Welcome to GainesCon - The Virtual and In-Person Shorts Edition!

This is a film festival geared to the diversity and wonderment of the independent Action Sci-Fi and Horror filmmaker. We are excited to showcase an array of amazing short films from around the world.

As moviemakers ourselves, we understand the difficulty in completing any film of any size. And we know it’s not just about how much money was spent on a project, but how it was told. It’s about the story and heart applied that brings the audience into your world. Which is why we have a slew of categories for you to apply for.

Within the spirit of independent creativity, we made a category specially for budgets less than 1500.00. It is “No Budget, No Problem”. When all you have is your passion to tell a story, this ones for you.

You can also send in your screenplay. There is nothing like sitting back and being entertained by the power of the pen!

Having all these amazing content under one event won’t be fitting unless there was a way to award those with exceptional material. So have we created THE DRAGON AWARDS! This beautiful trophy was designed by an amazing illustrator, David Jennings from Ireland. It is to convey the strength, desire and vision that goes into creating our art. And each trophy is painted by a talented make-up artist, Faith Rios, which makes each Dragon unique.

1. "The Red Dragon" - this award will for Best Picture Short only. This is will include a Final Draft license, Dragon Certificate and a chance for a distribution with our partners.

2. "The Gold Dragon" - This will be given to all the winners except, Costume, Action Sequence and Movie Trailer"

3. "The Dragon Certificate" - This is given to the winners for Best Costume, Action Sequence and Movie Trailer.

So, join us and let us see what you have. We look forward to the worlds and stories you have conjured up!

All national awards will be mailed to the winners FREE of charge.
All international awards will have a shipping fee applied.

"Winner for Best Picture" will receive the beautiful "Red Dragon Award", created by our incomparable illustrator David Jennings of Ireland and a license for FINAL DRAFT, the leader in screenwriting software. Including a congratulatory certificate with a chance for a distribution deal.

All winners others then Best picture will receive the outstanding Golden Dragon created by our incomparable illustrator David Jennings of Ireland as well.

The "Red Dragon Trophy" & Final Draft License
Best Picture

The "Golden Dragon Trophy":
Best Director
Best Male Actor
Best Female Actor
Best Visual Effects
Best Original Score
Best Editing
Best Cinematographer
Best Choreography
Best Horror Short
Best Web-Series/New Media
Best Documentary
Best Costume

The "Dragon Certificate"
Best Trailer
Best Action Sequence
Best "No Budget No Problem" short
Best Screenplay

*Viewing will be held both virtually and on property. Details will be sent to all participants and listed on the website. GainesCon.com

*Movies must have been completed between 2015 to present.

All submissions will be reviewed and judge. There are NO GUARANTEE ACCEPTANCE.

Content must be within the realm of Action, Sci-Fi and Horror.

You must own the rights or have permission to all elements of the content submitted.

Content is judge on creativity, story, editing, performances and camera work.

Non-English content must provide Closed Captioning.

Cosplay costume entries must provide a clear picture to be considered.

All submissions must be made through FilmFreeway. No DVD, Links or Blu-ray will be accepted.

All results will be notified by email.

All accepted submissions must provide a trailer and artwork for promotion through a link. No hard copies please.


Overall Rating
  • Hats off to the awesome Barry Gaines and co. for pulling off the inaugural GAINESCON film festival in Tampa/St. Petersburg Florida. Due to car issues I could not get down there for the event but everything Mr. Gaines and company did for the festival was top notch from the brilliant website (other film festivals should take note) to the excellent communication, video promotion, and choice of venue (Studio Movie Grill). The cherry on top was my film "Haunted Thrills" winning the Golden Dragon award for best documentary. I highly recommend GAINESCON for indie filmmakers!

    November 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Mike for being a part of my inaugural. Your documentary is fantastic and I am proud to award you a Gold Dragon. Congratulations!

  • I had a great time at the festival. Barry Gaines put together a fun and eclectic collection of independent films. I'm looking forward to attending the next event.

    November 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for being a part of my inaugural Joseph. Winning the “No Budget, No Problem” award was well deserve. I’m looking forward in reviewing your future projects.

  • Mark Cheng

    Wonderful Con to be a part of!

    November 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you very much Mark for being a part of my first festival. I look forward in reviewing your future work for my next event.

  • Excellent communication! Thank you for making "Ash in Amber" an official selection. I look forward to submitting to future events.

    November 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Allison for submitting your work to my inaugural event. Your screenplay was a good read and I can see this making waves as a short film. Kudos!

  • Kevin Croxton

    Gainescon was amazing! Our films screened both in person and online simultaneously, which allowed people to watch from anywhere! One of our fan films, "Batman: The Scheme Is Sound" won the Golden Dragon Award for Best Costumes! What an honor!!! I am currently in pre-production for our elementary music club's next fan film, so it will be a while before it's released, but once it's out, I will be submitting it to Gainescon!!!!

    November 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Kevin for being a part of my inaugural. I'm looking forward in seeing what you come up with next. The work your team put into designs for the Batman costumes were impressive. Plus you had the Batmobile...WOW!