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 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 – filled with 24 short films about the dark side of the festive season, by 24 directors from around the globe (scroll down for an overview).
They will deliver merry tales of Christmas terror and holiday horror, ranging from classic scares to black humor to sci-fi to splatter. Their shorts will be connected by animated sequences.
This animated frame story takes you on a wild ride through the world of a demonic Advent calendar that acts as a portal to the netherworld, with 24 doors that open to 24 different visions of hell.
Principal production of DEATHCEMBER is well under way: The first two segments have already been shot and edited. What’s more: we’ve received a grant from HessenFilm, a federal German film commission. 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 shorts (+ 3 bonus shorts) and make them into a feature film that is set for a world premiere at Sitges film festival 2019. But: we lack money for the animations.
Without your help, we will only be able to provide for the most basic 2D renderings for our animated frame story segments.
But we want to show you a visually stunning world, with 3D and liquid animations, illustrated by a top-notch artist. We want Christmas to become as beautifully gory as possible. And we’d be eternally grateful if you pledged and helped us make this vision a reality!
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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 rewards for amazing people aka backers. The rewards featured here are all KICKSTARTER-ONLY! For the full list, see the respective page section.
You’re missing specific rewards? Or you fancy combinations of rewards we haven’t provided as tiers? Pleeeease just drop us a note: email@example.com
Learn here how you can add items as ADD-ONS to your pledge.
(Advent Calendar: 7€ – Beanie: 25€ – T-Shirt: 29€)
The producers of DEATHCEMBER are three long-time friends based in and around Frankfurt, Germany who share a passion for genre films, for horror anthologies, and for creating stuff that entertains the hell out of you.
Dominic Saxl earns his livelihood as an advertising creative since 1999, has created tons of commercials and won numerous international awards. In 2005 he made the serial killer short ZIELGERADE. 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 Scheloske 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 festival partnerships for Anolis‘ features TEARS OF KALI (2004) and MASKS (2011), and also acted as Associate Producer for the latter title. Long-time professional horror geek, and loving it.
Frank Vogt is DEATHCEMBER’s resident post-production magician and COO of Magna Mana, founded in 1996 as a full-service production company for feature films, advertising, TV and digital media. For more than 10 years, Frank produced the trailers for Germany’s most important genre festival “Fantasy Filmfest”. His company offers the complete range of services pertaining to film and post-production, and Frank himself offers veteran genre fandom.
Yazid Benfeghoul is attached as a co-producing partner. He is one of the most prolific figures in Germany's genre landscape, initially making a name for himself as editor of influential fanzine GORY NEWS and host of long-running 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 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 tons of experience and contacts to the project, helping it 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 LA 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 DEADGIRL and CHEAP THRILLS. He also wrote the screenplay for the international hit video game THE EVIL WITHIN 2. His latest feature was the 2018 SXSW Audience Award winner 68 KILL. His segment will display the "never say die/punk rock attitude" that he is known for!
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, starring genre legend Ken Foree (George A. Romero's DAWN OF THE DEAD), and as director of the first Serbian creature feature, NYMPH, a killer mermaid flick starring legendary Franco Nero. In 2016, he produced the sci-fi feature THE RIFT. His DEATHCEMBER short will take place on Serbian holiday “Slava" (family saint's day): "a time of celebration... that may turn into a time of bloodshed."
Jason Rostovsky is a writer and director from LA whose first short film DON‘T BE AFRAID OF THE LIGHT has just finished an amazing festival run. 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 that takes place on the beginning of Hanukkah, adding a unique flavor to our anthology.
Sam Wineman is an LA-based filmmaker whose award-winning film, THE QUIET ROOM, has been an official selection of 40 festivals. 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 Short Film Challenge twice 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...
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, and many more. In 2009, after shooting a number of shorts, he created his first feature, MYNA HAS GONE, which won several international awards. In 2018, he produced HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS. His segment “Kill Santa“ deals with two sisters shopping at a mall, who suddenly meet with an unpleasant surprise...
Pollyanna McIntosh stars on AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD as Jadis/‘Anne’ and was previously best known 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. 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 young 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 shorts ALEX, PHOENIX and IN THE RUINS – dystopian science fiction that scooped over 30 awards at international festivals. His segment "X-Mas on Fire“ is a bow to classic action and gangster movies – but with a humanistic twist.
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 is looking forward to creating a DEATHCEMBER segment that he calls “SCANNERS... if it were directed by Douglas Sirk“.
