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Alice Maio Mackay talks Serpent’s Nest ahead of Soho Horror Fest screening

Alice Maio Mackay is back with her latest short The Serpent’s Nest, which is set to screen at the upcoming Soho Horror Film Festival: Pride Edition.

We got the chance to ask Alice a handful of questions ahead of the screening.

So what can you tell us about The Serpent’s Nest?

‘The Serpent’s Nest’ is a 28-minute queer horror supernatural drama short that I directed, produced and co-wrote with Ben Pahl Robinson. It was actually shot back in 2020 over 4ish days with post-production being completed in early 2021. The film follows a young non binary adult who gets thrown into the world of romance & dark magic.

The film has been compared to The Craft, is that the sort of comparison you’d like?

I mean The Craft and its sequel, are both incredible films and it’s a comparison I’m definitely honoured to receive. But I guess I’ll leave it up to viewers to make their mind up aha.

Was it always your intention to film as a short or do you feel the story has feature potential?

It was pretty much always my intention to do the film as a short, I mean I could definitely see the plot and characters being fleshed out. However, the goal was to make something more ambitious than the short I shot before this one, in both length and story, which was the 14-minute short Tooth 4 Tooth.

How important is it to tell queer horror stories?

I think telling queer horror stories is really important and not only telling them but doing so authentically, in which the cast and crew are mainly queer. Film is a powerful platform to give queer people not only a channel for storytelling but to see themselves represented both in front of and behind the scenes (which certainly hasn’t always been the case).

What can you tell us about assembling the cast?

I’m really grateful to have worked with such an amazing group of people, who were committed to portraying this story. The lead is a non-binary actor and activist Jamila Main, with a co-lead Felicia Tassone who was in the 2020 horror flick ‘Awoken.’ There will also be a few familiar faces from those who have seen some of my other work, such as Brendan Cooney who plays Sofia’s father, as well as Joe Romeo & Molly Ferguson who are all in ‘So Vam’ and my upcoming film ‘Bad Girl Boogey’.

How does The Serpent’s Nest differ from your previous work?

I think it differs from my previous work, as it has quite a different visual aesthetic and is certainly one of my more ambitious shorts. As well as focussing on a different subgenre of horror, and the more witchy and supernatural side of things. Whilst my filmmaking skills have definitely developed since 2020, this was definitely a big stepping stone in my work at the time.

It’s great to see you featured again at Soho Horror Film Festival, are you looking forward to the UK screening?

Thank you so much! I’m definitely honored to have more of my work be screened at this great festival and to also get more eyes on ‘The Serpent’s Nest’. As mentioned it was completed a while ago but hasn’t been released widely or been shown in a lot of places.

What’s next for you?

Well since that was completed, I shot my first feature ‘So Vam,’ which did some festivals and has an on-demand release of June 21st for America & North America, with more release news to be announced shortly. And I’ve also got my second feature ‘Bad Girl Boogey’ in post-production at the moment, which I’m really excited to share with people in the not too distant future.

Catch The Serpent’s Nest at Soho Horror Film Festival: Pride Edition 24-26 June 2022.

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