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 12th 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 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 Feature 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!

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 woman director:

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

Best Student Film: $250

Best 5 min horror film: $200 and winning film screens with other Season 11 Bleedingham Films at the main festival.

-Final Submission Deadline September 30, 2023.
-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 (June 1);
$45, $50, $60 Submission Fee (Sept 1);
$55, $65, $75 Final Submission Fee (Sept 30);
-Submission fees are non-refundable .
-Must be made within the last 2 years (after Jan 1, 2021) and cannot have been entered in previous Bleedingham film festivals
-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, unless you make your film available to download through film freeway or vimeo.

Overall Rating
  • Communication! Hospitality! Networking! The passion for indie horror films of the festival organizers and their dedication is back by many, many years of building an enthusiastic audience in the local community. Seats were filled 80-90% at almost every screening. This is very rare and excellent accomplishment in my experience of having attending nearly 50 festivals. So this accomplishment really stands out! The staff and volunteers are courteous and welcoming.

    The city of Bellingham is a beautiful place to visit with a very friendly and receptive community of the festival. Additionally, the festival founders have close ties both within the local community as well as the State of Washington filmmakers with high quality judges panels who are accomplishments in their storytelling careers. The benefit of concentrating on Washington State indie horror filmmakers has helped to create a very solid, and enthusiastic audience for any festival attendees to enjoy.

    As an out-of-stater's they were very hospitable, and generous with provided a long list of sight seeing opportunities from Seattle to Bellingham from places to stay, restaurants, to the scenic route recommendations. The only thing we were disappointed with was during 2022 year when we attended they still have yet to include out-of-state awards categories. I believe there are plans to be inclusive of the other 49 state filmmakers with regards to awards competition, but in 2022, it was limit it to Washington and International categories. This is why the 3-star rating on value was given purely from another state filmmakers POV and also the quality of films submitted maybe higher once it’s opened up to be inclusive awards competition for the entire horror filmmaking community world-wide as well as every state. If you are a Washington State filmmaker or an International filmmaker the value would be rated higher because you have the opportunity to also have your film compete for an award. While the awards competition is a motivating factor for many filmmakers to submit and to attend, we chose to submit and even attend in person to support the community because we could sense their passionate and community of horror film fans. It was wonderful to hear the audience response to our film. It would have been a 5-star value to also have the opportunity to compete in other state categories. We look forward to returning with our horror feature currently in development, and fingers crossed by then the awards competition categories will be inclusive of other state’s films.

    NOTE TO SPONSORS: If you are looking for sponsorship opportunities, your sponsorship dollars will do well to elevate Bleedingham Horror Film Festival to the next levels by supporting this growing and passionate community.

    December 2022
  • Awesome festival with a great selection. Thank you so much for selecting Beacon and awarding it with best student film! Will be submitting again in the future!

    November 2022
  • Daniel Hickey

    We had an amazing experience at Bleedingham. From the start, got lots of clear communication and enthusiasm from the awesome team there including great Bellingham recommendations. There were also lots of organized social events to meet other filmmakers and creatives. The venue (Pickford) and screenings were wonderful with enthusiastic crowds. And the streets were filled with people in costume for Halloween weekend. So grateful to the Bleedingham team and highly recommend horror filmmakers submit their films here for the future.

    November 2022
  • Rodrigo Moreno-Fernandez

    Awesome fest! Great films and a great organizing team. We will submit again for sure.

    November 2022
  • Michael Kehoe

    Great place and community for your horror needs. Everyone who puts on this festival are extremely nurturing to the community.

    November 2022