Ama Lea is well known 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 has written and directed several further shorts and participated 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 our 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 VW, 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. Her segment, the J-Horror-homage "Christmas Corp.(s)", will take place in actual hell: at a typical office Christmas party. A paranormal "Karōshi" tale… creepy.
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. His latest feature REBORN, starring Barbara Crampton and Michael Paré, world premiered at FrightFest Halloween 2018. His DEATHCEMBER short will be “about an inquisitive young boy who dares to try and prove that Santa doesn’t exist“ – with harsh consequences.
Sonia Escolano is a Spanish director with a unique visual style. Her first short film MR. LONG-NECK (2005) won 2nd prize at Alcine film festival and was followed by a number of further shorts. In 2018 she wrote and directed HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS, which was presented to rave reviews in “Frontières“ at Cannes and Fantastic Fest in Austin, and was just named “one of the 10 best foreign horror films of 2018” by Bloody Disgusting. Her segment, “Joy to the Girls”, talks about female empowerment, with lots of black humor – and blood.
Jürgen Kling is a stop-motion animation creator who is best known to German audiences for the amazing monster puppet trailers he made for acclaimed Fantasy Filmfest between 2007 and 2011. He has been creating a ton of award-winning music videos and commercials with his own studio Weirdoughmationfilms since 2002, as well as motion-control special effects for films such as sci-fi feature NYDENION. His DEATHCEMBER short tells the story of a kid who is abducted and tortured by catholic clerics... but gets his bloody revenge.
Vivienne Vaughn is a writer/director based in LA who has made several horror shorts, her giallo-inspired SATANICA being the official selection of 25+ film festivals. She has previously worked at Blumhouse Productions assisting the President of the company, on films such as GET OUT and SPLIT. Her work typically possesses themes of isolation, alienation and, of course, death. Just as her DEATHCEMBER short, which is about a woman who suffers a gruesome late-term miscarriage, and finds herself coping alone on Christmas morning.
Lee Sang-woo is a director who 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. 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. His segment will leave a lot of viewers disturbed, that's for sure.
Dominic Saxl is a German filmmaker 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 and scooped a few international awards, e.g. for AUDI‘s promo for Will Smith hit I, ROBOT. His first short ZIELGERADE was featured at a number of festivals and as a DVD bonus for infamous Austrian serial killer film ANGST. Dominic came up with the original concept for DEATHCEMBER, and will tell a TWILIGHT ZONE-infused tale about a boy and an Advent calendar.
Bob Pipe is a London-based writer/director who has won several awards for his short film THE MONSTER, which played at over 50 festivals, and his web series THE DAY THEY CAME TO SUCK OUT OUR BRAINS! His first feature film, SOUL REAPER, is due for release May 2019. He was recently 2nd Unit Director on Marc (COLIN) Price’s feature NIGHTSHOOTERS, and he also directed a segment in the crypto-currency feature film, KEVCOIN. Bob will be directing “A Christmas Pardon” for our anthology – an old-school monster tale inspired by FRANKENSTEIN.
Chelsea Stardust is a filmmaker from LA who served as the executive assistant to Jason Blum for years, working on films such as Academy Award winner WHIPLASH and franchises like INSIDIOUS and THE PURGE. Today, she directs full time. Her first short film was part of the 2016 Etheria World Tour; followed by four shorts on Crypt TV. In January 2018, she directed her first feature, ALL THAT WE DESTROY. She is currently in post-production on her 2nd one, Fangoria's SATANIC PANIC. Her DEATHCEMBER segment, “Kringle Klub”, is a “love letter to FIGHT CLUB and MIRACLE ON 34th STREET.”
Lazar Bodroža is a director from Belgrade, Serbia whose sci-fi feature debut EDERLEZI RISING has just had an amazing festival run, winning several awards and stunning audiences everywhere with its breathtaking visuals and dense atmosphere. In 2011, he was selected as one of the world’s top 20 visual artists under the age of 30 by PRINT magazine. His short, “Aurora“, will be “dealing with the pathological relationship of man and nature, an innate fear of the unknown in a totalitarian ideological setting … exploring the subconscious and the occult.“
Steve De Roover is a filmmaker from Belgium who is best known as the creator of 2017 documentary FORGOTTEN SCARES about the history of Flemish horror cinema, and producer of Méliès D'Argent-winning, macabre short horror MUIL (2018). His directorial debut was the 2013 vampire short film UN HOMME BIEN, which premiered at BIFFF. Together with Jasper Vrancken (MUIL), Steve came up with “Family Matters” for DEATHCEMBER , a story that brings “nasty parasites and gruesome body horror to the 'happy happy joy joy' of the holidays. Be ready!“
Andreas Marschall is one of the most important directors in current German genre cinema. After directing dozens of music videos he made his feature film debut in 2004 with multi award-winning TEARS OF KALI, now considered an indie classic; followed by stylized thriller MASKS in 2011 and acclaimed GERMAN ANGST in 2015, a collaboration with Jörg Buttgereit (NEKROMANTIK) and Michal Kosakowski. His films display a self-confident, idiosyncratic style that adopts and updates traditions of German silent film expressionism and European genre excesses of the 60s and 70s.
