DEATHCEMBER – The ultimate Advent Horror Anthology movie
A Christmassy horror film made of 24 shorts by 24 international directors, or: The first ever cinematic Advent calendar. Out in 2019.
DEATHCEMBER – The ultimate Advent Horror Anthology movie
A Christmassy horror film made of 24 shorts by 24 international directors, or: The first ever cinematic Advent calendar. Out in 2019.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, January 16 2019 8:00 AM UTC +00:00.
DEATHCEMBER is the first ever Advent horror anthology. A cinematic Advent calendar, filled with 24 short films by 24 international genre directors, connected by an animated frame story.
Principal production is 100% FUNDED! But to make our movie truly shine in all its grisly, gory glory, we need your help: to fund better animation and further our post-production capabilities.
DEATHCEMBER will be the world’s first cinematic Advent calendar. An Advent calendar of death, mind you: We’ve assembled 24 directors from around the globe to create 24 short films about the dark side of the festive season.
They will deliver merry tales of Christmas terror and holiday horror, ranging from classic scares to black humor to scifi to pure, brutal splatter. Their shorts will be connected by animated sequences that tell a story about the Advent calendar itself.
Among our directors are genre mainstays such as Trent Haaga (68 KILL, CHEAP THRILLS) and Lucky McKee (THE WOMAN, ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE); current festival favorites like Isaac Ezban (PARALLEL) or Lazar Bodroza (EDERLEZI RISING); and a range of exciting, up-and-coming filmmakers, among them several BLUMHOUSE alumni such as Chelsea Stardust (SATANIC PANIC).
The principal production of DEATHCEMBER is 100% funded – and it is well under way: The first two segments have already been shot and edited.
What’s more is that we’ve received a grant from HessenFilm, a federal German film commission, because they believe in our vision (and our marketing strategy). With official Germany by your side – how can you lose? Well, there are pitfalls. And that’s why we need your support.
DEATHCEMBER is funded and will be released in late 2019, no matter what. We’ve gathered enough money to produce our 24 short films, have them edited and made into a feature film that is set for a world premiere at Sitges film festival 2019. But… we need more funds for post-production.
Without your help, the animated sequences that connect the 24 shorts will be “flat”. They will be in 2D only, with only the most basic effects implemented.
But we want our frame story to shine. We want it to look as exciting, as amazing as possible. We want 3D animations. Liquid animations (as seen in our teaser trailer). The whole shebang. We want Christmas to become as beautifully gory as possible. And we’d be eternally grateful if you pledged and helped us make our vision a reality!
Plus, there are some great rewards waiting for you that money alone can’t buy...
Free worldwide shipping on all rewards!
All of the rewards from 20 € and above will include the digital download!
Enjoy the spirit of Advent and indie horror all year long, with our selection of exclusive rewards for amazing people aka backers.
The rewards featured here are all KICKSTARTER-ONLY! For the full list, check the respective section of our page.
You’re missing specific rewards? Or you fancy combinations of rewards we haven’t provided as possible tiers? Pleeeease just drop us a note.
We‘ll try and make next to everything possible, and we’ll even create your own personal reward: firstname.lastname@example.org
The producers of DEATHCEMBER are three long-time friends based in and around Frankfurt am Main, Germany who share a passion for genre films of all sorts, for horror anthologies, and for creating stuff that entertains the hell out of you.
Click their names to learn even more on Facebook!
Dominic earns his livelihood as an advertising creative since 1999. He has created dozens of commercials (some of which are actually quite good), won numerous international awards. Writer and co-director of serial killer short film ZIELGERADE (2005). Freelance writer for DEADLINE, one of Germany’s biggest film magazines. He hosts an underground film club in Frankfurt that screens lost and obscure genre gems. Dedicated Christmas horror fanatic – who probably had to come up with the idea to DEATHCEMBER at some point in his life.
Ivo works as a product manager at independent film label Anolis Entertainment since the turn of the millennium. He has produced a number of documentaries as bonus materials for the label’s releases. Ivo was in charge of press relations and film festival partnerships for Anolis‘ self-produced features TEARS OF KALI (2004) and MASKS (2011), and he also acted as Associate Producer for the latter title. Long-time professional horror geek, and loving it.
DEATHCEMBER’s resident post-production magician and COO of Magna Mana Production, founded in 1996 as a full-service production company for feature films, advertising, TV and digital media, event and service companies. For more than 10 years, Frank produced the trailers for Germany’s most important genre film festival “Fantasy Filmfest”. His company offers the complete range of services pertaining to film production, post-production, and digital image editing, and Frank himself offers veteran genre fandom.
