EXCLUSIVE: The IFC Center is out with the slate for its second annual What the Fest!? gathering in Manhattan. The five-day event that highlights horror, sci-fi, documentary, thrillers and other content runs March 20-24.

The opening-night pic will be the world premiere of Depraved, veteran genre writer-director Larry Fessenden’s unique take on the Frankenstein story that’s set in modern Brooklyn. Organizers added that Fessenden will do a Q&A after the screening, and a “Frankenstein Origins” video will screen beforehand.

The closing-night film will be the North American premiere of Kiril Sokolov’s Why Don’t You Just Die! — a dark action comedy preceded by a stand-up set from comedian Harrison Greenbaum.

“To the Night”
FreibeuterFilm GmbH

Other What the Fest!? programming highlights include the North American premiere of Peter Brunner’s To the Night, starring Caleb Landry Jones as a New York artist haunted by his fiery past, as well as the U.S. premiere of Zack Lipovsky & Adam B. Stein’s Freaks, starring Emile Hirsch as an overprotective father who holds his young daughter in a homemade fortress until she plans to break free via an ice cream truck driver (Bruce Dern). Organizers noted that the film is preceded by an ice cream social; and Greener Grass, the Sundance pic from UCB duo Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe that was just acquired today by IFC Midnight.

“We hope the diversity in programming gives food for thought and excites everyone, and we encourage you to take a closer look on some of the events designed for the films,” artistic director Maria Reinup said. “Discover what a doomsday specialist has to tell us. Dare to plunge into the world of pathology. Test the expertise of a working stuntwoman. Or pay tribute to cult author Jack Ketchum. All of this, and more, kicking off with a Frankenstein-themed evening as we world premiere Depraved.”

Check out the What the Fest!? poster below and see the full lineup here.

IFC