Access:Horror Summit and Film Festival: Passes Now on Sale

Image courtesy of Ariel Baska

ACCESS:HORROR 2023, a celebration of the history, impact, and future of disability in genre cinema, is kicking off its inaugural festival and summit in the virtual space on July 8th and 9th, with a combination of films, filmmaker Q&As, and live, interactive panels.

The festival offers three blocks of short films, curated by Fantastic Fest, Final Girls Berlin, and Superfest Disability Film Festival, along with filmmaker Q&As and other bonus content. The summit offers twelve panels on a wide variety of topics, from the History of Horror to Speculative Stories to Change the World. ACCESS:HORROR is sponsored by the George A. Romero Foundation (GARF).

And not before time. As the event’s website declares,

  • 33% of disabled writers report discrimination based on disability,

  • 1 in 4 adults has a disability (physical, sensory, cognitive, mental health, or other),

  • and yet <1% of all employed TV writers are disabled.

The festival’s program makes a solid start at putting these issues under the spotlight. This year’s films include three specially curated blocks, with 16 films in total, along with filmmaker Q&As and bonus content. The films come from a wide range of countries, from Germany to Australia, to Greenland. Films include the multi-award-winning revenge fantasy, Our First Priority, written and directed by the festival’s director, Ariel Baska. Everybody Goes to the Hospital, directed by Tiffany Kimmel, uses the magic of stop-motion animation to tell a story infused with darkness and doctors. Director Juliet Romeo’s film, Cooptation, is a blood-soaked film about beauty products, through a BIPOC lens. The horror of state and governmental control of disabled bodies, aided by the ominous presence of AI, finds a voice in Bebe AI, directed by Rebekah Fortune, and FREYA, directed by Camille Hollett-French. All films are provided with captioning. The Superfest Disability Film Festival block includes audio description as well.

The ACCESS:HORROR summit will feature 45 prominent figures, comprising both noted horror filmmakers and disability advocates, who will share conversations about the role of disability and genre together in advocating for change within filmmaking, institutions, and society as a whole. The festival includes special appearances by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Marvel’s Moon Knight, Something in the Dirt), Brea Grant (Torn Hearts, 12 Hour Shift), Amanda Kramer (Give Me Pity!, Please Baby Please), Millicent Simmonds (A Quiet Place), and Phil Nobile, Jr., the editor of FANGORIA, who will preside over the closing panel. Oh, and the other outlet I write for, Ghouls Magazine, is hosting a panel on mental health and horror, too.

Tickets are available now and can be purchased at or through the event portal on Eventive. In the interests of accessibility, ticket prices have been kept very low. An all–access pass to all 12 panels and all 16 films, including filmmaker Q&As and other bonus content, is $20. All content will be available to view for two weeks. The panels of Access:Horror can be viewed from anywhere in the world; the films can only be viewed from the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Germany, and Greenland, due to arrangements with filmmakers.

Image courtesy of Ariel Baska

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Written by Alix Turner

Alix discovered both David Lynch and Hardware in 1990, and has been seeking out weird and nasty films ever since (though their tastes have become broader and more cosmopolitan). A few years ago, Alix discovered a fondness for genre festivals and a knack for writing about films, and now cannot seem to stop. They especially appreciate wit and representation on screen, and introducing old favourites to their teenage daughter.

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