Grindhouse Nights combines the best in independent horror, exploitation and sci-fi films with amazing live entertainment. Our event is designed to showcase the filmmakers, and give them an opportunity to screen their films in front of local fans and to mix, mingle and network in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

Our 10th Anniversary is coming in 2022 and we're looking forward to our biggest and best event yet.

We focus primarily on horror and exploitation type films, but we will also review and accept sci-fi, fantasy or dark drama at the panel's discretion.

We also have live entertainment throughout the day, for example, burlesque dancers, sideshow performers, singers, bands, etc. We also have costumed entertainers and our models, The Grindhouse Girls, mixing and mingling with the crowd to bring the fans a truly unique experience that is unlike any other film festival. We're proud of saying, "You never know what you're going to see at Grindhouse Nights!"

We HIGHLY encourage the filmmakers to be in attendance if at all possible. One of the main features of our event is the Q&A that takes place after each film, and the ability for filmmakers and fans to mix, mingle and network with fans and fellow filmmakers.

In honor of our 10th anniversary, coming in 2022, for the first time ever, we will be providing awards in multiple categories:

Best Film
Best Director
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best Cinematography
Best Screenplay
Best Editing
Best Visual FX
Best Practical/Makeup FX
Best Sound
Best Score
Best Villain
Best Ensemble
Best Grindhouse Film

and more!!


1. Submissions must be accompanied by the applicable submission fee PER ENTRY and a completed online entry form. All films must be in English or have English subtitles at the time submitted.

2. Films must be submitted via FilmFreeway and a downloadable link must be provided either via FilmFreeway or via an alternate method.

3. Films are shown via digital files during the Festival and we do NOT screen films on Blu-Ray, HD-CAM, or DCP. If you are unable or unwilling to provide us your film as a digital file for exhibition, DO NOT SUBMIT your film.

4. Grindhouse Nights Film Festival reserves the right to screen submitted films during the event.

5. Films must be the original work of the applicants. If a film is based upon another person’s life or upon a book or other underlying work, applicant(s) must secure any necessary rights to make such adaptations. However, it is not necessary to submit the adaptation rights agreements to the Festival. Neither the Festival nor its jurists investigates or attests to the authenticity of an applicant’s statement of authorship or rights secured. By entering the competition, you represent that you have secured all necessary rights.

6. Films are reviewed for acceptance and awards by a jury and all decisions are final. This festival caters primarily to filmmakers and fans in the NY/NJ/PA/CT area, and it is highly recommended that the filmmakers be in attendance where possible. Part of the attraction of our festival is the Q&A session that we conduct after each film, and the interaction between the filmmakers and fans. Of course, we do accept exceptional films from outside this area, and we have screened films from all over the United States and International films as well. We just want to make it clear that we do favor local filmmakers. Again, we do accept and screen films from all over the world, but we like to focus on local filmmakers when possible.

Please note that we are unable to grant requests for fee waivers, so kindly do not request a waiver. We feel that our submission fees are very reasonable, and if we granted all of the waiver requests we receive, we would not be able to run the event. We hope you understand.

If there are ever any questions about this policy, please do not hesitate to send an email to and we will respond ASAP.

Overall Rating
  • We were unable to attend the festival but we were honored to be selected and screened! I love the no awards concepts. Make it about the films! We will definitely enter again. The communication was kind and astute.

    March 2020
  • What a fun festival!! We knew there were not awards, but we wanted to see what reaction we would get for the first screening of Gem and the Photo Op. And, man, did we get what we were looking for. We could hear the laughs etc from the audience. Todd and Tom gave a great Q & A. The films were fun. Schedule was kept to, which is always appreciated. It's a fun, warm event!

    March 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for sharing your film with us Debra. We had a great time screening it and I'm glad to hear you had a great time!


  • Joshua Nelson

    Great festival! We were thrilled to be a part of it!!!!

    March 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for being with us. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed the event!

    -Todd Staruch, Festival Director

  • Our film THE LAST CALL screened this past saturday at this festival and we were lucky enough to attend this wonderful fest. We had an absolute blast and can not speak highly enough. It wasn't just a place screening your films to an empty venue, it was a packed house with love from start to finish. We met so many great filmmakers who were there having a good time as Todd and Tom would help people mingle within the space. The sound and picture quality was top notch and always checked to make sure the best presentation of the films was happening. The surprise guests and performers were such a delight to see and we will be 100% back again even if we don't have a film in the festival. The Q&A's were expertly run and the festival never ran behind or lacked in anything. The community feel was there and it became an event where everyone felt they gained from.

    As I said in the beginning of this review, I can't speak highly enough. If you are contemplating entering then let this tell you to just do it. You will be glad you did.

    March 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Marcus for screening your film with us and thank you for the kind words. I'm thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the event so much, and your support is truly appreciated. I look forward to seeing you again!

    -Todd Staruch, Festival Director

  • John Silecchia

    A well put together event, with an amazing team behind it. Couldn't ask for a better experience, can't wait for the next festival!!!

    March 2020
    Response from festival:

    I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed the event. We definitely had fun screening your film, and I appreciate the feedback!

    -Todd Staruch, Festival Director