Also attached as a co-producing partner is Yazid Benfeghoul, one of the most prolific figures in Germany's genre landscape, initially making a name for himself as editor of influential splatter fanzine GORY NEWS and host of long-running film festival “Splatterday Night Fever”. Since 2000, he has produced 12 German and international horror films such as Olaf Ittenbach’s BEYOND THE LIMITS, Alex Chandon’s INBRED or Marc Fehses's SKY SHARKS starring Naomi Grossman and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (currently in post-production). Today he is one of the publishers of DEADLINE film magazine. Yazid brings a lot of valuable experience and tons of contacts to the project, helping DEATHCEMBER move along smoothly.
Horror knows no boundaries!
In a world ever more dominated by narrow-minded people trying to divide humankind through borders and nationalism, we celebrate the power of common creativity, unbridled ideas and diversity.
DEATHCEMBER is an international powerhouse, made up of stories from all around the globe, told by directors with unique visions. We believe it truly doesn't matter at all where you're from – as long as you're able to scare the sh*t out of us!
Trent Haaga is a screenwriter, director, and actor based in Los Angeles who has been involved in over 100 feature films. He got his start working for Troma Films as the writer/producer of THE TOXIC AVENGER PART 4 and went on to make many films for Full Moon Pictures. Trent has written several cult films including the 2008 TIFF Midnight Madness hit, DEADGIRL, and the 2013 SXSW Audience Award-Winning CHEAP THRILLS. He also wrote Courteney Cox's directorial debut, TALHOTBLONDE and the screenplay for the international hit video game THE EVIL WITHIN 2.
The latest feature film he directed was the vicious black comedy thriller and 2018 SXSW Audience Award winner 68 KILL starring Matthew Gray Gubler, AnnaLynne McCord, and Alisha Boe. Trent is entering into his installment of DEATHCEMBER with the "never say die/punk rock" attitude that he is known for. He's excited to get down and dirty in the old Troma style that he began his career with ...
Milan Todorovic is a Serbian film director, producer and writer, best known as the creator of the first Serbian zombie movie ZONE OF THE DEAD (2009), starring genre legend Ken Foree (George A. Romero's DAWN OF THE DEAD), and as the director of the first Serbian creature feature, NYMPH (2014), a killer mermaid flick starring legendary Franco Nero. In 2016, he produced the sci-fi feature THE RIFT, starring Ken Foree and Monte Markham. Since 2015, he's a professor at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade.
Milan says that he never liked short movies – but when we asked him to participate in DEATHCEMBER, he changed his mind immediately, “because this would be like one big story, stitched together... spreading terror and excitement at the same time“. His short will take place on “Slava" (family saint's day): a time of celebration... but it may also be a time of blood.
Jason Rostovsky is a writer and director born and raised in LA whose first short film DON‘T BE AFRAID OF THE LIGHT has just finished an amazing festival run, exciting juries and audiences everywhere, and winning a number of awards along the way. Since graduating from Chapman University in 2014, Jason has worked as a post-production coordinator at Blumhouse Productions (on films such as GET OUT and THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR) and the Gotham Group. His latest script, “Hare”, has just been included in the Hollywood Black List.
His segment will be an amblin-esque horror film that takes place on the beginning of Hanukkah, adding a unique flavor to our anthology. Jason says he was “immediately drawn to DEATHCEMBER by its fun and nostalgic framework, and all of the wonderful folks involved. Among the holly jolly horror of Christmas, they’ve given me an awesome opportunity to explore Jewish traditions and the subtle strangeness of Hanukkah. Can't wait for you all to see it!“
Sam Wineman is an LA-based filmmaker whose award-winning film, THE QUIET ROOM, has been an official selection of 40 festival and showcase screenings. He recently directed 2nd Unit on Fangoria’s SATANIC PANIC and is currently curating Fangoria’s Holiday Horror Countdown.
Sam graduated from Chapman University in 2017 with an MFA in Film Production and holds a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley, where he taught a class on slasher films. In 2016–2017, Sam interned for Blumhouse Productions where he won the Intern Short Film Challenge two semesters in a row.
His DEATHCEMBER short “Milk and Cookies“ is about the darker side of Christmas – a boy with a tough home life and a wish that only Santa can bring. Sam says that when he heard about our anthology, “I immediately wanted in. I was even more excited when I saw the other directors on board. An Advent calendar of Christmas nightmares told by some of the most talented independent filmmakers I know? SLAY.“
Sadrac González-Perellón is a director, writer and producer born in Madrid who is best known for his feature film BLACK HOLLOW CAGE which won the 2017 Jury Award at BiFan and was an official selection at Raindance, Sitges, Neuchâtel, Germany‘s Fantasy Filmfest, and many more. He studied artistic drawing and later Audiovisual Communication at the Complutense University of Madrid. After shooting a number of shorts, he began to create his first feature film, MYNA HAS GONE (2009), which won several international awards.
