Amazing Fantasy Fest showcases the best new independent Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Action, Animation, and Experimental films on the planet. AFF runs for seven days every September in Buffalo, New York. Programming includes new films, classic films, filmmaker Q&As, plus special programming exclusively for our Full Fantasy Pass Holders.
Amazing Fantasy Fest is the mutant spawn brainchild of cult filmmaker Gregory Lamberson (Slime City, Killer Rack), who previously co-founded Buffalo Screams Horror Film Festival and Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival, which collectively ran for thirteen years. AFF is the culmination of Greg's efforts to spotlight genre films and filmmakers from around the world.
What We Crave
Amazing Fantasy Fest wants the best “fantastic” films available for our awesome audience: scary, thought-provoking, imaginative, fun, bold and brave. Blow us away with your originality. We don’t require your World Premiere – we just want great films. We do require the Buffalo/WNY Premiere for any features we select.
We believe indie genre filmmakers should be treated with all the same respect and courtesy afforded to creatives in the word of fine arts. We provide a welcoming and supporting atmosphere for attending filmmakers, and appreciate the time and effort of filmmakers who visit "the city of good neighbors" to present their work.
Greg is an advocate for film production in Western New York and supports local artists. We'll consider films of any kind produced by local creators – comedies, dramas, documentaries, you name it. This exception to our guidelines is only for New Yorkers.
We believe in providing independent filmmakers with a true theatrical experience, on a large screen with dynamic sound. We do not screen films online, which is antithetical to our philosophy of cinematic experience. We present films on one screen, with no counterprogramming, so movie lovers don’t have to choose between films; we show as much respect for our audience as we do for attending filmmakers.
Every attending selected filmmaker will receive a Q&A, and Greg is known for conducting excellent sessions.
Our home is the Dipson Amherst Theatre in Buffalo, New York. The main auditorium has 132 reclining seats, a large screen, and awesome sound. The theatre is located in a plaza with several places to eat, five minutes from hotels, 10 minutes from Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, and 15 minutes from two different Amtrak stations.
Because Amazing Fantasy Fest is a new festival, we’re not requiring films submitted for consideration for our inaugural event to have been completed during the previous year; we’ll accept films completed as far back as 2020 as long as 1) they haven’t screened in Buffalo previously; and 2) they’re not available online.
We want edgy, cool films, whether thoughtful or outrageous:
Horror is the lifeblood of any Greg Lamberson film festival. Show us some blood, show us some guts, show us some terror!
Science Fiction - Make it smart, visual, and engaging.
Fantasy includes a wide variety of film types, including musicals.
Action - For our purposes, “action” includes traditional action cinema as well as crime dramas, westerns, and war films.
Animation - We have created separate categories for Animation: 2D/3D and Stop Motion Animation.
Experimental – Some of the most disturbing and mind-blowing films are impossible to categorize, and we love them.
WNY Student Films – Our only student category is for students residing in Western New York: those villages, towns and cities located in the counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming. All other students should submit work in one of the regular categories.
Our full slate will be announced July 22nd, and our full schedule will be available August 1st, giving filmmakers six weeks to prepare for The Greatest Show on Planet Earth!
AFF has a sister festival: Valkyrie International Film Festival, showcasing films of all types directed by women of all backgrounds, programmed by Tamar Lamberson and Kaelin Lamberson. VIFF is the only other festival in WNY with which AFF has a relationship. Submissions for VIFF are exclusively through FilmFreeway. Submissions to each festival must be made separately.
Film is art, not a competition, but part of Amazing Fantasy Fest’s mission is to recognize the work of talented genre filmmakers. We intend to present the following awards in an assortment of plaques, certificates, and digital files.
Best of the Fest
Best International Feature
Best Western New York Feature
Best Feature Director
Best Western New York Feature Director
Best Feature Screenwriter
Best Western New York Screenwriter
Best Unproduced Feature Screenplay
Best Male Performance, Feature
Best Female Performance, Feature
Best Western New York Performance, Feature
Best Score, Feature
Best Micro Short
Best International Micro Short
Best Western New York micro Short
Best International Short
Best Western New York Short
Best Medium Length Film (National, International, WNY)
Best Western New York Performance, Short
Best Animated Film
Best Stop Motion Animated Film
Best Western New York Student Film (ID required)
Best Special Makeup Effects
Best Special Visual Effects
Amazing Fantasy Fest reserves the right to combine, alter or eliminate award categories at the Festival Director’s discretion. International award winners will receive digital certificates unless they attend AFF in person. Upon request, we will mail physical awards to filmmakers unable to attend at the filmmaker’s expense.
1. NO WAIVERS.
2. All submissions must be made through FilmFreeway.
3. We only accept online screeners and digital screenplays.
4. All films must be in English, or subtitled in English.
5. NO WAIVERS. No exceptions.
5. Screening agreements must be signed and returned before our schedule will be posted. If we send you an acceptance notification and you fail to respond to communications, we will withdraw you from the festival.
6. Exhibition copies: All downloads must be h264 MP4 files, no larger than 1080p. We will not download DCP files for any films. For features, we will accept DCP files on external hard drives; filmmakers will pay for shipping to the festival; the festival will pay for return shipping of DCPs in the US only. Again, we do not download DCP files. For shorts, we only accept h264 MP4 files, no larger than 1080p.
7. Film rep authorizes Amazing Fantasy Fest to screen Official Selections twice during the festival, although the fest only intends to screen each film once.
8. NO WAIVERS. Seriously, we have expenses and our submission fees are low.
9. Every Official Selection Feature will receive four free passes good for the entire festival. Every Official Selection Micro Short, Short, Medium Length Film, and Unproduced Screenplay will receive two free passes good for the entire festival. All filmmaker passes must be confirmed no later than 10 days before the start of the festival.
10. Our Awards presentation is scheduled for Sunday, September 15th. All winners will be notified via FilmFreeway. Digital files of awards will be mailed to all winners. Some awards will be in the form of plaques; plaques will be mailed to filmmakers who don’t attend the festival at the filmmaker’s expense.
12. Films written, directed or produced by Festival Judges may screen at the festival but are ineligible for awards consideration.
13. NO WAIVERS. We will ignore all waiver requests.
14. The festival cannot pay travel/lodging expenses for filmmakers. However, we will go out of our way to make recommendations for you during your stay.
15. We do not want any films or screenplays written by A.I.