15 Second Horror Film Challenge is a nonprofit international filmmaking contest in which celebrity judges decide the top fifteen second horror films and conventions screen our greatest hits before audiences worldwide!

<<OUR 2018 SEASON CONCLUDED ON DEC 27TH. Join our Facebook community or follow at 15secondhorror.ca for results. Only filmmakers who receive votes are contacted by the 15 Second Horror Film Challenge as judges' votes publish online>>

<<PLEASE read the Rules & Terms>>

2019 JUDGES TBA however most are regular staples!

Adam Marcus (Jason Goes to Hell)
Alan Bagh (Birdemic 1 & 2)
Amy Steel (Friday the 13th Part II)
Barbara Magnolfi (Suspiria)
Barbie Wilde (Hellbound: Hellraiser II)
Barry J. Gillis (THINGS 1989)
Bloodbath & Beyond (News/Reviews/Interviews)
Bonnie Aarons (The Conjuring 2, Mulholland Drive)
Catherine Mary Stewart (Night of the Creeps)
Cindy Hinds (The Brood, The Dead Zone)
Count Gore de Vol (Horror Host)
Crypticon Seattle
David Howard Thornton (Terrifier)
Ellie Church (Frankenstein Created Bikers)
Geretta Geretta (Demons)
Hannah Fierman (V/H/S, Siren)
Jackey Raye Newyman Jones (Manos: The Hands of Fate)
​​Jennilee Murray (Smash Cut) ​
Jill Gevargizian (42 Counts, The Stylist)
Joe Castro (Terror Toons, Night of the Demons III)
Kelli Maroney (Night of the Comet, Chopping Mall)
Laura Ortiz (Victor Crowley, The Hills Have Eyes)
Laurence R. Harvey (The Human Centipede II)
Lloyd Kaufman (Troma)
Lotta Losten (Lights Out)
Mark Torgl (The Toxic Avenger)
Melanie Kinnaman (Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning)
Najarra Townsend (Contracted, The Stylist)
Nicholas Vince (Hellraiser, Nightbreed)
Nightmare on Film Street (News/Podcast)
Ron Sloan (Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning)
Simon Bamford (Hellraiser, Nightbreed)
Spooky Astronauts (Reviews/Interviews)
Tiffany Shepis (Troma, Sharknado 2)
Will Keenan (Terror Firmer, Tromeo & Juliet)

On our main page, you can submit through FilmFreeway (once call for entries is active) or directly through 15secondhorror@gmail.com anytime. 2019's submission deadline is October 14th 11:59pm EST

If you submitted a 15 second horror film that fits our RULES & TERMS criteria, you will receive a notification within a timely fashion whether your film was accepted. Official selection laurels are available upon request, but are most of the time attached to the confirmation email.

A week before Halloween, our ceremonial festival trailer kicks off featuring clips from many (not all) of entries programmed this year.

Everyone's entries are showcased on Halloween on our Facebook and YouTube. All filmmakers are allowed to share their works prior to Halloween-- no one will be disqualified.

There are two separate judge panels: (1) the community and (2) our official rankings.
Our featured celebrity judge panel determines the top films!
Our community judges awards films in a variety of categories TBA

Only filmmakers who receive votes are contacted by the 15 Second Horror Film Challenge as the judges' votes publish online.

The official rankings materialize into the new year!

Troma showcases each season's Top 20 onto their official TromaMovies YouTube channel and conventions including HorrorHound and Crypticon program our greatest hits at their festivals! Full list (to date) is available on our main page.

Have fun! Asides from the 'contest', this platform is an opportunity for you to create something better than a "movie": create good memories with your loved ones and collegues as we collectively champion independent filmmaking and celebrate the horror genre!

Judges include a selfie holding a sign of their Top 10 picks!

Members of the international art community award films in a variety of categories from scariest monsters, best gore FX, and more TBA

Our greatest hits are showcased at conventions worldwide!

2019 screenings

6ix Screams International Horror Film Festival
Oct 21st 2019
2469 Dundas St W
Toronto, Ontario M6P 1X3

Crypticon Seattle
May 3rd- 5th
Doubletree Hotel 18740
International Blvd
Seattle, WA 98188

Drop's Russian International Horror Film Festival
March 26th – 31st 2019
Smolenskaya sq,13/21, office 82
Moscow, Moscow 121099
Russian Federation

HorrorHound Weekend
March 15th to 17th
The Sharonville Convention Center
11355 Chester rd, Cincinnati, OH45246
+ Fall TBA

Fixion, Festival de Cine Fantástico y de Terror
Av. Andrés Bello 2425
Santiago, Metropolitana 7510689

Popcorn Horror's Valentine Massacre
February 4th 2019
Classic Grand
18 Jamaica Street
Glasgow, Scotland G1 4QD
United Kingdom

2018 screenings

Birmingham Horror Con
February 24th – 25th 2018

Crypticon Seattle

Sept 7th - 15th 2018

TBA 2018

Feratum Film Festival
TBA 2018

Hollywood Horrorfest
TBA 2018

HorrorHound Weekend

Horrible Imaginings
Aug 31st to Sept 2nd​

Montreal Requiem Fear Fest
September 22th 2018

Northern Frights Festival
Oct 20th 2018

6ix Screams International Horror Film Festival
October 22
2469 Dundas St West, Toronto

Lucid Dream Fantastic Film Festival
TBA 2018

South African HorrorFest
TBA 2018

Medusa Underground Film Fest
January 2019

Troma showcases Top 20 films onto the official TromaMovies YouTube channel of over 186,000 subscribers!

