With over 20 different awards including many unique to our beloved genre such as Best Kill, Best Gore, Best Scare, Best Nudity, Best Atmosphere, etc. you are far more likely to win so rest assured we're definitely worth the entry fee! Our mission is to help promote the criminally overlooked but creatively fertile field of indie horror by singling out top notch work with a wide variety of awards.
Movies, scripts, and web series are all welcome! We give special attention to low budget films especially NO budget entries! We're sick to death of the endless barrage of remakes and sequels that so clearly signaled the demise of originality in mainstream horror. Most of the horror classics still beloved today were indie films: John Carpenter's Halloween, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Evil Dead, Phantasm, Re-Animator, Night of the Living Dead, etc.
Every four months (used to be every two months but we've changed now), we choose nominees and winners so filmmakers don't have to wait an entire year for results. This enables you to quickly build buzz for your project. Winners and nominees will be announced by the end of the following month after the final four-month deadline. For example, the results for Spring (entries submitted in January, February, March, and April) will be posted by May 31st. For the Summer deadline (entries submitted in May, June, July, and August), the results will be up by September 30th. For the Winter deadline (entries submitted in September, October, November, and December), the results will be posted by January 31st.
Please keep in mind you'll be submitting for the 2023 edition, not 2024 (that will be next year). Our official notification date on FilmFreeway (January 31st, 2024) is just for the Winter Edition (entries submitted in September, October, November, and December). You'll be notified by the dates above depending on when you submit (May 31st for spring entries, Sept 30th for summer entries, Jan 31st for winter entries). We don't do best overall of the year results.
We are an online competition that does not screen films to the public so you don't have to worry about ruining your premiere status. This also keeps submissions fees as low as possible.
Specialty horror awards unique to our competition:
- Best Kill
- Best Gore
- Best Scare
- Best Nudity
- Best Atmosphere
- Best Humor
- Best Original Concept
- Best Badass
- Best Opening
- Most Disturbing
The usual suspects:
- Best Feature
- Best Short
- Best Director
- Best Actress
- Best Actor
- Best Supporting Role
- Best Cinematography
- Best Sound
- Best Special Effects
- Best Music
- Best Editing
- Best Short Script
- Best Feature Script
- Best Web Series
- Best Documentary
- Best Animation
We reserve the right to omit a particular award if we didn't receive enough entries in that category or if none of the submissions met our high judging standards. If we deem it appropriate, additional categories of awards may be presented.
Laurels in JPG format will be sent to all nominees and winners. No trophies, medals, or certificates are given in order to keep entry fees lower. There are no cash prizes.
All movies must meet the following requirements to take part in this competition. The entrant/submitter/moviemaker/controlling company accepts all of the rules and terms in full by sending in a movie for consideration.
1) Anyone from any country can participate in this competition but parental consent must be given to the entrant if under 18 years of age. Movies of any length are allowed to enter the competition, but all dialogue must either be spoken in English or the movie must have English subtitles.
2) The entrant can submit as many entries as they want to be judged for awards but again, keep in mind, we do not screen films to the public so even winning films won't be publicly screened because this is an awards competition. Films are privately screened by our judges. Submissions can include scripts, short films, feature films, web series, and other categories. With or without notice, a category may be removed from consideration at any time. For the purposes of these Rules and Terms, typed screenplays, either in electronic format or printed are considered to be script(s); and all other categories that contain moving images (i.e., short films, web series, etc.) are considered movie(s).
3) There is no production date requirement nor premiere status rule. Old and new movies are equally welcome.
4) Previously entered movies can be re-submitted if, A) they did not previously win any awards in past editions of the Independent Horror Movie Awards and B) they were drastically changed since their most recent submission.
5) Please double check the exact length of your movie/file, including opening credits, closing credits, bumpers, etc. and submit into the appropriate category or else your movie may be disqualified if improperly submitted. Submission fees will not be returned in such cases.
6) Scripts must be submitted as PDF files in the proper screenwriting format.
7) The only person(s) allowed to submit a movie for consideration would be the directors(s) and/or producers(s). The entrant/submitter/moviemaker hereby certifies that they possess the right(s) and all of the proper clearances to submit the movie, including, but not limited to image rights, talent releases, soundtrack and/or source music releases; and assumes all responsibility for their material. The Independent Horror Movie Awards accepts no responsibility, financial or otherwise, for any movie submitted to the festival. All entries to the Independent Horror Movie Awards are adjudicated by other moviemaker(s) who may have multiple projects in the works, and may have many movie ideas. By sending in an entry, the moviemaker(s) recognize(s) that each and every judge may have similar ideas and absolves the Independent Horror Movie Awards and the judge(s) from any liability associated with his/her/their participation in this competition.
