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 by putting things in front of their eyeballs that they've never seen before.

Our sixth year remains at 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.

Our next dates are Saturday 7th to Monday 9th October, 2023.

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 2023, 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 seven 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 and a 65 second film in 2021). We also removed all maximum lengths in 2021, though we should underline that it's often difficult to program shorts over 30 minutes and features under 70 minutes.

Submissions should fit well within in the fantastic genres. We will certainly have sets dedicated to horror and science fiction short films. We will certainly have other sets of shorts too, but which will will depend on the quality and breadth of submissions. Send in enough amazing fantasy, action or cult films, for instance, and we'll put sets together just for them. We almost had a retro set in 2019. We had three genre-hopping sets in 2021. We like varied sets to showcase varied material. Check out our previous selections at the website to see examples, as 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. There are ALIFFF awards on shelves in eleven 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
  • Justin Armao

    A great festival run by a great guy who truly loves to help filmmakers

    October 2023
  • Rebekah Louisa Smith

    fantastic festival - I am a big fan of Hal and his team. Thank you for looking after my filmmakers and taking care of us!

    October 2023
  • A great festival with great communication and an awesome event.

    October 2023
  • Eric Schumacher

    It was an honor to have our film participate in this festival. Hal and the team were highly communicative and very kind. We will submit future works for this festival 100% for sure.

    October 2023
  • It was a great experience. Not only was Hal very personable and approachable, but he was also very accomodating and helpful for a newbie like me. We are proud to have been screened at ALIFF and would highly recommend participating to any filmmaker.

    March 2022