Named one of MovieMaker Magazine's Top 50 Best Genre Film Fests In The World!

Consistently Ranked Top 100 Best Reviewed Film Fests on FilmFreeway!

"An extraordinarily well-curated program that delivered on all fronts, offering a diverse tapestry of unforgettable films that surprised and delighted at every turn. Next year’s GenreBlast can’t get here soon enough!"
- Stephanie Malone, Morbidly Beautiful

"...the genre film festival based out of Winchester, Virginia, is now in its sixth year and preparing to rock the local Alamo Drafthouse Cinema with a banger program."
- Screen Anarchy

"One of our top 3 film festivals. Great venue. We had a blast!"
- Joe Fittos, Indie Infestation

"We're huge fans of this spectacular film festival. A great time is always had by all."
- Doc Rotten, Gruesome Magazine

"Definitely the highlight of my year."
- Josh Burkey, Victims & Villains

"GenreBlast brought more than just horror and tears. The varied programming offered something for all (and often weird) tastes. I can't wait to go back next year!"
- PopHorror

"Honestly it's one of the better film festivals I've been to."
- Brad Gullickson, In The Mouth of Dorkness

"GenreBlast is the rare festival that brings filmmakers and fans from every corner of the indie world together, and they do it seamlessly. It's a unique experience that you won't find anywhere else."
- Chris Ethridge, HorrorPack

GenreBlast is an international independent genre film festival coming to you from the awesome Alamo Drafthouse Winchester in beautiful Winchester, VA!

GB8 will happen LABOR DAY WEEKEND - 8/31-9/3 2023 and will feature the best of truly independent films from around the world - specializing in action, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, martial arts, grindhouse, exploitation, Korean thrillers, Japanese gangster flicks, Chinese action movies, French horror, midnight movies, shoestring budget weird cinema, and everything under the sun! We really welcome all genres of interesting, original, exciting and daring moviemaking! All countries and walks of life are welcome here!

We also have a fantastic screenplay contest that is growing larger every year!

Our discussion panels at GenreBlast have been a big hit and we're bringing them back for GB8! Raw, uncensored real talk about indie filmmaking, gender bias, distribution, criticism, and much more will come your way from the mouths of some of the best indie talent out there!

After-parties, lively conversation, networking galore, TONS of movies, informative Q&A's and the chance to make new lifelong industry friends - all nestled in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley hamlet of Winchester, VA! Your movie will be shown in front of a lively, enthusiastic crowd of cinephiles and industry peers that don't walk around with their heads up their asses 24/7! What a refreshing way to attend a film fest!

Come Labor Day Weekend, you'll wish you were at GenreBlast!


First prize in the top categories will receive a trophy, sponsor swag, possibly cash prizes and potentially more!

Runners up in each category will receive a certificate and possibly an assortment of cool sponsor prizes.

Attending filmmakers/screenwriters will receive a weekend pass to the festival along with exclusive filmmaker lanyards to identify you as a special snowflake as well as VIP loot bags and the royal treatment you so richly deserve that can be lacking in a lot of festivals. We will treat you right, baby!

There will be a combined awards ceremony for screenwriters and filmmakers on Sunday afternoon followed by an after party to remember - the GenreBlast Aftermath Party!

The weekend will also be filled with other parties and informative and entertaining panels and discussions. You'll be in genre movie heaven.

Some of the categories for awards include:

GenreBlast Forever Award
Jury Award
Audience Choice Award
Best Feature Film
Best Short Film
Best Director (Feature)
Best Director (Short)
Best Cinematographer (Feature)
Best Cinematographer (Short)
Best Score (Feature)
Best Score (Short)
Best Screenplay (Feature)
Best Screenplay (Short)
Best FX (Feature)
Best FX (Short)
Best Actress (Feature)
Best Actor (Feature)
Best Actress (Short)
Best Actor (Short)

Best Feature Script
Best Short Script
Best TV/Web Script

Best Local Film
Best Song
Best Trailer
Best Hero
Best Villain
Best On-Screen Duo
Best Ensemble
Best Poster (Feature)
Best Poster (Short)

Honorable Mention Feature Script
Runner-Up Feature Script
Honorable Mention Short Script
Runner-Up Shot Script
Honorable Mention TV/Web Script
Runner-Up TV/Web Script

Ask yourself this question: would you ask Sundance or Fantasia for a submission waiver?

So, with that answer in mind, please know that it's insulting when you ask us for one. We get plenty of awesome films through straight up submission fees and we prioritize them above all else.

We DO NOT provide feedback for projects not selected. Please do not ask.

If you have submitted a film to us during a previous submission period and it was not accepted, your chances of getting accepted with the same film in a current submission period are very slim. As in zero.

