Indianapolis: June 23-25, 2023
Los Angeles: August 25-27, 2023

Special Pricing for INDIANA and CALIFORNIA Residents

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS will screen in both Indianapolis & Los Angeles.

***Please note awards ceremony will be held during the Indianapolis show in June***

We are an INTERNATIONAL film festival, screenwriting & music video competition open for all to submit. Horror includes but is not limited to: sci-fi, thriller, supernatural, dark comedy, fantasy, suspense, noir. If in doubt, please contact us prior to submitting your film/screenplay/music video: dotdfilmfest@gmail.com

We accept horror themed shorts, features, and music videos. Shorts must be 1-39 minutes in length, features must be a minimum of 40 minutes in length. At this time there is no length requirement for music videos.

Our highly acclaimed film festival is a component of the (multi-city) Days of the Dead convention, now in its 12th year. Days of the Dead brings attendees and filmmakers an all inclusive experience by combining the convention, film festival, tattoo expo and after-hours events. In addition there are celebrity & filmmaker panels, vendors, a costume contest, and award ceremonies for the film festival and tattoo contest.

For more info go to: https://www.daysofthedead.com or https://www.facebook.com/daysofthedead

(2) 3-day passes to the event (CONVENTION, FILM FESTIVAL, AFTER-HOUR EVENTS)

***Trophy award winners NOT PRESENT will incur shipping & handling costs for award
to be shipped, certificate winners will be mailed at no cost***

Bad Mutha Fucker (Best in Show)
Best Feature
Best Short
Best Directing
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Cinematography
Best Sound Design
Best Special Effects
Best Story

Best International Film
Best Micro Short
Best Feature Screenplay
Best Short Screenplay
Best Ensemble Cast
Best Production Design
Best Stunts
Best Kill
Best Villain
Best Music Video
Best Indiana Film
Best California Film
Best First Time Filmmaker
Best Student Film

***Films can be nominated for multiple categories. Days of the Dead reserves the right to eliminate a category if there are not enough viable nominations.***


Days of the Dead Film Festival is excited to consider your short film video (under 40 minutes in length) or your feature film (over 40 minutes in length) within the category / theme of horror. There is no length requirement for music videos.

Films must be submitted through FilmFreeway. If selected, acceptable screening formats are as follows: MP4, Blu-Ray, or DVD. Digital is highly preferred. Please upload trailers as well.

We accept films produced after January 2021.

In the interest of fair competition to all that submit their films / music videos, Days of the Dead does NOT offer free submission waivers.

Please submit the version you want judged. We do not allow alternate versions to be submitted without being subject to another entrance fee.

By submitting your film to the Days of the Dead Film Festival, you acknowledge and authorize the use of materials for promotional use which includes but is not limited to excerpts, images, trailers. You also agree to hold the Days of the Dead Film Festival harmless from any and all claims, liabilities, losses, expenses and damages as a result of entry.

Premieres will be considered in final programming decisions.

All films not in English must have English subtitles.

Films can be nominated for multiple awards and/or categories. Days of the Dead reserves the right to eliminate a category if there are not enough viable nominations.

Notifications will be made on or prior to May 29, 2023 via email or phone.

Days of the Dead reserves the right to disqualify any submission without refund and Days of the Dead does not allow any refunds once a film has been submitted.

Films that have been acquired, produced, financed or distributed by any major motion picture studio(s) or production company(s), at the time of screening, will be screened out of competition. It is the sole responsibility of the submitting entity to attain all permissions required from the studio(s) or production company(s) prior to submission and screening.

By submitting, artists agree to all terms set forth in the rules.

Entering your film is considered giving the Days of the Dead Film Festival permission to screen your film during the course of the event (physical event).

Days of the Dead is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition prior and during the Days of the Dead event for promotional purposes.

The submitter shall indemnify and hold harmless Days of the Dead and Days of the Dead Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

Please include the following items when submitting your film:
1) Poster
2) Stills/Set pictures
3) Trailer- not required but highly recommended, even for shorts (limit trailers to 90s)
4) Complete the Filmmaker Biography section in FilmFreeway (we use this to promote)
5) Current email and mailing address

Overall Rating
  • Theo Marlow

    We were so excited to get so many nominations for Days of The Dead Film Festival and to win Best Story. Wish we could have attended in person.

    March 2023
  • I've attended my fair share of film festivals over the past decade here in the U.S. and also abroad, and I must say (writing from personal experience as an independent filmmaker with a penchant for the macabre) that the Days of the Dead Film Festival was my personal favorite as far as genre festivals go - especially ones that are part of conventions. Never had I been to a horror convention that catered to the filmmakers and made us feel as welcome as the Days of the Dead Film Festival organizers did. They simply went out of their way to provide us with a filmmakers booth on the vendor floor in a strategic location (right across from the Screambox table in Atlanta!), as well as our own private filmmaker room where we could regroup, socialize, and network between screenings. The screening blocks themselves, which included time for Q&A sessions, were really well programmed and the awards ceremony was quite a spectacular affair - the legendary Lloyd Kaufman even handed out a special award to a very deserving short in Atlanta! Case in point, I can't say enough great things about my experience with this festival (George and Audery are amazing!) and their communication with the filmmakers concerning all of the convention and festival details is tops. I will gladly be submitting my future work to the Days of the Dead Film Festival consideration and look forward to attending again at some point down the road.

    February 2023
    Response from festival:


    Wow-thank you for all of the kind and thoughtful words. We are thrilled that you had such and amazing experience, as we strive to ensure all filmmakers feel welcome and important. It was great to see you support other filmmaker screenings and spend time at the filmmaker booth and green room.

    We hope to see you again, even if you do not have a film screening because we want you to have just as good of an experience at all of our events.

    George, Audery

  • Hi everyone! with great pleasure I say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart! 4 Nominations and 2 prizes awarded are a great recognition for my first film production and a great encouragement to continue my senile adventure! Ah... if only I was 20 years younger!!!! Thanks again you were great!

    February 2023
    Response from festival:

    Hi Alessandro,

    You are quite welcome. We can't wait to see a picture of you with your "Dead Head". And keep creating- we are awaiting your next project!

    Audery, George

  • Jordan Selander

    Wow, what an experience this has been so far. We were elated to see our experimental short film “No Grave For the Dead” selected to screen at Days of the Dead - Chicago. As horror fans ourselves, we were absolutely in awe to be walking around with icons and fellow horror fans. There was plenty to do, from panels (watching plus participating in), midnight screenings, concerts, you name it, they did it. Audery and George ran a great film festival and communication was always efficient. We can’t wait for the screening in Atlanta. And if you’re into collectibles and autographs, there’s enough to make a fan’s wallet sob. We look forward to submitting future films. This was one of our best showcases yet and we highly recommending giving Days of the Dead a shot.

    December 2022
    Response from festival:

    Hello Jordan & Julie

    Thank you for taking the time to drop a review. We are so happy you had a great experience in Chicago! You and Julie truly took advantage of the entire convention and film festival experience.

    Looking forward to seeing you two in Atlanta!!!

    Audery, George

  • We were so excited for our film "Mort" to be part of Days of the Dead fest. Audery and George were super friendly and welcoming. The convention was a lot of fun and the networking was more than worth the price of admission. We look forward to joining them again in Atlanta and being a part of the festival again in future years! Thanks Days of the Dead!

    November 2022