Do you have a Horror or Sci-Fi film that you're itching to get out there. A great way to "scratch that itch" is to submit to the International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival. We're back and ready to start programming the best genre films out there for our festival coming up in April 2021. The International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival (IHSFF) comes from the producers behind the Phoenix Film Film Festival and is entering its 15th year of providing audiences with the best genre films. Filmmakers are the focus of this festival with a great bond created between audiences and the filmmakers.

Once again the event will be taking place at the Phoenix Film Festival. You’ll be able to catch the best in horror and sci-fi independent films alongside over a hundred other independent films at the biggest film party of the year. Screenings will take place over ten days at the festival with opening weekend offering a celebration of films, parties and workshops.

“The International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival is especially personal to me. I remember sitting in the audience as a fan during the first year of the festival, watching films that I had only read about in magazines or on the Internet. I remember becoming acquainted with new filmmakers who shared the love for the genre just as much as I did. Our festival thrives this filmmaker aspect, we want the creators of these horrific, fantastic, and science fiction fueled visions to experience our festival and to submit their films for our consideration. Our team at IHSFF is dedicated to the genre filmmaker; once you submit you film for consideration it would be our absolute privilege to screen your vision.” – Monte Yazzie, IHSFF Festival Director

Our Mission: Our organization wishes to organize and perpetuate an exciting event that creates a community of horror and sci-fi fans and filmmakers who encourage and educate the world about horror and sci-fi filmmaking. Our goal is to promote independent filmmaking, with a spotlight on films in the horror and sci-fi genre.

The IHSFF is a program of the 501c(3) non-profit Phoenix Film Foundation. The Foundation was started in 2000 by independent filmmakers as an opportunity to showcase independent filmmaking and increase awareness and education of films and filmmaking in the Valley of the Sun.

The event continues to be the top genre fest in the Southwest. Submit away and we hope to see you in Phoenix!

Trophies will be given for Best Horror and Sci-Fi Features and Shorts.

IHSFF Short Screeplay Challenge Winner will receive a price of $250.

Please review the following carefully. By submitting, you indicate that you have read, understood, and. to the best of your knowledge, complied with all eligibility requirements of the Festival and of the categories for which you would like this film to be considered.
1. You submission must be accompanied by a submission fee paid in full and a working screener in order to be considered. Festival staff will do their best to follow up with filmmakers who are missing required submission elements, however, the responsibility for a fully completed submission falls to the submitter.
2. Any submissions that are incomplete by our final deadline will be disqualified without refund of submission fees. Reasons a submission will be considered incomplete include (but are not limited to) the following:
a. Missing Screener
b. Missing/incorrect screener password
c. Screener is missing subtitles (if in a foreign language)
d. Screener has major issues with audio, image, or any feature that prevents our screening committee from properly judging it.

All deadlines are set for 11:59pm local Phoenix time (please remember Arizona does NOT observe Daylight Savings Time and the time difference will change with DST).

1. Short films may not be publically available online or screen in the Phoenix Metro area from January 1 to May 31, 2021 if selected.
2. Feature films must have a Phoenix Metro area premiere.
a. The Phoenix Metro Area includes the cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Chandler, Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert, Maricopa, Glendale, Peoria, Surprise, Cave Creek, Carefree, Anthem, Goodyear, Sun City, Avondale, Tolleson, Buckeye, Ahwatukee, Sun Lakes, Apache Junction, Laveen, Fountain Hills, Litchfield Park, Paradise Valley and Queen Creek.
b. It is the submitter’s responsibility to notify the Phoenix Film Festival of any updates in premiere status as they occur, especially if the film is selected for another festival in Arizona.
c. This does not include the Phoenix Film Festival which runs concurrent with the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival.
3. Any change in premiere status must be brought to the Festival’s attention as soon as possible.
4. If a film violates the premiere requirements at any time in the process, the film will be disqualified without refund of submission fees.

Please review all submission categories carefully before submitting your project.
1. All entrants are required to pay the submission fee of their film’s appropriate category.
2. Category Changes: If you believe you have submitted your film to the wrong category, contact us immediately. Submitter is responsible for any additional fees. The International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival is not able to reimburse submitter for lower category fees.
3. If they qualify, films may submit to more than one category. A separate submission fee must be paid for each category.
4. Films will only be considered in the category in which they are submitted.
5. The International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival reserves the right to determine eligibility of a submission in each category. Refunds will not be offered for submission to an inappropriate category.

All foreign-language films in any category must be submitted with English subtitles. If a film is in a foreign language and does not have subtitles, the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival will do its best to contact the filmmaker for a subtitled version. However, if the submission does not have working subtitles by the final submission deadline, the project will be disqualified without refund of submission fees.

