The Astrophobia Film Festival is an International science fiction and horror film and screenwriting festival that takes place in the Comox Valley on beautiful Vancouver Island. The fourth season will take place in October, 2024. It will run for two days (Oct. 19 and 20), and will screen some of the best genre films made in the last few years (see submission rules for more details). There are no restrictions on who can submit and we invite people from any nationality and ethnicity to submit their work. We have four film categories: Feature Film (Sci Fi or Horror), Short Film (Sci Fi). Short Film (Horror), and BC Short Film (filmmakers from the province of BC). Additionally, we have two screenwriting categories: Best Feature Script (Sci Fi or Horror) and Best Short Script (Sci Fi or Horror).

As we are only in our fourth year and we have no external funding, the festival can award only screenings, laurels, and shout-outs to the winners in the various categories, and laurels and shot-outs to the screenwriting winners. There are no financial awards or screening fees for selected films, but we intend to institute some in the future. This policy may change if the festival receives external funding before the festival dates. Entrance to festival events will be free for those submitters whose films are chosen as official selections, and screenwriters who place in the top three of each category.

2023 Winners!

Feature Film: "Once Upon a Time in the Future: 2121" - Serpil Altin - (Turkiye)

Short Film (Horror): "The Weaver" - Øyvind Willumsen (Norway)

Short Film (Science Fiction): "Dark Odyssey II: Ice Nexus" - Michael Lavine (USA)

BC Short Film: "Dragon Fruit" - Jeremy Brown (Vancouver, BC)

Audience Choice Award 1: "The Weaver" - Øyvind Willumsen (Norway)

Audience Choice Award 2: "Bufflehead" - Steve Brett (UK)

Feature Script:

1. "Morituriosus" - Jesse Dorian (USA)
2. "L.O.B.E." - David Hunter Fein (USA)
3. "Splashdown" - Don Stroud (USA)
HM: "Black is the Color of Mourning" - Michael Cantu (USA)
HM: "Star Riders" - James Rodriguez (USA)

Short Script:

1. "Inferno I: Guilt" - Brandon Saumer (Canada)
2. "Pictures of You" - Heather Horner (USA)
3. "The Avon Lady" - Guillermo Ortiz, Geena Karsama (USA)
HM: "Sight Specific" - David Hardy (USA)
HM: "The Last Beckoning" - Catarina De Cèzanne, Loïc Bagnoud (Portugal)


• Genre: horror or science fiction only
• Maximum length (including credits) for features: 110 minutes
• Minimum length (including credits) for features: 50 minutes
• Maximum length (including credits) for shorts: 30 minutes
• Premiere not required
• Accepted File Formats: MP4, .MOV, or H.264
• Must be a minimum of 1080p resolution
• Language (or subtitles) must be English


• Genre: horror or science fiction only
• Maximum length for features: 110 pages
• Maximum length for shorts: 35 pages
• Must be formatted correctly and submitted as a pdf file
• Language: English

All entrants agree that the decisions of the festival organizer and consultants are final and there are no procedures for appeal. All submitted scripts must be submitted in a commonly accepted format and the festival organizer reserves the right to discard improperly formatted submissions (although they will make every attempt to contact writers to get reformatted submissions). All payments are final and there will be no refunds of script or film submissions.


1. There will be official selections based jointly on the curation of the festival director and consultation with industry professionals if required.
2. Filmmakers may submit as many films as they like in as many categories for which they are eligible.
3. Films made at any time may be submitted, however only those that have been finished and produced after January 1st, 2022 will be considered for an award.
4. Films must be fictional narrative. We do not accept music videos, promotional videos, trailers, and documentaries.
5. All non-English submissions must have hard-coded English subtitles.
6. Films must be compliant with all copyright laws. If music, artwork, or additional film material used in your film is not original, then permission from source must be obtained. The responsibility for this rests entirely with the filmmaker. Failure to obtain clearance could result in your film being withdrawn from the Festival. In this event, Astrophobia will not be liable to refund the fee or return the materials entered.
7. By submitting to Astrophobia, the participant is granting permission to have their film viewed by anyone the festival director deems relevant for adjudication, is granting permission to screen the film at Astrophobia and use selected clips it in promotional materials (including but not limited to press releases, websites, social media, TV, radio and print).
8. If selected for screening at the festival, the filmmaker will be required to submit the following:
• Minimum two high-resolution film stills
• One high-resolution Director's headshot photo
• Brief synopsis of the film
• Film exhibition copy in 1080p resolution, in .MOV, H.264 or MP4 format
• Film trailer file and/or online link
9. Once a film has been selected for the festival it may not be withdrawn.
All entrants agree that the decisions of the festival organizer and consultants are final and there are no procedures for appeal.
10. All submitters agree that they will not be paid a screening fee should their film be chosen for screening.
11. The festival directors withhold the right to retract their offer to screen a film at the festival, should the submitter take longer than 6 days to respond to the notification that their film is an official selection.


1. Winners and placements will be determined by the rankings of the festival director and any relevant consultants.
2. Scripts that have been submitted to previous iterations of the festival are not eligible.
3. While submitters can submit as many scripts as they want in each category, only the top ranked submission will be eligible for an award (i.e., a submitter cannot win more than one placement in a single category).
4. Each individual script may be entered in only one category.
5. Submitters may win an award in a maximum of 1 category, but they may submit as many scripts as they want in both categories (i.e., see rule #3).
6. Any scripts that have already been made into a film are not eligible.
7. All submitted scripts must be formatted in some commonly accepted format and the festival organizer reserves the right to discard improperly formatted submissions (although they will make every attempt to contact writers to get reformatted submissions). 8. All submitted scripts must include both an anonymous and named version of the script.

Overall Rating
  • Øyvind Willumsen

    Great festival! Im hoping to show my next movie here as well!

    October 2023
  • I am honored that my Winter Bird ( is a Finalist in your Feature Script competition. It is set north of Vancouver Island in Alaska.

    October 2023
  • Thank you for selecting GATE BAIT as a Finalist. Much appreciated!

    October 2022
  • I love entering festivals that hone in on the horror genre. The fact that it was in British Columbia (my favorite province) added to my excitement. That excitement grew exponentially when I was named a FINALIST for my script, POSSUM MAN.

    October 2022
  • Thanks to all the staff, it was a great joy for us when we discovered that we had won this edition! Many thanks to your amazing audience.

    October 2022