The Magic of Horror celebrates all kinds of films, screenplays, and art in the horror genre. Creepy creatures, psychological thrillers, Gothic tales, supernatural terrors, slashers... we think they all have the magic to scare the pants off of genre fans!

Every submission receives the initial jury scorecard and judge’s notes.

Every year we put in a special contest just for fun. (We even did a “Give Us Your Worst Film” contest before.)

This year the Special Contest theme is SCARY EVIL PETS! There are three categories for this special competition: Pets in Costumes, Mock Movie Posters, and Mock Movie Trailers of animal-themed horror films. (See our photos for examples.) These submissions get extra points from the jury on creativity, so go out there and have some fun with photos or videos of your pets!

The Winners will receive a special trophy befitting for the theme!

Of course, we have our standard competitions too. There are no "created by" time frame, debut status, or even publicly released film restrictions for submissions in these categories.

Feature Films
Short Films
Feature Screenplays
Short Screenplays
Film Trailers
Movie Posters
Horror Artwork

Selected films, trailers, movie posters, and artwork will be shown on-screen at our live, two-day event Attending filmmakers and artists will be invited to participate in a Q&A session at the end of their project’s screening block.

Screenplay Finalists will be invited to participate in our “Script Talk” session at the festival to tell the audience about their work.

The event ends with the awards ceremony and we also announce the Audience Choice Awards voted on by the festival attendees.

We will also be premiering our 2022 Awards Show Video online during (or shortly after) the live event in order to share the love with everyone who could not be there in person. We NEVER show full films in this online show. However, all film finalists will be required to provide a trailer for their film, otherwise a short teaser clip will be cut to be shown to our virtual audience and used for promotions. (Don’t worry, we don’t give away spoilers.)

You can see our previous awards shows on our new YouTube channel:
2021 Awards -
2020 Awards -

We continue to promote our annual selections for many years on our social media, including making announcements when a film is released to the public and where our followers can find it. We also periodically update the selection archives on our website with links to news on any project that participated in the festival. (Films that have been released, screenplays that went into production, etc...)

We encourage both past and present Selections to keep us updated so we can help spread the word!

All qualifying submissions receive the initial scorecards and notes given by the judges regardless of if the project is selected for the festival or not.

Selected films and trailers will be screened at the 2022 Magic of Horror Film Festival and will be offered two complimentary tickets to attend their screening day. (Please see the rules for details on this.) Screenwriters and artists will also be invited to talk about their work to our audience at the festival. Official selection films will also have their trailers or teasers featured in the Online Awards Video. All Official Selections will also receive digital laurels.

Selected entries for the Special Contest will be shown during intermissions at the live festival event and on a special video for our online viewers. All Official Selections will also receive digital laurels.

Finalists are projects that are nominated for jury awards. Finalists will receive digital laurels that indicate this status before the festival.

Finalists will be offered one complimentary ticket to attend the live Magic of Horror festival (Please see the rules for details on this.) They will also receive digital Finalist laurels.

All of the winners of the jury awards receive trophies during the 2022 Awards Ceremony. Winners who are unable to attend the live event will have their trophies mailed to them free of charge. (And of course, all Winners will receive digital laurels too.)

Best Short Film
Best Feature Film
Best Short Screenplay
Best Feature Screenplay
Best Trailer
Best Movie Poster
Best Horror Artwork

We also have superlative film awards that are given out at the discretion of the jury and some may be omitted or additional categories added to this list.

Best Director
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Cinematography
Best Costumes
Best Set Design
Best Special Effects
Best Music Score
Best Editing

At the live event our audiences will be able to vote for their favorite films and the winners are announced at the awards ceremony.

Because our trophies are each engraved with the title of the winning project, Audience Choice winners will not receive their actual trophy on the night of the event. (We'll let the winners use a blank trophy so they won't be left out of the red carpet photos!) The real trophies will be created and mailed out a few weeks later. Audience Choice winners also will receive digital laurels.

All of the winners of the special contest awards receive trophies befitting of this fun contest during the 2022 Awards Ceremony. Winners who are unable to attend the live event will have their trophies mailed to them free of charge. (Special Contest Winners also will receive digital Winners laurels.)

