Abertoir Horror Festival 2023: Welsh Genre Festival Celebrates 18th Year

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Abertoir Horror Festival 2023: Welsh Genre Festival Celebrates 18th Year
Off the top of my head I do not recall writing about the Abertoir Horror Festival until today. Funny how things slip by you and suddenly you're writing about a festival's 18th anniversary. 
Raging Grace, Red Rooms and Tiger Stripes were all part of the first wave of titles announced back in September. The excellent Monolith was also in that first batch. The next batch of titles included Jake West's documentary Mancunian Man: The Legendary Life of Cliff Twemlow
Most recently, the festival announced that Gary Sherman, friend to many a filmmaker and a constant presence on the festival circuit, will be at the festival to present his film Vice Squad, as well as announced a new project with author Jeremy Dyson. 
Abertoir Horror Festival comes of age with a sell-out 
18th edition of the festival this November. 
Marking the occasion with a focus on “18” and coming of age as a horror fan, the festival will  celebrate some of the genre’s finest cult classics and stage fascinating presentations from  industry experts on the distribution and classification of horror films. 
“Turning 18 is a symbolic milestone for a festival dedicated to horror,” said festival director  Gaz Bailey. “As horror fans, we all remember those 18-rated films we saw as youngsters,  when we weren’t supposed to see them!” 
Cult ‘18’ classics like The Exorcist and Ganja and Hess will take pride of place at the festival,  as will House on the Edge of the Park, a controversial film passed uncut for the first time in  the UK last year. The film will screen in honour of Giovanni Lombardo Radice, who died in  April and had been due to attend the festival as guest of honour. 
Also receiving a rare UK screening is Vice Squad, with director Gary Sherman in attendance.  Vice Squad has never been made available on home video since its original censored cinema  release over 40 years ago. 
Sherman will also present a brand new project alongside author Jeremy Dyson (Ghost  Stories). The project is so new that it’s still a secret – Gaz added, “Gary is a good friend of the  festival and we’re delighted to be able to welcome Jeremy Dyson to join us for the first time  too. What they’re doing is hugely exciting, and we were stunned when we were told about  its existence. We can’t wait to unveil such an exciting project to our audience - linking back  to events in previous festivals, and very much looking to the future too.” 
Taking centre stage at the festival, as always, are Welsh premieres of some of this year’s  most hotly anticipated horror films. These include the darkly challenging Red Rooms, which  recently premiered at BFI London Film Festival; the modern gothic Raging Grace, which has  stunned festival audiences all over the world this year; and coming-of-age delight Tiger  Stripes, chosen to represent Malaysia in the running for the Best International Feature Film shortlist for next year’s Oscars. 
Festival co-director Nia Edwards-Behi added, “we’re really excited at the breadth of horror  represented in this year’s festival – from a trippy re-imagining of a hero’s tale to brand new  nunsploitation!” She Is Conann is the latest film from experimental filmmaker Bertrand  Mandico, and Auxilio: The Power of Sin from Argentinian director Tamae Garateguy is a  thrilling period piece set in a convent. 
No 18th birthday is complete without a party, and Abertoir’s notorious annual off-site  screening makes a return with a special 25th anniversary screening of Blade taking place at Pier Pressure night club. “We can’t promise a ‘blood rave’ like in the film,” said Nia, “but we  do have surprises in store – and an after-party!” 
Other highlights include special shows from broadcaster Robin Ince, the annual short film  competition, and a celebration of Welsh horror. Abertoir Horror Festival takes place at  Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 14-19th November 2023. For those who can’t make it to  Aberystwyth, Abertoir Choice Cuts will take place online, 25-26 November, with highlights  from the main event. 
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