The Forbidden Worlds Film Festival launched in May 2022 opening the doors of the former Bristol IMAX screen housed in Bristol Aquarium, to an audience of genre film fans. It launched in tandem with the 40th birthday celebration for the oldest operating video rental store 20th Century Flicks. Founded by a group of Bristol-based cinephiles including Bristol Bad Film Club's Timon Singh, 20th Century Flicks owner / operator Dave Taylor, along with lead programmers Tessa Williams and Anthony Nield. The aim was to create a film festival dedicated to their mutual love of classic and obscure genre films they grew up watching on VHS and a desire to see them on the big screen. Their first event celebrated the best of films released in 1982 that shook the film rental market, and to this day remain cult favourites.
Since then the Festival returned with two Halloween specials and another main event, with a variety of genre favourites introduced by the people behind them including: Jamie Lee Curtis, Renny Harlin, James Cameron, and Peter Jackson to name a few. The festival is also credited for resurrecting the city's former IMAX screen as a working cinema hosting special events such as the Bristol premier of Michael Flatley's 'Blackbird', double screening of Michael Mann's crime epics 'Thief' and 'Heat', as well as a host of world cinema titles curated by Dave Taylor.
Now Forbidden Worlds goes in search of the genre film-makers of the future with their first short film competition to be hosted at their May 2024 main event. The two hour-long segments will showcase the best short genre films from around the world. Winners of each category will be selected by a panel of judges made up of film professionals, and there will also be a Forbidden Worlds Audience Choice Award to be selected by the audience. These shorts will be screened on a massive 18m x 15m IMAX screen. The festival organisers are inviting genre film makers from around the world to submit their action, horror, fantasy or sci-fi shorts for competition. Entry details and award categories can be be found on the festival's Filmfreeway page, and doors are open now for submissions.