What began as a 7-day New York City horror film festival in 2016 is now a national, 31-day celebration of all things horror and the Halloween season. Run by a team of horror and live event aficionados who've worked with such companies as A24, Sony Pictures, Slamdance, and the Tribeca Film Festival, FEARnyc 2019 will feature dozens of film screenings as well as horror-themed experiential events, art installations, music performances, theater, photography exhibits, Q&As with writers, directors, and casts, and more. This year's festival will take place from October 1-31, 2019.
Many films screened at FEARnyc have garnered distribution or gone on to wider release, including Dead Awake, Unearthed and Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary, Inoperable, Sickhouse, The Dark Tapes, Don't F*** in the Woods, The Butcher Brothers' A Beginner's Guide to Snuff, Charismata, Flesh Blanket, Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom, the remake of Blood Feast, and others.
FEARnyc screens new horror films alongside popular horror films. Past selections have included Psycho, Halloween, The Lost Boys, The Monster Squad, and many others. The festival’s program of classic film screenings has included Nosferatu, Carnival of Souls, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, House on Haunted Hill, Plan 9 from Outer Space, Dementia 13, Silent Night Bloody Night, and more.
FEARnyc prides itself on having one of the world's top horror film festival juries comprised of industry professionals, journalists, and more. Past juries have included:
Robert Eggers - Writer and Director, The Witch
Jeffrey Reddick - Creator and Screenwriter, Final Destination
Kate Siegel - Screenwriter and Actress, Hush, The Haunting of Hill House
Peter Phok - Producer, The House of the Devil, I Sell the Dead, Stake Land
Stacy Title - Director, The Bye Bye Man
Brad Miska - Producer, V/H/S, Southbound; Editor-in-Chief, Bloody Disgusting
Terry Castle - Producer, House on Haunted Hill, Thirteen Ghosts
Joshua Rothkopf - Film Editor, Time Out New York
Matt Boiselle – Senior Film Critic, Dread Central
Jim Klock - Executive, Terror Films
tomandandy - Composers, The Hill Have Eyes, The Strangers, The Mothman Prophecies
Johnny Recher - Asst. Director, Underworld Awakening, The Purge: Election Year
Liz Vastola - Costume Designer, V/H/S, The Innkeepers, The Purge: Election Year, We Are What We Are, Keep The Lights On
Brian Spears - Special Effects Artist, Jessica Jones, The Sacrament, I Sell the Dead, We Are What We Are
Dee Wallace - Actress, The Howling, Cujo, E.T: The Extra Terrestrial
Tuesday Knight - Actress, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4, Wes Craven's New Nightmare
Past FEARnyc honorees have included the late Wes Craven and George A. Romero, with tribute events featuring appearances by family members and former cast members from the directors’ films.
Unique experiential events are a hallmark of FEARnyc. They have included a midnight screening of The Exorcist preceded by a candlelit seance with the audience led by a renowned psychic, screenings of Night of the Living Dead and Faust with live orchestral scores, and more.
Here are some nice things the press has said about FEARnyc:
"FEARnyc is the must-attend horror event of October. It's so impressive that I'm pretty sure it's the best thing happening in the entire country this October." - Dread Central
"A huge, authoritative horror film festival. You couldn't do better than FEARnyc " - Time Out New York
"New York's biggest horror film festival will haunt your nightmares" - Celluloid Junkie"
"FEARnyc is massive." - Bloody Disgusting
"Horror fans are in for a macabre menu of varying flavors when FEARnyc makes its debut" - The New York Times
“Classic big-screen shockers Night of the Living Dead, Psycho, The Exorcist, Halloween, Nosferatu, Carnival of Souls, and Tobe Hooper’s original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre will all screen at the inaugural FEARnyc film festival. FEARnyc’s lineup of new films includes a remake of 1963’s Blood Feast, the killer clown tale Clowntown, Dead Awake — about an ancient evil that stalks its victims through the phenomenon of sleep paralysis — and a brace of documentaries about horror movies, director Michael Stever’s Resurrecting Carrie and John Campopiano and Justin White’s Unearthed and Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary.” - Entertainment Weekly
“We all go a little mad sometimes. And now horror film fanatics really have something to go crazy about. New horror film fest kicks off in NYC with 65-plus screenings, Wes Craven Tribute. From classics like Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Nightmare on Elm Street to new movies including Dead Awake, the festival has something for every horror aficionado.” - NBC News
“Halloween might be heading towards a distant memory, but it took off like a scream as founder John Capo kicked off his inaugural FEARnyc festival at Manhattan’s historic Cinema Village theater. One of New York City’s newest and biggest horror film festivals, the event scared the pants off lovers of the macabre and covered a whopping seven days from October 21st thru the 27th. It featured screenings of 65+ new and classic horror films, cast appearances, special events and ended with an awards ceremony and a moving Legacy Honoree tribute to iconic filmmaker, Wes Craven. Craven’s step daughter Nina Tarnawksky accepted the tribute on behalf of Craven’s family and delivered a heartfelt address paying homage to his forward thinking vision, and long harbored esteem for his audiences. Other speakers included Time Out New York columnist Joshua Rothkopf, Nightmares on Elm Street actor Jsu Garcia and even featured a surprise satellite address from beloved horror ‘damsel in distress,’ Dee Wallace.” - Fangoria
“John Capo didn't watch Saturday morning cartoons like most boys. At 8, his favorite movie was Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. "I had the kind of parents who allowed me to watch anything I wanted," said Capo, who lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, just blocks from the house he grew up in. "I watched horror movies all the time and never was too scared to sleep." Since then he has seen nearly every slasher film ever made, some of them--such as Halloween--hundreds of times. He likes the genre so much that last year he self-funded a festival of new and classic horror films, FEARnyc. It got rave reviews, and some of the films, including The Dark Tapes and Blurred Vision, were picked up for distribution.” - Crain’s Business
"A must for horror fans" - Truly Disturbing
"Your ideal Halloween warm up event" - Wicked Horror
FEARnyc is currently accepting submissions of the following:
Documentary Features and Shorts
Experimental Features and Shorts
Animated Features and Shorts
Film Stills and Film Posters
Live Theatrical Events
Horror Plays and Musicals
Virtual Reality Presentations
Best Short Film
Best Original Song Composed for Film
Best Production Design
Best Visual Effects
Best Lighting Design
Best Costume Design
Best Make-Up Design
Best Sound Design
Best Unproduced Screenplay
(List subject to change based on the nature of films and projects submitted)
The festival accepts both features and shorts. For the purposes of this festival, features are defined as films with a running time of 45 minutes or longer. Anything shorter is consider a short film.
We accept films from people of all backgrounds and levels of experience and from all corners of the globe. We accept all horror subgenres including sci-fi, thrillers, mystery, suspense, and related films.
We have no world premiere status regulations. We also do not have any regulations regarding whether your film has been screened elsewhere. For the 2019 festival, your film must have been completed on or after January 1, 2017.
We accept films in all languages. If your film is in a language other than English, please include subtitles.
There are no fee waivers available and there will be no submission fee refunds, even if you are not accepted into the festival.
By submitting your film, you consent to allow the film to be screened at the festival. If you are accepted into the festival, you may be asked to provide photos, stills and video clips to be used by the festival for publicity purposes. By submitting your film, you authorize that your work is cleared for festival exhibition and you accept full legal responsibility for the intellectual property therein.
When you submit a film, the film becomes eligible for all of the awards in all of the categories. Films will be judged by a jury consisting of professionals from the film industry, journalists, and more. For previous juries, see above.