Launched in 2009 with a single evening program of local & touring short films, the Knoxville Horror Film Fest has grown into a four-night extravaganza of exciting features and unmissable short films, including special events like live podcasts, trivia sessions and our annual Grindhouse Grind-out filmmaking competition. We’re proud to be not only East Tennessee’s longest-running film festival but also one of the Southeast’s premier annual genre film events.

After a decade of screening at local venues like the Pilot Light, Relix Variety Theatre, Scruffy City Hall and Regal Cinemas Downtown West 8, the KHFF crew in 2018 opened single-screen moviehouse Central Cinema, which now serves as the festival’s home base. Between our theater’s intimate 88-seat setting and high-profile festival screenings at larger venues like Downtown West and Maryville’s Parkway Drive-In, hundreds of horror fans from around the region enjoy KHFF’s offerings every October.

Despite its ever-growing scale, KHFF remains a DIY labor of love for the small crew that puts it on each year, and we like to think the result is a film festival clearly run by fans, for fans.

Awards vary by year, depending on festival makeup. Categories typically include Scariest Film, Funniest Film, Weirdest Film, Best Performance and Best Scenario, as well as "Palm d'Gore" award for best film.


Submissions are divided into four overall categories: FEATURE, REGIONAL FEATURE (films produced in Tennessee), SHORTS and REGIONAL SHORTS.(short films produced in Tennessee)

Submission fees are $50 for feature films, $40 for Regional Feature Films, $25 for Short films and $20 for Regional Short films.

One film per entry fee. Entry fees are non-refundable. Paying the fee does not guarantee your film will be played, it only enters your film into consideration for being a part of the festival.

Films must be original in content or adapted with binding permission.

Overall Rating
  • Nicholas deGrazia

    I loved being apart of this festival!

    January 2021
  • Although not able to attend I was thrilled to have my short film Inflatio selected to play the festival. Communication was excellent as well as the programming. I hope to attend in the future!

    November 2020
  • Ryan Cauchi

    The team at Knoxville Horror Film Fest have hosted my work on three separate occasions. Needless to say, the event is a personal favorite of mine. Great communication - they're a team that care about the filmmakers. Their efforts to host a live event in the midst of a global pandemic are to be applauded. I can not recommend them enough.

    November 2020
  • Seth Young

    Obviously with how everything has gone in 2020 things were different, I felt like the team did a great job adapting. I liked the drive-in addition this year and believe it is a fantastic idea to carry forward in future festivals, but would suggest prices adjusted to a per vehicle basis though.

    November 2020
  • Beck Kitsis

    Love this festival, the whole team is amazing!!!

    November 2020