A Night of Horror International Film Festival in Sydney is Australia's original genre-specific film festival.

>> For the 2021 event the festival is calling for horror, thriller, fantasy, noir, science fiction, action, underground, western, and war, in the following categories: features, documentaries, shorts, animations, TV/web episodes, and H. P. Lovecraft-inspired shorts. <<

What began as a one-night short film event in 2007 (hence the festival’s name), has since become Australia's oldest and longest-running showcase of "nightmare" cinema from around the world. The festival remains dedicated to screening and promoting the work of new, independent filmmakers and screenwriters from Australia and abroad.

Unlike many festivals, A Night of Horror pledges to program the majority of its lineup from cold submissions (i.e. films submitted by you - the independent filmmaker - through our open submission process). We never have, and never will program the majority of the festival's line-up with films sourced from sales agents, distributors, or other festivals. This helps ensure that you - the submitting filmmaker - have a far better chance of screening at A Night of Horror, than at many other festivals that accept cold submissions, but then turn around and disingenuously program the majority of their line-up from films sourced elsewhere.

In our mission to showcase talented screenwriters, the festival also holds a screenplay competition for unproduced scripts, both features and shorts.

Winning films and screenplays will be chosen by a jury of leading film and media professionals: Previous jury members have included Antony I. Ginnane (SPAA president, IFM World Releasing), Brian Trenchard-Smith (Director, THE MAN FROM HONG KONG, TURKEY SHOOT, DEAD-END DRIVE IN), Jon Dalgaard (Lionsgate), Neil Foley (Monster Pictures), Jason Di Rosso (ABC Radio National MovieTime), Simon Foster (Screen-Space.com), Stuart "Feedback" Andrews (Rue Morgue magazine), David Michael Brown (Empire magazine), and filmmakers Glenn Fraser, Rachele Wiggins, and Sue Brown.

What the press have said about A Night of Horror:

Dread Central: A Night of Horror was recently selected by a panel of industry experts (filmmakers, festival directors, and journalists) as one of The Best Horror Film Festivals in the World.

Fangoria: "A festival of frights gorging itself on a diet of sinister submissions from local and international filmmakers, it’s the only one of its kind in Australia... an institution."

Encore magazine: "Australia's first horror film festival ... recognises the past and gives the horror genre a platform for the future."

Showtime Movie News: "If your taste runs into the darker side of life then you don't want to miss A Night of Horror Film Festival."

FilmInk magazine: "Fans of all things dark and nasty are in for a real treat."

Oz HorrorScope: "Sydney's first real horror film fest ... a fantastic event."

People magazine: "Ghoulish gold for all tastes."

Drum magazine: "Australia's leading horror movie event... renowned and successful."

Praise from attending filmmakers:

Ursula Dabrowsky (FAMILY DEMONS / INNER DEMON): "Back in 2009, I World Premiered my first horror film, Family Demons, at A Night of Horror before a large audience of horror fans. I was pretty nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. That night was one of the best nights of my life. I met like-minded people who are passionate and respectful about intelligent, thoughtful horror films. In short, I found my tribe. Without a doubt, A Night of Horror has been a massive leg up in terms of my success as an Australian horror filmmaker and as far as I’m concerned, will continue to be one of the best ways to start off a horror film’s journey into the world."

John Michael Elfers (FINALE): "Saying that we had a tremendous experience at A Night of Horror would be an understatement. It was our World Premiere and exceeded our expectations. The screenings were packed, projection was gorgeous. We had a blast with the Q&A after our screening. A Night of Horror is committed to helping independent horror filmmakers find their audience and get noticed. They put our film in the hands of distributors, reviewers, and got us on the radio. The personal attention was unlike anything I've experienced at other festivals."

Devin Goodsell (BORNLESS ONES): "Couldn't have had a better time premiering BORNLESS ONES at A Night of Horror! Big thanks to Dean, the amazing crew of the festival, and the other incredibly talented filmmakers! There were so many great films to see and having BORNLESS ONES be a part of it was truly an honour!"

Deke Richards (TAX SHELTER TERRORS): "A Night of Horror Film Festival gave my co-directed documentary TAX SHELTER TERRORS the exposure it needed to get it to the next level. Immediately after its premiere, it received much praise and interest within the film industry, that it never had beforehand. I will never forget the professionalism and courtesy of the staff which gave this event that special touch. This is a great festival to get your film the right spotlight and I will always love to have any future project shown at this event!"

Mike Masters (REEL ZOMBIES): “I’ve attended all types of festivals across the world with REEL ZOMBIES and my experience at A Night of Horror ranks amongst the best of them all. Festival Directors Dean Bertram and Lisa Mitchell do a great job and the festival is extremely well organized with a great selection of films making inclusion in the festival an honour. I look forward to seeing this festival continue to grow and expand and it will be at the top of the list for festivals to submit to with my next genre picture.”

