Worlds Best Genre Fests Best Genre Festivals Panel

1BR producer Alok Mishra tapped Heather Buckley to help assemble these panelists to vote on the 50 Best Genre Festivals in the World, based on their extensive festival experience.

We want to extend our deepest thanks to these thoughtful, conscientious filmmakers, film lovers, and festival experts. In cases where they work on festivals, they did not vote on their own festivals.

Best Genre Fests Panel

Rakefet Abergel is an American-Israeli moviemaker whose breakout short “Boo”— which she wrote, produced, directed and starred in — won several Best Director awards on the festival circuit. Her first horror/thriller short, “Jax in Love,” earned her 10 Best Actress awards. She works as an acting coach/mentor at Kid (F)Actor, a company she founded in 2010. “Boo” is the second production from Cyclamen Films.


Best Genre Fests Panel

Heather Buckley is a producer whose feature films include The Ranger, Blood & Flesh: The Reel Life & Ghastly Death of Al Adamson, and more than 100 documentary special features. She now works under the new banner Black Mansion, which has several projects in development and is devoted to auteurs who span the spectrum of genre film.


Justin CookJustin Cook has led publicity campaigns for over 750 independent films. Titles include the 15th anniversary re-release of Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko, genre fare such as The Black String starring Frankie Muniz, The ToyBox starring Denise Richards, and indie dramas such as Whiskey Galore starring Eddie Izzard and Live Cargo starring LaKeith Stanfield.


Bryan Glick Worlds Best Genre FestsBryan Glick describes himself as just your typical genderqueer gay agnostic Jew who works in film sales and festival distribution. Their current films include award winners from Rotterdam (Drama Girl), Tribeca (The Last Out) & Hot Docs (Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story) as well as La Dosis and Sanzaru, both of which screened at Fantasia.


David Gregory Best Genre Fests Best Genre FestivalsDavid Gregory heads Severin Films, best known for producing Special Edition blu-rays of genre films from the 1960s-80s. He produced and directed the documentary features Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau and Blood & Flesh: The Reel Life & Ghastly Death of Al Adamson, He also directed and co-wrote Plague Town and produced and co-directed The Theatre Bizarre.


Stacy Pippin HammonStacy Pippi Hammon is the co-founder and festival director of Etheria Film Night. She also runs Reels of the Dead, the film festival that tours with the Days of the Dead horror convention in multiple cities across the United States as well as programs Mondo Cult Variety Film Showcase and Slaughter Movie House. Hammon recently produced Etheria with festival partner Heidi Honeycutt. The Amazon show features selected shorts from Etheria Film Night.


Jay Kay Worlds Best Genre Festivals Best Genre Fests“A strange man in a film land,” Jay Kay is a radio host, producer, journalist, moderator, film festival programmer, and more who has collected over 1,800 conversations on Horror Happens Radio. He is a staff writer for HorrorHound Magazine and has worked on festivals like the Philadelphia Unnamed Film Fest, Horrible Imaginings Film Fest, HorrorHound, FilmQuest, Macabro, and Etheria Film Night.


Worlds Best Genre Festivals Nicole McControversyNicole McControversy is director of programming at the Boston Underground Film Festival and shorts programmer at Beyond Fest.




Joshua Millican Best Genre Festivals Best Genre FestsJoshua Millican is a lifelong horror fan who began blogging about films and television in 2009. A contributor at Dread Central since 2015, Millican was appointed managing editor in 2018 and editor in chief in 2019. The talk show Chronic Horror marks his first foray into producing original streaming content, for Dread Central with Epic Pictures.


Alok Mishra worked in film market research for 18 yAlok Mishraears in film and trailer testing, as well as in recruitment, analysis, focus-group moderation, and client services. His first film 1BR, won several awards and premiered at the Fantasia Film Festival in 2019, then became a No. 1 film on Netflix’s Top 10. His next film project, Emergent, begins shooting in 2021.


Best Genre Festivals Peter PhokPeter Phok is an award-winning film producer with over 15 years of experience whose credits include the acclaimed Ti West films In a Valley of Violence, The Sacrament, and The House of the Devil. Phok served as executive producer on Ana Asensio’s Most Beautiful Island, winner of the 2017 SXSW Grand Jury Prize, David Marmor’s 1BR, and Graham Reznick’s Deadwax for Shudder.


Miguel RodriguezMiguel Rodriguez is the founder and executive director of the Horrible Imaginings. He is also a film curator and programmer for San Diego Latino Film Festival, The Film Geeks San Diego, and Digital Gym Cinema. By day, he helps support and train instructors for the Educational Technology Services Department of UC San Diego.