The H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival® has been showing international independent Cosmic Horror films and Weird Tales to slavering hordes of fans for almost three decades in Portland, OR and in satellite events around the world.
This is not a general horror festival, so please be aware of the works of Lovecraft and the kinds of short & feature films showcased at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival:
• Cosmic Horror (the insignificance of humans in a dangerous universe, think ALIEN, THE THING, & THE MIST)
• Occult & Supernatural Horror (Weird cults & evil alien gods! Not Devil-worshipping cults)
• Uncanny ghost stories (in the vein of M. R. James & Henry James, not paranormal hauntings)
• 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.
• General horror, vampires, werewolves, etc. are never selected.
• 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).
About the Festival: 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, Michael Shea, Caitlin Kiernan, F. Paul Wilson, Victor LaValle, Peter Straub, Charles Stross, Cassandra Khaw, 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.
The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival® evangelizes the genres of Cosmic Horror and the Weird Tale through the exhibition of cinematic works by professional and independent filmmakers, including cinematic adaptations of H. P. Lovecraft's stories, as well as other works in the genres of Cosmic Horror, the Weird tale, and the Uncanny.
We embrace and foster new voices in the genre, including those of women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ creators, and strive to present an international showcase of related films and entertainment. We have a new free category for BIPOC Directors. If you are black, indigenous, or a person of color, and have made a film that is a fit for our festival, please submit it in that category, but you must also fill out the application form at HPLFF.com/bipoc-waiver to be included in this submission fee grant program.
Previous special guests at the festival include (among many others), actor/producer Barbara Crampton, author Victor Lavalle, director/producer Roger Corman, speaker Victoria Price (daughter of Vincent Price), 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.
HAVE A HORROR FILM THAT IS NOT LOVECRAFTIAN?
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 https://filmfreeway.com/PortlandHorrorFilmFestival
MULTIPLE EVENTS - ONE FEE
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.
August 15-18, 2024
As part of the HPLFF Film Programming at Necronomicon-Providence in Providence, RI
DEADLINE: May 28, 2024
FILMS ONLY ARE CONSIDERED FOR THIS EVENT (no screenplays)
Oct 4-6, 2024
29th Annual H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival - Portland, OR
Films selected will play at the wonderfully restored 1926 movie palace, Portland's own Hollywood Theatre, for a continuous weekend of programming on all three screens.
FINAL DEADLINE: August 1, 2024
NOTIFICATION DATE: September 2, 2024
FILMS AND SCREENPLAYS CONSIDERED FOR THIS FESTIVAL
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, 2017, 2019, and 2022 blocks of selected films played at NecronomiCon in Providence, RI, and there have been special screenings in New York City, Austin, TX, and in Stockholm, Sweden. Future one-off events are in the works for other cities.
In Person Festival screenings & Streaming Event
In 2021, we held the festival as a hybrid event, with in-person theatrical screenings and a streaming option that included streaming exclusive blocks. We found that streaming in 2020 and 2021 gave us the opportunity to evangelize more independent horror than ever before, not just to rabid Lovecraft fans in other countries, but to those who were uncomfortable returning to the theater and also to those who couldn’t, due to mobility issues or other factors, who might otherwise be unable to experience the magic of a film festival. To continue to serve this audience, we anticipate hosting a full live show with theatrical screenings, as well as offering a limited & curated streaming ticket. Individual streaming permissions will be requested upon selection and during the programming process.
FILLED SEATS - EVEN MORE VALUE
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 110-380 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.
YEARLY "BEST OF" DVD/BLU-RAY COLLECTIONS
Following the festival every year we compile a collection of our favorite 7-10 short films of the festival that are not otherwise publicly available (films released on public streaming sites won't be considered) and issue them on a professionally produced and packaged disc. See our current offerings at https://arkhambazaar.com/films . These collections are typically released in Spring of the following year (so Best of 2024 will be released in Spring/Summer 2025).
Filmmakers selected for this yearly volume will be contracted with separately for their permission and availability, and are paid royalties for each volume sold, as our way of giving back to independent filmmakers.
WHAT IS A LOVECRAFTIAN FILM
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, C. L. Moore, Clark Ashton Smith, Arthur Machen, M.R. James, Robert E. Howard, Victor LaValle, Stephen King, Caitlin Kiernan, Elizabeth Bear, Clive Barker, Michael Shea, 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.
WHAT IS NOT LOVECRAFTIAN FILM?
Usually Slasher flicks, Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies, Alien Abduction and other conventional horror tropes are not Lovecraftian, with small 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 https://filmfreeway.com/PortlandHorrorFilmFestival
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 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 the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival.
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.
TERMS & RULES YOU ARE AGREEING TO BY SUBMITTING
* Only one title per entry.
* You agree your film is available for selection and exhibition during our festival dates.
* If your film becomes unavailable for selection and exhibition, you agree to withdraw your submission PRIOR to our final submission deadline (August 1st, 2024).
* If your film has not been withdrawn and remains in consideration after our final submission deadline, you agree that your film may be selected and exhibited regardless of other arrangements, including distribution deals or other festival premieres.
* Films must follow our guidelines under "What is a Lovecraftian Film?" Please do not submit off-genre films.
* Film submissions must be made available as streaming screeners through FilmFreeway.
* Productions not previously screened at or submitted to the Festival may be submitted. Please do not submit films that have been submitted in previous years, unless they have been substantially modified so as to warrant additional consideration. Re-submitted films should include a FilmFreeway cover letter detailing changes.
* Feature films and short films must not have had any commercial theatrical, television, or internet play in the US. Please do not submit films that are freely available to the public on YouTube, Vimeo, or similar services or films available for purchase on streaming services.
* HPLFF does not pay screening fees.
* HPLFF does not provide transportation or lodging for filmmakers, but if selected filmmakers will receive a free pass to the in-person show.
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 the work is original and owned by the submitter, and is not the subject of any disputes regarding ownership, and that there is no invasion of privacy, defamation, violation of rights, intellectual property infringement, or similar violation of law. 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 selection into the festival.
Should your film be selected for HPLFF, you retain all rights to ownership of the film, but grant HPLFF the right to exhibit the film at the festival. You also grant the HPLFF the right to use any materials pertaining to the submission, publicity photos, still frames from the film, and to advertise and display the work in whole or in part for promotional purposes without limitations.