Best Pet Costume
Best Pet Movie Poster
Best Pet Movie Trailer


All qualifying submissions will receive the initial scorecards and any corresponding notes from the jury once the judging period has concluded. These are sent electronically, so please make sure that your email address on FilmFreeway is correct.

NOTE: Any submissions that are withdrawn or disqualified will not be eligible for scorecards and judge’s notes. A submission will be disqualified if it violates any of our submission restrictions.



1. No works-in-progress will be accepted. All entries must be complete and the final cut/copy submitted.

2. Submissions may not include real violence and/or death toward humans or animals.

3. Absolutely no pornography. (Nudity is okay.)

4. Filmmakers submitting films that have been released to the public and are under a distribution or similar contract with a third party must have retained all the rights to screen and promote the film.

5. All screenplays must be un-produced and not under option at the time of the festival, unless the writer is planning to self-produce the film later.

6. Submissions for the Special Contest (SCARY EVIL PETS) must have been created specifically for the contest. All movie trailers and posters submitted to Special Contest categories are required to be mock-ups or parodies and must not be from actual films.

7. Any posters, photos, or trailers that are submitted to the Special Contest (Scary Evil Pets) that do not fit the theme will be disqualified (and will not receive scorecards or jury notes, so it is not a "cheap" way to sneak in a real project for feedback.)



1. All entries must be in English (or have English subtitles).

2. All entries must be original works, unless the source material is in public domain (examples: Edgar Allen Poe or H.P. Lovecraft), or they have gained legal permission to use the source material from the owner. Questionable entries may be asked to provide this documentation.

3. The person submitting a project to this festival affirms that he/she has all the copyrights and/or other legal rights pertaining to the story, audio, video, images and music of the film/script/photographed work and he/she remains responsible before the law.

4. Special Contest (SCARY EVIL PETS) - Only the pet owner, photographer, artist, or director/producer may submit. Submitter must have the permission (and/or talent releases) of any people featured in the work, as if selected these submissions will be shown online and at the live festival. All entries to the Special Contest must also comply with the general submission rules when it comes to music, image rights, etc... (See above #3)

5. Please make sure that you have entered your submission in the appropriate category. Projects are judged in accordance to the category they have been submitted to. For example, a movie trailer submitted as a short film will be judged as a short film and is not likely to do well. (Any projects that are submitted to the Scary Evil Pets Special Contest that do not fit the theme will be disqualified.)



1. In the spirit of fairness to all, we DO NOT offer student discounts or hardship waivers for the submission fees. We have a compensated jury to ensure that every submission is looked at carefully and provided feedback.

2. Submission fees must be in U.S. dollars. These fees are non-refundable, even in the case of disqualification or withdrawal of an entry. There are no exceptions to this policy.
Submissions that do not follow the rules will be disqualified, so please ask any questions before submitting.

3. Multiple submissions are accepted, but each must be submitted with a separate fee. There are no discounts for multiple submissions. If you send multiple projects on one submission, only the first of the series will be considered.

4. Understand that the submission fee does not guarantee your project a place in the festival. Entries are judged by a panel who make the decisions of Official Selections, Finalists, and Jury Prize winners. The judges decisions are final and may not be disputed.

5. All entries must be sent via FilmFreeway. Please do not send DVDs, BluRays, images, photographs, or any downloadable files to us directly. We will not look at them.

6. You agree to indemnify and hold us harmless from any claim made by you or any third party due to or arising out of project(s) you submit to this contest. You understand that there are thousands of film-makers, writers and other artists and the similarities in story, characters, design, etc... of two or more submissions are certainly a possibility.

7. The contest directors and judges will not knowingly share your submission with any third party (unless your film, trailer, poster, artwork, or special contest submission is accepted into the festival to be screened or shown.)

8. By submitting your work to the Magic of Horror, you consent to receiving notices, newsletters, announcements, and advertisements from the Magic of Horror festival and its parent company (Rogue Chimera Films).



1. All Official Selections understand and accept that if their submission is accepted for presentation and/or screening in the festival, they grant full and unrestricted permission for Rogue Chimera Films LLC / Magic of Horror (MOH). to screen or show their entry project at times of the festival’s choice and understand that the festival will charge an admission fee for the general public at any live events.

