Kinds of short & feature films showcased at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival:
• Cosmic Horror (the insignificance of humans in a dangerous universe)
• Occult & Supernatural Horror (Weird cults & evil alien gods!)
• Uncanny ghost stories (in the vein of M. R. James & Henry James)
• Adaptations of stories by H. P. Lovecraft, or stories he inspired
• Adaptations of stories by authors like Edgar Allan Poe, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert W. Chambers, M. R. James, Robert E. Howard, Stephen King, Clive Barker, and other authors who were inspirations for Lovecraft, and those who were inspired by him.

Kind of films not selected for the festival:
• Films about the "Craft" of "Love" - NO romantic comedies or tales of love lost! "Lovecraft" is the name of a popular HORROR author from the 1920s and 30s. We really shouldn't have to tell you this; Google the name before submitting.
• Horror that is purely Human vs. Human, such as stalkers and serial killer films. Some leeway for supernatural killers and cannibals, depending on context (again, read some Lovecraft to see what we mean).

Since 1995, the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival® has been a vanguard of independent Horror cinema. H. P. Lovecraft was one of the founding fathers of modern horror and dragged the world kicking and screaming out of our Gothic horror past, and into the Cosmic Horror of the future, inspiring hallmarks of the genre like Ridley Scott's ALIEN, John Carpenter's THE THING, Stuart Gordon's RE-ANIMATOR and FROM BEYOND. Lovecraft's literary works heavily inspire authors like Stephen King, Clive Barker, F. Paul Wilson, Peter Straub, Charles Stross, and many more. His works often deal with generational or hereditary horror, threats from beyond our world or from beneath our seas (or both, but more horror than sci-fi), occult horror (robes and candles, but often with math, instead of spells), and secrets humans were not meant to know and are not ready to learn.

Our purpose is simple: to promote the works of H. P. Lovecraft (as well as Cosmic Horror & Weird tales) through films inspired by his unique worldview and cinematic adaptations of his stories, as well as other works in the genres of Cosmic Horror, the Weird tale, and the Uncanny.

Previous special guests at the festival include (among many others), author Ramsey Campbell, director Stuart Gordon, producer Brian Yuzna, actor Doug Bradley (Hellraiser and Nightbreed), actors Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator and From Beyond), Christopher Heyerdahl (Supernatural, Stargate Atlantis, Chronicles of Riddick), director Richard Stanley (Hardware, Dust Devil, Mother of Toads), author Charles Stross, scholar S. T. Joshi, performer Patti Smith, game designer Sandy Petersen (the Call of Cthulhu RPG), and many more.

ALL SUBMISSIONS must be sent as on-line streaming screeners through FilmFreeway. Because we have two+ events every year in different cities, on-line screeners are the best way for our judges various parts of the country to fairly consider your submission.

We also host the yearly Portland Horror Film Festival™ in June that showcases a mix of horror genres. Check it out here on FilmFreeway at


In addition to the long-running H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival® in Portland, OR, your film will also be considered for any satellite events we host, including a biennial festival in Providence, RI, as well as related film programming at other Lovecraftian events.

Aug 17-19, 2018
2nd Biennial H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival - Providence, RI
DEADLINE: June 18, 2018
NOTIFICATION DATE (for Providence selections only): July 13, 2018

Oct 5-7, 2018
23nd Annual H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival - Portland, OR
Films selected will play on a 60ft screen, in the wonderfully restored 1926 movie palace, Portland's own Hollywood Theatre.
FINAL DEADLINE: Aug 13, 2018
NOTIFICATION DATE: September 17, 2017

There are also occasional special "Best of the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival" screenings in various cities that your film could be selected for. For example, in 2013, 2015, and 2017 blocks of selected films played at Necronomicon in Providence, RI, and in 2014 there were special screenings in New York city and in Stockholm, Sweden. Future one-off events are in the works for New Orleans, LA and Chicago, IL.