8) A script can be submitted for consideration only by the original screenwriter, and the submitter hereby certifies that the script is their original work. All scripts have to be the work of a single writer. We suggest that each script submitted be filed with the WGA or possess a copyright prior to submission. The Independent Horror Movie Awards accepts no responsibility, financial or otherwise, for any script submitted to the festival. All entries to the Independent Horror Movie Awards are adjudicated by moviemaker(s) who may have multiple projects in the works, and may have many movie or script ideas. By sending in an entry, the screenwriter recognizes each and every judge may have similar ideas and absolves Independent Horror Movie Awards and the judge(s) from any liability associated with his/her/their participation in this competition.
9) The participants will not get feedback. Every entry/submission will be judged based on its script, directing, acting, technical, and artistic merits, as related to the submission. We do not have public screenings. We are an online-only competition as stated above.
10) The Independent Horror Movie Awards only accepts online screeners. Please submit screeners via FilmFreeway.com. Ensure your contact information is up-to-date. Keep in mind that prices, discounts, etc., may vary between submission platforms, and the Independent Horror Movie Awards may have special promotions on social media for fans and followers.
11) The Independent Horror Movie Awards does not refund fees after an entry has been submitted, especially if a submission has already been adjudicated and/or the deadline for the current submission period has passed. Moviemakers/submitters should familiarize themselves with the Rules and Terms prior to submission. Questions asked after submission may or may not receive a response.
12) If nominated for any awards, a trailer, cast & crew list, poster, and/or headshots of key cast or crew may be requested from the moviemakers. Even if asked for, the Independent Horror Movie Awards may choose not to download or accept materials without any explanation. If a moviemaker has any reservations about submitting materials, do not send them. If the Independent Horror Movie Awards has knowledge of such reservations, the Independent Horror Movie Awards will not accept them.
13) The submitter/moviemaker grants the Independent Horror Movie Awards the right to use the movie’s trailer and/or other materials (such as the poster, headshots, bios, etc.) for promotional purposes, in perpetuity, without any further consideration, and accepts sole responsibility for the use of all materials.
14) If materials are received late, the adjudication process will continue for the current edition of the Independent Horror Movie Awards, and the submission will automatically be moved to the next edition of the festival as a one-time courtesy. If a script or movie has already been nominated for awards, the entry will transfer to the next edition with all the same honors.
15) All decisions made by the judge(s) are considered final and incontestable. We reserve the right to not give all of the awards possible if we didn't receive enough entries in a particular category or if none of the submissions met our high judging standards. If we deem it appropriate, additional categories of awards may be presented as well.
16) All prizes are personal and non-transferable. Laurels in JPG format will be sent to all Nominees and Winners. No certificates, trophies, medals, or cash prizes will be given.
17) At the end of adjudication, the results of the Independent Horror Movie Awards will be made public and accessible on the official website of the Independent Horror Movie Awards.
18) Entries are valid only through specified submission platforms, including, but not limited to FilmFreeway.com. User accepts all risk and responsibility associated with using the Independent Horror Movie Awards’s website, social media, any submission platforms, Paypal, each submission platform’s transaction processor, and any other methods of communication with the Independent Horror Movie Awards.
19) Communications with the Independent Horror Movie Awards and public communications about or related to the Independent Horror Movie Awards must be kept professional and in good taste by all entrants, their correspondents, publicists, producers, directors, etc. Failure to do so may result in disqualification at any point in the adjudication process, including the nullification of nominations or wins. That stated, the Independent Horror Movie Awards may elect to communicate only with the person who submitted the movie to the festival for consideration and should not be expected to communicate with any other persons.
20) Even though the Independent Horror Movie Awards loves and honors horror films, movies containing overly vulgar pornographic content (nudity and sex is acceptable but that shouldn't be the only content of the film aka you need some horror too), obscene titles (fucking in the woods is fine but nothing racist) and/or content deemed hateful, racist, or in poor taste may be disqualified. We are quite lenient (it is a horror competition after all and we even have an award for Best Nudity so there is no problem with nudity and sex) but it is up to our sole discretion. Feel free to ask in advance if you're worried about this.
21) The Independent Horror Movie Awards reserves the right to add, modify, or discard rules and terms, if needed, as needed, at any time, at its sole discretion, with or without notification. It further reserves the right to make decisions to address anomalies and/or unforeseen circumstances, including, but not limited to removing a movie from consideration, at its sole discretion, without providing an explanation.
22) Any dispute arising as a result of submission to the Independent Horror Movie Awards will have a recourse limited to the lesser of 1) the submission fee paid, or 2) the cost of correcting the issue.
23) By submitting an entry to the Independent Horror Movie Awards, the entrant(s)/ submitter(s)/moviemaker(s)/controlling company accept(s) all of the rules and terms herein, in their entirety, without modification. Entrant/submitter/moviemaker further acknowledges that remediation of any sort will be limited to a refund of their submission fees. If entrant/submitter/moviemaker does not agree with these terms, do not submit your entry. By submitting, entrant/submitter/filmmaker indicates that they have read, understand, agree with, and will comply will all of the Rules and Terms stated in items 1-23 above.