GUEST POST: Zach Jenkins

If you are a movie buff, chances are that you have attended or intended to attend a film festival. Whether it’s a theater experience or from the comfort of your own home, it is a very enjoyable time. My fiancée (Paige)  and I co-operate a horror film festival called Thrills, Chills, and Kills Film Festival. This year will be our last fully virtual event, as we are planning a physical event next year. Our growth has been eye opening to say the least. Our first year (2020) we had a tiny festival with only 15 films with one of them being feature length. In 2021 we had a massive jump in attendance and in submissions. With a jump from 15 to 76 films accepted, we knew this was taking off a little bit. This year (October 20th-23rd) we had an even larger jump in submissions. We had 290 films submitted to us across every continent and we narrowed it down to 84.

I encourage anyone with a love of film regardless of genre to attempt a virtual festival, it’s rewarding watching Directors, cast, and crew grow after their film gets screened. I will explain the process behind running a film fest using TCK as an example.

  1. Selecting the best site to manage submissions. We use FilmFreeway, it offers everything from email forms, ad creators, laurel creators to marketing options, and direct downloading of materials.
  1. Choosing your name and branding is very important in terms of standing out.
  1. Using Facebook groups and other areas to post for submission calling. It is very important to use this alongside any marketing the website provides. All you have to do is make a post with a picture of deadline dates and explain what your festival is and why filmmakers would submit their films.
  1. When the films start rolling in, it can be overwhelming at first but use any tools when it comes to sorting the films. We use built in flags on FilmFreeway and we also use Google Sheets and Trello for keeping everything together.
  1. When the final deadline is over with, it is time to make your final selections. We have judges that select awards for us. We provide nominees and they pick their favorites based on criteria. You can do this any way you would like.
  1. It is important to provide information to the selected directors, this can be done in the notification section on FilmFreeway. Provide everything you see as important.
  1. Find the perfect destination to stream the films. We use BingeWave, we can embed it into our website or we can direct viewers to watch on their site. There are many ways but be mindful of privacy first because most of the films are for festivals only at the time and are unreleased. You always want the security of knowing the films won’t be pirated.
  1. During festival time, make sure you are watching as well. It can be extremely fun to use the chat function to chat with actors, directors, and anyone else apart from the films. We have a blast hearing stories and connecting filmmakers to their audience.
  1. After the festival has concluded, you should announce winners of awards and send their winner laurels. The laurels can provide credibility for future years.

I hope you learned something or maybe got inspired. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to either me or Paige.

Hello everyone, my name is Zach and I am a co-founder of Thrills, Chills, and Kills. I am the goofiest one of the bunch yet least likely to get injured from inanimate objects. I may have the least experience in writing (as you can probably tell) I make up for it in creative vision (most of the time). Horror has been in my veins for as long as I have been alive.  Having watched Halloween around a million times by now, I could probably quote every scene. 

I am also an aspiring filmmaker. I have completed 2 short films already and have ideas for several more films in this warped brain of mine. My first film The Mind’s Window is a 13 minute short about being locked in a space not knowing what is lurking on the outside. You can watch it on YouTube for the time being. I have always wanted to make a film that I’m proud of and I told myself this is the time to start. I have another film that is fully shot but is in editing purgatory at the moment. 

A HALLOWEEN RECIPE by Paige Boggs: Monkey Brains

I love coming up with creepy remixes on fun desserts, so I had a lot of fun coming up with this idea for Meghan’s amazing Halloween Extravaganza! You can rest assured, no actual monkeys were harmed in the making of this delicious pull apart bread. It will, however, be a perfect addition to your next spooky gathering!


3 cans refrigerated biscuit dough
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter (one stick)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 can cherry pie filling
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk
Red food coloring


Step 1:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (175 degrees C). Grease one bundt pan.

Step 2:
Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut biscuits into quarters, spoon a tiny amount of cherry pie filling into each quarter and form them into balls.

Step 3:
Shake 6 to 8 biscuit balls in the cinnamon sugar mix. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the prepared pan. Continue until all biscuits are coated and placed in pan.

Step 4:
In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the biscuits.

Step 5:
Bake for 35 minutes, or until dough is cooked through. Let bread cool slightly.

Step 6:
Mix the powdered sugar, milk, and a few drops of the red food coloring in a small bowl, using enough food coloring to give off a “bloody” appearance. Drizzle over the top of the bread.

Step 7:
Pull apart/cut to serve.

I’m one of those people that is absolutely terrible about talking about myself. I can get a book out there like nobody’s business, but when it comes to selling myself, I tend to falter. More often than not, you can find me with a cup of coffee in hand and my Pomeranian, Lil Bell, nearby – usually rather jealous I’m paying too much attention to my laptop and not enough to her crazy antics. I love going on fun adventures with my dorky, perfect boyfriend, awesome friends, or my zany-but-amazing family. Be it random, hole-in-the-wall shops or yard sales, riding roller coasters, going to book signings, or the front row adrenaline of Emarosa and Dance Gavin Dance concerts – I love exploring places I’ve never been before and trying new things along the way. I’m super thankful for my Kindle app because I always have to have a stack of books with me and a box of paperbacks can take up a lot of room on a road trip.

When I’m not exploring the world around me, watching awesome horror movies, and living in the fictional worlds within my favorite books, I am helping authors find readers for their books and murdering people in my own debut (I’m writing a thriller – I’m a nice girl, honest). Playing matchmaker for books and readers is one of my favorite things, and I adore coming up with creative marketing and publicity campaigns that help make things happen.

I’m always up for a chat so if you have any questions, shoot me an email or join our horror-themed Facebook group, Thrills Chills & Kills. You can also find me at my website, or on Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok.