Festival Director & Founder | 1970- 2011

The New York City Horror Film Festival is presented in memory of its Founder – filmmaker Michael J. Hein and his production company Moodude Films. Michael and Moodude Films will always be highly respected as leading proponents of independent genre films.

When it came to movie making, Michael did it all, from Special Effects Make-up Artist to Screenwriter, from Producer to Director. Through his company Moodude Films, Michael produced and directed various movies including: The Word, Blood Rails, Red Hook, Dead Serious, Biohazardous, Cyclone, and This is How My Brother Died. He also produced and packaged the popular DVDs, Killer Shorts parts 1 & 2.

In addition to screenwriting, producing and directing, Michael was the Founder and Director of The New York City Horror Film Festival – America’s largest and most recognized genre film festival, held yearly at The Tribeca Film Center in downtown Manhattan. Amongst Michael’s other accomplishments, he spoke about filmmaking at Notre Dame University and gave the prestigious AE lecture in New York City. Michael was also featured in the documentary “Even More Scarier Moments” broadcasted on Bravo, and was one of the subjects in the book “Splatter Flicks: How to Make a Low Budget Horror Film”.

The Hein family has been involved with the horror genre for the past 30 years.Raising and growing up with Michael,blood gore,and evil creatures were quite the norm in our home.Someone once asked….”What do you guys do with all that karo syrup and red food coloring’?

We have all been involved in one way or another in the making of his first zombie film “Biohazardous” be it pre production,on set or post. Even the kids in the family are now running around chasing zombies and carrying fake fingers(MJH would be proud) and at 6years old Hunter made his horror debut.

When the New York City Horror Film Festival became a reality there was no stopping us. Michael’s passion became ours and 10 years later we will continue to raise the bar for our beloved MJH.



Sean has been with the NYCHFF since 2004, after working with Michael Hein on Dead Serious.  Starting in 2008, he has been the Festival Head Of Staff. A longtime fan of surrealist and Italian horror, he cites Mario Bava, Lucio Fulci, and David Cronenberg among his favorites.

Sean serves as our programming director and is currently on our screening panel for both shorts and features. When not knee-deep in festival activities, he makes a living in post-production. He thinks Chris Rowan is very pretty.

Chris began working with the NYCHFF in 2004, after being introduced to Festival Founder Mike Hein through their friend and fellow NYCHFF alumni, Sean Marks. Their friendship grew quickly through their mutual love of horror and metal music, and Chris has worked with the NYCHFF ever since. Chris is usually found helping to manage & organize the festival staffers, running the trivia before screenings & distributing swag, and making sure the festival runs smoothly..

Chris has had a passion for horror since he was 6 years old, and sites the Slasher sub-genre amongst his favorites. Chris never strayed too far from his love of the visual arts..he makes a living working on films, commercials, and TV shows as an Art Director, Prop Master, and Set Decorator. He is happy to have worked on a number of horror films in his career, and hopes to do more in the future. Outside of working and his obvious love of horror, Chris enjoys heavy metal concerts, football, camping & hiking, and muscle cars



Kimberly Magness has been an actress and model in the entertainment industry since childhood. She has made appearances on shows such as Rachael Ray, Nate Berkus, The Daily Show, and E! News. Kimberly is very proud of her lead role in the brutal horror film Devil’s Grove where she worked alongside Michael J.Hein. She also had the privilege of working with Michael on the film, Generation UM.

Recently Kimberly can be seen as the victim on the hit shows Scorned, Stalked, and Mysteries at the Museum. She has been honored with the Scream Queen award and listed on IMBd as one of the hottest actresses in horror movies. Over the past several years, Kimberly represented the renowned New York City Horror Film Festival as a judge and filmmaker liaison.

Tony Timpone served as Fangoria magazine editor-in-chief from 1987-2010 before moving on to manage the company’s Video on Demand and DVD divisions. As a co-host/producer, Timpone worked on Fangoria Radio for Sirius XM Satellite Radio for four years. In 2004 Timpone served as associate producer to Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments. Since 1998, he has been the Co-director of International Programming for Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival. Twitter: @tonytimpone1



Adam Torkel has been with the NYCHFF since 2009. A chance encounter with festival Creator Michael J. Hein lead him to be the festivals photographer and head of the interns. Since then, Adam has done make-up effects and photography for various films and music videos. He is currently studying film at Brooklyn College.

