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Hunter Schafer’s ‘Cuckoo’ to Open Overlook Film Festival: 2024 Lineup Announced

The Overlook Film Festival, which takes place from April 4 to April 7 in New Orleans, La. at the Prytania Theatres, has announced its initial 2024 lineup. The horror festival will open with Neon’s “Cuckoo” and close with the world premiere of Universal Pictures’ “Abigail.”

The lineup includes 45 films — 22 features and 23 shorts — in addition to four live presentations and five immersive experiences.

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“We are finally able to see the fruits of post-pandemic productions and it’s a sight to behold,” Michael Lerman, co-founder and director of film programming of Overlook Film Festival, said in a statement. “This year’s lineup is full of bigger, scarier, more personal, more bombastic fever dreams that are sure to haunt you for the rest of 2024.”

As the opening night film, “Cuckoo” will kick off the week. The film stars Hunter Schafer, Dan Stevens and Jessica Henwick. Directed by Tilman Singer, “Cuckoo” follows a 17-year-old who moves with her family to a German Alps Resort — only to find herself the subject of terrifying visions and aggressive stalking by a woman who is possibly linked to the town’s past.

Other upcoming films featured at the festival include “Blackout,” directed by Larry Fessenden and featuring Barbara Crampton; “Azrael,” directed by E.L. Katz and starring Samara Weaving; Jane Schoenbrun’s Sundance hit “I Saw the TV Glow”; and Shudder’s Sundance hit “In a Violent Nature,” directed by Chris Nash. With its world premiere screening, “Abigail” will close out the festival. Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, the film stars Dan Stevens and Melissa Barrera.

This year’s festival also features an expanded selection of retrospective screenings, beginning with a 10th anniversary showing of “Oculus” — the breakout film from director Mike Flanagan. Flanagan will be on hand, with Kate Siegel, to receive the master of horror award. Paul Williams will be the guest of honor at a special 50th anniversary screening of “Phantom of the Paradise,” which he composed and starred in.

“This festival has always been as much about horror’s history as it is about its future,” Landon Zakheim, co-founder and executive director of Overlook Film Festival, said in a statement. “The expanded retrospective screenings, with some of our favorite heroes once again joining in person, allow us to celebrate what drew our community together in the first place, while our signature live shows and interactive experiences show us where we can go.”

The festival is programmed by co-founders Landon Zakheim and Michael Lerman, program manager Keith Garcia, short film programmer Katie Rife and associate director of programming Sheryl Santacruz. For more information, visit the festival’s website.

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