The Apocalypse Later International Fantastic Film Festival (ALIFFF) is the only annual dedicated genre film festival in the fifth largest city in the United States: Phoenix, AZ.

We will always remain true to our core ideals, which are to find the very best genre films from anywhere in the world and screen them to audiences at as low a cost as is possible without sacrificing quality. We want 'fantastic' to refer to our quality as much as our genres! We pride ourselves on opening our audiences up to new experiences.

Our fifth year will expand to three days on our regular weekend. There will be Q&As with any filmmakers present and intermissions between the sets to emphasise the social environment. An award ceremony will run on Sunday evening.

NOTE: due to the COVID-19 crisis still being rampant in Arizona and the Phoenix Center for the Arts being closed, our fifth anniversary will be pushed back one year. Our new dates are Friday 8th to Sunday 10th October, 2021.

Our content is features and short films from across the fantastic genres, not only horror and science fiction but also fantasy, crime, action, grindhouse, the punked genres and what can only be described as cult film. We love the depth that features can explore but also firmly believe that every opportunity to screen quality short films to a live audience is a good opportunity! We believe that we screen more short sets than any other genre festival in state.

Our venue is the Phoenix Center for the Arts, which is centrally located in downtown Phoenix right off I-10. There is free parking right next to the building. We screen in the Third Street Theater, which seats a comfortable 210. A variety of concessions and beers will be on sale and we will be once again providing free popcorn for everyone!

ALIFFF was founded by Hal C. F. Astell, a film critic and award-winning author who has been part of the film festival community since 2007. His reviews have been quoted on DVD covers, posters and Kickstarter campaigns in multiple languages, as well as within trailers. He runs the Apocalypse Later Empire ( and has six books in print on film with a couple more due.

Hal is also an experienced screener, programmer and judge for a variety of film festivals and film challenges. He also programs free mini-film festivals at conventions across the American southwest through the Apocalypse Later Roadshow, playing to the events' themes; most are genre-based, usually science fiction, steampunk or horror.

Our awards are utterly unique, because they're commissioned from the utterly unique Tom Deadstuff, a Phoenix-based artist who creates amazing work in papier-mâché. No other film festival has awards like ours! Check them out on the festival website!

In 2020, we expect to give out at least the same five awards as previous years. Three are for shorts (Best Horror, Best Science Fiction and Best Other), decided by our panel of judges, which changes every year. The Best Feature award is voted on by the live audience. The Festival Director's Award goes to any one film of special merit in the opinion of the festival director. We may or may not add others: that will depend on the breadth of submissions that come in.

Our judges for year five will constitute the usual variety of viewpoints on the local film scene. We're confirming who they will be and will announce them shortly.

ALIFFF reserves the right to waive submission fees, but films with a complete waiver will be ineligible for competition.

Submissions can be short films or features. There is no minimum length (we screened a 51 second film in 2017) but short films should not exceed 30 minutes and features should run longer than 70 minutes. Feel free to contact us if you have something that you believe fits our remit but falls outside those lengths. We are flexible.

Submissions should fit well within in the fantastic genres. We will certainly have sets dedicated to horror and science fiction short films. Any other short film sets that we program will depend on the quality and breadth of submissions. Send in enough quality fantasy, action or cult films, for instance, and we'll put sets together just for them. We almost had a retro set in 2019. Alternatively, we'll put together varied sets to showcase varied material. Check out our previous selections at the website. All our previous years are archived there.

Films only need to be submitted in one category. We reserve the right to select your film for a different category than the one for which you submitted it. Our judges also select their award-winners based on their own criteria. For instance, in 2018, one film was submitted as Horror, screened in an Other set and yet won Best Science Fiction Short; it fit appropriately in all three categories.

We value contributions from all over the world (the word 'international' in our event title is very deliberate) but any submissions not in the English language must be accompanied by English subtitles. In both 2017 and 2018, the five awards went to films from five different countries.

Submissions should be digital only. We also recommend that you allow our screeners the ability to download decent quality copies of your submissions from FilmFreeway so that they can watch them on their big screen TVs rather than tiny laptop or tablet screens. We want them to see your films as they should be seen so they can evaluate them on their true merits.

Any submission that doesn't fit within a wide definition of fantastic film; runs longer than 30 minutes (for a short film) or shorter than 70 minutes (for a feature); or is not either in English or accompanied by English subtitles will be disqualified as invalid (unless we've agreed otherwise beforehand). No refunds will be given.

Overall Rating
  • Thanks for selecting The Knowledge. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it out to Phoenix this year but great communication from Hal and his team and amazing awards.

    November 2019
  • Cory Reeder

    This is not a negative review!
    I was not able to attend the festival so I don't know what the atmosphere was like. That's why I did not rate Hospitality or Networking aspects.

    However - what I do know is that the fest organizers communicted well. Kept me informed every step of the way. Responded to social media posts I put up promoting the event. And this fest has some of the coolest trophies I've ever seen.

    I would enter this fest again in a heartbeat. Hopefully I'd have the funds to attend in person next time. It sure looks like it would be a hell of a weekend.

    Thanks, Apocalypse Later for selecting our film I CAN. Look forward to seeing you next time!

    October 2019
  • Spencer McCall

    Killer festival. Was super well taken care of and saw some incredible films. Honored to have been a part of this fest.

    October 2019
  • Kevin Beauchamp

    We were incredibly honored to not only have our film selected for inclusion at this year's event but to win for Best Horror Short as well!

    We were unable to attend due to an illness. However the communication leading up to the event (and even after) has been absolutely top notch.

    Thank you to Hal and his team for making our festival experience incredibly memorable. I HIGHLY recommend ALIFFF and look forward to submitting other projects to them in the very near future!

    October 2019
  • Spike Hyunsuk Kim

    Thank you ALIFFF for providing a great opportunity to share my idea with Genre Film industry in the US. I felt true hospitality through Hal's words that made me regret for not participate the festival. I am so honored to receive director's award with my film 'PINKI'. I wish AlIFFF to continue showing it's unique color and stand out among all the Genre film Festivals!

    October 2019