The 2020 Horrible Imaginings Film Festival will take place August 28 - 30 at The Frida Cinema in Santa Ana, CA.

Established in 2009, the annual Horrible Imaginings Film Festival showcases the newest voices in horror, sci-fi, and fantasy genre cinema over a multi-day event that consists of film screenings, diverse panels, parties, and networking sessions.

Our mission is to spotlight genre cinema, amplify artistic voices, and foster a community of acceptance. We sincerely believe in the sharing and exploring of our deepest fears, desires, and anxieties in a community setting. This festival provides the opportunity to not only explore these emotions but also exorcise them.

Horrible Imaginings Film Festival has been rated among the “Top 100 Best Reviewed Film Festivals” on FilmFreeway. Additionally, MovieMaker Magazine has designated us as one of the “Top 50 Film Festivals Worth The Entry Fee.”

Over the past 10 years, we have shown over 750 genre titles and welcomed over 8,000 attendees.

Every year selected films are eligible to be nominated for the following categories (as applicable):

Best Score in a Short Film
Best Score in a Feature Film
Best Cinematography in a Short Film
Best Cinematography in a Feature Film
Best Special Effects in a Short Film
Best Special Effects in a Feature Film
Best Short Film Screenplay
Best Feature Film Screenplay
Best Actor in a Short Film
Best Actor in a Feature Film
Best Actress in a Short Film
Best Actress in a Feature Film
Best Director in a Short Film
Best Director in a Feature Film
Best Animated Film
Funniest Horror Comedy
Audience Favorite
Best "Monster Show" Short Film
Best Dramatic Short Film
Best Feature Film

One winner in each category will win a "Toil and Trouble" trophy (a beautiful sculpted glass witch scheming over a bubbling cauldron).

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we will consider all films, regardless of their availability online. Premiere status is also not a consideration. As of this writing, April 29th, we still plan to have an in-person event on September 4-6, but that could very well change. California Governor Newsom has indicated that it would be "months" before theaters open again, but that is still vague. A virtual option is in the cards for those who opt in.

Non English-language films must be subtitled in English.

We do accept exemplary older films, but only films completed after December 31, 2018 will be in consideration for awards.

Incomplete films (missing score, soundtrack, color correction, etc.) may be submitted for consideration so long as they are clearly marked as incomplete. Incomplete films must be finished by August 10, 2020.

All submissions must be made via FilmFreeway. This ensures that your film receives proper attention and consideration by the Selection Committee.

All submissions for consideration must be made available via a private online screener link (no physical screeners will be accepted or viewed).

Selected films must be received by the festival no later than August 10, 2020.

Overall Rating
  • Jo Fang

    Great festival. Miguel and staff were awesome. Screening venue was great. Audience was the best!

    October 2019
  • Mia'kate Russell

    What a great festival!! Thank you for showing ‘Maggie May’ it was an honour to play there x

    October 2019
  • Matthew Barber

    Horrible Imaginings is a must! I had the honor of having my short, GO BACK, included in Horrible Imagining’s inaugural CAMPFIRE TALES. Horrible Imaginings Presents: CAMPFIRE TALES has hands down the best shorts line-up I’ve seen! The staff is incredible and Miguel is awesome! They make the filmmakers feel right at home! It was a blast and the films are screened in an amazing venue at The Frida Cinema. It is also a great place to network and the Q and A’s are really fun! Could not be more pleased with my experience at Horrible Imaginings!

    October 2019
  • Max Johnson

    This is such an incredible festival! Horrible Imaginings provided the perfect place to premiere my animated short film. I was met with an incredibly kind and passionate staff who took the time to know every film and become fans of the filmmakers they exhibit. With director Q and A’s, interviews, networking events and special screenings, Horrible Imaginings proved to be a very professional and unique experience. I highly recommend it to anyone who really loves horror and wants to show their hideous creations to the masses!

    September 2019
    Response from festival:

    Max, what an insane pleasure to have your film at the festival! Thank you for the fun, and we can't wait to see your next work!

  • Jonathan Hammond

    Excellent Genre Festival. The films were largely outstanding, the staff was some of the nicest I have ever encountered and the passion for both horror and film was evident. I encourage everyone to submit and I am pretty sure this festival is going to blow up into a giant festival in no time.

    September 2019
    Response from festival:

    Jonathan, it was an immense pleasure to screen your film! Thank you so much for creating such personal work with your brand of humor!