Horror film set in abandoned mine wins best picture in Vegas' Action on Film Festival

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The film is inspired by the so-called "Curse of Chief Tenaya" which is said to have led many hikers to their deaths (Image courtesy Brainstorm Motion Pictures)

The slogan for a 1999 public safety campaign may not seem like the best setup for a horror movie, but the Mine Safety and Health Administration's iconic statement "Stay Out - Stay Alive" proved to be a good jumping off point for a horror film that won the top prize at Las Vegas' 2019 Action on Film Festival.

"Stay Out Stay Alive," directed by experienced visual effects artist Dean Yurke, follows a group of hikers who discover an abandoned gold mine in Yosemite National Park after their friend falls down a mine shaft and is pinned under a rock. But there's still gold in the mind, and the group descends into madness as they choose between saving their friend by calling for help, or taking the time to unlawfully mine the riches.

The film is the directorial debut for Yurke, who has worked on Star Wars, Avengers and Harry Potter films. The freshman film won awards for Best Supporting Actress and Best Horror in addition to winning the "Best Picture" prize.

Other notable winners are "A Paper Tiger Burns," which won for Best Foreign Feature and Best Social Commentary, and "Top Coat Cash," which won Action Film of the Year.

The full list of winners can be seen here:

Action on Film Megafest is an annual film festival held in Las Vegas. This year's festival ran from July 24 to August 3 at the Palms Casino.