Horror has been the most radical and provocative genre since the very inception of cinema; forcing audiences to confront their darkest thoughts, offering a platform to marginalised voices, and providing community to those excluded from the mainstream.
Running from 17 October – 31 December 2022, IN DREAMS ARE MONSTERS will be a major UK-wide film and events season, charting how the monsters of horror have made physical the anxieties of their times, and how we react when faced with the monster within.
Programmed by writer and broadcaster Anna Bogutskaya, writer Kelli Weston, and BFI programmer Michael Blyth, the season will be structured around five mythical archetypes of horror – the vampire, the ghost, the zombie, the witch and the beast. It will focus on how horror has been the most radical, provocative genre since the very inception of cinema, the politicised nature of the genre and how it includes and celebrates ethnically diverse filmmakers and queer voices. IN DREAMS ARE MONSTERS will throw open the doors, inviting everyone, whether established fans, curious individuals or even those unconvinced that horror films are for them, to find the right horror for them, experience the riches of the genre and engage with the ideas it provokes.
Programmers Anna Bogutskaya, Kelli Weston and Michael Blyth said: “Over the last two years, fear has been what’s united us. The pandemic has upended our relationship with our bodies, our idea of home and social interactions. Alongside social discontent and instability, over the last decade we have seen Horror increasingly embraced by audiences and critics alike. IN DREAMS ARE MONSTERS will focus on the mythological, otherworldly and supernatural, charting how horror imagery became the folklore of the 20th century and look at how on-screen monsters have been used to reflect the world around us.”
The full programme for IN DREAMS ARE MONSTERS will be announced on 8 September and will feature:
· A headline season of films, discussions and immersive events at BFI Southbank
· Events and screenings around the UK in partnership with the BFI Film Audience Network (BFI FAN), including four special commissions by leading regional horror film festivals including:
o A “Night of the Cat” exploring the mythology behind the Bakeneko (monster-cat), presented by Mayhem (Nottingham)
o A nationwide event celebrating the Blaxploitation Horror genre, presented by Abertoir (Aberystwyth) in partnership with the Bristol Black Horror Club
o A ghostly, immersive live cinema experience, presented by Celluloid Screams (Sheffield) in partnership with Live Cinema
o A symposium revisiting monsters movies, and their makers, old and new, presented by Grimmfest (Manchester)
· A touring programme in partnership with Independent Cinema Office (ICO) and BFI FAN
· A major collection of films available to stream across the UK on BFI Player
· Re-releases of a classic Horror title by BFI Distribution and BFI Home Entertainment