Rémi Fréchette is a Montreal-based filmmaker who has directed and produced over 50 short films in the last 14 years, in addition to larger scale projects, such as horror-comedy LES JAUNES (2013) and paranormal mockumentary series L’ÉTRANGE PROVINCE (2015). In 2018, he brought together 17 fellow Quebec directors to produce the horror anthology MONTREAL DEAD END, which has just begun its festival circuit tour. Rémi is also a programmer of Fantasia Film Festival and views DEATHCEMBER as “a great opportunity to showcase the heritage of Canadian genre films.”
Isaac Ezban is a filmmaker from Mexico whose first feature THE INCIDENT premiered at Cannes 2014 to much praise from Guillermo del Toro. His next feature THE SIMILARS won in Sitges 2015 as Best Latin American Film. In 2016, Isaac was hired by Bron Studios to direct his third movie, the English-language PARALLEL. He has recently been hired by Sony Pictures to direct the long-awaited adaptation of Dan Simmons’ horror novel, SUMMER OF NIGHT. His DEATHCEMBER segment is called “Villancicos” and is precisely about those singing boys that are around all the time in these holidays…
Ruggero Deodato has single-handedly rewritten horror history with CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980) – regarded as the first found-footage horror film, predating the likes of BLAIR WITCH PROJECT by two decades. Deodato has been called a major influence on directors like Oliver Stone, Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth. Before leaving a permanent mark on the genre with his cannibal films, and fan favorites such as HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK, he worked as 2nd unit director for famous names such as Roberto Rossellini and Sergio Corbucci, e.g. on the latter’s DJANGO (1966). He has since made about three dozen films and TV series, and has cemented his status as a living legend of genre filmmaking.
Lucky McKee is widely regarded one of the most gifted filmmakers in American genre cinema, proven by his inclusion in TV series MASTERS OF HORROR, alongside icons like John Carpenter. After splatter comedy ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE, he wrote/directed multi-award cult film MAY (2002), starring Angela Bettis and Anna Faris, which premiered at Sundance. In 2005, he directed THE WOODS, starring Bruce Campbell; followed by RED (2008) and THE WOMAN (2011), both adaptations of Jack Ketchum novels. After a remake of ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE, Lucky participated in esteemed anthology TALES OF HALLOWEEN, and directed John Cusack thriller BLOOD MONEY. Lucky McKee has just finished shooting KINDRED SPIRITS, and says that he’s ”excited to be part of the team“ of DEATHCEMBER. So are we!
Zach Shildwachter and BJ Colangelo are a duo from Cleveland, OH, that has created a variety of short films that have played festivals worldwide, and recently premiered their debut feature, POWERBOMB. Before joining forces, Zach spent a decade working on projects like LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT and I SELL THE DEAD. During that time, BJ established herself as a prolific horror journalist for Vulture.com, Playboy.com, Fangoria, Dread Central, etc. With their darkly comedic and gory DEATHCEMBER segment, they “hope to capture some of the dark magic of Cleveland, the home of A CHRISTMAS STORY.”
Michael Varrati has written several critically acclaimed horror projects such as TALES OF POE, as well as a number of TV holiday films for networks like Hallmark and Ion. He recently directed the short film HE DRINKS and the viral video sensation SOCIAL JUSTICE STRANGERS. He serves as the host of DEAD FOR FILTH, a podcast about the intersection of queer identity and horror, and HISTORY OF FRIGHT for GammaRayTV. His segment “All Sales Fatal” details how a trip to the gift exchange counter devolves into Grand Guignol bloodshed... and how murderous materialism might be the real reason for the season.
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. We've commissioned not 24 but 27 short films. Thus, should any of our 24 first-chosen directors fail to deliver, we will have 3 films ready to jump in and replace theirs.
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?
- (45 days)