The Hot Springs Arts & Film Institute presents the
Hot Springs International Horror Film Festival. The festival is held annually in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas.

Our mission is to inspire & promote talented filmmakers & artists from around the world. Hot Springs Arts and Film Institute provides opportunities for networking, exhibition, education, and screenings. We provide a unique venue for the public to experience films on the “Big Screen” often with the filmmakers available to answer questions and share their insights with the audiences. Industry professionals and celebrities are on hand to give seminars and meet filmmakers. Genres accepted include Horror, Thriller Sci-Fi, Documentary & Fantasy.

HSHFF strives to support independent film and filmmakers. Many of the feature films selected each year get help with distribution deals often before the festival ends.

HSHFF is noted for being one of the best festivals to attend, filmmakers will find a personal connection with the festival staff and crew. It's a great place for "Students" and "Independent Filmmakers" to rub shoulders with "Horror Icons" and "Hollywood Producers".

Hot Springs is surrounded by 7 lakes and 43 hot springs, it hosts museums, bathhouses, art galleries, spas and many well-known festivals. Rich in history it is a popular tourist destination for most of the year, but it will soon be host to insidious indie films, blood spattered scream queens, movie monsters, and amazing guests…

The festival's director Bill Volland is an international award-winning producer who has worked his way up through the different film departments in the TV and Motion Picture industry. His credits include movies, television series, documentaries, commercials...

Some past special guests have included the likes of Actors; Tyler Mane, known for his roles as Michael Myers in Rob Zombieʼs “HALLOWEEN” films, Eileen Dietz "EXCORCIST" and Leslie Easterbrook. Directors like; Jeff Burr, CHAINSAW MASSACRE," "PUMPKINHEAD" and David Schmoeller "PUPPET MASTER,” Sound Design and Audio Effects Wizard Alan Howarth "STAR TREK", "ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK" Michael Berryman "The Hills Have Eyes" "STAR TREK" plus industry professionals like Ted Hatfield Special Projects Marketing at Regal Entertainment Group (Regal Cinemas, Edwards Theaters, and United Artists Cinemas) and many more. or find us on Facebook for more information.

What guests and filmmakers have to say about HSHFF:

"What a great weekend of networking and screenings and sharing our love of filmmaking! We came away from the Hot Springs Horror Film Festival feeling like we suddenly had a much larger family. Can't wait to get back!!"

- Tyler Mane –
Michael Meyers, Mane Entertainment.

“I have been a guest speaker at many, many film festivals and I gotta tell you all, The Hot Springs Horror Film Festival 2013 was !!@!$&!!ing fantastic. I had such an awesome time. Every short film and feature were of the utmost quality and so much fun as were the Filmmakers with whom I made lasting friendships. I can't say enough about the fantastic hosts. the incomparable Tamara Glynn and the always gracious and organized Bill Volland. I cannot wait for October to see everyone again.”

-Eileen Dietz-
Exorcist/Constantine/Planet of the Apes

“Hot Springs International Horror Film Festival (HSHFF) is a celebration of genre cinema by filmmakers for filmmakers. Located in one of Arkansas' most treasured historic regions, HSHFF places special emphasis on education, in addition to showcasing quality independent motion pictures.”

Justin Beahm
Fangoria Magazine
Filmmaker / Producer

“Hot Springs Horror was one of the festival highlights for “An American Terror”. Although we screened at many festivals, very few reached out to us in the personal way that HSHFF did. It was a refreshing dose of humanity in year of often impersonal interactions. They had a great line up in a fantastic environment.”
“An American Terror has amassed 13 awards from 9 different festivals, plus another dozen nominations. Although we are still fielding distribution offers, the film’s success has opened numerous doors for future productions. The future looks very bright for our team.”

