"Can't say enough good things about this growing festival. The communication was superb, the staff was all very friendly. The theater at the VCU was beautiful and top of the line, the sound and picture were perfect! Had a great time!" -- Michael Mizgalski and Charles Mitri (CA) -- 2019 winners of Best Original Film Award for "Table for Two."

America's greatest storyteller inspires a new generation of filmmakers, dedicated to bringing original stories and creative energy to the big screen. We celebrate Edgar Allan Poe's philosophy of intensity, passion, love, and suspense by honoring new stories on film at the 2020 Poe Film Festival in his hometown of Richmond, VA, on October 23-25.

The Poe Film Festival is a three-day celebration of cinema, featuring creative young filmmakers and talented industry professionals, culminating in a red carpet awards ceremony. Our Official Selection professional films will be screened at the stunning new Institute for Contemporary Art on the VCU Campus. Thanks to the ICA theater's state-of-the-art projection and audio facilities, your film will never look and sound so fantastic!

So submit your film today and circle your October calendar. What could be more fun than an autumn weekend in the most hauntingly intriguing city in America?

For the latest film festival news, including the first announcements of Official Selection Films, follow us on Twitter @PoeFilmFestival!

First place winners in original narrative, original adaptation, original narrative short, adapted short, and documentary categories will receive our distinctive Poe Film Festival Pro Film Awards trophy, two festival tickets, and discount accommodations. All Official Selection filmmakers will receive two complimentary tickets to the renowned Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond. Plus, as our winners tell us, the most valuable prize is our Poe Film Festival laurels logo they include in their marketing packages.

This contest is open to anyone except all employees and immediate family members of Poe Film Festival, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, and Poe Film Festival Pro Film Awards (PFA).
Multiple entries are permissible, but require a separate entry form and entry fee for each submission. Following submission, no substitutions of new versions or revisions of any kind will be considered or accepted.
PFA retains rights to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted for promotional purposes of the festival.
You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Poe Film Festival and PFA 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.
By submitting your film, you warrant that you are authorized to commit the film for screening, and understand and accept these requirements, rules and regulations.

Submission Requirements.
1. Upload an official poster, if available
2. Provide a synopsis and/or logline, and
3. Provide an accessible vimeo link or upload your film to FilmFreeway submission page.

We do not accept DVD, Blue Ray or DCP files. We accept all genres. If the film is in a language other than English, it must include subtitles in English.
After a film has been adjudged a semifinalist, the filmmaker will be notified. Semifinalist doesn’t mean that your film will be screened at the festival. It means that you are now eligible for the awards consideration and you can use the festival Laurels for your promotions.
Entry fees are non-refundable.
The judge scoresheet contains numbered scores for format, theme, characters, dialogue, pacing, level of intrigue, voice, and Poe-like originality, as well as brief comments as to what works and what doesn’t work in the story.
Finalists may submit to later contests with a completely different film. Non-finalists may resubmit their films to later contests without restriction.
Adaptations from other works are permissible if in the public domain and/or with the author’s legal written permission. Entrants alone are liable for any unauthorized use or adaptation of a copyrighted or protected work.
Collaborative work is eligible; the collaborators are responsible for the distribution of the contest prize(s).
Filmmakers under the age of 18 years must have parent or legal guardian’s permission to participate.
The work or submitted material must not be under a current option agreement, or may not have been previously sold or produced for profit.
Filmmaker understands and accepts without reservation that he/she is an independent contractor and that the contest administrators are not responsible for withholding any taxes or payments on prize money to any government agency, at any level, be it state, local or federal.
Filmmaker understands that it is his/her sole responsibility to register material with the U.S. Copyright Office and/or with the Writers Guild of America or the appropriate agency in his/her country to protect ownership interests in the film submitted.
You must retain at least one copy of the submitted material, and you understand that all material we receive cannot and will not be returned under any circumstances.
Required length of your work: Feature – (25 to 120 minutes running time), Shorts – (up to 25 minutes running time), and Documentaries - (up to 50 minutes running time). Entrants are encouraged to tighten up their work to meet these required lengths.
All entries must be received by the listed Final Deadline. We are not responsible for late, lost, unacceptably formatted, corrupt, or incorrect submissions. To assure proper handling of films and entry fees, writers are encouraged to submit through an account at this website.
During the contest period, contestants may submit their films to any other person, contest, producer, agent, publisher, and/or organization. Contestants retain all rights to their films. PFA will accept films produced on or after January 1, 2016, whether or not such films have been screened in any other venue.
By submitting to this contest, you warrant and guarantee that you are the sole originator of the idea and that you have the legal right to submit it for judging.
You understand that your film will be viewed by our employees and our judges for evaluation. You also understand that any one of these employees or judges may have been or may be exploring ideas similar to yours and you hereby waive any claim that Poe Film Festival, PFA, its employees or judges may have misappropriated any ideas or portions of your submission.
You also agree that, if your film is chosen as an Official Selection, your film will be screened to a public audience during the 2019 Poe Film Festival Pro Film Awards.
No agreement for compensation, other than prizes listed, has been implied.
PFA intends to disseminate the winning film titles, writers’ names, and loglines for film festival marketing purposes. PFA will not duplicate, broadcast or cause to be published any film to any third party other than to contest judges and festival audiences.
When your film, application, and payment have all been received, you will be notified by email. Please provide an appropriate email address. If your email address changes, it is your responsibility to let us know through the contact information at the Poe Film Festival website.
PFA has the right to add to the prizes at any time, without notice, and/or substitute prizes of equal or greater value.
PFA may develop a series or documentary style program based on the inner workings of the contest and the production resulting therefrom. PFA reserves the right to contact contestants with offers to participate in any such production. Contestants are under no obligation to participate therein.
Contest applicants must accept without reservation the decisions rendered by the judges.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • This is a wonderful, small, well-organized film festival that includes separate calls and screening sessions for films made by high school students, university and college students, and professionals. This may not be the best festival for trying to schmooze with Hollywood producers, but it’s a small, friendly fest and an excellent opportunity to see films that echo the stories, themes, and writing styles of Edgar Allen Poe.

    November 2019
  • A fun festival ran by good people, I hope my team and I will be able to enter and attend next year.

    November 2019
  • This was one of the best festivals I have been fortunate enough to be apart of. I can't even express how wonderful Brian and his team were. Thank you for the award, experience, and hospitality. It was so great to watch Night Tide on such a lovely screen at VCU. Hope to see you next year!

    October 2019
    Logo
    Response from festival:

    We were honored to screen "Night Tide" as our closing film. You and your team are amazing filmmakers. How to see you next October.

  • Can't say enough good things about this growing festival. The communication was superb, the staff was all very friendly. The theater at the VCU was beautiful and top of the line, the sound and picture was perfect! Had a great time! Thanks Brian and your whole staff!

    October 2019