The Women in Horror Film Festival was founded in late 2016 by filmmakers Vanessa Ionta Wright and Samantha Kolesnik. We are a filmmaker, screenwriter, and community focused festival that celebrates genre film made by and with women and the diverse teams with whom they work. 

Festival founders:


Vanessa Ionta Wright

Festival Director 2017-present

Vanessa Ionta Wright is a filmmaker based in Atlanta. Vanessa has written & directed several short films including a Stephen King dollar baby. Vanessa graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Video Production & Film. She is a lifelong fan of cinema, especially the horror genre. Her philosophy of filmmaking is that, “we are all artists, and we all have stories to tell.” She enjoys punctuality, scary movies, a quick wit, sandwiches, the music of Michael Jackson, Halloween & Bacon Jam. She does not enjoy bugs, clowns, perpetual lateness, mean people, oppression, laziness, running more than 3 miles or curved walls.


Samantha Kolesnik

Festival Director 2017 & 2018

Samantha Kolesnik is a writer and filmmaker living in Pennsylvania. She directs, writes, and produces, with a focus on horror, thriller, and dark drama. Samantha is a devotee of the indie horror community and of the DIY ethos. She believes in supporting other filmmakers and writers, and in coming together as a community to enact positive social change through art.