Brazilian Horror Film 'Pray' Wins Viewster Online Festival

Pray Still 2014
Courtesy of Viewster

Religious terror is at the core of the short from director Claudio Ellovitch

Pray, a Brazilian horror film with strong religious overtones, has won the third Viewster Online Film Festival.

A jury headed by German cult actor Udo Kier (Blade) and including U.S. producer Ted Hope (Martha Marcy May Marlene), Finnish director Timo Vuorensola (Iron Sky) and German actress Nora Tschirner (Rabbit Without Ears) picked Pray for its vision of a "terrifying religious experience,” praising Ellovitch's visual quality and the short film's subject matter. The award comes with a $70,000 cash bursary.

Second place, and a $15,000 prize, went to American director P. Tavares for Do Not Disturb.

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German director Arved Lindaw won third place for Grizzly, set in the woods around a German village; Ujkan Hysaj's Column, set during the Kosovo War, took fourth, and Shattered Memories from U.S. director Nick Merola took fifth. All three directors received $5,000 in cash.

The third edition of the Viewster festival, held under the motto: Be Afraid, Be VERY Afraid, focused on genre productions, particularly horror, fantasy and science fiction. 500 films from 60 countries were accepted for the competition, with Viewster's users selecting a short list of finalists.

Vuorensola announced the winners at the closing night gala for London's Raindance Film Festival on Sunday.

Viewster is an ad-supported global VOD service, operated out of Switzerland. It holds an online film festival, dubbed the #VOFF, several times a year, handing out $100,000 in prize money to independent productions.

Twitter: @sroxborough