SPRING CITY >> Chaplin’s Music Café is hosting an event that will feature short films that have a horror/thriller twist on Saturday, Dec. 20, from 7 to 10:30 p.m.

The event, titled “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” will feature short films directed by local filmmakers Samantha Paradise, Amy Frear, Chris Johnson and Justin Bamforth.

Paradise came up with the idea for the event and organized it, and said she is looking forward to offering something new and different to the audience at Chaplin’s.

“I was assistant-directing on a short comedy, and Chris Cachuela, the owner of Chaplin’s, had opened his venue for us as a shooting location, a very awesome thing to do,” Paradise said. “While we were there, I mentioned to Chris that I had a horror movie in the final stages of production. Chris revealed that he had always wanted to host a movie premiere. It seemed natural for us to team up, and for ‘Reverb’ to premiere at Chaplin’s.”

Paradise’s film ‘Reverb’ will be one of the films shown at the event. She is currently running an independent production company, Kharybdis Films, which aims to produce and present films that focus on strong, nontraditional female characters.

According to Paradise, Philadelphia has a blossoming independent film scene, so this was a good opportunity to highlight the work of many filmmakers.

“Amy Frear will be screening her charming short film, ‘Another Time,’” said Paradise. “Chris Johnson, an actor/director from West Chester, will be showing his hilarious shorts, ‘The Ghosting’ and ‘The Hitchhiking.’ Justin Bamforth, an up-and-coming horror movie director, will premiere his flick, ‘The Fear Spectrum.’ We’ll also be playing the trailer for Common Society’s ‘Hayride.’ This is definitely a great event for anyone who is a filmmaker or wants to get into filmmaking to come out and network with some locals who have been through the process.”

Cachuela said he is hosting this event because his mission at Chaplin’s is to support the arts.

Primarily Chaplin’s is a music venue and recording studio where local bands, singer-songwriters and sometimes bigger regional acts come to perform. Chaplin’s was originally known as The Gem Theater, a silent film theater where they had premiered the Charlie Chaplin movies long ago. It later became a vaudeville house where Buster Keaton, Abbot & Costello, and even Charlie Chaplin himself had performed.

“Since our business is musician-driven, I still have the urge, and obligation, to support the arts other than music,” Cachuela said. “I will be looking forward to our first independent film screening.”

There are a few things Cachuela is looking forward to with his first screening: to be taken back to the Gem Theater days, and see how the building was actually used; to support the directors, writers, actors, musicians, producers and engineers who worked hard on their films; and most importantly, to see the community of support for the arts.

“What other place can you see a movie and be able to shake hands with the producers and the stars?” said Cachuela. “It all starts here.”

Frear is also looking forward to a night of fun and excitement.

“I got involved with the event because I actually play the leading role of Helia in Samantha’s film ‘Reverb,’ which is premiering that night,” Frear said. “I had a blast working with Sam and I really love her work; she has such a distinct eye and style, I can’t wait to see what she’s done with ‘Reverb.’ I think it will be a great evening where we can celebrate all the great local talent we have in the Philadelphia area.”

The event is open to all ages. Chaplin’s Music Café is located at 66 N. Main St., Spring City. Tickets can be purchased online at Chaplin’s website at chaplinslive.com/nightmare. Tickets are also available at the door.

For more information, see the Facebook event page at: Facebook.com/events/1499366566988163/.

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