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We interview Frightfest favorite, the talented UK indie horror actress Ayvianna Snow, about her budding career and love of horror.

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UK Indie Horror queen Ayvianna Snow is currently making waves in the festival circuit, starring in Michael Fausti’s Burnt Flowers — a film that has been raking in awards, including Best Production Design at the recent Romford Film Festival.

A former theatre performer, Ayvianna has found a fervent following in the Horror community, where she has starred in productions like Burnt Flowers, How To Kill Monsters, and the Grindsploitation movie Punch, which received its premiere at London’s Frightfest last August.

The multi-talented yet down-to-earth actor, model, and narrator was kind enough to answer some questions I had regarding her impressive body of work.

Morbidly Beautiful: Ayvianna, you previously worked with independent director Michael Fausti on his anthology Horror film Video Shop Tales of Terror, and you are returning to work with him for its sequel. Now, you’re teaming up again for Burnt FlowersWhat attracts you to Michael’s work, and what do you enjoy about his directing style?

Ayvianna Snow: He has a great visual eye; every shot looks amazing, and the lighting is beautiful. But he is not solely a visual director. He’s also a great writer, and the quality of the dialogue in Burnt Flowers is excellent. Also, he’s not a controlling director; he gives me all the freedom I want to explore my character.

MB: You starred as Velma in How To Kill Monsters, largely funded by a fantastic Kickstarter campaign. How do you find working on these community-driven projects compared to working for a larger studio production?

AS: When I work on larger productions, I am often never introduced to the director; he won’t even know my name. It all feels a bit soulless. Whereas in low-budget films, it feels more like a family. You become friendly with the director and crew. You all sit together at lunchtime. I tend to have more creative input into my character. It’s generally a more enjoyable experience.

MB: You star in the sci-fi feature Lola, about a pair of sisters who invent a machine that can intercept radio and TV broadcast signals from the future. If you could record a message for future generations of aspiring female actors, what would you say?

AS: I hope the world they enter won’t be quite as awful as the current world. Hopefully, with every generation, we see some improvements. I would tell them to be strong, to keep striving, and don’t believe anyone who tells you you can’t do it. Dump any man who isn’t supportive.

MB: Having worked on both independent film releases and larger studio films, what do you feel are the benefits and constraints of working on a smaller film production?

AS: I actually enjoy the low-budget world; as I said before, you become very close to the director and crew. It forces you to be resourceful. In a strange way, you are almost more creative when you have less money. If you can’t pay for a fancy crane shot or loads of post-production work, you have to find a way of doing it there and then in camera.

In Video Shop Tales of Terror, there’s a scene where all the women get shot. We didn’t have the budget for loads of special effects, so we found a way to do it where the women fall to the ground in slow motion over a beautiful orchestral score that slowly fades out. The resulting scene is moving in its simplicity.

MB: Earlier in your career, you began work as a prolific stage actor. What first attracted you to making the leap into the Horror industry?

AS: It happened by chance. I accidentally got a role in Paul Hyett’s The Convent as a possessed nun. By the time I applied, most of the auditions had already taken place; they only had a few roles left. It was very enjoyable running around a derelict castle in Wales, but I thought that would be it and I didn’t expect to get another horror. But The Convent led to more horror opportunities, and I have been happily doing horror ever since! I feel very lucky.

MB: In Black Lake, you played a Churail: a vengeful, shape-shifting witch from Indo-Asian folklore. Do you plan to play more mythological creatures/ characters in the future?

AS: I have been cast as a woman accused of witchcraft in Anna Dixon’s upcoming film Witch Trial. I am interested in exploring the history of the word “witch” —  how it was used as a tool to discredit and oppress women.

“Witch” was a name given to intelligent, resourceful, independent women who lived slightly apart from their community; women who spoke up, women who refused to follow the proscribed patriarchal order of the day, perhaps by refusing to marry and bear children, etc. It was a way of demonizing them so they did not grow too powerful in their communities and inspire other women to follow suit, a way of neutralizing the threat they posed. 

MB: You voice J.A.M.I.E in the Steam game release Murderous Muses, a Murder Mystery video game set against the backdrop of a haunted art gallery. If you could loan your voice to an established video game series, which would you choose and why?

AS: I have been a fan of the Zelda series since I was a child when I played Ocarina of Time with my sister. Maybe I could be the voice of an incidental character — a wise old owl or a traveling salesman!

MB: What’s next for you?

AS: I star as Maria in the new Wrath of Dracula film. I’m the principal Bride of Dracula and assist the Count in attempting to seduce Mina into joining us at Castle Dracula. I also appeared in Punch, which screened at Frightfest. The film tells the story of a young woman deciding to have one last night out in her seaside hometown, but local bogeyman Mr Punch is stalking the town. I make a cameo as an ill-fated party guest who becomes an unfortunate victim of Mr Punch.

I want to thank Ayvianna for kindly devoting her time and Faye at JV Publicity for setting up our Q&A. You can catch Ayvianna in Wrath Of Dracula, which is now available to buy on DVD from Highfliers Films and to stream via YouTube.

Follow Ayvianna on Instagram: @ayviannasnow.

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