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 women’s contribution to genre film.


2020 WIHFF special guest jury



Vanessa Wright is an award winning filmmaker & screenwriter based in Atlanta. She has written & directed several short films including a fully authorized Stephen King short film. 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, “with enough passion and drive, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.” 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 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. Samantha has since stepped down from WIHFF to pursue other opportunities. She continues to foster the independent film community with her film festival PA INDIE SHORTS, as well as launching her new indie film site SCREEN FERVOR.