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Sound/Image Cinema Lab film makes its way to SXSW in new Folk Horror documentary

22 March 2022

Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror

The award-winning short film Backwoods, which was developed by Falmouth’s Sound/Image Cinema lab, has made its way into Canadian director Kier-La Janisse’s extraordinary new documentary on the folk horror genre.

Backwoods, which was directed by Falmouth University Associate Lecturer Ryan Mackfall, involved several members of Falmouth’s School of Film & Television

The film was adapted for the screen by Associate Professor Dr Neil Fox and produced by Falmouth’s Head of Film and Television Dr Kingsley Marshall.

The film also gave students from the School of Film & Television invaluable industry experience. Over 20 students worked with professional Heads of Department and partners, including London creative studio Coffee & TV and Bristol post-production house Films@59.

Backwoods has now been licensed for inclusion as part of Kier-La Janisse’s feature length documentary, Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror.

Director Kier-La Janisse’s comprehensive exploration of folk horror phenomenon made its debut at the South by Southwest Film Festival in 2021, winning the Audience Award, and was released in the US by Severin Films in November 2021. Backwoods both appears as a clip in the documentary and is included in full as an extra on the Blu-ray, released in the UK in January 2022.

To coincide with the release of the documentary, Backwoods launched its online premiere alongside a comprehensive interview with Neil and Ryan for Directors Notes, the independent cinema specialist. 

The film played at film festivals worldwide, winning the HP Lovecraft Award following its premiere in the US, and premiering in the UK at the prestigious London Short Film Festival in 2020.

Ryan and Kingsley have since formed a production company Myskatonic, with a new film - The Birdwatcher – shooting in 2022.


Ryan Mackfall looks into a camera on the set of Backwoods, pictured here standing in a field
Ryan Mackfall
A smartly dressed man sits at a table in close to total darkness in 'Backwoods'
Backwoods still

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