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Women in Horror Film Festival is now the Renegade Film Festival

Wednesday, May 5, 2021 | News

“Same Mission, Broader Reach,”’ is the newly coined slogan for the international event that began 4 years ago as The Women in Horror Film Festival. Show runner & festival director, Vanessa Ionta Wright, said, “In an effort to evolve with the ever changing landscape, it is important to rebrand in order to further our reach and support our mission of creating more visibility, more inclusion, more balance and more equality in the film industry. The mission of this fest has always been to showcase and foster inclusion and balance both in front of, and behind the camera. I really felt like the name of the fest was limiting. I’ve received countless emails and messages stating that filmmakers have hesitated to submit because their film didn’t have a female director. This was concerning, as our criteria looks beyond the director. Filmmaking is a team sport and so many other creatives come together to collaborate and create the final product. Focusing on a singular position negates the creative impact made by the writer, the cinematographer, the performers, the editor, the FX artists and so many more. Our mission is to lift all marginalized voices and celebrate the diversity of the entire team behind a film.”

When asked about possible backlash from changing the name mid-season, Wright had this to say. “In order to be sustainable, we have to adapt and be open to change. When something has limitations, you have to address those limitations and be willing to shift gears. I’m not worried about any backlash, as this is a positive transition that will benefit all involved.”

Wright went on to address the meaning behind the new name and said “Filmmakers are meant to break barriers, break rules, create something new. Artists, creators, storytellers…we’re all renegades in some way. It just seemed fitting.” The big question is, will the fest still focus on horror? “Yes”, says Wright, “Horror will always be at the heart of this festival, but there will always be room for other genres, as there is so much crossover, and horror can be so subjective.”

2022 will be bringing a fresh start, and horror now has a new name with the Renegade Film Festival. Submissions are still open and will remain so through December 31, 2021. The festival will be held March 3-5, 2022 at the historic Strand Theatre on the Marietta Square in Atlanta, GA.

The 2022 special guest jury will remain as planned with actress & filmmaker Heather Langenkamp, writer & director Adam Marcus, author & podcaster Scott Bradley, the Real Queen of Horror, Zena Sadè Dixon and Atlanta based actors & writers Melissa Kunnap & Brian Ashton Smith deciding the nominations & winners from the official selections determined by scores from the first round panel of judges.

Adam Marcus has graciously offered to host the 2022 awards ceremony alongside Vanessa Ionta Wright, so prepare yourself for lots of laughs and lots of screams next year!

For more information on the fest, questions and how to get involved, please visit RFF online at or on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram @RenegadeFF.


Grace Detwiler
Rue Morgue's Online Assistant Editor - Grace Detwiler (@finalgirlgrace) is a freelance film journalist studying English and Criminology at Colorado State University. Her original work can be found on her blog, FinalGirlGrace, as well as in Rue Morgue's print and online publications.