Thanks for everything!
Jim Brennan
American Horror Film, LLC


Awards can include Trophies, “4 wall screenings,” sponsored prizes from film industry names, promotional items . Category winners, and some runners up get can get complementary fast-tracked into “FILMCOM” where they get a chance to pitch their next film to a finance and distribution panel. Qualified feature films and shorts can get help finding distribution

CATEGORY RULES Hot Springs International Horror Film Festival
Guidelines, rules, and regulations of our festival/competition:

Not meeting eligibility requirements may be cause for disqualification.

Each film will be judged solely on its own merits. We only accept original productions of a horror, suspense, thriller, science fiction/fantasy or Documentary. Documentaries, comedies, animation and works of non-fiction related to the horror genre ARE acceptable for submission. We will not accept any hard core XXX adult material, any films that feature actual human/animal cruelty. ( and/or any depictions of actual human/animal torture, cruelty or death). Festival directors, members of the program and industry professionals are designated judges. Festival volunteers and special guests may also be appointed judges in some cases. The festival does not send out rejection letters. We will contact those filmmakers whose films are accepted to participate in the festival.


1. Hot Springs Horror Film Festival and HSAFI will hold your submitted film for 1 year, after which, if you would like to resubmit, you can. All screening copies submitted to the festival, are kept by the Hot Springs Horror Film Festival and HSAFI for reuse at future festivals or screenings. Any exceptions must be pre-agreed upon by both parties.
2. Entrants must submit a downloadable viewing/preview copiy for consideration. Please test the download and be sure it is not over 9 gigabytes.
3. Entry forms and payments will not be processed without accompanying film downloads.
4. All entries must be in English or contain English subtitles (unless special arrangements have been made with festival).
5. All entries must be titled with the (RT) running time included.
6. We encourage submitting a downloadable trailer and as much publicity material as is available electronically.
7. Any materials that entrants wish to be seen by the programming committee should be submitted in duplicate with this application.
8. Exceptions to the festival regulations must be pre authorized by the festival director.
9. We reserve the right to combine categories and or awards.
10. If your film/video is selected for screening, you may be asked to provide another copy for projection purposes. This copy would be in addition to the online secure screener, already submitted.
11. We reserve the right to cancel a screening of any film submitted and or officially selected at anytime without notice.
12. We may use all or part of your film for promotions.
13. Films submitted into the "Short Film" category agree to give the Hot Springs International Horror Film Festival the right to use and to include the film it in it's yearly Short Film compilation. Each Volume will be released world wide on all platforms every year. Proceeds from the sales of the short film compilation go to help the film festival.
14. Submitting your short film you are giving the festival the right to include it in our annual Short Film Compilation which It is distributed world wide on DVD VOD and other streaming platforms. This is non exclusive and does not give the festival the right to use the short film individually. The film will be apart of the "Best of the Festival" Short films and used only in the compilation with other short films submitted to the festival. (you may be asked to provide additional deliverables)

Delivery options and Shipping
1. Please use a large envelope for shipping, do not send your entries in a box (no boxes).
2. The cost of shipping an entry to the festival must be paid by the entrant. Collect or C.O.D. shipment will not be accepted.
3. All film submission mailings MUST be marked with the quote "no signature required" on the delivery option.*
4. Please be sure you have clearly marked on your DVD's or Blu-ray's:
A. the title of your film.
B. the RT (or running time)
C. the FilmFreeway four digit code (you will get this when you submit through FilmFreeway).

