FEBRUARY 21-23, 2019

The Hexploitation Film Festival is the only festival dedicated to horror & exploitation genre cult cinema in the greater Hamilton, ON area. Operating annually, this fan-favorite event screens 6 feature films and approx 20 shorts each year over three exciting nights of genre film mayhem at the Staircase Theatre (27 Dundurn St. N).

The Hexploitation Film Festival is not just a scary night at the movies; it’s a celebration of fringe film-making, controversial cinema, tongue-in-cheek B-movies, and the art of the macabre.

"Aaron Allen [festival director] is Hamilton's unofficial horror meister, or, if you prefer, our master of misery, perhaps even guru of gore … earl of eerie, duke of dark, lord of the lurid, sultan of slash." - The Hamilton Spectator

"[T]he historical Canadian city of Hamilton (located just half an hour outside of Toronto), is a hotbed for horror." - Shock Till You Drop

Founded as Fright Night Theatre in 2009 as an all-year genre screening series before becoming the Fright Night Theatre Film Festival in 2015, the newly re-branded Hexploitation Film Festival flies into is 9th like a bat out of hell with a mission to bring back the fun, communal atmosphere, and showmanship of going to the movies by showcasing shocking, scary, schlocky, and scintillating independent and mainstream horror / genre films to our die-hard genre film audience in and around the Hamilton, Ontario region. Horror fans and genre junkies can expect our unique brand of down-to-earth Q&A's with local and visiting filmmakers, themed parties, and a one-of-a-kind theatre-going experience by fans for fans.

Canadian and International filmmakers and distributors are invited to submit feature and short films in the horror & exploitation genres (i.e. horror-comedies, horror-fantasy, horror sci-fi, etc.)

Previous official selections and award winners include high-profile and ground-breaking films such as: THE BABADOOK (dir. Jennifer Kent), THE LURE (dir. Agnieszka Smoczynska), WOLFCOP (dir. Lowell Dean), THE VELOCIPASTOR (dir. Brendan Steere), RETURN TO NUKE'EM HIGH - VOL. 1 & VOL. 2 (dir. Lloyd Kaufman), NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE (dir. Jonathan Straiton), RUIN ME (dir. Preston deFrancis), HARVEST LAKE and PLANK FACE (dir. Scott Schirmer), THE BARN (dir. Justin Seaman), BUNNY THE KILLER THING (Dir. Joonas Makkonen), THE HERETICS (dir. Chad Archibald), LATE PHASES: NIGHT OF THE LONE WOLF (Dir. Adrián García Bogliano)

The Hexploitation Film Festival offers recognition awards in the following categories:

BEST FEATURE FILM [audience choice]
BEST SHORT FILM [audience choice]

(( Feature Film Awards ))
SCARIEST FILM
MOST SHOCKING FILM
FUNNIEST FILM
BEST DIRECTOR
BEST ACTRESS
BEST ACTOR
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
BEST WRITING
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
BEST MUSICAL SCORE
BEST VILLAIN
BEST MONSTER
ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP FX

(( Short Film Awards ))
BEST HORROR SHORT
BEST COMEDIC SHORT
BEST FANTASY SHORT
BEST SCI-FI SHORT
BEST ANIMATED SHORT
BEST CANADIAN SHORT

The Hexploitation Film Festival (HXFF) is a horror & exploitation genre film festival in Hamilton, ON, Canada. This year’s festival date is:

FEBRUARY 21 - 23, 2019
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HEXPLOITATION FILM FESTIVAL FILM SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

PROGRAMMING & CATEGORIES

Programming: The HXFF accepts Canadian and International films of feature and short length in the horror/exploitation genre (including but not limited to horror-fantasy, horror-scifi, horror-comedy, etc.) that are unreleased in Canada. The HXFF does not accept films currently available for public consumption in Canada on wide-release home media or streaming and online video sites.

All HXFF screenings are curated and all submissions will be fully considered by the HXFF selection team. Films selected to screen at the HXFF are eligible for selection committee awards and audience choice awards.

For the purposes of eligibility, Hexploitation Film Festival uses the following definitions:

Film Length
• Feature Length: 60 min. or longer
• Short: under 30 min.

Country of Production/Submission Country
• Canadian Submissions: All films produced in Canada
• International Submissions: All films produced outside of Canada.

