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're already growing ALIFFF and will grow further, but 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!

Our third year expands from one full day to two, Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th October, 2018, our regular weekend. There will be Q&As with any filmmakers present and intermissions between the sets. An award ceremony will run on Sunday evening.

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!

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 five books in print on film.

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, 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 2018, we expect to give out the same five awards as 2017. Three are for shorts (Best Horror, Best Science Fiction and Best Other), decided by our panel of judges. The Best Feature award is voted on by the live audience. The Festival Director's Award for any one film of special merit will be chosen by, well, 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 three are all key players in the Arizona film scenes. Paul DeNigris is a multi-award winning local filmmaker and a former professor at the University of Advancing Technology. Shari K. Green is a prolific film critic (for The Reel Critic and and the writer, producer and director of a number of short films. Christopher R. Smith is the co-host of a number of a podcasts (including The John Carpentcast and Auteur Theory) and the co-writer/director of the feature thriller Biology 101.

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.

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. Alternatively, as with 2017, we'll put together varied sets to showcase varied material. Check out our previous selections at the website.

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. For instance, a horror/sci-fi film that was submitted as horror might be selected to screen in a sci-fi set. Our judges also select their award-winners based on their own criteria.

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.

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
  • Devi Snively

    Sadly, I could not attend, but communication was truly sensational -- in fact it hasn't ended. I've enjoyed a fun correspondence with the super cool founder, Hal, who's a thoughtful, fun and intelligent lover of all things horror. So, even without attending, I can say the hospitality and networking have been worthwhile. This one's clearly a winner. I look forward to attending in the future.

    October 2017
  • Adam Losurdo

    There was excellent communication with a great group of people. Good networking and venue. Thank you, Hal, for putting on a fantastic show!

    October 2017
  • Xavier Pijuan

    Awesome Festival with excellent attention and communication.

    October 2016
  • Steve Kopera

    Awesome communication with a super-friendly staff. Good folks.

    October 2016
  • Jim Politano

    Very well organized and constucted. A great idea of having one 90 minute block of horror, an intermission, and one 90 minute block of Sci-fi. Free popcorn, great volunteers, and a nice venue made this a fun evening for everyone. Hal Astell was a great host, and provided some incredible looking trophies that are different from any other festival. This first year festival hit a grand slam, and should be a Phoenix favorite for years to come. I highly recommend submitting to this.

    October 2016