Women in Horror
All guest appearances are confirmed but subject to possible cancellation due to professional obligations
and opportunities beyond the control of The Women in Horror Film Festival
Amanda Wyss was born and raised in Manhattan Beach, California. Discovered by an agent who saw her portray Flora, in the "The innocents" and Rhoda, in "The Bad Seed" at local LA theatres. As a teenager, she appeared in many commercials and landed her first television roles on the science fiction hit "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century", as a wood nymph in love with Buck Rogers and a recurring role on Universal's "When the Whistle Blows". She won a Best Young Actress award for her portrayal of Cindy Scott, the daughter of an alcoholic in the ABC After School Special "She Drinks a Little". By her early twenties she had graduated to lead roles in major motion pictures such as "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", "A Nightmare on Elm Street", "Better Off Dead", "Silverado", as well as indies such as the award-winning "Powwow Highway", where she portrayed real-life character, Rabbit Layton. She continues to work extensively in television, with recurring roles on "Cheers", "St. Elsewhere", "Cagney & Lacey", "Highlander, "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation", "Dexter" and "Murder In The First". Look for her latest films "The Id", Alice, The Capture and the horror film "Oct 23rd". When not on set, Amanda pursues her passion for yoga and traveling. She is honored to lend her time and talent to environmental organizations, The Erudio Project (Technology for Peace) and Project Happiness.
Greg Nicotero is an American special make-up effects creator, and television producer and director. His first major job in special effects makeup was on the George A. Romero film Day of the Dead (1985), under the tutelage of Romero and make-up effects veteran Tom Savini.
In 1988, along with Robert Kurtzman and Howard Berger, he formed KNB EFX Group, a special make-up effects studio which has gone on to work on over 400 film and television projects.
He is currently working as co-executive producer, special make-up effects supervisor, and occasional director on the AMC TV series The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead.
Special Guest - Sonya Thompson
Well known for her role as Nancy Thompson in Wes Craven's a Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, Heather Langenkamp also shines behind the camera. She and her husband, SFX make up artist David Anderson, own and operate AFX Studios in Los Angeles, CA . Their work has been seen in films and television like The Cabin in the Woods (2012), Dawn of the Dead (2004) and American Horror Story.
Founding members of the band Collective Soul, Shane Evans and Ross Childress have kept busy lending their musical talents to such films as Cursed and The Skulls. Childress also composed all the original music for two independent horror films that are currently hitting festivals now.
Sonya has played roles from detective to zombie, not only in film but also prime time TV. Although, she has done many roles, what she is known for has been her main zombie roles in the film 'Zombieland' and the hit TV show 'The Walking Dead'(Season's 1 & 2). Her modeling experience came in handy as a promo zombie for the TV show 'The Walking Dead' and those photos are some of the most seen in the world for advertisement. She has been featured on the magazine covers of Entertainment Weekly, SFX Magazine, SFX's Ultimate Zombie Guide, SFX's A-Z of Zombies, SFX's A-Z of Horror, Film Ink and DVDReview. Her image has also been utilized on posters, tee shirts, bill boards, DVD/Blu Ray covers, trading cards and was also featured in the Walking Dead Comic book issue #75, along side the main cast.
One of her most loved roles was on the webseries 'Lumber Baron of Jasper county' in which she played the role of a tomboy named Sam. Other roles include, Catherine in the movie 'LWA:All Saints' Eve, Alice in the movie 'Chronology starring Billy Baldwin and Danny Trejo, Victoria Stubaker in the film 'Prosper', Flo in the film 'This Old Machine', Detective Chelsea in 'Ebony Knight', The Under the bed Patient in 'Sick People' starring C Thomas Howell and Jasmine Guy, Mrs Wilkes in 'The Runner', Victoria the librarian in All Hallows Evil: Lord of the Harvest, Jasmine in the film 'Sprout', The receptionist in the movie 'The System', and a detective in the film 'Encuéntrate'. She has appeared in H2 as a dead nurse, Van Wilder Freshman year as a professor, and many more.
