AFI FEST 2021: Scary Good Films – American Film Institute

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AFI FEST 2021: Scary Good Films

It is the season for scares and AFI FEST delivers with this selection of shorts and features sure to satisfy all the thrill seekers and horror lovers. Find yourself in a candy-colored nightmare, trapped in a dark, Romanian forest or in shark-infested waters with these scary good films!

GOOD MADAM

South African auteur and AFI FEST alum Jenna Cato Bass (HIGH FANTASY) delivers a haunting, psychological thriller steeped in remnants of postcolonialism and apartheid. Tsidi (Chumisa Cosa) and her daughter must move in with her estranged mother, Mavis (Nosipho Mtebe), a domestic housekeeper who has worked for her “Madam” Diane since Tsidi was a young girl. While living in Diane’s large and foreboding house, Tsidi is appalled with her mother’s extreme dedication and servitude even after all these years. Gradually, Tsidi’s daughter and then Tsidi herself become submissive to the whims of the rarely seen Madam. Co-written and produced with collaborator Babalwa Baartman, Bass employs stylish imagery and an ominous tone to bring this chilling narrative to life. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person |  November 13, 5:00 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

HOLY EMY

North American Premiere

Largely keeping to themselves after their mother is forced to leave Athens and return to the Philippines, Emy and Teresa live a simple, quiet life centered around attending mass, working in a fish market and avoiding the locals. But soon the outside world encroaches as Teresa begins seeing a Greek co-worker and Mrs. Christina, their mother’s former boss, lures Emy into working as a caregiver, a ruse to tap into Emy’s very unique, and very ancient, gifts. When Teresa’s boyfriend sees Emy crying tears of blood, she runs the risk of her abilities being exposed, sending her on a shocking trajectory in this whip-smart feature debut – a potent and visceral tale of race, class and tradition filtered through body and social horror – from filmmaker Araceli Lemos. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person |  November 14, 7:30 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

ÎNTREGALDE

From Romanian writer-director Radu Muntean, this intelligent and engaging parable/thriller replete with dark humor and high tension premiered at the 2021 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, featuring a shockingly honest depiction of the often-self-serving nature and limitations of altruism. Winding deep into the Romanian mountainside, three humanitarian aid workers intend to deliver packages to the impoverished rural inhabitants before Christmas, but their mission is diverted when they offer a ride to an elderly man along the side of the road, and they find themselves suddenly stranded. Trapped overnight in the cold Romanian forest, the disconnect between those offering aid and those receiving it widens, and attitudes begin to shift along with the realization that the trio may need to brave circumstances that locals find exceedingly ordinary. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person |  November 14, 7:45 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

MEDUSA

Anita Rocha da Silveira (KILL ME PLEASE) returns to AFI FEST with MEDUSA, a modern horror-satire that fiercely critiques evangelical fanaticism in a Brazil which draws eerie comparisons to American society. Mariana (played with verve by Mari Oliveira) is part of a Christian girl gang that roughs up women they deem to be sinners and posts humiliating videos of their repentance to social media. Mariana is on a mission to find ultimate sinner, Melissa, a liberated woman who’s gone missing. MEDUSA pays homage to Argento-esque supernatural horror and is a clever play on tropes surrounding the eponymously fabled creature. With an infectious score and a vibrant aesthetic, da Silveira continues her streak of merging the darkly morbid with the sublimely feminine. Learn more about the film. 

Screening in-person |  November 13, 8:30 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

SHARK

SHARK follows the continuing adventures of Jack, who loves to prank. But in his latest relationship he may have finally met his match. Screens as part of Shorts Program 4. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person as part of Shorts Program 4 |  November 13, 2:15 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)

STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE

North American Premiere

In Singapore, where even vapes are illegal, three rebellious schoolgirls are caught smoking by the principal. Their revenge prank takes a sinister turn. Screens as part of Shorts Program 4. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person as part of Shorts Program 4 |  November 13, 2:15 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)

With health and safety being top priority, AFI FEST 2021 will require all festival-goers who attend in-person events and/or screenings to be fully vaccinated.  Learn more about AFI’s annual film festival celebrating the best in global cinema at FEST.AFI.com.

Individual tickets and passes to AFI FEST 2021 are currently available on FEST.AFI.com. AFI Members receive exclusive discounts and benefits to the festival. To become an AFI member, visit AFI.com/join/.

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