Autumn is the time of the year that heralds the changing of times but can also be used to describe the stage of when one fully reaches maturity. This is both your fun fact for the day but also relevant as to why we’re here. It’s a very bizarre time of the year as it’s the only season where you go back to school, watch leaves fall from trees, get haunted and then eat an oversized chicken that you try to tell yourself tastes better just because you paid more for it.

Autumn's Dawn presents the beautiful gap between the overly palatable and the overly pretentious. Did you make a movie that you’re having some trouble submitting to film festivals? A dark comedy that’s too intense for your average comedy festival? A brutal horror whose gore factor isn’t high enough? Some genre blend that makes it difficult to market? Well, we want to see it! Got a horror romance? A grindhouse film noir? A hard-R-rated parody of Teletubbies? All that and more is welcome at Autumn’s Dawn Short Film Festival.

While we will give special consideration and preference to films that are what you would consider “tough sells,” we also just enjoy any movie that’s good. So, don’t worry; if you’re nervous that your movie isn’t “weird” enough for this festival, we can assure you that it is.

Due to the winding down of the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as inflation and other professional difficulties, we regret to say that we'll officially be cancelling the virtual half of our film festival. Sad to say but true. However, the in-person event will never be stronger and we have yet to meet someone who hasn't had a blast at it.

In the words of the late Billy Mays: BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

Autumn’s Dawn will also feature a sweepstake for all filmmakers who submit. More details will come when we officially launch tickets for the event itself but, for now, here's the basic gist. We know how quickly all of the entrance fees to festivals can add up over time. So if you can get at least four guests to purchase a ticket, we will refund your entrance fee!

We don’t care where the movie’s from, what language it’s in (as long as it’s subtitled) or who made it. If you’re a fan of the unusual, the funny, the scary or just the plain ol’ good time at the theater, we’d love to see you here.

Best Film: The big kahuna.

Best Cinematography: For those that point the camera real good.

Best Editing: For those that can best channel their inner Edgar Wright.

Best Use of Sound: For those that make the sounds sound more soundy.

Best Cast: Actors still like winning awards, right?

Most Creative Concept: Those who decided to go the extra mile for doing something interesting.

By submitting to Autumn’s Dawn, you agree to the following rules and terms:

We will e-mail you directly upon receiving the film and also upon deciding whether or not your film has been accepted. If you don’t receive either, please let us know at our e-mail:

This festival is currently for short films only. 30 minutes in the maximum running time allowed.

Entrance fee is $15 per film to start. Filmmakers are allowed to submit more than one film but only one film per filmmaker will be selected.

If filmmakers refer at least 4 guests to purchase tickets, the entrance fee will be refunded.

Event will be held September 30th-October 1st in New York City.

Filmmakers are responsible for obtaining all rights, licenses, royalties etc. to present their work. Autumn’s Dawn holds no legal ramifications if filmmakers don’t own the rights to anything in their film. If you get in trouble for copyright infringement, that’s on you.

Films that are racist, sexist, ageist or any other kind of ist will not be considered.

If submitting film files, they should ideally be exported in 1080p HD video at 23.97, 24 or 30 frames per second and openable in QuickTime.

We have no rules for premiering. If you are premiering, though, let us know and we’ll mention it at the event!

Films had to have been completed no earlier than January 1st, 2020.

The fee you pay for submitting your film is exactly that and does not guarantee acceptance into the festival. Outside of the aforementioned sweepstake, there will be no other refunds offered.

All guests and filmmakers will be treated with the utmost respect and we ask that you extend that same courtesy to all of our staff and your fellow filmmakers. Seriously, don’t be a jerk. It’s not cool.

All films must either be in English or have English subtitles.

In order to qualify for an award, you must come to the event (either in-person or online) and be present for at least 5 other films.

Overall Rating
  • Thanks for selecting "Enter the Room" into your festival as a Nominee for Best Cast and Best Cinematography. I wasn't able to attend the festival in person, but was impressed by the clear and frequent communication, in addition to receiving a free t-shirt and photos from the event. Overall, I had a very good experience and will definitely consider submitting future projects to Autumn's Dawn Film Festival.

    October 2023
  • Jim Zounis

    It was such a great honor to have our short selected as a Nominee for "Best Use of Sound" in this years "Autumn's Dawn Film Festival". Thank you all so much.

    October 2023
  • Jason Cross

    This was a great festival to be part of. Tom was very responsive to my concerns and was very accommodating. It is a great festival and has a great atmosphere. I am excited to submit future projects to this festival.

    October 2023
  • Robin Johnson

    I fell ill and was sadly unable to attend in person, but this was a wonderful festival to be a part of regardless! Communication was prompt and clear, and organizers made sure to make all filmmakers feel special (all selected films received a tee shirt). We were honored to have won Best Cinematography, and were happy to receive our award in the mail. Thanks, Autumn's Dawn!!!

    October 2023
  • Ben Morris

    Fest features all types of films so you meet all types. Very interesting stuff! Fun environment, good awards and overall all great time! Really reasonably priced as well

    October 2023