“Found” Honored at Nevermore Film Fest

Found won the Best Feature Jury Award and Best Feature Audience Award at the 14th Annual Nevermore Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina. The three-day event took place February 22-24 at the historic Carolina Theatre and sold over 3,200 tickets — a record-breaking year for the festival. Found screened with eight other features and twenty-six short films, including a centerpiece screening of George Romero’s 1978 classic, Dawn of the Dead and the latest from Phantasm director Don Coscarelli, John Dies at the End. Several members of the Found cast & crew were on hand to introduce the screenings and hold post-Q&A’s, including director Scott Schirmer; producer/director of photography Leya Taylor; makeup effects artists/associate producers Arthur Cullipher and Shane Beasley; and actors Gavin Brown and Phyllis Munro (see video of the Q&A below).

The film was extraordinarily well received by the Durham crowd. Among Saturday’s audience was folk rock singer John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats, who tweeted “OH MY GOD COMPLETELY BRILLIANT” about the movie. Zack Smith at IndyWeek wrote this about Found in the local press:

“Like John Dies at the End, Scott Schirmer’s Found has a great opening line: “My brother keeps a human head in his closet. Every few days it’s a new head.” Other than that and some 1980s homages, the two films couldn’t be more different. Found. is a deliberately paced, suspenseful tale of a bullied, horror-movie-loving kid (Gavin Brown) who discovers that his older brother (Ethan Philbeck) has a habit of imitating horror movies himself. Shot on a shoestring budget, it evokes Let the Right One In in its depiction of a middle-schooler finding solace from bullying and a dysfunctional family through a violent protector, though it’s not as assured as that masterpiece. The internal references to 1980s slasher flicks, including a nasty number called Headless, are dead-on, but the heart of the film is the cruelty inflicted on kids each day (homophobic slurs are thrown about regularly) and the choice those kids have as to whether they want to respond to that cruelty with violence.

Unlike many horror films, Found. recognizes that violence is horrific in and of itself—and that makes it a standout not just at Nevermore but among horror films in general. It’s nice to be reminded of the silliness and satire with such revivals as Dawn of the Dead, but it’s also important that a large part of the horror genre is, well, actual horror.”  (Read the full article here.)

Check out the photos and video below, and for more information, visit the festival website.

Scott Schirmer, Shane Beasley, Phyllis Munro, Arthur Cullipher, and Gavin Brown pose in front of The Carolina Theatre at the 14th Annual Nevermore Film Festival. Photo by Leya Taylor

Gavin Brown (right) talks to festival steering committee members Chris Santucci and Stacey Weger. Photo by Scott Schirmer

The audience gathers for Saturday’s screening of “Found” at the 14th Annual Nevermore Film Festival. Photo by Leya Taylor

Actor Phyllis Munro and special effects artist Arthur Cullipher sit in the back of the auditorium for Saturday’s showing of “Found” at the 14th Annual Nevermore Film Festival. Photo by Leya Taylor

Director Scott Schirmer poses by the festival poster. Photo by Leya Taylor

Actors Gavin Brown and Phyllis Munro chat it up with guests between screenings at the 14th Annual Nevermore Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina.

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