Steven Kastrissios (THE HORSEMAN): "A Night of Horror is fast becoming a major player on the Australian festival circuit. With so little support for local genre films, Dean Bertram and Lisa Mitchell's festival is a shining beacon of light. There's a genuine warmth and celebration of the films they support and it infects everyone who comes along."

Seve Schelenz (SKEW): "I am very honored to have been accepted and showcased at A Night of Horror. I can't think of a better place than this outstanding festival to kick off the world premiere of SKEW... I had an unforgettable experience here and look forward to submitting my future films in a hope to have my World Premieres at A Night of Horror Film Festival."

Damien Slevin (A BREAK IN THE MONOTONY): "I was very honoured to be a part of A Night of Horror International Film Festival. As a lover of the genre it is one festival that I would want to attend, let alone be included in. Horror could not have better representation than this gem of a festival. Aside from the great lineup of quality international and domestic films it would have to be about the friendliest and most welcoming fest I have attended. I look forward to next year’s lineup."

Wade K. Savage (THE DEAD WASTES): "A Night of Horror is one of the most incredible horror festivals you will go to. Put together by people who love horror, it's an utter blast. Dean Bertram and the team are championing horror content in Australia, and what's more importantly, they are supporting true upcoming talent. If there is any horror festival you need to be apart of A Night of Horror is it. "

Daniel Giambruno (THE NEW LIFE): “At last! A film festival in Sydney which is not about having cocktails with public servants!… unless they have been dead for three weeks and still willing to tear the Scream Queen’s dress into shreds… to start with! Horror and fantasy are without doubt the genres that give film directors the most creative freedom.”

Lee After (THE LONE WOLF): "Going to A Night of Horror was definitely one of the best experiences of my life. From seeing awesome films to meeting the great people running the show, everything about the fest was fantastic! If you're thinking about going, don't think, just go!"

David Curzon (OVERBOARD): “A welcoming and well organised festival with a great atmosphere.”

Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Male & Female Performances in a Feature, Best International Short Film, Best International Short Film Director, Best Australian Short Film, Best Australian Short Film Director, Best Male & Female Performances in an Australian Short Film, Audience Award Best Australian Short Film, Best H. P. Lovecraft-Inspired Film, Best Television/Web Series, Independent Spirit, Best Feature Screenplay Unproduced (with 1st and 2nd runner ups announced), Best Short Screenplay Unproduced (with 1st and 2nd runner ups announced).

We require films initially be submitted via online screeners, i.e. private Youtube or Vimeo links. We no longer accept physical preview copies (i.e. DVDs).

In submitting your film or video to A Night of Horror International Film Festival you guarantee that you have all the relevant permissions, licenses and releases for your film or video to be screened in a public exhibition. You must have in your possession the permissions, licenses and releases for the submitted film or video's music, script, actors etc.

Entrants in the Screenplay (Feature) or Screenplay (Short) categories, must read and agree to the rules specific to these categories (see below).

There is no restriction as to the year that the submitted film was made, save that it has not been submitted to A Night Of Horror before.

If your film is selected to screen at the festival, you must supply us with a copy of your film in one of the following formats: Digital Media File or DCP. All Digital Media Files or physical DCPs MUST be received by the Festival no less than Six (6) Weeks before the Festival Opening Night.

While all care will be taken, we are unable to guarantee the safety of your hard drive, or film while in our possession, or in transit. If selected to screen at the festival, please do not send us a master copy, or your only copy of the film.

After the festival, hard drives containing digital files submitted to the festival for exhibition will be either returned to entrant or forwarded to another film festival as requested by entrant.

The Festival can only pay for return shipping. We do not pay for shipping both ways of DCPs, hard disks or film prints. If selected to screen at the festival, the filmmaker agrees to arrange for and pay for the shipping of DCP to the festival in Sydney, Australia. The filmmaker also agrees to provide necessary KDM for any DCP sent to the festival at no expense to the festival. These must also be received by the Festival no less than Six (6) Weeks before the Opening Night.

Additional publicity materials (stills, posters etc.) are highly encouraged if your film is selected to screen at the festival (although not required).

Please select the most relevant category for your film. You may choose between:

1. Feature Films: Any feature-length film (45 to 140 minutes in duration). Documentaries are also welcome.

2. Short Films: Any live-action film (45 minutes or under in duration).

3. Short Animations: Any animated film (45 minutes or under in duration).

4. Short Films based on, or inspired by, the writings of H. P. Lovecraft: Any film (including live-action, animated, narrative, experimental, or documentary as long as it is under 45 minutes in duration) that deals with, or is inspired by, horror author H. P. Lovecraft or his writings.

