SEATTLE — Valley of the Sasquatch, a film “inspired from real life Bigfoot encounters”, will be screening next month in South Carolina.
Writer and director John Portanova, 29, said in an interview with Cryptozoology News on Thursday that the trailer will premier also in May.
“We are currently just traveling around the film festival circuit. The next screening that has been announced will be during the weekend of May 15-17 at the Crimson Screen Horror Film Festival in Charleston, South Carolina,” the Poulsbo, Washington, native said.
Portanova isn’t new to paranormal-themed films. He has also been involved in a few other features.
“I was a writer and producer on the alien abduction film ‘The Device’ and the psychological horror story ‘The Invoking’. I previously directed the short suspense film ‘A Visitor in the Night’.”
The new movie, a co-production between The October People and Votiv Films and starred by “The Invoking” and “A Visitor in the Night” actor D’Angelo Midili, is centered on the premise of a family that, after being struck by tragedy, are forced to move to a small cabin in the woods, triggering a series of violent events involving a “tribe of Sasquatch”.
“I chose to portray the creature in a semi-violent way because I love horror films as much as I love cryptozoology,” says the director. “But I did take great pains in the plotting to make sure that the Sasquatch in the film always have a reason for attacking who they do so that they wouldn’t just be mindless monsters.”
“I tried to come up with a reason why they would attack certain people but leave others alone. I think of the creature as being more benign because that’s the report from the majority of the sightings I’ve read about, but I wanted to make an exciting genre film at the same time. I hope I struck a balance that fans of Sasquatch can get behind and understand why the creature does what it does during the film.”
And even though the director says he has never experienced a Bigfoot encounter first hand and that he is skeptical of other paranormal stories, he admits to believe in the cryptid’s existence.
“I 100% believe in Bigfoot. I haven’t personally seen a Sasquatch or had a paranormal experience, but I have felt unease out in the deep woods or in an old house,” he explained. “Alien abductions are another story. I love hearing the stories, but part of me hopes they aren’t real because the idea is so damn scary. There is nothing scarier to me than the idea of extraterrestrial beings coming into someone’s life at any time they choose and abducting them.”
He also believes that the discovery of a real Bigfoot creature would be “a wonderful thing” to happen.
“It would mean that there is still mystery on this planet and we don’t know as much as we think we do. I would hope that would be the reaction that the rest of the world shares, that this isn’t something to be fearful of, it’s a discovery to be celebrated.”
Portanova says that the DVD release will also include personal “Squatching” footage he took in the forests of Washington State.
“I recently went Squatching for the first time. We recorded it and it will show up on the supplemental features,” he said.