Monster Fest is an ode to all that is weird and wonderful in the international cult cinema palette – horror, science fiction, fantasy, dark drama, black comedy, animation, and much more.

Founded in 2011 by genre distribution specialists Monster Pictures, Monster Fest is a mix of premieres, international festival favourites, challenging new discoveries and curated repertory sidebars alongside industry-focused events such as panels and masterclasses with renowned international and local guests, and a special emphasis on supporting emerging Australian genre talent through the festival and beyond.
From its humble beginnings in Victoria back in 2011 at Cinema Nova to present day with nationwide festivals in partnership with Australia’s largest exhibition chain Event Cinemas, Monster Fest has grown to become the country’s premier genre film festival.
More than a film festival though, Monster Fest is about engagement and a shared experience, uniting its audience as community.
The Producers would like to acknowledge and pay respect to the people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which Monster Fest takes place.


“Monster Fest is a kick-ass film festival, and a must see event for all genre movie lovers!”

“Monster Fest is providing access for Australian audiences to quality genre cinema, while paying an important growing role within the Australian festival landscape."

“Monster Fest has quickly become a major event on the international film festival landscape. Unforgettable films, incredible events and outstanding guests. We absolutely LOVE it!”

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Monster Fest Team

  • Grant Hardie

    Festival Director / Business Manager / Programmer

    Grant Hardie, an RMIT film graduate, has worked within the Australian film industry for over twenty years in roles ranging from production through distribution. Grant’s passion for film harks back to late nights as a child, waiting for his parents to fall asleep before he would sneak out to the living room to catch a Hammer Horror film on television. This enthusiasm for genre cinema carried through Grant’s adult life and has proved a driving force behind co-founding Monster Pictures in 2010.

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  • Jarret Gahan

    Online Content / Digital Marketing Manager / Programmer

    Jarret Gahan has been toiling away in visual storytelling for over two decades, producing award-winning films, music videos and supplemental features for home entertainment releases. His passion from infancy has been cinema, christened on VHS, his education started early with his first filmic memories being awash of exploding heads, flying spheres and fallen AT-ATs. Currently Jarret is the Editor-in-chief at Cult of Monster, a podcaster with FakeShemp.Net and co-produces the web-series Video Hoarders.

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  • Ben Hellwig

    Online Content / Technical Director / Programmer

    Ben has worked in all aspects of film distribution and exhibition for over half a decade, from acquisitions to product development, production, design, programming and everything in-between. Outside of Monster Pictures / Monster Fest, Ben is the co-founder of a boutique VHS distribution label, Celluloid Apocalypse, and co-produces the web-series Video Hoarders.

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  • Kim Taylor


    Kim is partner of and sidekick to Grant Hardie, together they travel the country with the Monster Fest Travelling Sideshow. Kim takes on many roles, least of which is the official photographer. Over the past decade Kim has worked as the stills photographer on several award-winning films. After a successful year studying Film and Television at Victorian College of The Arts, her graduating film INTERRUPTED played several film festivals around the world including Shepparton Shorts Film Festival, Brooklyn International Film Festival and SKANC Short Film Festival. Kim’s hunger and fervour for horror and genre films often finds her lamenting “let’s just eat and watch movies all night”.

  • Simon Foster

    Festival Director - Monster Fest Sydney

    A 30-year veteran of the Australasian film sector, Simon experienced the VHS boom years in the sales and marketing teams at Village Roadshow, Columbia Tri-Star Films and 20th Century Fox before becoming Asia Pacific Sales Manager for ‘The Showbusiness Bible’, Variety. After 4 years as film reviewer at SBS Movies and contributor to Empire, Inside Film and Screen Hub, he launched SCREEN-SPACE in 2012. He currently reviews for Fairfax Media and ABC-FM Statewide (NSW). He has served on juries and panels at The Sydney Underground Film Festival, Sydney’s A Night of Horror/Fantastic Planet Film Festival, the MIFF sidebar Telescope, The South Australian Screen Awards and The Byron Bay Film Festival.

  • Dick Dale

    Trasharama Programmer

    Dick Dale has been creating award-winning short films since 1993. In 1997 he founded Trasharama, the nastiest film program in Oz, sourcing the most sick and twisted horror shorts on Earth. Spawned in a local rock dive followed by punk acts, it now premieres at Monster Fest annually and tours Australia as the 'Roadkill Roadtrip tour'. Dick’s other activities include being Trasharama MC, punk rock vocalist, spoken word artist, film reviewer, roadie and worst barman. He is currently producing and directing the splatterpunk feature Ribspreader.

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  • Loretta Kindness

    Executive Producer

    Based in Brisbane, Loretta is one of the owners of Monster Pictures and is an Executive Producer of Monster Fest

  • Robert Kindness

    Executive Producer

    Based in Brisbane, Robert is one of the owners of Monster Pictures and is an Executive Producer of Monster Fest

  • Jon Nilsen

    Programmer / Festival Liaison

    Jon has worked in the Australian film industry for the past 27 years, in a variety of roles within exhibition and distribution. Always a fan of genre cinema since the age of 8, he has produced and directed several short genre films. In 2005, he independently acquired and distributed the Sundance hit PRIMER to local audiences. Currently a Film Programmer for Event Cinemas, his love of genre film has resulted in a new partnership with Monster Pictures through the Monster Fest Travelling Sideshow satellite events at various Event Cinemas across the country.