We've been to several other regional film festivals around the country, and are always surprised... the fests are fun, the films are great, but often, half the seats are empty. The H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival nearly sells out every year, and we pack three separate auditoriums (ranging from 100-350 seats each) for nearly every film showing, especially short film blocks, which are the favorite of our audience! If your film is selected for the HPLFF, it will almost certainly be seen by more enthusiastic fans than at traditional film festivals. This also makes it a great festival to attend as a filmmaker, since you'll be able to engage with our large enthusiastic audience through on-stage Q&As, as well as less formal mingle opportunities.


In Lovecraft's words: "A certain atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces must be present; and there must be a hint... [of the] suspension or defeat of those fixed laws of Nature which are our only safeguard against the assaults of chaos and the daemons of unplumbed space."

Submissions should be one of the following:

- Original works that showcase Lovecraftian ideas like the Cthulhu Mythos, Cosmic Horror, the Weird Tale, or the Uncanny.

- Adaptations of Lovecraft stories: direct or indirect.

- Adaptations of Lovecraft's literary circle OR his inspirations OR his spiritual descendants: Edgar Allan Poe, Lord Dunsany, Robert Bloch, Robert W. Chambers, Clark Ashton Smith, Arthur Machen, M.R. James, Robert E. Howard, Stephen King, Clive Barker, etc.

- FUNNY. Sometimes "Lovecraftian" means funny (especially if the humor involves cultists, occult books, and tentacled monsters). Our audience loves a good chuckle poking fun at this most serious brand of horror.


Usually Slasher flicks, Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies, Alien Abduction and other conventional horror tropes are not Lovecraftian, with a bunch of exceptions.


- If the Zombies are here because a mystical book opened a Gate to another dimension and heralded the end of the world as we know it (like Fulci's The Beyond), and there is an appropriate dread of outer forces, it might be Lovecraftian.

- If the Vampires are alien entities from outside our world that are stealing the life force of humans (like Tobe Hooper's Lifeforce) or they are the emissaries of greater beings beyond our understanding, then it might be Lovecraftian.

- If the Aliens are unearthed on a spaceship buried before the dawn of humankind, and its form and goals are truly outside the scope of our conception of the Universe, and the discovery hints at a horror older and bigger than humankind itself (like Ridley Scott's Alien AND John Carpenter's The Thing), then it probably is Lovecraftian.

- If a technological mechanism opens a gate to Hell, but that Hell is really a cosmically different dimension filled with sanity-shattering revelations about the nature of humanity (like Clive Barker's Hellraiser AND like Don Coscarelli's Phantasm), then it might be Lovecraftian.

Only you can decide if your film transcends conventional horror genres with Lovecraftian ideas. If you think it does... please submit it to us. DID YOU READ THIS FAR? Tell us you know your film or script is Lovecraftian and save $5 on the submission fee by using the code "IKNOWHPL" when you submit.

STILL NOT SURE THAT YOUR FILM IS LOVECRAFTIAN? That's okay, we love horror in all its forms over at Portland Horror Film Festival™ - same theater, same attention to detail, but it happens every year in June. Submit your film there at

ON PUBLIC AVAILABILITY (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.): We want to show great films to our audience on a big screen in a historic movie theater, especially films that our audience can't see at home. We fairly consider all submissions, but RARELY SELECT films that can be freely seen by the public on YouTube, or other video sites. We recommend that you wait to reveal your masterpiece after it has made its (hopefully many) festival appearances. This gives us the best opportunity to attract a large audience that supports indie film in a fantastic setting, and we can more easily promote your film as a premiere, which could lead to great media exposure for you.

Filmmakers of films selected to play at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival will be invited to attend the festival at which their film is playing, and will receive complimentary entrance to the festival and other special events. It is a fun weekend, with a seasoned crowd of intelligent film enthusiasts and Lovecraftians from all over the world. Attending filmmakers will be able to speak to the audience directly through Q&As following their film screenings. Travel and lodging is not included.