All filmmakers receive official selection, award, and/or official ranking laurels.

Who is allowed to enter?
Everyone from anywhere around the world.

When do the judges' results release?
Throughout November, into December. All results are released onto our Facebook page. Winners will be contacted shortly after.

Can I submit more than one film?
Yes. All entries will be considered.

Can I submit an entry I had submitted into an early 15 Second Horror Film Challenge season?

Can I upload/share my entry elsewhere before the Halloween premiere?
Yes. There's no disqualifications for sharing your work at any time.

Does 15 Second Horror Film Challenge acquire the rights to my entry?
We do not acquire exclusive rights, however, by submitting into the contest you grant non-exclusive exhibition rights for us to reproduce/remix work into promo trailers, as well as screen your work at conventions. All directors are credited.

Can I have extra time to include opening/closing credits?
No. All filmmakers only have fifteen seconds.

Can I include credits within my fifteen seconds?
Although not recommend, yes.


What we need from you:
- Your entry's file.
- Your director credit.

What is compatible:
- .mp4 and .mov work best!
- Incompatible file types are .mpeg and .wmv
- Ideal resolution is 1080 or 720.
- 4K not accepted.


What is allowed:
Violence, gore, explicit language.


The "12:01" two-sentence horror where someone looks at the time... it's "12:01"... and then they are attacked. And then they snap out of a day dream etc, they notice the time is "12:00"-- one minute prior-- they have a moment of relief until they notice the attacker they had 'dreamt of' or 'had a premonition of' etc and the time turns to "12:01".

The "There's a monster under my bed... the parent etc checks under th bed, and it's the kid under the bed saying how there's a monster in his bed..." two-sentence horror.

Malicious by nature material (racist, sexist, hateful etc). Explicit sexual violence. Sexual innuendo towards children. Nudity that will result in YouTube flagging uploads.

Do not hardcode etc advertisements onto the films.

Horror make-up selfies, trailers.

Content that will be UNDER REVIEW

- Sexual violence. It's a taboo subject that oddly enough needs to be done delicately while keeping Facebook and YouTube community guidelines in mind. Also: we want to entertainment, perhaps challenge, general horror audiences-- not punish them.

- Violent/macabre content in which children/babies are exposed to, victim of, and/or partake in before their eyes etc.

For example: if a child is sharing the frame with a vivid death etc that could be potentially traumatic to the child, I'll make a judgement call whether it's bordering in poor taste. One way to get around it is not having the child 'see' the death etc, cut into separate shots of or perhaps cleverly inserting the child into frame via VFX.

I find too that some filmmakers tend to incorporate their babies into work. This falls into the same

An example of something that will be declined: showing someone hanging in front of kids, or covering a baby in gore. I understand taboo is just that: 'taboo'-- a grey area, and perhaps it is a creative 'limit' imposed, and perhaps there are other festivals etc who revel in knowing no limits, but we aspire to scare responsibly and not at the genuine expense of someone.

- Entries that are 'multiple parters'. If each entry works as its own entry, it is possible to have them accepted, but a lot of times they end abruptly and feel more like clips from a short film. The most secure approach is to produce separate beginnings-middles-and-ends to 15 second entries-- we'll see!

- Films with unclear narratives or experimental films.

Overall Rating
  • Juliano Ferreira

    Great festival with some of the best professionals of horror genre as judges.

    February 2019
  • A really fun festival full of great people and literally hundreds of brilliant bite sized films.

    January 2019
  • Angus Swantee

    Very responsive, fun, free festival - what more can you ask for? :)

    January 2019
  • Candice Rogers

    This was the first film festival I got accepted to and I'm quite happy they accepted my short animation. As a result of me not being able to attend, I was able to network or mingle with others; however, the communication was good and maybe in the future I'll be able to attend such a new event.

    November 2018
    15secondhorror logo
    Response from festival:

    Hi Candice! There is no specific 15 Secons Horror Film Challenge event. The only versions is that a number of horror conventions host our greatest hits. At 15secondhorror.ca there are developing screening info ☀️ you can also come join the online community today at Facebook.com/15secondhorror and correspond with everyone there! Many filmmakers and surprise names pop in 🏆

  • I love the 15 second challenge. I am already getting ready for next year!

    November 2018