Alan Rowe Kelly has been a multi award-winning actor and filmmaker since 1999 and considered a staple within the East Coast independent horror community. Leaving the fashion and commercial industry as a make up stylist to follow his true passion – ‘horror movies’ – Alan Rowe has directed and produced four features, appeared in over 30 films and received multiple awards for directing, acting and editing. Alan Rowe met Michael J. Hein in 2003 when given a supporting role in Hein’s Dead Serious. He served on the judging panel for the 2004 and 2005 NYC Horror Film Festival and has returned as guest host, interviewer and filmmaker liaison for 2012 and 2013.



Bart Mastronardi is an American director, screenwriter, cinematographer and producer within the independent horror community of NYC. Bart teaches Camera, Lighting, and Director’s craft at the prestigious New York Film Academy. His debut feature Vindication garnered accolades from author Clive Barker and Fangoria Magazine and awards at various international film festivals.

His latest short is the award winning adaption of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart.” Currently Bart is in post-production of his anthology film Tales of Poe, which includes “The Tell Tale Heart,” Alan Rowe Kelly’s “The Cask of Amontillado”, and Bart’s other Poe adaption, “Dreams.” Look for Tales Of Poe this 2014. Other recent credits as cinematographer are for the NYC interviews of the documentary, Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th.

Santos Ellin Jr (AKA The Black Saint) has been watching films of dubious quality since time began, he has also watched a few horror films along the way as well. He’s currently the Lead Theatrical Film Reviewer for Horrornews.net. He also writes reviews, and conducts an interview every so often to GruesomeMagazine.com. You can hear him on numerous film based podcasts like Horror News Radio, Decades Of Horror: The 70’s & the occasional guest spot on Decades Of Horror: The 80’s. He’s been in the pages of FANGORIA magazine, and if you look hard, you might find a few of his rants on ShockTillYaDrop.com as well. His near encyclopedic knowledge of horror/sci-fi films is pretty amazing but he has not figured out how that’s gonna get him a date with Jessica Alba just yet.




Brian Smith is an avid horror movie buff and award-winning screenwriter. A graduate of LIU Post with a BFA in Film, Brian has professional experience at the William Morris Agency, Fangoria Magazine and as a Production Associate for Little Steven’s Underground Garage radio show hosted by actor/musician Steven Van Zandt. Festival experience includes screening films for the Big Apple Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival and the Hoboken International Film Festival.

His screenplays and concepts have been official selections and prize-winners at the Famous Monsters Silver Scream Fest, Zed Fest Screenplay Competition, Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards (LAIFFA), Haunted Horror Film Festival, the Action on Film Festival (AOF), Writer’s Digest, Final Draft/Big Break, StoryPros International, Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition, Tracking Board, Fade In Awards, PAGE International and Creative World Awards. More scripts in the works.

Favorite films: Suspiria, HalloweeN, The Thing, The Fog, Poltergeist, An American Werewolf In London, Young Frankenstein, Candyman, Aliens, Fright Night (the real one!), The Lost Boys, Exorcist III, The Descent, Scream 1&2 (and more…many more).

Shade Rupe performs numerous functions in the film world, most recently as a SAG-AFTRA member actor in recurring roles on television shows like Warner Brothers’ GOTHAM and bit roles in HBO’s THE DEUCE (directed by James Franco), and THE BLACKLIST.

He’s been a film publicist for several years and a guest at international film festivals including Fantasia in Montreal, Sitges in Spain, Off Camera Plus in Krakow, and the Gydnia Film Festival in northern Poland. He is featured on all three installments of Bravo’s “Scary Movie Moments” series. His books Funeral Party and Dark Stars Rising are genre classics. and more varied works are to come.



Astrudge Mclean has been involved with the NYCHFF over 10 years, and is the Coordinator of the NYCHFF Virtual Festival and virtual events (2020-Present). She is a Bric community producer and documentary filmmaker. She worked in Foster Care for 11 years and was the the Producer for the Adopting Teen and Tweens show on Bric for which she won recognitions and award as the Producer from Bric Media Arts.  She freelances in Talent Logistics for the past 10 years in a variety of award shows that are televised on the major networks.


In Memory Of

Nixida Toro joined the New York City Horror Film Festival in 2011 working merchandising and promotions with our beloved Michael J Hein at the Saturday Nightmares Convention. Nixida was passionate about Horror from an early age which she contributed to her parents who allowed her to watch every Horror Movie without censorship.


NYC Horror Film Festival
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NYC Horror Film Festival
158 Arthur Street
Hillsdale, New Jersey 07642






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