Ship To:


Certification of Entrant
I/We, the undersigned, acknowledge and agree:

1. I/We have read, understated and fully comply with all submission eligibility information, Submission Guidelines, Terms and Conditions of Entry and Entry Eligibility Requirements.
2. To the best of my knowledge, all of the statements in this document are true;
3. This film or video is not subject to any litigation nor is threatened by any litigation;
4. I/We am duly authorized to submit this film to the festival;
5. I/We hold the Hot Springs International Horror Film Festival and Hot Springs Arts & Film Institute (hereafter known as HSAFI) harmless from any damage to the print(s) or tape(s) en route or otherwise during the course of the festival’s possession of the film;
6 I/We hold the Hot Springs International Horror Film Festival and HSAFI, its owners, management, juries, subsidiaries, agents, sponsors, affiliates, volunteers and etc. harmless from any and all claims of liability resulting from my entry.
7. I/We certify that I have full rights to the use of the music in the entered work.
8.. I/We give permission for the Hot Springs International Horror Film Festival and HSAFI to use stills, titles, copy, and/or information from the film for promotional purposes
9. I/We give permission for the Hot Springs International Horror Film Festival, HSAFI and its agents to screen the film at the Festival as well as any Festival presentations, programs, and/or events including our short film compilation distributed world wide. The festival's yearly world wide release entitled the "Best Short Films of the Hot Springs International Horror Thriller and Sci fi Film Festival" a compilation of hand picked short films submitted to the festival.
10. I/We also warrant the submitted material does not defame or invade the rights of any person living or dead and I/we fully indemnify the Festival against any claim made for such violations of law.
11 . I/We understand that failure to adhere to the Festival rules or Terms and Conditions will result in disqualification and forfeiture of entry fee.
12. I/We agree to hold the Hot Springs International Horror Film Festival and HSAFI harmless from and defend them against all claims, demands, losses, damages, judgments, liabilities, and expenses (including attorneys fees) arising out of or in connection with any and all claims of third parties, whether or not groundless, based on any film submitted to the Hot Springs International Horror Film Festival.
13. These terms and conditions must be printed and signed by all submitting parties before they will be eligible for competition or screening.

By submitting your film to the festival you are agreeing to these term and conditions.

Overall Rating
  • Juliet Landau

    HOT SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL HORROR FILM FESTIVAL is brilliant!!! We love the mission and vision of this incredible and innovative festival!!! It is truly what a film festival is supposed to be. Festival Director, Bill Volland, is a pioneering entrepreneur. Bill, Christi Goode Day and the whole HSHFF team have built and are continuing to build a remarkable hub for Independent cinema and filmmakers.

    They showcase a slate of diverse pictures from all over the world. HSWIFF doesn’t go for uninteresting, cookie-cutter fare. They champion unique, cutting edge, revolutionary, out-of-the-box movies.

    Everything was run with an immaculate attention to detail. They are sincerely interested in the filmmakers and the films.

    We are deeply honored to have won BEST FEATURE OF THE FESTIVAL.

    We made our movie, not only to be entertaining, but to give voice to what has affected many and to open up a dialogue. The discussion with the audience and the HSHFF community was powerful and illuminating. In fact, we did 2 panels on our film because there was so much spillover! The panels and gatherings were all excellent. Every event was crafted and carried out with elegance. It was a beautiful experience.

    We applied because we loved the mission statement and philosophy. This rings through every aspect of the festival with resounding success. The experience went above and beyond what we hoped for. We cannot recommend this festival enough. We know we would love all our future projects to play here. You won’t be disappointed!!!

    November 2022
  • Many thanks to Bill Volland, Alan Howarth, Michael Berryman, Tony Buck, and all the great people I have met at this festival - one of the most unique film festivals in the state. The films are great, wonderful presentations and workshops, and a very scary time! - Paul Glover

    October 2021
  • Xanthe Pajarillo

    Sending massive love and gratitude to Bill and the HSIHFF team for having "Thrall" and awarding us "Best Student Horror Short." Communication was always swift and easy, and I look forward to attending in the future. Long live horror!

    October 2021
  • Mike Schiff

    It was great to win "Best Horror Documentary." Great experience from start to finish.

    October 2021
  • Michael Bartolomeo

    Hot Springs IHFF did an incredible job adapting to the 2020 COVID-affected festival era and we can't thank them enough for selecting our film and being amazing communicators and overall fans of the genre. Will submit our next one here for sure.

    October 2020