The Krampusnacht Freeky Film Festival is a celebration of creepy, darkly funny, and macabre short films, seated cozily in the heart of the holiday season.

The Krampus is the shadow of St. Nicholas, who doles out punishment for naughty children. Krampusnacht falls annually on December 5th, the eve of the feast of St. Nicholas, and is observed throughout Eastern Europe and parts of Germany with parades featuring elaborate costumes and masks.

For this festival we are seeking:

-- Short films, 15 minutes and under, in the thematic realm of creepy, darkly funny, or macabre.
-- Films are NOT required to relate to Krampus mythology in any way, although we will have a special awards category for films that put a “freeky” twist on the holidays — Krampusnacht, Christmas, or otherwise.


'Micro' (runtime < 3min ) -- These bite-sized shorts add spice to a screening; a good micro-short lands, delivers, and rolls credits before it overstays its welcome.
'Short' (runtime 3-10 min) -- Standard short films take the time to explore their premise, and provide a satisfying narrative journey.
'Long' (runtime 10-15 minutes) -- Longer shorts have something to say, and tell stories worth the additional runtime.

In addition to the run-time based categories, we offer an "Add-On" category to request judges' notes after the festival, regardless of a short's acceptance at the fest. (While feedback will be constructive, it will also be honest, and this option is not recommended for the thin-skinned.) Note that as an add-on, submitting only under this category will not constitute entry in the festival -- you must also submit your short in the appropriate standard category.

Awards will be presented in the following categories (provided three or more entries are eligible for a given category)

Best Horror
Best Comedy
Best "Freeky Holiday" Film
Best Acting
Best Writing
Best Direction
Best Animation
Best Original Score
Best Cinematography
Best Local Film (Champaign, IL)

As well as an overall "Best Of The Fest" award, as determined by audience vote.

By submitting your project, you acknowledge that you have read and agreed to all of the following rules and terms. All projects that have been submitted by our final deadline and that adhere to the following terms will be considered for inclusion in the Krampusnacht Freeky Film Festival.

It is the submitter’s responsibility to make sure that all requirements are met.


Only one title per entry.

All projects must be submitted via secure online screener - either as a password protected Vimeo link attached to your submission, or uploaded directly to FilmFreeway. The submitter is responsible for ensuring that their screener link and password is active through at least November 4, 2019. In the event of a password or URL change after submitting, email us immediately. If we discover an error with the screener, we will attempt to email the submitter for an update. Failure to respond by the final submission deadline will result in disqualification without refund of submission fees. Online screeners must be available to stream, we do not accept any films that must be downloaded.

We DO NOT accept DVD or Blu-Ray screeners. In addition, we cannot accept screener links via email, they MUST be attached to your submission.

All foreign-language films must be submitted with English subtitles. If we discover a submission is missing subtitles, we will attempt to email the submitter for an update. Failure to provide working subtitles by the final submission deadline will result in disqualification without refund of submission fees.

Please review all submission categories carefully before submitting your project. All entrants are required to pay the submission fee of their film’s appropriate category.


Works-in-progress are accepted with the following stipulations:
Incomplete projects must be clearly listed as such. Films should be marked as either a “Rough Cut” or “Work In Progress/WIP”. All incomplete materials or changes to be made should be clearly indicated (ex: temporary score, missing VFX, no color-correction) both in your cover letter and the film cut itself (ideally as a title card at the start of the film).
The entrant may update their screener up until the final deadline, as long as the link and password for the submission remains the same. However, KNFFF is only responsible for considering the project as it exists at the time of review. We are under no obligation to revisit updated cuts once a screener has been seen. Therefore, you should not submit your project if it is not complete enough to adequately represent the final product.
Updated cuts must be accessible via your FilmFreeway account. We cannot accept updated cuts via email.
No updated cuts will be accepted after the final submission deadline: October 14, 2019.
If selected, the final version of the film must be available by November 30, 2019.


There is no limit on completion date; we welcome older work. We also do not require a premiere in any way, although premiere status may be taken into consideration when making final selections.

Short films that are available online are programmed on a case by case basis, but we typically prioritize films that have not yet been released to the public.


Please keep track of deadlines closely if you plan on submitting within a certain submission window. All deadlines are set for 11:59pm Central Time.

Any submissions with an unpaid balance after a deadline will be required to pay the following deadline’s submission fee. Failure to pay the appropriate fee will result in disqualification without a refund.

All works selected must be available by November 16, 2019 for inclusion in the festival.


Regardless if a film is accepted or not, we offer the option to receive judges’ notes (after the fest). To request notes, submit your film in the appropriate category ('Micro', 'Short', or 'Long'), as well as submitting to the "Add-On: Judges' Notes" category. Films submitted only to the Add-On category without submission in another category will not be reviewed by the judges.


Should your film be accepted in the 2019 Krampusnacht Freeky Film Festival, you grant KNFFF the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

The Krampusnacht Freeky Film Festival DOES NOT PAY SCREENING FEES for submitted films. By submitting your project, you acknowledge that KNFFF will not pay to present your work.


By entering your film for consideration to the 2019 Krampusnacht Freeky Film Festival, you authorize that your work is cleared for festival exhibition and accept full legal responsibility for the intellectual property therein. The submitter and all filmmakers associated with the project shall indemnify and hold harmless the Krampusnacht Freeky Film Festival and any representative or affiliates from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.


Once a project is listed “In Consideration” on FilmFreeway, we are unable to offer refunds for any reason, including (but not limited to):
Submission to the wrong category
Change in premiere status or distribution
Duplicate submissions
Failure to pay the full submission fee by the final deadline
Failure to provide a working screener by the final deadline
Project’s failure to comply with submission Rules & Terms
Rejection from the festival
Withdrawing your submission for any reason (including changes of heart)

KNFFF 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 KNFFF staff.