In conjunction with our annual horror convention, the Horror Writers Association is proud to announce the 6th Annual FINAL FRAME Horror Short Film Competition!

We are looking for horror short films that are 13 (THIRTEEN) MINUTES in length and under only.

Between ten to fifteen selected films will showcase as part of the StokerCon 2021 Horror Writers Convention. UPDATE: We will be going virtual this year using the Eventive platform.

The grand prize winner will be announced at the close of screening on Friday, May 21st.

For more information on StokerCon 2021, please visit:

The coveted StokerCon 2021 Final Frame Award and a cash prize of $1000 will be awarded to one film and filmmaker, the best film shown at our event as decided upon by a panel of industry judges.

There will be special prize packages for (2) Runner-Up films

Our 2021 judges have been announced!

Alejandro Brugués (wrote and directed JUAN OF THE DEAD, which won the Goya Award for Best Spanish Language Foreign Film in 2012. He also directed standout pieces in the ABC’S OF DEATH 2 and NIGHTMARE CINEMA)

Grady Hendrix (author, Final Girl Support Group, My Best Friend's Exorcism / screenwriter, Mohawk & Satanic Panic)

Lisa Morton (author of four novels and 150 short stories, a six-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award®, past President of the Horror Writers Association, and a world-class Halloween expert)

Ed Polgardy (a successful feature film writer-producer-director, and an acclaimed comic book creator-writer-editor since the early 1980’s and producer of The Wretched, which was the number one movie in America for 6 weeks straight in the summer of 2020)

and two fabulous former Final Frame Finalists Beck Kitsis (director, Three Men You Meet At Night / producer, The Rat), Carlen May-Mann (director, The Rat / producer, Three Men You meet At Night).

Our previous judges included:

Mick Garris (Hocus Pocus, The Stand, Masters of Horror, Nightmare Cinema)

Oscar-winning producer, Jennifer Handorf (Prevenge)

Screenwriter, novelist and comic-writer M.R. Carey (The Girl With All the Gifts)

Author Adam L.G. Nevill (The Ritual, No One Gets Out Alive)

Writer and award-winning filmmaker Frazer Lee (On Edge, Panic Button, The Lamplighters)

Novelist and film critic Kim Newman (Anno Dracula)

Novelist and screenwriter Sarah Pinborough (Behind Her Eyes, Cross Her Heart)

Novelist and screenwriter Lisa Morton (Calling The Spirits: A History of Seances, Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween)

Mike Flanagan (writer/director, Haunting of Hill House, Gerald's Game, Hush)

Josh Malerman (author of the international phenomenon, Bird Box and novels including Malorie, Inspection)

Jonathan Maberry (creator of the bestselling Joe Ledger series, author of The Pine Deep Trilogy, Mars One and more)

Lynne Hansen (award-winning filmmaker/ book cover artist)

Antonio D’Intino (Literary Manager, Circle of Confusion)

John Skipp (legendary horror author and filmmaker)

Craig Engler (co-creator, ZNation, and GM of AMC’s Shudder)

Grady Hendrix (author, Paperbacks From Hell / My Best Friend’s Exorcism)

Michael Gingold (horror journalist, writer, editor / formerly of Fangoria, currently with Rue Morgue, Scream, Birth.Movies.Death and the author of Frightfest’s Guide to Monster Movies)

Mike McCarty (Makeup FX, formerly of KNB, currently with Autonomous FX)

Ryan Turek (Director of Development, Blumhouse / Producer, Halloween, Happy Death Day, and Truth or Dare)

Rebekah McKendry (FIlmmaker, Co-Host, Colors of the Dark podcast)

StokerCon 2021’s FINAL FRAME Horror Short Competition films must be uploaded to this site by no later than April 20th, 2021 to be considered for inclusion by the festival programmers. All selections to be shown in competition will be announced on our site no later than April 25th, 2021. Selected filmmakers will be notified by email prior to the announcement.

The film must be original content preferably completed between 2020 - 2021. Entries that egregiously exceed the time limit or are available to watch on sites like YouTube for the general public will be disqualified. Disqualified films will NOT receive a refund of their entry fees, so please read the rules carefully.

World Premiere status will be taken into consideration by the judges but is not a requirement.

If an adaptation, the filmmaker must have secured permission from the content owner and meet all requirements to hold copyright on the film when entering. English language and/or English subtitles required for submissions.

To submit your film, please upload and send a private link to your work on either YouTube, Vimeo. Make sure these links are private - publicly available films will not be considered.

If posted to a media site, be sure to only post your film as "Private" as films that are available online for viewing will not be considered. Please also include the "Private" status film's password so we can watch your film promptly.

All films submitted to the festival are viewed and scored by a panel of knowledgeable celebrity judges who love both horror and short films.

If a film is accepted, a high-quality ProRes will be required for screening. StokerCon 2020 cannot be held liable for any filmmakers who do not properly follow-up.

StokerCon 2021’s FINAL FRAME Horror Short Competition will take place Thursday, May 20th through Sunday, May 23rd, at The Curtis Hotel in Denver, Colorado. You do not need to be present to compete.

Entrance fees are non-refundable. Films that have ignored the rules and criteria set forth above will be rejected without any further information given.

Overall Rating
  • A fantastic festival that delivers a diverse lineup of the best horror shorts the scene has to offer. Great exposer with some high profile judges as well! The team does an outstanding job.

    September 2017
  • Adam Losurdo

    We were lucky enough to attend the StokerCon Final Frame Film Competition recently, and I have to say the event did not disappoint. In all honesty, you could not pick a better location than the Queen Mary in Long Beach. The ballroom was absolutely stunning and being aboard such an amazing vessel to see all these fantastic films is something I will always remember. The evening went off without any issues. Everything was perfect. The awards ceremony with food and drinks to follow was a very nice touch, and again the location was great. A big thank you to the judges for putting in the time and effort. Most of all the crowd was amazing. The house was packed, standing room only, and the audience was engaged from the first title to the last credit that rolled. Overall a great event that I hope to attend again in the future!

    -Nicholas Fratarcangelo

    May 2017
  • Daniel Robinette

    Absolutely incredible convention and festival. Jonathan and Brad were fantastic coordinators - networking was an A+ and it was a stellar opportunity to showcase a film! Kudos!!!!

    May 2016
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the kind words, Daniel! We're glad you were able to make it out and had a great time. Hope to see you in 2017!