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.

In addition, 15 Second Horror Film Challenge hosts "The Horror Movie Awards"; a solely digital award showcase for shorts and features with its own judge panel (NOT 15 Second Horror Film Challenge's panel)

QUARANTINE UPDATE: "The Horror Movie Awards" is unaffected, because its division receives shorts and features produced from any year, however, the "15 Second Horror Film Challenge" will have some changes for its 2020 contest...

Celebrity judges WILL NOT be called in this year. Don't worry though because all of 15 Second Horror Film Challenge's 2020 entries will be ADDED to 2021's contest in which celebrity judges will be called in (if quarantine has been lifted).

This year's 2020 contest IS STILL ON and will still have an annual Halloween showcase, awards, and top rankings, which will be determined by the festival. 2020's contest will be a STAND ALONE QUARANTINE EDITION that's not canon to the celebrity judged 'seasons'.

Last year's 15 Second Horror Film Challenge judges featured:

Adam Marcus (Jason Goes to Hell)
Alan Bagh (Birdemic 1 & 2)
Amy Steel (Friday the 13th Part II)
Barbie Wilde (Hellbound: Hellraiser II)
Bill Oberst Jr. (3 From Hell, Circus of the Dead)
Bonnie Aarons (The Conjuring 2, Mulholland Drive)
Crypticon Seattle
Ellie Church (Frankenstein Created Bikers)
Geretta Geretta (Demons)
Hannah Fierman (V/H/S, Siren)
Jackey Raye Newyman Jones (Manos: The Hands of Fate)
Jenna Kanell (Terrifier)
​​Jennilee Murray (Smash Cut) ​
John Brennan (The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs, Troma)
Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th Part VII to Jason X)
Laurence Harvey (The Human Centipede 2 & 3)
Mark Torgl (The Toxic Avenger)
Nicholas Vince (Hellraiser, Nightbreed)
Ron Sloan (Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning)
Simon Bamford (Hellraiser, Nightbreed)
Spooky Astronauts (Reviews/Interviews)
Tim Jacobus (Goosebumps cover illustrator)


Everyone's entries are showcased Facebook and YouTube in a full-length program.

Top 10s and awards roll in from November throughout December.

Official rankings materialize before year's end. A specific date TBD.


60 Second Horror Challenge

Be Afraid Horror Fest

Crypticon Seattle

Dead All Day Horror Film Festival

HB Film Festival

Horrible Imaginings Film Festival

HorrorHound Weekend

Killer Valley Film Festival

Russian International Horror Film Awards "Drop"

South African Horror Fest

Two Box Film Fest

Check out 15secondhorror.ca for all of our past screenings!

There is no 'physical prize'. Everything is digital and/or live screenings. No one acquires exclusive rights to your work. You retain exclusive rights. By submitting your 15 second horror films, you enable the 15 Second Horror Film Challenge, on your behalf, to reach out to film festivals and conventions in order for them to non-exclusively exhibit entries.



Each award category will award MULTIPLE winners!

Prizes are digital laurels.


Do films have to be 15 seconds?
Films must be up to 15 seconds. You can include credits if you wish to, however, they must be WITHIN the 15 seconds so use them at your own discretion.

Are cast and crew credited?
Only directors hardcoded into every video we produce.

Who can enter?
Anyone from anywhere!

Is there a submission fee?
It will always be FREE to enter.

Can I submit more than one film?
Submit as many as you wish!

Can I submit a film that had been programmed in a previous 15 Second Horror Film Challenge season?

Will I be disqualified if I publish my work before the Halloween showcase?

Does 15 Second Horror Film Challenge acquire the rights to my entry?
You will always own the rights to your work. By having your work selected, you grant us non-exclusive exhibition rights for us to reproduce/remix work into promo trailers as well as to screen your work at conventions. We do not monetize nor accept any payment off of filmmakers' work.


+ Provide the file of your film. When entering through FilmFreeway, enable your screener to be downloadable in order to be programmed. That or pair it with submitting your film's file via WeTransfer etc to 15secondhorror@gmail.com

+ Director's credit.


mp4 and .mov work best, but 4K will not be accepted.


Content ALLOWED:

Violence, gore, explicit language.


Do not produce a re-iteration of Hideo Kojima's "P.T. Silent Hills concept trailer"; the one with the ball that turns into a head that spills centipedes out. I approved of it last season, and since it performed well, it will no longer be approved for future seasons.

There are two reiterations of two particular two-sentence horror stories that have been done time and time again:

-"12:01" has someone in bed. He looks at the time, "12:01". A killer kills him. He wakes up, discovering it was a dream. The time reads "12:00". A killer presents themselves. The time turns to "12:01". It was a premonition all along. The end.

- "Monster Under My Bed" has a child in bed. Tells parent, "There's a monster under the bed". Parent checks under bed. Discovers the child is under the bed. Child under the bed says, "There's a monster in my bed". Suspense.

Malicious by nature material; racist, sexist, hateful etc. Explicit on-screen sexual violence. Nudity. Sexual innuendo towards children. Nothing out of poor taste that would be subject to being flagged on YouTube.

Horror make-up selfies.


Sexual violence and nudity.

Films that are more comedy-comedy than comedy-horror.

Films with unclear narratives, experimental films, or a full-length trailer crammed into 15 seconds.

Multiple parters. Films with this approach must have standalone titles and operate as a stand-alone beginning, middle, and end story in themselves.

The: 'Camera stays on feet. Feet lift off the ground by some threat off-screen. Crunch sounds. Feet flail before going limp.' There's been an influx of those especially since last year's 4th place winner "KISS". If they're too close to "KISS" and don't add enough innovation, they'll be disqualified. Filmmakers will be notified if they will be.



Short films are considered anywhere below 50 minutes. 15 second films are not accepted.

Feature films are considered anywhere above 50 minutes.

Filmmakers can submit films they've previously produced anytime in the past.

"The Horror Movie Awards" does not seek nor require the 'files' of your films, because no one's films are published by "The Horror Movie Awards". "The Horror Movie Awards" is solely a digital award showcase. Your film's FilmFreeway screener is all we need.

If your film's spoken language is not English, please enable English subtitles in your film's screener.

Winners are determined and announced by the end of the year at http://facebook.com/thehorrormovieawards. Only winners will be formally reached out to.

Overall Rating
  • This was a great challenge. Telling a classic 3 act story in 15 seconds takes planning. But very rewarding. The festival was great. Communication was awesome, great feedback, I got really good networking advice. Definitely give this one a try!

    February 2020
  • Olivier NELLI

    Awesome festival. Fun and very interesting.

    January 2020
  • Jessica Montalvo

    I'm a 2019 fest participant. When I first learned about the festival, I got motivated to submit because 15 seconds was a doable goal. We could get together on a weekend and not miss work (for the filmmakers with day-jobs) Also, I learned a thing or two about super-short storytelling. You have to choose wisely how to make your point! I really enjoyed the whole process, we had fun and something to look forward on Halloween night! The communication with the festival was pleasant and timely. In all, a great experience!

    December 2019
  • This was my first one, and it's been a very enjoyable experience. The work put in to gather the judges, and to engender an online community is impressive.

    November 2019
  • Such a fantastic idea for a festival, so many great films and we are excited to be part of it with our entry Shotgun.

    November 2019