2. The Submitter understands and accepts that they do not participate in receiving any funds from the ticket sales to the festival or any other revenue, which are fully retained by the event organizers to help cover the overall cost of the festival presentation.

3. Official Selections for our Regular Category competitions will be offered two free passes for the day that their entry is scheduled to appear in. (Finalists will also be offered two passes for the day of the Awards Ceremony if their projects are not screening on the same day.) These comp tickets must be reserved no later than October 15, 2022 to be guaranteed a seat at the live event.

4. Finalists for our Special Contest (SCARY EVIL PETS) will be offered one complimentary pass for the second day of the live festival. Comp tickets must be reserved no later than October 15, 2022 to be guaranteed a seat at the live event.

IMPORTANT: Because the venue has limited seating capacity, those who do not RSVP by 10/15/2022 will not be guaranteed tickets if the theatre has reached its seating capacity. We have come very close to selling out in the past, so we very strongly encourage those who are planning to attend to RSVP!

5. If attending the live event, all attendees agree to follow any house rules set down by the Firehouse Theatre or any other physical venue that a MOH event is being held.

6. Winners will be announced both at the awards ceremony at the end of the festival and on the Awards Video online. (And on our website and social media a day or so later.) Award-winners who are unable to attend the live festival will have their trophies mailed to them.

7. Official Selection Films and Trailers will be required to send a screening copy of their submission, along with any other promotional materials, to the festival by September 25, 2022. Any film or trailer that is not received by this deadline will be dropped from the program. (We have to be firm about this since we not only have to test screen at the theatre but also put together the Awards Video where we promote all of the selections.)

8. All Official Selections and Finalists in the regular competition categories will be asked to submit promotional materials they have available such as film poster, trailer, still photos, website or social media links, etc... Film entries that do not have suitable trailers prepared consent to allowing MOH to use a clip from their film for both promotional purposes and for the Awards Video that will be shown online to the general public. The Official Selection grants MOH the right to use any and all promotional materials in any manner they see fit for publicity purposes related to the festival. MOH may revisit selected projects from time to time on social media to continue promoting them.

9. Submissions for the Trailer, Poster, Artwork, and Special Contest categories understand that their work may be shown in its entirety online for both the Awards Show and general publicity on the MOH website and social media.

10. We keep all film and screenplay entries as secure as possible prior to and during the festival. However, with the popularity of camera devices and advanced cyber threats, we cannot promise the security of content submitted to the festival. The Submitter releases MOH and its organizers from any and all liability whatsoever for theft, copyright violations, or piracy of the entry.

11. The Submitter accepts and understands that the festival, in conjunction with the Firehouse Theatre, will do everything it can to present the films and still images in the best possible manner but the festival is not responsible for any and all malfunctions or technical difficulties during the presentation of any film or photograph at its festival screening.

12. The Magic of Horror festival reserves the right to make changes in the screening date and times and to possibly not screen a film regardless of its being selected for screening.

Overall Rating
  • Dominic O'Neill

    Out of all the festivals my film Belfast 1912 was selected for, Magic Horror had the best feedback and communication. The amount of effort that goes into their review process and the awards show is phenomenal, really excited for MoH 2022! :) Highly recommend submitting

    July 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for the kind words! We loved Belfast 1912 and hope to see more from you in the future!

  • This was a fun festival. There were plenty of opportunities to network with other filmmakers and it was an enjoyable experience. The festival was ran really well and we were proud to be a part of it. We hope to be a part of it in the future.

    November 2021
    Response from festival:

    We are so glad that you enjoyed it and can't wait to see more of your work!

  • This is literally one of the coolest festivals I have been apart of. The feedback that they give is fantastic and it helps a lot with the perfection of a story. I can't wait to submit again!

    November 2021
    Response from festival:

    We're very glad that you found the feedback helpful! Looking forward to seeing more of your work!

  • Incredible festival, great organization and execution with an attentive and knowledgeable staff. It was a pleasure and honor to be part of it

    November 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much! Keep up the great work in the genre!

  • Best trophies, best logo, best artwork and they even have T shirts! The Magic of Horror ROCKS!!!

    November 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you! We are so glad that you enjoyed it!