Selected works can win in several categories at each H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival.

H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival - Portland, OR gives the following awards:
Best Short Film
Best Feature Film
Audience Choice (voted on by festival attendees)
Best Adaptation (must adapt a work of H.P. Lovecraft)
Best Screenplay (for submitted screenplays)

Each award winner receives a special award statuette, given during an award ceremony on the last day of the festival. Award winners also receive submission waivers for the following season.

* Only one title per entry.
* Film submissions should be made available as streaming screeners through FilmFreeway.
* Productions not previously screened at the Festival may be submitted.

By submitting, you represent and warrant that you have full legal right and authority to submit the film/video/screenplay project for consideration by HPLFF, and that all necessary consents, licensing and approvals have been obtained with respect thereto. You agree to hold HPLFF and its sponsors harmless in any and all matters pertaining to the consents, licenses, and approvals of heretofore film/video/screenplay project. You understand that your submission is in no way a guarantee of acceptance into HPLFF. No one from HPLFF or its sponsors has guaranteed you admission into the festival.

Should your film be accepted to HPLFF, you grant HPLFF the right to exhibit the film at the festival, and to make the film available via limited time and secure on-line streams to potential virtual ticket holders. You also grant the HPLFF the right to use any footage from the preview screener, and all submitted publicity photos and any other materials pertaining to this entry for HPLFF's promotional non-commercial purposes, without limitations.

Overall Rating
  • AJ Gordon

    Great fest with dedicated organizers!

    January 2018
  • Noah Weisel

    Look, you know if your film is Lovecraftian or not - if it is, submit. And if you get in, just go. I'd almost say don't bother submitting if you're not going to go because this event is too much freaking fun. Fantastically organized, huge crowds of attendees who are really into it, and the best venue in Portland. If you're going to festivals just to network with people who can get your next project made, well then maybe this isn't the spot for you. Unless your next project is writing weird fiction, making weird art, developing Mythos-based game modules, or just moving to Portland...which you'll seriously consider after attending this event.

    November 2017
  • Patrick Müller

    One of the best horror film festivals with nice people. The website displays the selected films very well. Thank you!

    October 2017
  • Nick Zweig

    It was really fun but the atmosphere was very clique-ish. As a filmmaker it felt like i was almost intruding on people. That being said, it was very fun, the films were for the most part amazing, and the actual venue was fantastic.

    October 2017
    Filmfreeway hplff 2016
    Response from festival:

    Hi Nick! Thanks for the overall positive review, but I'm heartbroken and ashamed that you didn't feel included! That's normally the opposite of the way filmmakers feel when they attend, and I'm really sorry we didn't succeed at connecting and welcoming you into the family. This year, we were running a bit behind and scrambling, so I don't think I ever had a chance to meet and chat with you. We were a little fuzzy on when you were going to be at the fest (midway through, I recall asking one of our volunteers if you'd picked up your badge, because I hadn't seen you yet), but hopefully you had a chance to get to the Meet and Greet and After parties, and were shown the green room by one of our volunteers, so that you could relax behind the scenes. I recall you weren't present for the Q&A after the Sunday screening, which I hosted, but hopefully you were able to be part of the Q&A when your film screened on Saturday afternoon. We had a lot of positive feedback about Eon, and would love to enjoy your future projects! If you make it back, we'll make a point to properly indoctrinate you into the fold. - Brian

  • A truly wonderful festival that manages to be both incredibly niche and profoundly relevant to a wider audience. In a beautiful three-screen historic theatre, Gwen and Brian create a really impressive packed schedule of screenings and events. Many films have multiple screenings over the weekend, which is a real plus, and all the screenings are very well-attended. The genuinely passionate audiences and organisers have a level of intensity, expertise and heartfelt adoration for Lovecraft and genre storytelling in general that is probably unmatched in the world! Cool Portland crowds, interesting international film-makers, amazing volunteers, insightful and intellectual Q&As! Submit, attend, go!

    October 2017