. When her parents cut off her supply, she enlists the help of Paul, a suicidal boy who agrees to be Sasha’s victim as long as she spends a night helping him accomplish everything he wants to do before he dies.

“This year’s lineup is probably the closest I’ve ever come to presenting ME on screen,” said Billy Ray Brewton, founder and creative director of Make Believe Seattle. “It’s a very personal program that we hope lifts up under-represented communities while delivering exactly what folks expect from a genre festival. Our coming-of-age selections cover all ages and experiences while touching on universal truths that resonate with anyone with an imagination.”

The Make Believe Seattle Film Festival is the region’s first-ever dedicated genre film festival, shining a light on horror, science fiction, fantasy, animation, and more. The 2024 festival theme is coming-of-age in genre, focusing on stories and experiences that speak to the child in all of us: the light, dark, and everything in between that develops while finding oneself.

Make Believe Seattle also announced its two Centerpiece screenings for the 2nd annual festival. On Friday, March 22, the festival will screen the World Premiere of A MOST ATROCIOUS THING from Giant Films. This cinematic labor of love is what happens when a group of young Chapman University students got creative during the pandemic on a shoestring budget of $5,000. When some friends preparing to step out into adulthood get together for a wild weekend getaway, they make the tragic mistake of eating infected deer meat, thus turning them into crazed, bloodthirsty maniacs. The team of filmmakers will be in attendance and participate in a Q&A after the screening.

The British film BONUS TRACK is the festival’s second Centerpiece and screens on Saturday, March 23. This coming-of-age romantic comedy is the feature directorial debut of Julia Jackman and co-stars Josh O’Connor (young Prince Charles in “The Crown”). George dreams of being a star and knows he’s a gifted musician, but no one else seems to agree. So when Max—the son of a mega-famous musical duo—enrolls at his school and takes an interest in his music, George can’t believe it. Neither can anyone else. Part “Heartstopper,” part “Sing Street,” and all coming-of-age charm, BONUS TRACK is a warm and tender portrait of young love and artistic adventure.

The festival will screen exclusively in person at Northwest Film Forum, The Erickson Theatre, and The Grand Illusion Cinema from March 21-26, 2024. Festival passes are on sale now and are available at

The full program of the 2024 Make Believe Seattle Film Festival will be revealed on February 13.

Make Believe Seattle is sponsored by MUBI, Fangoria, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Hotel Sorrento, W Seattle, The Stranger, Letterboxd, Liquid Death, and C89.5: Seattle’s Home for Dance.

More info and passes:
Full lineup and ticket sales: February 13, 2024

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.