By Denise Ortuno Neil

There’s nothing better than settling in for a little bone chilling horror movie fun during Halloween. It is the perfect accompaniment to the playful holiday. And for those who are into some big screen screams, you’re in luck, for the 1st ever FEARTASTIC Horror Film Festival will be reeling in viewers this coming Halloween weekend in Palm Springs.

The Coachella Valley has quickly become a Film Fest haven ever since the Palm Springs International Film Festival started 25 years ago. There have been all kinds of film fests, so why not a festival that highlights the horror genre? Hooray for FEARTASTIC Horror Film Festival, it is certainly a breath of fresh air for all of us who enjoy a jolt of cinema fright now and then.

FEARTASTIC is a collaboration between Kim Waltrip, Trini Garza and Jim Casey of entertainment company Troupe Productions and film programmer/film maker Bradley Sullivan. The festival was brought about when they noticed a vacancy for a different kind of film festival and from their affinity for horror films.

Waltrip and Casey through their production company Kim and Jim Productions have successfully produced several films of their own including “Hit & Run” with Bradley Cooper and Kristen Bell and “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby” starring Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy that will be released next summer.

Bradley Sullivan is also a filmmaker with his 2012 film “I Didn’t Come Here to Die” just recently released in different international markets.
The FEARTASTIC Horror Film Festival kicks off on Halloween night Thursday, October 31st, at the newly opened and stunning Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs. The festival will be ushered in by BB’s Monster Rock Halloween Bash, in association with FEARTASTIC. The party goes from 8pm to 2am and will be held in the hotel ballroom and also poolside. The party will offer up four venues of entertainment, a variety of DJ’s, plus a multitude of bar and food stations. The party will also have a costume contest sponsored by Fox 11, which will be giving away $1000 in cash prizes for the best dressed person depicting a Fox 11 character.

The films will start on Friday, November 1st at the Camelot Theatre in Palm Springs. There will also be two panel discussions where hopeful filmmakers can meet and chat with agents, buyers, actors and directors about the art and reality of creating an independent film. The first Panel: Getting a Film Made, will take place on Friday night followed by a kick-off cocktail party sponsored by Level 33 Entertainment, and then the first of five films will be shown at the festival, the LGBTQ film “Contracted”.

Saturday begins with the second discussion Panel: Indie Filmmakers Chat, and four more films, “The Second Death”, “Dead Weight”, “Delivery” and “Here Comes the Devil”. All festival films are acclaimed and handpicked for their diversity and creative ability to scare.

FEARTASTIC Horror Film Festival comes to a close Saturday, November 2nd at 10pm with a cocktail party hosted by Troupe Productions.

Festival fans can purchase FEARTASTIC event tickets individually, or in a collective pass. They offer a Full Festival Pass for $99 that includes one ticket to BB’s Monster Rock Bash, entrance to all panels, cocktail parties and movies, quite the horror fest deal.

Palm Springs is on target for becoming the place for independent film festivals like FEARTASTIC. And it’s truly exciting to have a horror film festival in the Coachella Valley, especially on Halloween….because the thought of not seeing a scary movie during the creepiest time of year is really frightening!

For more information and tickets visit