Please do not submit your film to multiple genre categories. You're wasting your money. It doesn't give you an extra chance to get accepted. That's just silly. Pick the one that you feel best suits your film and let us do the rest. If we like your film, it won't matter what category it gets submitted under. Ya dig?

We are a physical, in-person theatrical experience festival above all else. We have no plans to ever go virtual unless a physical venue is unavailable to us. There are no plans for a hybrid fest, either.

Email us if you have any questions about anything before you submit.

Again, no waiver requests. Please don't ask. We want to make it an even playing field for anyone who submits via FilmFreeway. We don't play favorites, we don't pander to anyone and we don't kiss up to the big festivals or follow trends. We program what we think will play well over the weekend. It's that simple.

You'd be surprised how many people don't read these rules and ask us for a waiver. Or they read these rules, think they don't apply to them, and still ask for a waiver. It boggles the mind.

If your film is already available online prior to the fest, there's a slim-to-none chance we will select your film. By that, we mean if you put it on YouTube or Vimeo or whatever for the public to view. Virtual screenings for other fests are okay. Space is limited and we prioritize the theatrical experience with films unavailable online to the public. Films with distribution deals that release prior to the fest will most likely not be selected. However, if you have a deal that doesn't happen until after the fest, we have no problem programming you then.

We do not pay screening fees. Ever.

Feature films must be at least a Virginia premiere. If you've already played somewhere else in Virginia, we congratulate you and wish you well in your future festival endeavors.

PLEASE FILL OUT YOUR PROJECT INFO ON YOUR FILMFREEWAY PAGE. It is extremely frustrating when we filter projects by running time or try to see where your film was made and your film page has no info. It doesn't make you mysterious or interesting. Take the time to fill out your project page properly, please.

Feature films and scripts qualify as at least 60 mins/pgs and up. Short films and scripts qualify as 59 mins/pgs and under. Pretty simple.

All screenplays submitted MUST be in standard screenplay format as a PDF from a program such as Celtx, Movie Magic, Final Draft, etc... Word docs with improper formatting will be disqualified without a refund. Your cover page should just have the title of your script and nothing else.

By submitting, you agree that you own all copyrights and intellectual properties to your work. Any violations of that agreement will result in immediate disqualification from the festival and a cheerfully vulgar rejection letter.

GenreBlast reserves the right to use any part of your submission for promotional purposes regarding the festival itself. This includes Facebook, Twitter, local advertising, promo trailers and other related venues. Don't freak out, this stuff is pretty routine. We just might use a clip or still from your work to help promote the festival so we can sell tickets for people to see your awesome flick. That means we like you.

Submitting to GenreBlast Film Festival does not guarantee selection. Neither does liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter or Instagram. Cash bribes might work, but why risk it? We reserve the right to disqualify anyone based on violation of rules & regulations, objectionable content (although we can handle a lot) rude behavior via email or social media, poor sound and/or video quality (as in unwatchable) or due to a love of Kevin James films.

International films not in English MUST be subtitled or dubbed in English. We Americans are stupid. We need subtitles because we're too lazy and arrogant to learn a second language. Do us a favor and make sure your awesome foreign film has those lovely ENGLISH subtitles. Thanks! Seriously though, dubbing blows. Don't do it.

Pretty much anything is fair game as far as content is concerned. We love violence, raunch, gore and outrageous situations, just make sure it all comes with some kind of actual story.

Again, If you're not sure about something, please email us before you submit. We'll answer your queries as quickly as possible.

Happy submitting!

Overall Rating
  • Ariel Baska

    Great festival that has always done really great work with programming great entertainment and really fabulously off the wall kinds of stuff. I love what they do and look forward to it every year, but it's especially gratifying to attend as a filmmaker.

    November 2022
  • I wished I was able to attend the festival! I know it was big fun! It is my plan to enter again when my script has been produced, so I'm looking forward to being there! Thank you for the great communication and the opportunity!

    September 2022
  • Harry Valentine

    I'm so grateful that my sci-fi thriller Panopto was included in this year's GENREBLAST! Nathan and his team were great communicators, had a killer rollout, and clearly really value indie film. I wasn't able to attend in person, but everyone I talked to about the 2022 fest had an awesome time. Bonus points for fun social media graphics for nominees and unique physical awards for winners.

    September 2022
  • Grant Gillespie

    100 Names are thrilled to get laurels for Best Produced Short and Beat Short Comedy. Thank you so much Genreblast team!

    September 2022
  • Sylvia Caminer

    An awesome genre festival! This one really hurt not to be able to attend ... but there was such great communication with Nathan, really enjoyed the FB lives - you can feel his passion for film and filmmakers. I will definitely be submitting again and again.

    September 2022