Heavy Metal Film Festival Announces Partial Lineup

Sponsored by Nuclear Blast USA, Decibel Magazine, Amoeba Music L.A. and Dean Guitars, the world’s first-ever film festival dedicated to heavy metal music is set to take place at the Downtown Independent Cinema in Los Angeles, California March 31 through April 3, 2011.

Festival organizer and long-time metalhead Samuel Douek is proud to announce the first portion of the maiden line-up for 2011’s Heavy Metal Film Festival. Many more films will be announced soon.

“I think the Metal community in Los Angeles will be surprised in many ways and people around the world will be intrigued about what our festival is all about. This is shaping up to be an international event with films from Lithuania, the U.K., USA, and Finland. To open the very first Heavy Metal Film Festival, we have decided to give the honor to LAS MARIMBAS DEL INFIERNO (MARIMBAS FROM HELL) directed by Julio Hernández Cordón. A Guatemalan film with co-production from France & México, this tells an amazing story of survival, cultural tradition, Heavy Metal, and trying to live a decent life. This film premiered as an official selection at the Toronto Film Festival and then played at San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain. The film has already been selected at the Miami International Film Festival and will definitely travel the world. We are extremely happy to have the Los Angeles premiere of this unique and original story. The opening night screening will be followed by a reception.”

Other films screening at the Heavy Metal Film Festival include:

PROMISED LAND OF HEAVY METAL (Kimmo Kuusniemi&Tanja Katinka Karttunen) Finland 2010: A feature documentary film about the history and philosophy of Heavy Metal and how it became such a big deal in a small country called Finland. From its early “underground” days to the present success stories, interviews with famous – and infamous – musicians, experts, events organizers, a psychiatrist, a priest, and a doctor of theology all tell the story of Finnish Metal. Can metal survive when it becomes mainstream and Eurovision and Pop Idol competitions are won by metal? Metal has even entered the Finnish Lutheran church which organizes metal masses. Includes interviews with Finnish metal’s heavy hitters NIGHTWISH, HIM, SONATA ARCTICA, NIGHTWISH, and LORDI plus ENTOMBED from Sweden, Norway’s DIMMU BORGIR, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE from the U.S., plus the Madam President of Finland herself, Tarja Halonen.

THE BUNNY GAME (Adam Rehmeier) USA 2011: A violent drama in black and white that will promise to be the talk of the festival, its dialogue and photography scream Metal. With a soundtrack from local black metal band Harrasor, the film follows the life of a drug addicted prostitute and how she is picked up by a truck driver and held against her will for 5 days. The Bunny Game is as much twisted performance art as traditional feature film. Equal parts snuff film and extremely non-traditional therapy, it’s clear that normal cinematic rules don’t apply. The director states: “We wanted to make a film the same way in which we recorded music, and in that sense, The Bunny Game, is very much a musician’s film.” Includes a Q & A session with the director and cast.

THREE DAYS (Daina Pupkeviciute) Lithuania 2011: A creative documentary about a thrash metal band from Lithuania named DISSIMULATION from the Ledo Takas Records roster. The film follows the band for three days on a road trip covering what Metal is all about. The band has not played together in months and they are on their way to a metal fest in Lithuania. This film manages to bring the intense and beautiful scenery of Lithuania and its landscapes to the Metal life of Lithuania and its citizens. The members of DISSIMULATION are not, by any means, your normal characters; discussions about life and transformation are only the beginning of a philosophical debate that makes the band what it is.

ABSENT (Justin Hunt) USA 2011: This explores the worldwide crisis of absent and disengaged fathers and the negative impact that the “father wound” makes on society. Weaving interviews with participants who speak from observation and personal experience, the film includes on-camera testimony from author John Eldredge, World Champion boxer Johnny Tapia, fitness model Robin Decker and James Hetfield, best known as co-founder of METALLICA. Includes a Q & A session with the director.

HEAVY METAL THUNDER – THE MOVIE (Craig Hooper) U.K. 2010: ***EXCLUSIVE, NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN 120 MINUTE VERSION FOR HMFF*** SAXON are true heavy metal heroes. Their story is a classic rock ‘n’ roll saga: five friends from the backstreets of Yorkshire, England setting out to take on the world. The resulting chart glory, mixed with band in-fighting and full-on rock excess, ensures their dramatic tale will become part of heavy metal history. This feature-length documentary film tells the full warts-and-all story of 30 years of heartache, earache, success and excess. Produced by critically acclaimed documentary filmmakers Coolhead, it not only has contributions from SAXON members past and present, but also from the likes of Lars Ulrich (METALLICA), Lemmy & “Fast” Eddie Clarke (MOTÖRHEAD), and many, many others. It also features freshly-uncovered archived material. The whole production was funded by SAXON’s army of loyal fans, who pre-ordered copies of the film before it was completed, providing Coolhead with the budget to make the film.

ANVIL, THE STORY OF ANVIL (Sacha Gervasi) USA 2008: Probably the most awarded music film in the last few years, we are lucky enough that it is about a Metal Band, ANVIL! We decided to screen this film for many reasons. First, because we can; second, because director Sacha and Lips will be joining us for a Q & A session after the film for a very special presentation.

ASSORTED ATROCITIES (Craig Cefola & Rob Dukes) USA 2011: ***EXCLUSIVE EDIT FOR HMFF WITH 20 MINUTES OF BONUS MATERIAL*** After EXODUS pioneered the Bay Area Thrash scene back in 1980, the band has gone through hell and back a few times. Without achieving the commercial success as some of their peers, they have stayed true to both their music and fans, still creating some of the best music in the thrash metal genre. This film covers the last 5 years of the band’s history and brings you into their inner circle. Including stories about original vocalist Paul Baloff’s craziest moments, tales from the road, and an inside look at the recording process of “Shovel Headed Kill Machine,” this special screening of Assorted Atrocities features bonus footage not available on the band’s 2010 DVD of the same name. Live footage includes EXODUS in South America, Japan, Australia, and Europe plus the band’s voice-over sessions for the cartoon “METALOCALYPSE.”

HATED: G.G. Allin & the Murder Junkies (Todd Phillips) USA 1994: ***MIDNIGHT SCREENING*** Documentary about the life & death of the notorious underground punk icon G.G. Allin, the foul-mouthed, heroin-shooting lead singer of the Murder Junkies, who would throw excrement at the crowd, start fights with the biggest guys in the audience, and threatened to kill himself onstage. He was considered the lowest common denominator of our society by some, an avant-garde artist by others. He died of an overdose in the early ‘90s.

Stay tuned for additions to the festival line-up, plus the announcement of the short films section.

On March 10, advanced tickets to the HEAVY METAL FILM FESTIVAL will be available for purchase via the Downtown Independent Cinema Box Office.

Ticket prices will be as follows:

$9.00 per film

$15.00 – Opening Night Screening (includes After-Party)

$33.00 – Day Pass (Friday, Saturday & Sunday)

$66.60 – Advanced Purchase Festival Pass (ONLY 30 available at this SPECIAL PRICE; includes Opening Night)

$99.00 – Advanced Purchase Festival Pass (ONLY 100 available; includes Opening Night)

For information about volunteering for this event, write in to

Visit the HEAVY METAL FILM FESTIVAL online at, on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube.

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