Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and just plain fantastic movies from all around the world.

Fantastic Fest is a supporting member of the Melies Fantastic Film Festival Federation, only the 2nd festival in the United States awarded that honor. We are also one of the three founding members of the North American Fantastic Festival Alliance, along with Montreal's Fantasia and San Francisco's Dead Channels.

The festival has been home to world premieres of THERE WILL BE BLOOD, APOCALYPTO, ZOMBIELAND, THE TROLL HUNTER & RED. In 2011, Fantastic Fest was home to the world premiere of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3, THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 and KILL LIST while the guest roster has included such talent as Mel Gibson, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Ryan Reynolds, Karl Urban, Josh Hartnett, The RZA, Dolph Lundgren, Jemaine Clement, Paul Rudd, Bill Pullman, Paul Thomas Anderson, Kevin Smith, Jon Favreau, George Romero, Darren Aronofsky and Mike Judge. Fantastic Fest also features world, national and regional premieres of new, up-and-coming genre films.

Fantastic Fest 2011 included premieres & special screenings for audience and critic favorites YOU'RE NEXT, MELANCHOLIA, THE SKIN I LIVE IN, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN, TAKE SHELTER, HEADHUNTERS, SLEEPLESS NIGHT, A BOY AND HIS SAMURAI, BULLHEAD, CLOWN and many more.

In past years there has been a strong presence at Fantastic Fest by industry acquisition executives from companies such as Magnolia, Roadside Attractions, Picturehouse, First Look, Blue Underground, Lifesize, ADV and Funimation. Acquisitions from the past couple of years have included THE TROLL HUNTER, MONSTERS, PENUMBRA, BULLHEAD, CLOWN, COMIN' AT YA! 3D & KILL LIST.

During his Keynote Address at the International Film Festival Summit in Las Vegas, Variety president and publisher Charlie Koones listed Fantastic Fest in a list of “10 Film Festivals We Love,” a list which included industry heavy-hitters such as Cannes, Toronto and Telluride. We’ve also been named as one of the “25 coolest film festivals” and the “25 film festivals worth the entry fee” by Moviemaker Magazine

“The geek Telluride… Fantastic Fest lives up to its name”

– Variety

“The coolest film festival in the world”

“The most important film festival in North America”

– Texas Monthly

“If there’s a heaven, I want it to be just like the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar during the week of Fantastic Fest.”


“Fantastic Fest, you see, is one of the most exciting and rising film events in the country. “
- The Oregonian

"Taking place mere weeks after the Telluride and Toronto International Film Festivals, Fantastic Fest is the cinematic equivalent of a hot fudge sundae that follows a meal full of vegetables."

- Wall Street Journal/Speakeasy Blog

“If Cinematical were its own nation, Fantastic Fest would be our Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year, Festivus, Easter, President's Day and every other holiday you can think of”

- Peter Hall, Cinematical

Fantastic Fest is held each year at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on South Lamar in Austin, Texas. The Alamo Drafthouse was named the best cinema in America by Entertainment Weekly and features food and drink served to your seat without any disruption of the movie experience.

We also pride ourselves on treating our guests with Texas hospitality. We host numerous VIP parties at Texas institutions such as the Broken Spoke and Donn's Depot as well as day trips to the best BBQ restaurants in Texas and the legendary Shiner Brewery. Experience Austin, Texas to its fullest, and expose your film to a wide audience of video and film acquisition professionals, members of the media and a die-hard dedicated audience of genre film fanatics.

Eligibility Requirements for the feature film and short film competition (jury and audience award):
- Running time for all feature films must be 70 minutes or more
- Running time for all shorts must be less than 30 minutes.
- Selected films must be made available in a 35mm composite print, Blu-ray, or DCP.
- Film submissions in a foreign language must be subtitled in English.
- All films must be at least a Texas premiere and cannot be made available publicly online at any time before the fest.
- Preview screening format is an online screener ONLY - No DVD screeners.
- If submitting more than one film, a separate completed entry is required for each title.

- Films are scheduled at the discretion of Fantastic Fest. Fantastic Fest retains the right to make changes to the published schedule at any time and for any reason. Films may be screened more than once.

Overall Rating
  • Maha Al-Saati

    This is my second Fantastic Fest and althought the trip to get there takes almost a day of flying I still think it's worth it. I have enjoyed it tremendously last year and this one. Everyone is friendly, the films are weird, and the screenings at the Alamo Drafthouse can't get any better with all the insane PSAs about not texting or talking or you will get kicked out (and you will, and that's how much they respect the film experience and other filmgoers!).
    There's a social event organised for filmmakers almost everyday with some crazy themes, including a BBQ at the Texas chainsaw massacre filmsite, DJ and Halloween parties. I loved it overall. Thank you everyone: organizers, programmers, Alamo staff and volunteers! :) I hope I'll be able to come again in the following years!

    October 2018
  • Defiantly the best festival I've ever attended. Looking forward to next year.

    October 2018