“REEL Scary” PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Matthew heads up our Reel Scary segment as the Program Director.
He has been a fan of horror movies since he was very young. He started out watching Creature Features out of San Francisco on Friday nights after his mother went to bed, sneaking into the living room and keeping the sound low to keep from getting caught. He was weaned on the classics brought to him by Bob Wilkins and cherished every night spent hiding under the bed after a really good scare.
From there, his love for all movies grew, although the next big sea change came in ’76 when Star Wars came out and again later when Indiana Jones released. Since those days he has been a die-hard science fiction and horror fan primarily, with a soft spot for action films. He came to appreciate both the good and the bad, the blockbusters and the b-movies, and to really enjoy a good film for more than just the 2 hours it gave him away from the world.
In the last decade Matthew was fortunate to discover the independent horror film festivals in our area, his first was in Riverbank and spending a day hopping from theater to theater watching short films was a rush. To actually meet and talk with the people who created the films was, for him, the best part of any showing. He has been to more festivals since then, and ITSA was the first one not in his preferred genres that really got it right for him. Matthew says, “It isn’t about being the Oscars, or about getting A Name to come to the show, it is about the love of film and the appreciation of those who have the skill and drive to actually go out and make something new”.
He is so pleased to be a part of bringing his beloved genre to ITSA and sharing it with those who come to the festival. Since he doesn’t make films, can’t sing or act, and missed his chance to be a movie mogul, this helps him feel like he is giving something back to the films and filmmakers that have enriched his life throughout the years. Seeing new ideas fresh from the inspired young people involved in these films, and hearing their enthusiasm and determination are things that he feels are lost when a big budget and a bottom line take over. “These films are all labors of love, made to be seen and experienced, talked about and debated, a foot in the door for some and a pure artistic endeavor for others,” he says.
He hopes you come to enjoy them as much as he has.