Genre colors all film, and we're here to celebrate that whether you create sci-fi works, horror, noir, westerns, etc. We love them all. Indie filmmakers are encouraged to submit. We don't have a premiere requirement or any made by dates so don't hesitate to submit. We're looking for the best genre films and scripts regardless of budget. Our jury consists of industry veterans and professionals around the world.

The best award-winning films, as specially chosen by our judges, will be screened to a live audience in Tokyo, giving you an incredible opportunity for international exposure! We have partnered with the Bloodstained Indie Film Festival for this. The screenings of previous years took place in Shanghai but we've now changed to Japan. Prior to our screening, we will have several rounds of judging, during which you can submit your film or script and have the chance to win some awards. There were 4 rounds but now we've switched to 2. For Round 1 (Last Chance Deadline of May 31st), official selections, nominees, and winners will be announced by July 10th (your FilmFreeway submission status will also be updated by then). For Round 2 (Last Chance Deadline of November 5th), you'll find out by November 30th (again FilmFreeway status will be updated by then as well).

Web series are welcome and can be submitted under shorts. If we receive enough high quality web series entries, we will have a Best Web Series award, and we may have separate web series genre awards depending on the number of entries. Animated genre films are welcome too and can be submitted under the appropriate category like Horror Short or Sci-Fi Short, etc. If your film fits more than one genre like if it's both Horror and Sci-Fi, you can pick the category you feel is most appropriate but don't worry since we can move it to a different category if necessary. We're not that picky and obviously some films are a blend of different genres but we love to see those too.

Best Sci-Fi Feature, Best Horror Feature, Best Noir Feature, Best Western Feature, Best Fantasy Feature, Best Drama Feature Best Sci-Fi Short, Best Horror Short, Best Noir Short, Best Western Short, Best Fantasy Short, Best Drama Short, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best FX, Best Editing

Sorry no trophies or certificates.

You must have all the proper clearances and rights to submit your film and/or script. Do not submit a project if it doesn't belong to you unless you have explicit written permission. You grant us the right to screen your film at our festival.

Entries must be submitted in English or with English subtitles.

To help protect the environment and cut back on waste, we only accept online screeners via for the submission process.

Entry fees are non-refundable.

The venue in Tokyo and the time of the screening may be subject to change because of factors outside of our control (booking, weather, etc.) but no matter what, there will be a screening with a live audience at a physical venue in Tokyo (the venue may be relocated to another city or country if there is a war or some other outstanding circumstance). If need be, the screening may be changed to a location in the United States.

Judging decisions are final. Submitters will not receive judging comments on their entry. No physical awards will be given, only images of laurels will be emailed.

Scripts can only be submitted by the original screenwriter. The entrant certifies that the script is their original work. We accept no responsibility, financial or otherwise, for any script submitted to the festival. All entries are adjudicated by industry professionals who may have many movie or script ideas with multiple projects in the works. By sending in an entry, the screenwriter recognizes each and every judge may have similar ideas and absolves the Genre Celebration Festival and the judge(s) from any liability associated with his/her/their participation in this competition.

The person(s) or companies submitting a film and/or script shall indemnify and hold harmless the Genre Celebration Festival and its agents and associates from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to any projects and/or materials submitted to the Genre Celebration Festival. The individual(s) or company submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

Neither party shall owe any liability to the other party arising under this agreement for any indirect, special, punitive or consequential damages, including, without limitation, loss of profit or business opportunities, except as expressly set forth herein. Neither party makes (and each party hereby specifically disclaims) any, representations or warrantees, express or implied, regarding the services contemplated by this agreement, including any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, implied warranties arising from a course of dealing or course of performance or any warranties relating to title or non-infringement of intellectual property. Neither party makes any representation, warranty or assurance concerning any minimum or maximum number of viewers or attendees or screenings or celebrities or special guests or events or seminars. Except for payments due collected by the Genre Celebration Festival as stated herein or on our website(s), the Genre Celebration Festival's liability for any damages caused to you as a result of performance or non-performance or damage under, or not under, this agreement shall be limited in all circumstances to an amount no greater than one U.S. dollar ($1.00).

We reserve the right to add, modify, or discard rules and terms, if needed, as needed, at any time, at its sole discretion, with or without notification. We further reserve the right to make decisions to address anomalies and/or unforeseen circumstances, including, but not limited to removing an entry from consideration, at our sole discretion, without providing an explanation.

By entering this festival, you agree to all of these rules and terms without any changes.

Overall Rating
  • Charlton Thorp

    I was notified that my film was selected, but then I never got any further information. The months went by and I needed to know more details if I was going to fly out there. Eventually, I emailed the festival and asked if they were screening my film. They replied and said they wouldn't know until closer to the festival date, which was a frustrating answer (why did you select it if you aren't sure you can screen it?). I emailed closer to the event and never got a response. It didn't seem like they had their own website, I was always just directed to the filmfreeway page. I was willing to fly to overseas to participate in the festival if I knew my film was going to be included, but everything seemed very unclear. I don't know what the deal is with this festival, but communication is not the strongest. It felt like I'd been scammed.

    April 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you for the feedback! After the notification email about your film being selected, we sent another message on 3/11/2019 with further information. Sorry we never received an email from you closer to the event (only the one on 10/28/2019 that we replied to and 11/7/2019). The last email from you only said, "Thanks for the update!" so we had no idea you were frustrated. The link to our own website is at the very top of the notification email about your film being selected and it is right at the top of our FilmFreeway page where it says "Website" (the address is Our festival's process with several rounds of judging prior to our public screening of the best entries is clearly outlined both here on FilmFreeway, on our own website, and in all the messages we send. It seems you missed our email about your film winning an award and being nominated for another. This email also had a link to our own website at the top (we always direct people there) and contained important information about our festival. It's really critical to read about a festival before submitting and to read all the correspondence from festivals but we're very sorry about the misunderstanding. We've sent a full refund.

  • Geoff Harmer

    Wow!! We won some fab awards! So pleased to have 'Dead Air' selected for the event.

    January 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you for the review! We're very glad you liked our festival!

  • One of my all-time favorite genre festivals! Great prices for independent filmmakers, a kind staff, and a diverse range of exciting categories. I highly recommend and plan to submit again in the near future!

    January 2020
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    Response from festival:

    We really appreciate it! Honored to watch your work!

  • Thank you for choosing The Real Thing as a feature screenplay Nominee. An all-round first-class film festival...

    December 2019
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much!

  • Viraf Kekobad

    Deeply honoured that our multi award winning documentary MISSION SAFEER...37 DAYS TO FREEDOM, won the Best Editing award and also was a nominee for Best Drama Short at your prestigious festival in Tokyo, Japan.
    Your communication was excellent and we wish your Festival great success in 2020 and beyond.

    December 2019
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    Response from festival:

    Very grateful! Thank you!