In 2018, he produced HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS, chosen to participate in the prestigious “Frontières“ at Cannes Film Festival. His short “Kill Santa“ was the first DEATHCEMBER segment to be completed. It deals with two sisters shopping at a mall who suddenly meet with an unpleasant surprise. “As I did in my last movie BLACK HOLLOW CAGE, I talk about one of my favorite themes: the revenge of a child.“
Pollyanna McIntosh stars on AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD as Jadis/‘Anne’ and was previously best known to horror audiences as the titular character in Lucky McKee’s THE WOMAN, a role that won her several Best Actress awards. She has written and directed the sequel in THE WOMAN’s trilogy titled DARLIN’, which will be released in 2019.
Her work as a director began creating theatre in London and LA, directing actors such as Anne Dudek, David Dayan Fisher, and Kelly Lynch. Having written a black-hearted comedy feature script PERFECT, Pollyanna directed a 35-minute version of the film, which is now being developed as a series. Another film currently in development is the gritty, bloody, crime drama BOIL that she co-wrote with Tomer Almagor who will direct. She says she’s “thrilled to be taking part as a writer/director in the upcoming anthology DEATHCEMBER. Long having been an admirer of German cinema and always excited by a challenge, I can't wait to share my short with you as part of this intriguing anthology."
Florian Frerichs is a dedicated and very talented filmmaker from Berlin whose first feature film DAS LETZTE MAHL ("The Last Supper“) will get a wide theatrical release in early 2019. After producing many short films, music videos and commercials and working as a line producer, he directed his first short, the fake trailer ALEX, which gave the impression that a sci-fi reboot of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE was in the works. With PHOENIX and IN THE RUINS, he continued to create dystopian science fiction that scooped over 30 awards at international festivals.
His DEATHCEMBER short "X-Mas on Fire“ is a bow to classic action and gangster movies – but with a humanistic twist. Florian feels that our anthology is "every movie maniac‘s dream come true ... It unites great talents from all around the world and I’m extremely happy, grateful and honored to be part of such an illustrious group!“
John Lynch is a London-based director whose 2016 debut short EDDIE became a hit at genre film festivals around the globe, winning 7 awards. His 2018 VR music documentary, CRACKLE POP, world premiered at Raindance Film Festival and was nominated for a UK Music Video Award. John‘s career in film production has spanned documentaries, commercials, music videos, the Olympics and even Bollywood. He loves 80s science fiction and dark humour, and it shows in the script for his short film for DEATHCEMBER.
John was one of the first directors to become attached to our anthology. We met him at Landshut Short Film Festival 2017 and after seeing EDDIE, we just had to have him on board. He says he is “delighted to be a part of the project“ and is looking forward to creating what he calls “SCANNERS... if it were directed by Douglas Sirk“.
Ama Lea is well-known among horror fans as a photographer of genre legends like Roger Corman and Wes Craven, and as the director of award-winning short film, FROM HELL SHE RISES. She started out as a celebrity photographer for top magazines such as Inked, AP, Revolver, and Zink, and first worked within the horror industry shooting a fine art photo series entitled “The Bloody Best“. This lead to her accepting the position as photographer for Fangoria Magazine.
Meanwhile, she kept her toe in filmmaking by writing and directing several shorts and participating in ABCs OF DEATH 2.5 for Alamo Drafthouse. Ama has a huge soft spot for Christmas horror and says she is thrilled to be part of the DEATHCEMBER anthology, with her segment entitled "Five Deaths in Blood Red", a “stylized giallo thriller centering around a family colder than the winter air.“
Annika Marx is a young German filmmaker who has mainly worked in TV and advertising so far, creating videos and web content for brands such as Volkswagen, Heineken, Chanel, and Smirnoff. After receiving her B.A. in film directing, she started working for TV giant Endemol, producing YouTube Original Channels and TV shows. Living in Berlin, Annika is a true "digital native" and genre film lover who hosts a successful True Crime blog while working as an independent videographer and podcast producer.
