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From Writer of Terminator 3, HeckArt Studios' ALTERGEIST Named Official Selection at Top UK Genre Film Festival, FrightFest

  (July 08, 2014)

LOS ANGELES, July 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --Taking lessons from his uncle Robert Altman (Gosford Park, MASH) and father Richard Sarafian Sr (Vanishing Point), the latest in a line of Hollywood royalty, veteran screenwriter Tedi Sarafian (Tank Girl, Terminator 3), makes his directorial debut with ALTERGEIST, recently selected to screen at FrightFest, the UK's top genre fest, August 21-25.

After a successful world premiere at the 2014 Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, ALTERGEIST is quickly gaining a reputation as a film that gives audiences something more than the stagnant status quo replicating itself in the horror genre. "Altergeist should be in theaters everywhere," asserts legendary film producer Mario Kassar (Rambo, Terminator). "It's a smart film that successfully mixes genres and the twist in the end, you will not see coming."

"We weren't interested in making another horror film where something jumps out from under the bed," Sarafian told audiences in Brussels, "and we weren't interested in making a movie where the ghosts are seemingly these diabolical evil things. We thought let's flip that around." ALTERGEIST is a supernatural thriller that bends the genre, and delivers a twist you never see coming.

ALTERGEIST follows Theresa Augland and her group of paranormal investigators as they search for evidence of the other side at the famously haunted King's Ransom winery (Korbel Champagne Cellars). As a mysterious entity causes long-buried memories and deep-seated fears to bubble to the surface, the group begins to turn on each other. Uncovering the horrifying truth, Theresa learns that even the ghosts of the winery fear the truly sinister presence that has haunted the family estate for generations.

ALTERGEIST was shot entirely on location at the historic Korbel Champagne Cellars, established in 1882 and is based on true-life events that took place on the vineyard grounds. At the turn of the century, a woman died under suspicious circumstances in the Korbel House, which served as a set in the movie. After visiting the winery and hearing of its troubled history, Sarafian was inspired to pen ALTERGEIST.

Producers Aaron Heck and John Negropontes are excited to be included in this year's FrightFest lineup. "We had a great time in at BIFFF in Brussels," Heck commented, "The audiences at these genre festivals are awesome. They interact with the movie in ways you don't see at a typical screening. You can tell that they really get into these films."

"We had the good fortune to meet [festival co-director] Paul McEvoy at a Fangoria party in Cannes in May," Negropontes said, "I think London is going to be a blast."

In selecting ALTERGEIST for FrightFest 2014, McEvoy said the film was "an extremely assured first time effort from the director," and that he "really loved the way it spins in a different direction."

ALTERGEIST will play on August 25th, 10:30 pm at THE VUE WEST END, LEICESTER SQUARE LONDON.

ALTERGEIST stars Kristina Anapau (Cursed, True Blood), Mark Hapka (Days of Our Lives), Linsey Godfrey (The Bold and Beautiful, House Bunny), Alexis Cruz (Stargate, Drag Me to Hell), Sarah Oh (The Crypt), Brendan Fletcher (Freddy vs Jason, Rampage, Ginger Snaps) David Weidoff (Roommates), Jessica Spotts (Monday Morning), Olivia Stuck (Last Vegas) and Richard Sarafian Jr. (Terminal Velocity).

ALTERGEIST was shot entirely on location at the historic Korbel Champagne Cellars, established in 1882 and derives inspiration from true-life events at the winery. At the turn of the century, a woman took her own life in the attic of the historic Korbel House, which served as the set for the old Till family homestead in ALTERGEIST. Having scrawled mad writings across the walls of the attic, this formerly reserved cook was clearly struggling against dark forces she could not understand. In the end she turned to suicide as the only means of escape. Grounds keepers at Korbel have experienced strange happenings in and around this house, and some refuse to approach it at night. Our cast and crew also felt the presence of spirits from the winery's past, both in the house and elsewhere on the grounds. The white lady of the Korbel house, strange orbs of light that move through the redwood forests at night, and stories of other tragic deaths in the area all served as inspiration for the twisted history of King's Ransom Winery in ALTERGEIST.

Established in 1996, HeckArt Studios is a fully integrated production company and branding agency, capable of taking any project, commercial, music video, or feature film through the creative development process, from initial concept all the way through to final delivery, including online color, and visual effects. They are currently actively developing a number of projects across a variety of genres.

Dubbed "the Woodstock of Gore" by director Guillermo Del Toro, FrightFest was created in 2000 by film producer Paul McEvoy, journalist and broadcaster Alan Jones and film distributor/booker Ian Rattray. Greg Day, the festival's long standing PR, became a joint director in 2007. From its cult roots at the Prince Charles Cinema it has grown to become one of the genre's most vibrant, credible and recognizable brands, helping to launch the careers of directors such as Simon Rumley, Christopher Smith, Eli Roth, Neil Marshall and Simon Hunter. Apart from the annual 5-day event in London, FrightFest has an ever-growing strand at the Glasgow Film Festival, hosts a nationwide Halloween horrorthon and showcases special screenings throughout the year.


John Negropontes

Filmmaker Contact:
Aaron Heck

ALTERGEIST, a supernatural thriller writtend and directed by Tedi Sarafian, the writer of Terminator 3 and Tank Girl.

Writer/Director Tedi Sarafian works with his crew on the set of supernatural thriller, ALTERGEIST, in the barrel room of Korbel Champagne Cellars.

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