5. TV/Web Series: For presentation of an episodic Made-For-TV / Made for Web Series production with Web/Episodes no more than 45 mins in length.

6. Screenplay (Feature): For feature-length screenplays between 45 and 130 pages in length.

7. Screenplay (Short): For short screenplays that are less than 45 pages in length.

A panel of judges, selected by A Night Of Horror, will decide the winners of each of the above categories. The winners of each category will be announced at the festival's awards night. In all cases, the judges' decisions are final. Audience Award Best Australian Short Film is decided by audience vote during the Festival. No proxy votes are accepted for this Award. Award winners unable to collect their trophy at the Festival Award Ceremony are responsible for any shipping costs.

Entrants whose films are chosen for screening at the festival will be notified by end of August 2021. Entrants whose films are selected will be given one free ticket to the screening of their film at A Night of Horror International Film Festival 2021.

If you decide to attend the festival and require accommodation while in Sydney we are able to recommend local hotels/motels, but unable to cover any costs that your travel or accommodation may incur.

By submitting to the festival you agree to abide by and commit to the following statement: "I authorize A Night Of Horror to screen the film or video listed above, upon the film or video's acceptance in A Night of Horror International Film Festival. For the purpose of the screenings, I authorize A Night of Horror to market the film or video in whatever manner they see fit to promote the Festival. I acknowledge that A Night of Horror holds the screening rights of the above-listed film or video for A Night of Horror International Film Festival. I confirm that all other rights remain the sole property of myself and/or my nominated production company. I hereby confirm that all material used in the production of the film or video is the original work of myself or my nominated production company, or is work for which I or my nominated production company have obtained with releases, including but not limited to actors, performances and the musical score. I guarantee that I have obtained all the necessary permissions, licenses and clearances to enter this film or video into A Night of Horror International Film Festival and that the film and the screening of the film by A Night of Horror, does not infringe the moral and ethical rights including copyright of any third party. I understand that my submission is in no way a guarantee of acceptance into A Night of Horror International Film Festival and that nobody representing A Night of Horror International Film Festival has guaranteed my acceptance into the festival prior to this submission. I have read and agree to the general rules, terms and conditions of A Night of Horror International Film Festival. I have also read and agree to any specific rules relating to the category that I am entering my film, video, or screenplay."


There is no restriction on the year that the screenplay was written.

The screenplay must not have been previously submitted to A Night Of Horror.

Screenplays must be submitted electronically online.

All screenplays should be formatted in accordance with industry standards.

All Screenplays must be submitted in PDF format (no Word format, or Txt, submissions will be accepted).

Please include a paragraph synopsis.

No rewritten/corrected pages will be accepted once the entry is received.

Screenplay must be in English.

Screenplay must not have been previously optioned, purchased, in production or produced.

Screenplays written as adaptations of other works must have secured rights before being submitted.

If a winning screenplay is the work of more than one writer, any prize or prizes will be split evenly amongst the writing team.

The entrant retains copyright to their screenplay.

The entrant agrees that he or she will never assert against A Night of Horror International Film Festival any claim or action based on plagiarism, infringement, confidential or fiduciary relationship, implied contract, idea theft, unfair competition or any other theory arising in connection with their submission to A Night of Horror International Film Festival, and the entrant understands that A Night of Horror accepts no liability of any kind for the unauthorized use of all or part of such submissions by any person. In this regard, the entrant hereby absolutely releases and forever discharges A Night of Horror International Film Festival and its officers, employees, volunteers, judges, readers, affiliates, and associates, individually and collectively, of or from any and all claims, liabilities, damages, legal fees, expenses, debts, actions, and causes of action against A Night of Horror International Film Festival of every kind whatsoever, now and in the future, in connection with the entrant's submission.

Overall Rating
  • Blown away at being accepted to A Night of Horror International - one of the highest profile genre events on the calendar selected our little film! Wow!
    Highly recommended, the folks at the festival have been amazing. This is a must submit event - you'll be glad you did.

    October 2021
  • April Phillips

    A really well run, entertaining horror film festival with a great lineup of movies, really good communication, and a really effective online presence (social media and virtual networking/screening). Highly recommend. Thanks so much to the festival for having us!

    October 2021
  • TERRIFIC experience! :-D
    Thank you very much!

    October 2021
  • Thank you for selecting my horror, surreal drama short screenplay "Knitting Out" for Finalist. It was a great honour and privilege to be part of this family.

    October 2021
  • Grace Presse

    I was so happy my short film MY EX IS A MONSTER was selected to this festival. Bryn was so excellent throughout the whole process and kept us all updated on everything that was happening. They arranged an online version for us for covid with a online green room type place for all the filmmakers to mingle.
    I’m so happy to be involved!

    October 2021