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On the seventh day of Christmas, Glass Eye Pix gave to me “Presence”, a satisfying short that speaks to the horror of seasonal gift giving stress.

The 2018 Creepy Christmas Film Fest from Beck Underwood and NYC-based production company Glass Eye Pix delivers a surprise visit from Santa that’s a total scream with Joe Maggio’s wry and wonderfully wicked short “Presence”.

Beginning December 1st and leading up to Christmas Day, the Creepy Christmas Film Fest will highlight one original horror short a day from talented and up-and-coming filmmakers. In a similar vein to the highly creative horror anthology film ABCs of Death, each filmmaker is giving a holiday-themed prompt to inspire their short film.

For his short, Maggio was giving the prompt PRESENTS. He explains his creative process:

“My word was PRESENTS. There were three factors that I suspect influenced my treatment of this word. First and foremost, my father is a painter and recently completed a series called “PRESENCE”, so the obvious play on those words was present in my mind from the beginning. Second, my kids have always been a little freaked out by Santa Claus. They have a lot of valid questions. Finally, shortly after receiving my word, I had an odd dream. I was asleep in my bed, but was awakened by some benign presence outside my door. On a subconscious level I internalized these three factors. On a conscious level, started thinking about the tyranny of presents, of finding just the right present to give to those we love. That’s how I came to make this strange, and hopefully creepy, little movie.”

JOE MAGGIO is an award-winning writer-director. His work has screened in theaters, festivals and museums around the world. His first film, VIRGIL BLISS (2001), was nominated for two 2002 Independent Spirit Awards – The John Cassavetes Award (Best Feature under $500,000) and Best Debut Performance (for actor Clint Jordan.) His second film, MILK + HONEY (2003), premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and won a Special Jury Prize for Best Screenplay at the 2003 Atlanta Film Festival.

PAPER COVERS ROCK (2008), premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and was purchased by IFC Films and Showtime. BITTER FEAST (2010), premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and was nominated for two Golden Chainsaw Awards (Best Actor, Best Blood FX) by Fangoria Magazine.THE LAST RITES OF JOE MAY (2011), was produced in conjunction with Steppenwolf Films of Chicago. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was acquired by Tribeca Films. The late Roger Ebert named  THE LAST RITES OF JOE MAY on his best films list of 2011.

He has collaborated with Vincent D’Onofrio on three feature-length radio plays, MAN ON THE LEDGE (2012), RAM KING (2013), and CANNIBALS (2016). His most recent film, SUPERMOTO (2017), was shot in Eastern North Dakota.

Check out “Presence”, Joe Maggio’s submission for Day 7 of the Creepy Christmas Film Fest below. 


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