Lynn Lowry began acting professionally at age 17 in a theater called Shawnee Summer Stock Theater. She relocated to New York City in the late 1960s to pursue other acting jobs to support her young son. Her first movie role was a small part in The Battle of Love's Return (1971) which starred and was directed by Lloyd Kaufman, who later founded the "Troma" independent film company. Her next role was another small, uncredited part in I Drink Your Blood (1970). Her next movie, playing a dual role in Sugar Cookies (1973), which required her to act in the nude for the first time, got her sex appeal. Score (1974) came next which was a X-rated, soft-core, semi-documentary flick which brought on more sex appeal for Lowry's character. Her next role was one of her best in playing "Kathy", a neurotic character in George A. Romero's The Crazies (1973), an action-horror flick filmed in rural Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh. She then was cast for a recurring part in the TV series How to Survive a Marriage (1974). She was also cast for a part in David Cronenberg's horror flick Shivers (1975).
After another minor part in Fighting Mad (1976) and a few other movies, Lowry moved to Los Angeles in the early 1980s where, after a slow start, she began acting in the local theater, and occasional movie roles. Some of her most recent work includes the films Model Hunger (2016), Whispers (2015) and Ditch Day Massacre (2016).
Shane Evans & Ross Childress
“Canadian identical twin sister writing and directing duo, Jen and
Sylvia Soska, known as the “Twisted Twins“, first broke onto the scene
with their DIY love letter to Grindhouse filmmaking, DEAD HOOKER
IN A TRUNK. The film quickly grew into an award winning,
critically acclaimed, cult classic sensation, even getting the attention of
director Eli Roth (HOSTEL) who praised it saying, “it’s fucking awesome”.
The Twins went on to follow up their break through indie gem with the
accomplished and genre defining AMERICAN MARY that placed horror
icon Katharine Isabelle in the title role of Mary Mason, a medical student
who gets drawn into the world of body modification and underground
surgeries. “Fucking amazing. Extraordinary. A really superb picture.
Katharine Isabelle is awesome“, hailed horror legend Clive Barker
The Soska Sisters have gone on to be very outspoken about equal rights
across the board including but not limited to the LGBTQ community.
They’re actively involved in promoting blood donation and create a
new PSA for it every February in celebration of Women In Horror Month, on which board they serve. And they are only just getting started.
Special Guests & Panelists
Jen & Sylvia Soska
Chalet Lizette Brannan is a child actress that beat Leukemia at age 10. She had started out with modeling and from there has went on to feature films and Television series. Ms. Brannan now has endorsed several Cancer Hospitals and gives back to children fighting like she did. She continues to film and is fast rising in the industry. She has been tapped to play a 3D Animation film as a lead with a very known and talented actor. She has been nominated for several awards of which one was televised live on Television March 17, 2017. She has been interviewed by Variety and many other publications. She was just on NBC Today from San Antonio on her Leukemia Foundation work.. Chalet Brannan continues to impress all she meets and has been likened to Dakota Fanning in her abilities. She stars with Bill Moseley in the upcoming horror film, Crepitus coming to theaters in October and also, Only A Dream with Billy Baldwin. This will be the first 3D Rated PG--13 Horror animation in theaters.
She entered in the world of cinema in early 1986, when she had a job from Warner Bros. on "Deadly Friend". She was the personal secretary for Wes Craven and they became very good friends. So, in late 1986, Craven call her to be his assistant in "The Serpent and the Rainbow": shooting started on february 1987 in Haiti and it was very difficult for all the crew and cast members. In 1988, when the film was released, Marianne wanted to start in production: Craven was developing "Shocker" for Alive Films and she was attached to produce it with Barin Kumar. The budget was really limited but when the film was released, it took $16m at box office. After her first success, Marianne became an official co- producer for Wes Craven: in 1990 she was involved in the production of NBC TV movie "Night Visions" and two years later she worked again for TV on the series "Nightmare Cafe". Between those TV works, she produced "The People Under the Stairs" and with "New Nightmare" (the first film that she produced alone) she was nominated at Independent Spirit Awards. After executive production for the flop "Vampire in Brooklyn" and hit "Scream", she produced "Scream 2", "Music of the Heart" and "Scream 3".
Guest Judges & Panelists
Heather Langenkamp, Amanda Wyss & Marianne Maddalena
Special Guest - Lynn Lowry
Special Guest - Greg Nicotero