Bleedingham Horror Film Festival is an indie film festival that showcases two nights of terror in the heart of the scenic city of Bellingham, WA.

Bleedingham was created by a few passionate independent filmmakers and horror fans and began as a festival that solely showcased WA state indie filmmakers, but now includes selected horror films and features from all over the world. The festival is held the weekend before Halloween and is a popular horror filmmaking competition and destination for indie horror loving fans and filmmakers.

Now in it's ninth year, Bleedingham supports filmmakers of all levels by providing a fun, competitive venue where filmmakers can receive accolades from their peers, as well as critical feedback from our panel of judges. Bleedingham carefully selects a panel of non-participating judges who are professionals in the film, writing and horror industries to judge, score and give filmmakers feedback on the films.

Bleedingham "Bloodies" are our coveted signature handmade trophies, designed by one of Bleedingham's founders and special effects artist Langley West. The Bloodies are awarded to first place winners in each of our categories. Bleedingham Official Award Certificates are sent to International Winners who cannot attend the festival.

*Selected films are screened at downtown Bellingham's popular art house theater, the Pickford Film Center and it's sister theater, The Limelight Cinema, over a two day weekend. Opening night hosts a meet and greet reception for filmmakers to mingle with each other, as well as the judges and curators of Bleedingham. This event is a great way to get know other filmmakers and make new connections! Following the reception, Saturday night plays the official selection of WA state films and concludes with the awards ceremony. Sunday closes the festival with the official selection of Best Film and International/Out of state films. The Friday night before the Film Festival, Bleedingham kicks off the weekend by hosting The Night Gallery, a Halloween and horror celebration with vendors, filmmaking panels and entertainment.

For visitors of the festival, downtown Bellingham is a fantastic city to stay for a weekend. There's always stuff to do, amazing food everywhere and more breweries than you can try in a weekend! The local businesses support Bleedingham by gifting donations to the festival, and gift cards and products as prizes for attendees, so be sure to thank them when you check them out. The city is nestled between Bellingham Bay and surrounded by mountains and forests, which creates a superbly eerie setting in the Autumn evenings, a perfect backdrop for a night of horror stories.

Don’t forget to follow us on social media to stay up to date with Bleedingham news and events, plus check out Bleedingham TV on our YouTube channel!

*For updated information regarding festival changes due to Covid-19, please visit

WA state film awards:

$1000 grand prize to Best Short Film under 15

Trophies, plaques and certificates are awarded to the following categories:
Best Film
Best Cinematography
Best Editing
Best Special Effects
Best Story
Best Sound Design
Scariest Film

A special single Award for Original Score presented by the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program to recognize the best use of original music at the Bleedingham festival.

Best Feature Film Award

Out of state/International Short Film Awards:

Certificates will be awarded in the following categories:
Best Film
Best Story
Best Cinematography
Best Editing
Best Sound Design

-Final Submission Deadline September 27, 2020.
-Films must be from a current Washington state resident in order to receive WA state awards, all other films will be eligible for the out of state/international awards.
-All films must be horror/ thriller genre.
-All films must be a narrative short or feature in order to be eligible for judging and awards.
-Music videos and film trailers can be submitted, but will not receive feedback and not be eligible for awards. They will be selected by two of our judges and will be played at the beginning of any given film block.
-All NON-ENGLISH films must have subtitles in order to be judged.
-Submission Fees: $25 Early Bird submission deadline (June 1), $40, $45, $50 Submission Fee (Sept 1), $50, $55, $60 Final Submission Fee (Sept 27)
-Submission fees are non-refundable .
-Must be made within the last 4 years (after Jan 1, 2016) and cannot have been entered in previous Bleedingham film festivals (*due to Covid-19 we have changed this from the usual 2 year period for this year)
-Short films are considered to be under 15 minutes.
-Filmmakers can submit up to 3 different films.
-There is no limitation on how horrifying and gory films can be. However, Hate rhetoric against any particular gender, race or religion will not be accepted.
-Films are screened at the festival based on their final judging scores, not all submitted films will be played at the festival.
-Awards are based on these judged categories: Cinematography, Editing, Sound Design, Story, Special Effects and Scary Factor
-Grand prize, second and third place winners are presented to the films with the highest overall scores added up from all categories.
-Filmmakers from WA state must be in attendance or have a representative in attendance at the award ceremony to receive any awards.
-Due to our agreement with the Pickford, we apologize that we are unable to provide free entry to the festival. If you are a participating filmmaker, please be sure to purchase your tickets immediately upon release as they sell out quickly! Please feel free to contact us with any questions.
-All available submissions will be linked to our website, upon the filmmakers permission, so that everyone can see your film after the festival.
-All participants will be notified at least one week before the festival as to whether their films will be shown at the Pickford.
-Submission File Format – 720-1080 p AAC Audio (.MOV or .mp4 file)
-All films must still be uploaded via our dropbox invite, regardless if you submit through FilmFreeway.

Overall Rating
  • Had the pleasure of showing my film "Little Familiar" at the 2019 fest. Everyone involved with the festival was super supportive of all the films showing and have developed a great film community there! We will absolutely be back again next year!

    November 2019
  • Maggie Craig

    I had heard a lot about Bleedingham before I entered. I was excited to enter and I was honoured that our film won its category. Communication with the film was easy and friendly. Members of my cast and crew attended and everyone had a great time. I can't wait to make another film so I can participate in Bleedingham again. Thank you Gary Washington for your hard work and dedication to this festival.

    November 2019
  • It was a delight to have my film "Plasmid" be a part of Bleedingham 2019. Big thank you to the team for the on point communication.. Thank you for having us! :)

    November 2019
  • October Yates

    As a Bellingham filmmaker, Bleedingham is the event we wait for all year long. The horror genre is so connected to the PNW and this festival is premiere horror festival in the region. Filmmakers who have know each other for 5-10 years come together at the beautiful Pickford theater to see each others work on the big screen. Many connections are made and the weekend long festivities go long into the night. Organizers Gary, Michelle, and Langley always give anyone who enters a fair shake by keeping the local films in separate competition than the international and out-of-staters and the turn out this year was HUGE. My crew and I were lucky enough to take home several awards that night and the response and feedback from the other older filmmakers who I looked up to was inspiring. See you next year Bleedingham, I can't wait.

    November 2018
  • Brian Carlin

    This festival is one of the most fun I have had the privilege of having my work screened at and attended. Gary and his team put on a great festival with top notch films, networking, and people who show up excited to see it all. Highly recommended! Can't wait to submit again!

    November 2018