Annika impressed us with her heavily J-Horror-infused script for a DEATHCEMBER short titled "Christmas Corp.(s)" that will play out as a homage to Asian ghost movies, taking place in actual hell: at a typical office Christmas party. A paranormal "Karōshi" tale; things are about to get really creepy with this one…
Julian Richards is one of the biggest names in European horror. His debut DARKLANDS won a 1996 Méliès D’Argent for Best European Fantasy Film. In 2002 he directed big-budget thriller SILENT CRY, followed by acclaimed shocker THE LAST HORROR MOVIE, which won a second Méliès D’Argent. SUMMER SCARS won two BAFTA Cymru awards in 2008. In 2012 Julian directed SHIVER starring Danielle Harris, John Jarratt and Casper Van Dien, and in 2017, DADDY’S GIRL starring Jemma Dallender and Costas Mandylor. His latest feature REBORN, starring Barbara Crampton and Michael Paré, world premiered at FrightFest Halloween 2018.
“When I was approached to participate in DEATHCEMBER I remembered a painting I did at school depicting a demonic Santa Claus carrying a machine gun and riding in a sleigh pulled by two hounds of hell. The idea of an evil Santa has been with me since childhood, and now I will get the chance to bring it to life, via a story about an inquisitive young boy who dares to try and prove that Santa doesn’t exist.“
Sonia Escolano is a Spanish director with a unique visual style – who is also an award-winning poet. Her first short film MR. LONG-NECK (2005) won 2nd prize at Alcine film festival and was followed by a number of further shorts, such as INVISIBLE OLD PEOPLE (2009), which was an official selection at Vancouver Film Festival. Also in 2009, she directed experimental feature MYNA HAS GONE together with Sadrac González-Perellón, which won awards at several international festivals including Austin Film Festival.
In 2018 she wrote and directed HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS, which was presented to rave reviews in “Frontières“ at Cannes and participated in Fantastic Fest in Austin. Her DEATHCEMBER short “Joy to the Girls”, which is already completed, talks about female empowerment, with lots of black humor: “There are guys who think that a beautiful girl can be prey, but sometimes that pretty girl is the predator. In this case, three beautiful girls”.
Jürgen Kling is a stop-motion animation creator from Hessen who is best known to German audiences for the amazing monster puppet trailers he made for acclaimed Fantasy Filmfest between 2007 and 2011. Jürgen has been devoting himself to stop-motion techniques since as early as 1999 and began his professional career soon after at Madbox Animation, where he worked on productions for federal German ZDF television. He’s been self-employed since 2002, and has been creating a ton of award-winning music videos and commercials with his own studio Weirdoughmationfilms ever since, as well as motion-control special effects for films such as sci-fi feature NYDENION (2010).
His DEATHCEMBER short “Crappy Christmas 3” tells the story of a kid that is abducted and tortured by catholic clerics... but gets his bloody revenge. Jürgen feels that “stop-motion and Christmas are a perfect match. We’re super psyched to be on board!”
Vivienne Vaughn is a screenwriter, director and horror fan based in LA, California. She attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she majored in Film and TV Production. During this time, she also wrote for Fangoria Magazine. After moving to LA, Vivienne worked at Blumhouse Productions assisting the President of the company, on films such as GET OUT and SPLIT. She is currently a screenwriter/showrunner’s assistant. Vivienne has made several horror shorts, and her giallo-inspired SATANICA has been the official selection of 25+ film festivals. Her work typically possesses themes of isolation, alienation and, of course, death.
Her DEATHCEMBER short will embody these motifs as well: it is about a woman who suffers a gruesome late-term miscarriage, and finds herself coping alone on Christmas morning. Vivienne says she is “just as excited to see what the other filmmakers have in store as I am to create my own project.”
Lee Sang-woo is a director who, ever since the release of TROPICAL MANILA in 2008, has made a name for himself as the enfant terrible of Korean cinema with his dark and controversial body of work that digs at the heart of Korean society. He has earned wide acclaim at festivals through films such as MOTHER IS A WHORE, FATHER IS A DOG and BARBIE, picking up prizes at various international festivals along the way. Earlier this year, Lee became the first Korean filmmaker to work with HBO, as one of the directors of their horror series FOLKLORE. He is currently developing the horror-comedy CANNIBAL GRANNY.
Frequently exploring taboo themes within dysfunctional family dynamics, Lee's films exhibit a raw style that taps even rawer nerves, but never without humor, empathy and beauty in the most unexpected of places. His DEATHCEMBER short "Santa is coming" will leave a lot of viewers disturbed, that's for sure.
