The 2019 Horrible Imaginings Film Festival will take place from August 30th - September 1st 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 9 years, we have shown over 700 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).

Your film should not have publicly screened in Orange County, CA prior to the festival dates. We strongly prefer premiere status for submitted short and feature films.

Non English-language films must be subtitled in English.

We do accept exemplary older films, but only films completed after December 31, 2017 will be in consideration for awards.

Films released publicly online or on VOD will only be considered under strict special circumstances. For more information, please contact

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 9, 2019.

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 made available in DCP and must be received by the festival no later than August 9, 2019.

Overall Rating
  • Sam Wineman

    I can't praise this festival enough. It's been one of my favorite stops on our run. My initial experience with Horrible Imaginings was an off-shoot to screen holiday horror shorts. The audience was so engaged and Miguel, the festival director, hosted a very lively Q&A.

    When I found out I'd be showing my next film at their main event, I was really excited! The Frida, one of my favorite local cinemas, hosted. It's a small and quirky theater with a great following. Once again, Miguel led an excellent Q&A, asking questions that showed he had a deep passion and understanding of the material and helping the audience access it.

    Everyone on staff is so friendly and they gave me several opportunities to promote my film - a step and repeat, an interview for Facebook, and a Q&A after. And the awards are super cool! Can't wait to go back.

    October 2018
  • Tim Driscoll

    What an awesome experience. Their communication throughout was fantastic. Great opportunities. Loved every aspect of what they do.

    October 2018
  • Thank you for programming the 15 Second Horror Film Challenge !

    October 2018
  • Kevin Sluder

    What an awesome festival! The relocation to the classic Frida Cinema in Santa Ana made this already terrific fest even better! Miguel's boundless energy and love of film is infectious. This is one of those "must attend" fests. You'll have a blast!!

    September 2018
  • JT Seaton

    It was an honor to screen at the HIFF. The quality of selections is top notch. The venue, The Frida Cinema, is AWESOME! Well run. And filmmaker friendly. Miguel puts on a great show! Worth the submission! And well worth attending!

    September 2018