Bare Bones was created to champion the small budget filmmaker who wears many hats to bring their project to completion By Any Means Necessary. BAMN! 'No Frills-No Waste' is our common battle cry.

If you are a fiercely independent filmmaker producing small budget films or a screenwriter that can craft a script that can be shot on a small (less than a million dollar) budget, this festival is for you.

We are a festival run by Filmmakers, Professors of Film and Film Fans for Filmmakers, Film Students and Film Fans at all levels of expertise. This is a festival where recognition is generous and you are the Star no matter what role you played or how many roles you assumed, everyone is treated like a Rock Star. We roll out the red carpet for your premiere, allow time for Q & A following the screening, or the block of films if you are in the shorts category. We hold live readings of your screenplay with professional actors with you directing.

If you have special skills, you may be invited to moderate a panel or participate as a panelist. Festival Alumni also serve as Awards Presenters during the Bonehead Awards Gala held on Saturday of the festival.

Indie Auteur of the Year-Top award given to the Best of the Best, qualifying with a minimum of 4 key credited production positions: i.e. Writer, Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Actor/Actress, Original Music Composer, Marketer.
Winner get a custom Bonehead trophy, gold medallion, Embroidered Indie Auteur Ballcap and promotional consideration.

In all of the following categories Top scoring winner receives a Gold medallion
Best Feature Narrative
Best Short Narrative
Best Music Documentary
Best Educational Documentary
Best Animation
Best High School Student Film
Best College/university/Film Student Film
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Foreign Origin Film
Best Oklahoma Soil Film
Best Cinematography in a Feature Film
Best Editing in a Feature Film
Best Soundtrack in a Feature Film
Best Production Design in a Feature Film
Best Music Video
Best Ensemble Cast- in a feature, a mini-feature, a short/micro-short
Best Original Screenplay
Best Oklahoma Setting Screenplay
Best Domestic Violence Awareness
Best Micro-Short Narrative
Best Genre Awards: Horror, Faith, Comedy, Drama, Western, Sci-Fi, Docu-Drama, Thriller, Medieval, Action
Best Actor-Actress-Youth Actors: Monologue, Movie Scene

It is encouraged but not required that all screenplays/movies should be copyrighted/registered with the Writers Guild of America or the Library of Congress.

A budget summary should be included for feature length movies to verify that the project meets the "Bare Bones" requirement of less than $1 million budget category I Features or less than $5 million for budget category 2 Features.

The festival is under no obligation to provide airfare, accommodations or other expenses incurred to attend the festival.

Filmmakers/Screenwriters attending the festival will be granted 4-6 VIP Gold Bare Bones Festival Passes as outlined in each category. Additional passes/Tickets may be purchased at a discount for crew, cast or special guests.

Films produced or initiated by a major movie studio with budgets more than one million dollars are ineligible for competition, but may be considered for a showcase but will not compete.

All entries must come with the non-refundable entry fee and online screener. Optional: Send a Blu-ray or DVD for consideration. Screenplays can be sent in a pdf (doc, final draft) regardless of original formats.

The live screening selections are at the sole discretion of the festival judges, directors, programmers, all decisions are final.

The festival does NOT grant fee waivers. Please do not tell us that you have run out of money submitting your project to other festivals.

The festival does not return screeners, exhibition Blu-Rays, DVDs, screenplays.

Non-English projects must have English subtitles or be dubbed in English.

All films/screenplays selected for as official selections will be posted on the festival website (Logline, synopsis) prior to the festival and will remain on the website for at least 60 days after the festival.

All accepted films are required to submit a press kit, either electronic or paper. Postcards, fliers are to be sent in hard copy to the festival headquarters. Poster graphics must be emailed in time for a web listing and for program schedules.

All participants are encouraged to engage in "Shameless Do-It-Your-Self-Promotions" by any means necessary to help build an audience for their screening.

All films are encouraged to send their weblinks for trailers (vimeo, youtube, and facebook) for promotional purposes.

Award winners not present to receive their award will pay for shipping and handling, unless they were in attendance prior to the ceremony and left prior to it.

Those who want duplicate awards or awards certificates for their filmmaking partners, producers, cast or crew may order and pre-pay for duplicates, plus shipping and handling. Award winners may also order an upgraded award (acrylic) at the posted pricing.

Overall Rating
  • The organizers were very friendly. There is plenty of information about the festival on the website and on social media.

    May 2017
  • false
    Josephine Halbert

    I'm sorry I couldn't to attend the festival so can't comment re. the hospitality & networking but was delighted to win an award for my music video Never Stop there this year. I was impressed that the festival shared helpful media links & press contacts on its site for the filmmakers' benefit & their experience of genuinely supporting and promoting international independent film & communicating that really came through. I hope I get the opportunity to attend with a future film!

    May 2017
  • false
    AdminAt Bencogames

    Had a fantastic time at the event.

    May 2017
  • false
    Terry Simons

    This is our second time attending the festival and it just feels good. There is no other way to describe the feeling you get from founders Oscar, Shiron and the entire festival attendees and volunteers. You are truly family at this festival!

    May 2017
  • false
    Ron Podell

    While I was unable to attend, I have done well at this festival. My screenplay "Blood Trigger" won best feature script as well as the first-ever James Christopher Independent Scribe Award. Last year, my screenplay "All Tapped Out" won best short script. Hopefully, someday, I will be able to attend this festival.

    May 2017
    Barebones white red hi rez logo
    Response from festival:

    Ron, you have consistently submitted some of the best screenplays, which earned you James Christopher's Indie Scribe of the Year Award, as he was the first recipient in 2016. Hope to meet you in person in the coming years.