Our 2021 Event will be some sort of limited hybrid in person theater experience along with a virtual online festival. More details on capacity regarding theaters in the coming weeks due to COVID restrictions. In person events will require social distancing and masks.

Join us as we bring the Panic! to Kansas City. Held in the historic Screenland Armour theater our film festival features horror, thriller and sci-fi films.

Some of the films we debuted in previous festivals include Elijah Wood’s Maniac remake, What We Do in the Shadows (North American Debut), Dark Was the Night and many more.

In addition to our feature film lineup we also host a short film showcases that attendees vote for the best of fest. Our festival features live podcast shows (Last Podcast on the Left, Movie Crypt, Generation Why and Cult Podcast.) and Q&A sessions after select films.

Take a break from the action and check out some of our amazing vendors or vintage arcade games.

All of this brought to you by Screenland Theaters in collaboration with

Short Film Showcase - Best of Show*
Best Director - Feature Film
Best Film - Feature Film
Audience Choice - Feature Film*
Best Actress - Feature Film
Best Actor - Feature Film

*Voted By Festival Goers at the Festival

Other Awards Will Be Voted by A Selection of Festival Judges.

Short films must be from 2020 - 2021 without regular release date. Films do not need to be in finished state to submit, please mark these as WIP (Work in Progress) Submission.

Only one short may be submitted per filmmaker, per year.

Non-English language films must have subtitles burned.

By submitting your film you agree to supply a screener for approved members of the press

Short Film Running Time: 16 minutes (max)
Feature Film Running Time: 120 minutes (max)

Submission does not guarantee entry into festival. Filmmakers will be notified no later than April 12, 2021 if their film has be accepted into the festival.

Overall Rating
  • Our experience at the 2021 PanicFest could not have been better. Adam and his team really nailed the hybrid/virtual event structure and made our little film feel so welcome from the day it was first selected. Communication with the staff was stellar throughout the entire process. Hats off to the folks at PanicFest and Downright Creepy. Hope to meet you all in person one day.

    April 2021
  • Christian Klein

    From my experience, Panic Fest pretty much wrote the book on how to conduct a hybrid online/in-person festival. As a virtual participant, I was never out of the loop in terms of scheduling and information. My friends and family had a great time streaming my film and various other films through the Eventive platform on our smart TVs. Finally, it was super fun to mingle with other filmmakers over Gather, and the festival directors even let me know how my film played to the in-person crowd!

    Highly recommend this festival and definitely hope to submit/attend again in the future.

    April 2021
  • J.M. Logan

    We had a GREAT time at this festival! Community oriented, terrific content, kind and responsive -- A+++ experience! Thank you Panic Fest!!!

    April 2021
  • Loved this fest! We went both live and virtual in this one and they succeeded at both. Great films, great fest runners!

    April 2021
  • Mando Franco

    This was my first time submitting and playing the fest. Even though it was virtual, everything was well communicated and well planned. The way everything was set up was user friendly and the fest directors were always there to answer questions.

    Very casual and very professional, and well put together festival. I highly encourage genre filmmakers to submit. You will not be disappointed!

    April 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for being part of our fest, Mando! Hope to see more of your work in the future!