Director, Producer, Writer
"Given no money, no time and no stars, we challenged the next generation of American filmmakers to come up with a great horror film with only one catch-the movies had to be short-about sixty seconds."
Writer/Director/Producer John Carpenter on MonsterFest Short Screamers
In 2002, the cable channel American Movie Classics was planning on hosting their "31 Days of Halloween" during the month of October and had decided to show short films between the horror features. They ran a nationwide contest for viewers to submit 50 second horror movies - and the turnout was less than desirable. Desperate for some material, the executives at AMC turned to Group101, a Los Angeles collective of directors who joined together for six month sessions and committed to making a short film each member each month based on a common theme. Knowing that there were more than 100 Group101 directors, AMC asked the collective to make "50 second horror" their theme for the month of August to submit to AMC's contest. The chosen shorts would screen throughout the month between features and a select few would appear on a stand-alone special hosted by horror director John Carpenter.
Holben was a member of Group101 and accepted the 50-second horror challenge, creating the micro-thriller "Hunger."
The short digital film "Hunger," written and directed by Jay Holben, was selected as one of director John Carpenter's favorite short submissions for the American Movie Classics' MonsterFest competition and screened in a televised special hosted by Carpenter late on Halloween night at midnight on AMC.
"Hunger" was also selected by the THE NEW YORK POST television critic Linda Stasi as a highlight of the Short Screamer's progam. Stasi writes, "My personal favorite is called "Hunger" by Jay Holben. To tell a story in less than a minute is tough enough, but making it scary to boot is a real accomplishment. And Holben manages to do both."
The short was spotlighted on AMC's website from October 21, 2002 - October 27, 2002 and then extended, based on popular voting, through to 10/31.
Synopsis of the show: "AMC Invites you to Join them and renowned horror director John Carpenter on a quest for the next, great horror director. See for yourself who John Carpenter feels might emerge as the next force in cinematic horror as we present a half-hour of fang-tastic original films by a host of scarily talented up-and-coming filmmakers. If you're in the mood for a good scare, check out our "Short Screamers" special at the stroke of midnight this Halloween."