Country of Production: the country from which most of the financing for the film was received and the residence of the films key crew members i.e. the director(s) and producer(s). This is not necessarily the same as the shooting location.

Selection: Entrants will be notified by email if their work has been selected for the festival run to which they have applied.

Disqualifications: Submissions that fail to meet the outline criteria and terms may be disqualified. No refunds will be provided for disqualified or rejected submissions under any circumstances.

*Student film entries must include proof of student status at the time of production (i.e., copy of student ID, transcript, etc. and should be emailed at time of entry to aaron@hexfilmfest.com with entry title in subject line of the email). Student filmmakers that do not supply the required documentation at the time of submission will have their entries disqualified.

Final programming and slotting of films will be determined by HXFF programming team in conjunction with input from applicants. The programming team’s decision as to the date and time of the screening is final. Successful applicants will receive this information regarding the date and time of the screening in their official invitation.

If selected, the entrant grants The Hexploitation Film Festival the right to utilize publicity materials related to the production (e.g. press kits, posters, stills, etc.) for promotional purposes, and to broadcast or screen clips / trailers of a maximum of five minutes.

No screeners or application materials will be returned unless arrangements have been made in advance. Do not send film prints, master tapes or other originals.
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ELIGIBILITY

All submissions:
• must be submitted as Region 1, NTSC format on two (2) DVD screeners or two (2) Bluray screeners; or submitted as an online screener including login information and password if the screener is private
• must be in English, subtitled in English or English versioned
* The HXFF does not accept films currently available for public consumption in Canada on wide-release home media, VOD streaming, online video sites (such as Vimeo or Youtube), or otherwise public screening platforms when the film is not unlisted or protected from public view.
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ENTRY PROCEDURES

Submit your film electronically via Filmfreeway.com
https://filmfreeway.com/festival/HexFilmFest

• Each film must be submitted as either a Feature or Short film submission.
• Rough/Fine Cuts: Hexploitation Film Festival will only accept one cut of each film for programming consideration. If needed, Hexploitation Film Festival will request an updated version and will contact those applicants directly. Please send your film in the most complete and finished form possible.
• If selected for a screening, it is mandatory that you submit two DVDs or Blurays clearly labeled with the film title for preview screening purposes. Hexploitation Film Festival prefers Region 1, NTSC format DVDs and Blurays. Alternatively, you may also provide us with with a HQ downloadable digital copy of your film for screening purposes.

The HXFF will not assume responsibility for nor will it accept shipments incurring expenses for terminal charges, duties, taxes or customs brokerage.

Please note: The HXFF does not accept international shipments via United Parcel
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Submission guidelines for the HXFF are subject to change. The HXFF reserves the right to rule on all issues not expressly covered in these guidelines.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • A fantastic weekend of horror & exploitation cinema! The folks running are down to earth & genuinely passionate about the films that they screen.

    May 2018
  • Luli Monsalvo Espinosa

    One of the most valuable experiences you can have as a filmmaker is to assist to a festival where the most important thing is FILMS and FILMMAKERS. And it might sound like an obvious statement, but trust me, i’ve been to some really shitty festivals. The Hexploitation Film Festival is an amazing opportunity to meet with a true horror film fan crew, they care about the films and the experience, the selection is outstanding, the venue is unique, and the attendance is fantastic. You can feel the love for the movies, and for the genre. I had a fantastic time with Aaron and his team, I met other filmmakers, I saw great movies and shorts. It’s just worth it.

    Eduardo M. Clorio
    "I wish I wish" Director

    April 2018
  • Niall Shukla

    My short film A DOLL DISTORTED played at this awesome festival this year. I was unable to attend but felt the excitement. A really great team lead by Aaron Allen. They really raised awareness of the films! I also was nominated for best short film which was very encouraging. A really supportive festival and a joy to be a part of.

    April 2018
  • Keenan Poloncsak

    Amazing Festival! The organizers are super awesome! We had an excellent time in Hammer town!!!

    April 2018
  • Clarissa Jacobson

    What a great ride it has been with Hexploitation Fest - Lunch Ladies loved every minute of this awesome fest which has been super supportive and bent over backwards to make it an awesome experience - and I didn't even get to attend - imagine how many stars I would give if I got to attend? :)

    March 2018