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 dedicated to celebrating and showcasing women directors, writers, cinematographers, FX Artists, editors, production designers, composers, producers, and performers in horror cinema, as well as the teams with whom they work. 

Festival founders:


Vanessa Ionta Wright

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

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.