It's almost a week since the end of Abertoir 2015 and I'm still in full recovery mode - what an incredible week it was! The kind words we received from all our guests and our audience were truly over-whelming. I think this was our most successful year, in terms of the scope of our events, the popularity of the films (none of the films we screened scored under 3/5 with the audience, and most were over 4!) and just the general atmosphere of celebration and happiness. Not everything ran smoothly, but it seems like we were able to deal with any hiccups well enough that no one really noticed or minded! Thank goodness!
It was a real privilege to witness the incredible Frizzi 2 Fulci show, and to have been able to bring it to Wales. Maestro Frizzi and all his musicians are absolute sweethearts, too, which is real icing on the cake! Victoria Price was, again, a wonderful guest, and her passion for life and her father's legacy is really infectious and joyous. All our other guests were real stars, many sticking around for the duration of the festival, which I think is testament to their enthusiasm - Graham Humphreys, Gilles Vranckx, Peter Fuller, Dario Russo and David Ashby. It was lovely to hear from new audience members, at the festival for the first time, who took the time to tell us what a great time they were having. It's wonderful to know that our hard work pays off and is appreciated like that, especially from people who haven't previously sampled our brand of chaos....!
Most touching of all was a gift from the Abertoir audience, given to myself and Gaz at the close of the festival, in the form of a commission from Graham Humphreys! It will be a painting of me and Gaz riding a 'ghost train', with a great big dragon behind us. I can't really articulate the generosity and kindness of this gesture, and how much it really means to us! What a wonderful concept too - I think the idea of the ghost train perfectly sums up the ride that is Abertoir: fun and frights all in one! We were also given a gift by Dario Russo and David Ashby at the close of the festival: a framed, rare poster for season 2 of Danger 5, signed by the entire cast! Incredible!
Now the festival is done comes the time of year where we try really hard (and usually fail) not to think of the festival for a little while. I've got a couple of projects to work on: a book review for a journal and a book chapter to write. These are both really exciting for me as my first post-PhD bits of academic work! Of course, my regular films review for EGO Magazine will continue, and I can get back to writing for Brutal as Hell too (incidentally, keep checking BaH for review of various films screened during Abertoir 2015!). No rest of the wicked, appropriately, and I don't think I'd want it any other way!