The International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival accepts works in progress, however the fact that it is a work in progress must be noted in the submission. Any missing elements (color correction, shots, music, effects) should be clearly indicated (ex: no color-correction, shot missing at 47:02, temporary score, missing VFX,) both in your cover letter and the film cut itself (ideally as a title card at the start of the film).
1. Any updated cuts must be uploaded to your original FilmFreeway submission with same submission link and password.
2. The International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival is only responsible for considering the project as it exists at the time of review. While we will try, we are under no obligation to revisit updated cuts once a screener has been completely judged. Therefore, you should not submit your project if it is not complete enough to adequately represent the final product.
3. No updated cuts will be accepted after the final submission deadline: January 11, 2021.
4. The final version of the film must be available by March 2021.

1. The International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival DOES NOT PAY SCREENING FEES for submitted films. By submitting your project, you acknowledge that the Festival will not pay to present your work.
2. Films are screened on DCP and must be delivered in format requested by deadline set at time of acceptance.
3. All Festival scheduling is purely at the discretion of the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival staff.
4. If selected as a participant in the Festival, if requested, television ready media clips of the film must be provided by the date indicated on notice of selection.

Accepted films may be considered for the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival’s Awards. By submitting you agree that:
1. Should this film win a Copper Wing Award (“Award”) at the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival, you are authorized and/or empowered by all parties legally representing this film to name the individual(s) listed on the Copper Wing Award Designation List (to be received upon notice of selection to Festival) to receive any and all award(s).
2. In the event the designated party is unable to attend the awards ceremony, you understand that the director and/or producer of the film as listed in the credits of the film shall accept any and all awards in their stead.
3. In the event that filmmakers are not able to receive award in person, the Festival will do its best to send award to recipient, however,

The International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival reserves the right to disqualify any submission without refund, even after a film has been invited or final programming has been announced, at the sole discretion of International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival staff.
Once a project is listed “In Consideration” on FilmFreeway, we are unable to offer refunds for any reason, including (but not limited to):
1. Submission to the wrong category
2. Change in premiere status or distribution
3. Acceptance to other festivals within the metro-Phoenix area or festivals that breach the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival premiere requirements
4. Duplicate submissions
5. Failure to pay the full submission fee by the final deadline
6. Failure to provide a working screener by the final deadline
7. Project’s failure to comply with submission Rules & Terms
8. Improper use of a discount code or waiver
9. Rejection from the festival
10. Withdrawing your submission for any reason (including changes of heart)

1. You have read and agree to the rules and regulations above.
2. This film is not subject to litigation nor is threatened by any litigation.
3. You are duly authorized to submit this film to the Festival and its Competition and understand that the Festival holds the right to screen my film for Festival screening and promotional purposes and to extract clips from this film for promotional purposes. You understand this may include online streaming of clips on Festival or Festival sponsor sites.
4. You understand that the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival ("Festival") and the Phoenix Film Foundation (“Foundation”) are not responsible for any type of damage to or loss of the print during screenings, at any other time during the course of the Festival, while the film is in the Festival’s possession or while en route to or from the Festival, and you release The International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival ("Festival") and the Phoenix Film Foundation from any and all liabilities regarding damage to or loss of the print while en route to/from the Festival or while it is in their possession.
5. This film will not be available online publicly until the completion of the 2021 International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival.

If you have any questions that are not answered here, please email us at

Overall Rating
  • Peter Wong

    One of the most friendly and fun film festival I've attended. Great selection of films, warm and friendly volunteers/staffs and ease of catching the films what makes this an enjoyable experience. Also a great thank you for selecting my film into the program! Would not have gotten traction if not for some great reviews coming from the press!!! :) I hope one day our paths will cross again. All the very best!

    May 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the good words Peter.

  • I know it's weird to give five stars for everything, but I would give ten if I could. International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival was one of the best festivals. Great programming, wonderful people, perfect communication, and a lot of fun. If you miss this festival you REALLY MISSED A LOT. IHSFF really is a festival for filmmakers and people who love movies. Thank you for having me.

    April 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the great words Bradford. It's greatly appreciated.

  • Sean Skene

    Really great people running the festival and beautiful weather.

    June 2018
  • It was a really pleasure to be part of this festival. Thanks a lot to the director and all the organization behin this amazing Film Festival and thank you so much for this great attention and kindness.

    This official selection for my short film HAY ALGO EN LA OSCURIDAD was an amazing present ¡GREAT FESTIVAL!

    I hope to have the opportunity again to be in the festival in the future.

    Thanks and a big hug from Spain!
    Fran Casanova

    May 2018
  • Laurel Vail

    I was able to attend the second weekend in Phoenix.
    I met a lot of great people, including journalists, filmmakers, and staff of the festival. The staff were all very helpful. They also gave everyone so much swag. I also met a lot of very devoted festival fans. The theater is extremely nice (recliners across the board) and the screenings were very well attended. They also helped us by having a private Facebook group so the filmmakers could connect online as well.

    I think I missed out a little by only going the second weekend because the panels were only on the first weekend. Maybe in the future they can add a Horror/Sci-Fi related panel for the second weekend, since more of those screen in the second half of the overall Phoenix Film Fest.

    April 2018