The lineup for Nightstream 2020 has just been announced, and it is… dare I say it… killer. I’m sure you’re all tired of my bad jokes by now but buckle up because they’re not stopping. Nightstream is taking place entirely online this year (but is geo-locked to the US, sorry), from October 8-11 (with some films extended until the 14). The festival is a dope mash-up of five different genre film festivals—Boston Underground, Brooklyn Horror, North Bend, Overlook, and Popcorn Frights—all joining forces to bring us one week of awesome content. Now for the goods: the lineup.
Nightstream opens big with the much-hyped Sarah Paulson-led horror Run (Hulu), directed by Aneesh Chaganty who was behind the hit Searching which starred John Cho, yeah that one (it was so great, right?). Just casually combining my gay crush and one of my favorite films of 2018, no big deal. And it closes with a bang with the North American premiere of Mandibles by Quentin Dupieux who did the iconic modern classic Rubber a few years back (you know, the one about the murderous tire?). It stars Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue is the Warmest Color) and I’m sorry, am I reading this right, BB-8??? No, just the actor who played him, Dave Chapman, okay cool, still kind of bonkers. Both of these films look extraordinary, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Other highlights include my personal favorite from Fantasia, Dinner in America, which is an absolute must-see; another Fantasia fan-favorite Come True; and the world premiere of the Ruby Rose-helmed The Doorman. There will also be a retro horror retrospective (say that five times fast). Films featured include Japan’s Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell, and Shock Value: How Dan O’Bannon and Some USC Outsiders Helped Invent Modern Horror, which looks at the very early ideas of John Carpenter, Dan O’Bannon, and their peers in a curated showcase of short student films. There’s a little something for everybody here, so don’t miss out.
In addition to the film programming, there are of course panels, podcasts, and conversations. The two biggest offerings are a Virtual Fireside with (Candyman director) Nia DaCosta moderated by Hunter Harris and a 20th Anniversary Celebration of American Psycho with Mary Harron. Both absolutely massive events, I know. Other panel topics include horror comics, the future of women in horror (honestly a must-attend), campy horror (you know I’ll be at this one too), Indonesian horror, and creating during a global pandemic. I know, I know, we’re all tired of hearing about COVID, but we as filmmakers need some solutions, and hopefully the panelists will provide some insights.
On top of all of this, Nightstream boasts some really unique non-film content. We’ve got an evening of Home Movies with Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead exploring their very earliest work. There’s a dinner event with horror masters like Joe Dante and John Landis. Each night of the festival there will be a cocktail-hour Evening Rituals, hosted by IFC Midnight, and featuring guests like Barbara Crampton—complete with cocktail recipes to drink-along with. Drag performer Peaches Christ is hosting a Horror Homecoming Party. If you’re a fan of artist collective Meow Wolf (I certainly am), you’re gonna want to check out the Eyeslicer Halloween Special: Sleepover Pajama Party, hosted by Gwilliam (yes, that Gwilliam).
There are so many more events, panels, films, etc so be sure to check out Nightstream’s website for details. I personally cannot wait for so many of these events, to the point where I’m not sure I’m going to be sleeping from October 8-11. This is definitely not a festival to be missed. Ticket information and further details can be found at nightstream.org.