We like to brag about our graduates. Here are a few news clippings from the site that highlight the success that Screamfest winners have had.

Javier Gutierrez

Screamfest alum F. Javier Gutierrez gets attached to direct RINGS . Gutierrez won four awards including Best Director for his feature film, Before the Fall (Tres Dias)at the 2009 film festival.

Oren Peli

DreamWorks nabs rights to 'Activity.'

Oren Peli

"When all other festivals were rejecting PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, Screamfest was the first and only festival at the time that accepted us. We had a great premiere screening and got positive reviews as a result. Shortly after, we got the attention of CAA and many distributors. The rest, as they say, is history! But it all started at Screamfest!" -Oren Peli

Oren Peli

Daily Variety - Jan 30, 2008 - DreamWorks has acquired all domestic and remake rights to ... 'Paranormal Activiy,' Oren Peli's micro-budget hand-held haunted house pic.

Oren Peli

According to producer Jason Blum, who took on 'Paranormal Activity' after Screamfest in October, DreamWorks won the bid by attaching Peli as director of the remake.

Toby Wilkins

Toby WilkinsThe ScreamFest award for Staring at the Sun brought Toby's work to the attention of director Sam Raimi (Evil Dead, Spider Man) and his horror production company Ghost House Pictures. Ghost House commissioned Toby to write, produce and direct a number of short horror films starting with Mousetrap, a shocking cautionary tale about sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong.

Raimi then chose Toby to direct and produce "Tales From The Grudge", a series of three short horror films to bring to audiences the untold stories of The Grudge, and to promote the Ghost House film The Grudge 2. Watch "Tales From The Grudge" short films by clicking here.

Toby Wilkins
Toby Wilkins

Toby was one of the three Screamfest winning directors (Toby Wilkins, John Coven and Stewart Hopewell) that were chosen to direct shorts for Sam Raimi's Ghost House Pictures. Rachel Belofsky recommended these talented directors to Michael Kirk at Ghost House and the rest is history.

  • Toby Wilkins - "Mousetrap"
  • John Coven - "Caller Unknown"
  • Stewart Hopewell - "Jack and Kristin"

RL Kienbaum

Interview with

I have nothing but compliments towards Rachel and the staff of Screamfest. Any time I had a question or concern they were quick to respond either by phone or email. I would encourage anyone trying to get into the horror or thriller genre to check Screamfest out.

Read the full interview.

Victor Garcia

Victor Garcia(April 2007) Return to House on Haunted Hill, Victor Garcia's first feature length film, has wrapped production and is looking at an October 2007 release from Dark Castle and Warner Home Video. If you click here you can read about the film and how it will be the first ever 'choose your own adventure' DVD release! Congrats Victor, special thanks to Joel Silver and Dark Castle.

(February 2005) Screamfest 2004 Short Film Winner (El Ciclo), Victor Garcia, strikes a deal at Gold Circle to direct Smoke from Vertigo Entertainment, the production company being The Ring and The Grudge films! Screamfest is where it all starts!

More press about our 2004 Short Film Winner, Victor Garcia, and his Gold Circle deal-


Download the PDF Here

Download the JPEG Here

"Stewart Hopewell"

Desolate is announced in the Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

LOS ANGELES , CA – November 3, 2005 – Candy Heart Productions has purchased the psychological horror project DESOLATE, penned by writer Francisco Castro.

DESOLATE is the winning screenplay from 2003's Screamfest Horror Film Festival Screenplay Competition. Producing are Candy Heart Production's Rachel Belofsky and Multiple Academy Award-winning creature creator Stan Winston. Winston is also on board to create the special effects and creatures. Germany 's MC One, Sven Ebeling and Hagen Behring, will executive produce.

Stewart HopewellTapped to direct is Stewart Hopewell, a winning filmmaker emerging out of the 2003 Screamfest Horror Film Festival. Hopewell 's film, 3AM, to home "best Student Short" at Screamfest. 3AM also earned a “Student Emmy” at the 2004 Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' College Television Awards and seized the prestigious ASC Heritage Award for its Cinematography (among many other awards).

DESOLATE is a psychological journey into one man's hell as his inner demons come alive to haunt him for past sins.

Castro is repped by Jen Good at Metropolitan. Hopewell is repped by Emile Gladstone and Harley Copen at the Broder Webb Chervin Silbermann Agency & Brooklyn Weaver at Energy Entertainment.

Francisco Castro


Francisco Castro (Best Screenplay '03) relates his wonderful Screamfest experience and the fantastic aftermath in this stellar interview.

Download the PDF Here