Dominic Saxl is a filmmaker based in Frankfurt, Germany who has spent most of his professional life as a creative in the advertising industry. He has developed countless campaigns and commercials for global brands during the last two decades and scooped a few international awards, e.g. for AUDI‘s promo campaign for Will Smith blockbuster I, ROBOT. His first short film ZIELGERADE ("Home Stretch") was featured at a number of festivals and on Pay-TV, and made it to the DVD bonus segment of acclaimed, infamous Austrian serial killer film ANGST.
After coming up with the original concept for DEATHCEMBER, Dominic knew very soon what his anthology segment would have to be about: “a TWILIGHT ZONE infused tale about a boy, an Advent calendar, and what can happen to you when you choose to be an ass.”
Bob Pipe is a London-based writer, director and horror fan who has won several awards for his short film THE MONSTER, which played at over 50 film festivals, and his web series THE DAY THEY CAME TO SUCK OUT OUR BRAINS! Bob is currently putting the finishing touches to his first feature film, SOUL REAPER – due for release May 2019. He was recently 2nd Unit Director on Marc (COLIN) Price’s feature NIGHTSHOOTERS, and he also directed a short film segment in the world’s first crypto-currency feature film, KEVCOIN: THE MOVIE.
Bob will be directing “A Christmas Pardon” for our anthology – an old-school monster tale inspired by FRANKENSTEIN, about a monster accused of a crime he didn't commit and now about to be burnt on the stake, praying for a Christmas miracle… Bob says he’s "extremely chuffed to be part of DEATHCEMBER – it’s always been my dream to be involved in a horror anthology film."
Chelsea Stardust is an LA-based filmmaker who, after working for comedy legends Ivan Reitman and Judd Apatow, found her horror home at Blumhouse Productions. She served as the executive assistant to Jason Blum for years, working on films such as Academy Award winner WHIPLASH and franchises PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, INSIDIOUS, THE PURGE. Today, Chelsea directs full time. Her first short film was part of the 2016 Etheria World Tour; followed by four shorts on Crypt TV and horror-musical-comedy SLASHED!, which was nominated for several awards. Her 2017 holiday-horror radio play CHRISTMAS EVE had over 10K downloads. In January 2018, she directed her first feature, ALL THAT WE DESTROY for Hulu/Blumhouse.
She is currently in post-production on her 2nd feature, Fangoria/Cinestate's SATANIC PANIC. “I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of DEATHCEMBER with my short film, “Kringle Klub”, which I like to say is my love letter to FIGHT CLUB and MIRACLE ON 34th STREET.”
If you decide to pledge for DEATHCEMBER, we‘ll be eternally grateful – and we mean it. Indie horror can’t survive without the likes of you. You’re not content with the latest mainstream, jump-scare fare Hollywood is offering, you want something with an edge, and we‘re devoted to providing just that:
An original idea, brought to life by directors who are definitely not in it for the money, but who want to see their unique visions realized – in the style and the tone of voice they see fit.
Together, we’ll prepare a dark, bloody Christmas horror feast for you, served in 24 courses, each one more exciting than the one before.
With your pledge for DEATHCEMBER, you gift us the chance to make the best Advent horror anthology possible; and you gift yourself the holiday season movie you‘ve been waiting for far too long.
If you can’t pledge now, never mind. Please consider telling your friends about our campaign, though, and if you’re awesome, share it on social media. On that note: Follow us on Facebook etc. for regular updates! We like.
Risks and challenges
No matter what happens, DEATHCEMBER will be finalized, and it will be released by the end of 2019.
We pledge transparency to our backers and an absolute commitment to delivering a completed project and rewards to the very backers that made this possible.
Having said that, producing a movie is never risk-free – and neither is supporting an ongoing movie production on Kickstarter. We‘ve tried our best to minimize risks, though; and we’re pretty sure we’ll manage to deliver a result that will satisfy all our backers (and all genre fans).
Financially, we‘re on the safe side. We‘ve put in a few tens of thousands of personal funds, stemming from inheritances as well as from years of working hard. We’ve also managed to find a handful of private investors who decided to give us loans.
And, probably most important, we‘ve convinced federal German HessenFilm to support us with a substantial grant. Therefore, principal production of DEATHCEMBER is 100% funded.
Artistically, we‘ve taken precautions. Should any of our 24 directors fail to deliver, we have a "waiting list“ of over 10 additional directors with finished and approved scripts who are more than ready to jump in and replace them.
What’s more, we've already accumulated quite a bit of interest in DEATHCEMBER in the worldwide film market. Two world sales companies and a number of acclaimed international film festivals have signed letters of intent with us.
Just like us, they can’t wait to see what our finished movie will look like. If you help us make it look better, we‘re pretty sure it won’t be your loss. So, let‘s open those doors, shall we?
- All gone!