Our Commitment to Social Justice, Diversity, and Inclusion
We stand with the Black Lives Matter movement against systemic racism. H. P. Lovecraft was a pulp author during the 1920s and 1930s, and is one of the most influential horror writers of the modern era. Without him, we'd likely not have the Stephen Kings or Clive Barkers that we recognize today. Like many American historical figures, he is problematic due to his racist personal beliefs, which manifest primarily in his private letters, but also in some of his works. We believe in celebrating his substantial influence on art, music, film, and literature, while acknowledging but firmly rejecting his racist views. Rather than avoid the topic, as fans of his work, we also believe in the importance of studying his life and letters as a window into the attitudes of a generation of Americans that allowed Jim Crow segregation laws to continue for several more decades, with the hopes of better understanding not only his time period, but also the systemic racism we're still battling in 2020.
The H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival is a Safe Space
The H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival's mission is to encourage and foster new voices in the Cosmic Horror and Weird Tale genres, including those of BIPOC creators. The festival is a safe space for creators and fans of all skin colors, gender identities, and sexualities.
We are committed to devoting a portion of our programming to discussing the works of BIPOC authors and their contributions to the cosmic horror genre, and discussion of confronting Lovecraft’s racism and it’s influence on the horror genre. This is something we do fairly regularly anyway but are committing to including this kind of programming on an on-going basis.
To that end, if you would like to pitch a panel that revolves around diversity in Cosmic Horror (or any other topic that appeals to you) you can do that HERE.
This year, we are featuring programming that talks about how to read H. P. Lovecraft when Black Lives Matter, as well as showcasing new voices in Cosmic Horror fiction with Guest of Honor Victor LaValle (The Ballad of Black Tom), Craig L. Gidney (A Spectral Hue), Zin E. Rocklyn (Sycorax's Daughters), Oscar Rios (Golden Goblin Press), and Cassandra Khaw (Hammers on Bone).
Waiver Program for BIPOC Filmmakers
Over the 25 Years of the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival®, it has showcased movies from filmmakers from all walks-of-life, including professionals, amateurs, and students, and from all the corners of Earth, including the US, UK, France, Spain, India, Panama, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Belgium, Sweden, Greece, Ireland, Cyprus, Finland, the Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Peru, Poland, United Arab Emirates, Portugal, Argentina, Norway, Russia, and Taiwan. However, works from people of color have been traditionally under-represented.
To help increase this aspect of diversity at the HPLFF, starting with the 2021 season, for which submissions open in December 2020, the organizers will launch a new fee waiver program specifically for film directors who are black, indigenous, and people of color. This will allow BIPOC creators to apply for a waiver to submit their works to the festival at no charge. While this is only half of the issue of representation, where the other half is selecting more films by people of color, a similar program to reach out to women directors for Portland Horror Film Festival™, the HPLFF's sister event, resulted in dramatic increases in the representation of women in the horror field at the festival, and praise from the audience for increasing the diversity of horror showcased on the screen.
Details of the program and how to apply will be published following the 2020 festival this October, and will be available to filmmakers when submissions re-open in December. It is the sincere hope of the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival that this will be a successful first step in increasing the diversity of the festival's offerings, and will show that despite H. P. Lovecraft's racist personal beliefs, the genre of Cosmic Horror is not and will not be limited by skin color.
Support of Organizations fighting for Social Justice
We are currenlty forming a plan to donate to an organization that is working towards social justice for members of the black community. Once we have an agreement with a suitable organization, we will publish further details here. As a progressive organization, we view this kind of giving as both necessary and as a no-brainer, but because it's categorized as "cause marketing" we legally can't say who we're donating to until we have a formal agreement with them. Stay tuned for more details.