Portland Horror Film Festival™ is an international festival of terror, bringing horror from around the world to creepy Portland, OR. We're looking for innovative films in all horror genres, from independent filmmakers, small studios, and film students anywhere in the world.

The Pacific Northwest is a creepy place. It can be dark and gloomy, but even when it is sunny and warm, the shadows in this tree-filled land run deep with a dark history. We also organize the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival® and Zompire: The Undead Film Festival, here in Portland, both of which are very niche-oriented festivals with strict genre criteria. We thought it was finally time for Portland to have its very own Horror film festival to show the breadth of amazing independent horror.

Independent filmmakers are the lifeblood of the Horror genre. Commercial horror is a genre often stuck in a rut; it's the independent filmmakers who innovate and create new horrific ideas, and who become the new masters of horror. Clive Barker, Wes Craven, Eli Roth, John Carpenter, and many more notable names, all came out of left field with small indie films that changed the face of horror. More than any other genre, horror relies on new filmmakers with new ways to scare us. It's our goal to showcase and foster the next generation.

• Fresh scares and films that delve deep in the darkness.
• Horror films that have never had a general release to the public - they shouldn't be commercially available on DVD, or already be on Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.
• Films generally less than 2 years old - we'll consider films of any age, so there's flexibility, but generally want newer horror projects.

The overwhelming request from our 2017 festival was... MORE MONSTERS! They want to see fun makeup effects, demons and beasties, furry critters, and anything else with a physically monstrous element.
Of course, they also love taut horrors of the human mind and bloody killers, but if you have a cool monster, you'll certainly enrapture our audience.

Films can be any horror genre, and might range from supernatural horror to psychological horror to dark fantasy to blood and guts. Freshness is key. Give us new dark worlds, on the Earth, beneath it, outside it. Give us sunny afternoons filled with dread, nights filled with the unknown. Give us vast vistas of horror, or small moments of fear.

All the recent films we love right now are so far outside the box, it's hard to even classify them, but they've all given us something new: The Babadook, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Kill List, Jug Face, You're Next. Even our favorite classic horrors virtually created new genres: Hellraiser, Re-Animator, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Prince of Darkness, Near Dark, Hostel, The Blair Witch Project.

We love all horror, and we want to see what you've got, but show us something unique.

MIDDLE EAST FILMMAKERS: Due to US sanctions, most filmmakers from Iran, Iraq, and other countries in the region don't have a way to pay submissions fees, which means it is very hard to get their films seen at most festivals. While PHFF does not condone oppression, gender inequality, or other government-sponsored injustices in many countries, as an International Horror film festival, we believe that the voices of individual filmmakers, especially in the genre of Horror, can teach us lessons about the universality of fear in different cultures, and we are committed to playing HORROR films from all areas of the world. Therefore, filmmakers from these countries (see full country list in the category) may submit their films for free in the "Horror Films from the Middle East ONLY" category. Filmmakers should ensure that they are submitting only films that fit into the HORROR GENRE (فیلم ترسناک , فيلم رعب) .

FILMS ON YOUTUBE, VIMEO, NETFLIX, ETC.: We want to show great films to our audience on a big screen in a historic movie theater, especially films that our audience can't see at home. We fairly consider all submissions, but prefer films not easily seen by the public on YouTube, or other sites. We recommend that you wait to reveal your masterpiece after it has made its festival appearances. This gives us the best opportunity to attract a large audience that supports indie film in a fantastic setting, and we can more easily promote your film as a premiere, which could lead to great media exposure for you.

Awards & Prizes

Awards will be given in the following categories for 2018.

• Director's Award - The Goule D’or is reserved for that one standout film that does everything right; script, direction, cinematography, acting, editing, sound design, and overall impact.

• Jury Award for Best Film - The Main de Gloire is for the film we think most embodies the spirit of Independent Horror film.

• Audience Choice Award - Chosen by ballots from our in-person audience.

• Abby Normal Award for Innovation - we're going to be watching this Director with great interest!

• Funny Bone Award - for best Horror Comedy.

• Bloody Judge Award - to be decided by our guest judge.

• Best Bumper Award - for the winner of our Portland Horror Bumper Contest.

Each winner will receive an award laurel graphic from the Portland Horror Film Festival, an award statuette, and a FilmFreeway waiver for their next film submission to the PHFF.

Rules & Terms

• Only one title per entry.
• Productions not previously screened at the Festival may be submitted.
• By submitting, you're giving us permission to exhibit your film at the festival, and other screenings (like press previews, promotional events, etc.), if we select it for exhibition.

• Films submitted in the "Make us a bumper" category must follow several additional rules. Please read the rules in the category description and festival page. Those that don't follow the rules will be disqualified, so be sure you've read and understand each before submitting.

By submitting, you represent and warrant that you have full legal right and authority to submit the film/video project for consideration by PHFF, and that all necessary consents, licensing, and approvals have been obtained with respect thereto. You agree to hold PHFF and its sponsors harmless in any and all matters pertaining to the consents, licenses, and approvals of heretofore film/video project. You understand that your submission is in no way a guarantee of acceptance into PHFF. No one from PHFF or its sponsors has guaranteed you admission into the festival. Should your film be accepted to PHFF, you grant PHFF the right to use any footage from the preview screener, and all submitted publicity photos and any other materials pertaining to this entry for PHFF's promotional non-commercial purposes, without limitations.

11 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Anthony Williams

    This is one of my favorite film festivals. Their communication was clear and they really went out of their way to involve those who could attend. The venue is nothing short of fantastic and they create a really positive atmosphere for everyone that attends and screens.

    Their passion for horror is clear and they do so much to champion the community.

    July 2017
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    Justin Buckner

    Excellent film fest- one of the best we have attended!

    June 2017
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    Magic Dog Productions

    My micro short was accepted by the PHFF in 2017 and though I live in NYC, I decided to make the trek across country to enjoy the festival. And what an amazing choice that was! The festival itself was absolutely jam packed with truly excellent (scary!) content and the people running it (Brian and Gwen) were on top of things, friendly, generous, and just lovely to be around. The people attending were both in the industry (good for networking) and also a large number of die-hard fans of horror, which was awesome to be around. My friend and I had an incredible time at the Portland Horror Film Festival, I will definitely be submitting again next year and hope to attend yearly! Thank you so much, Gwen and Brian, but putting together a totally kickass horror festival.

    June 2017
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    Adam Losurdo

    Excellent communication, networking, and passion for what they do best. Wish I could have been there! I will be submitting to Portland Horror Film Festival again and look forward to attending the event next time around!

    June 2017
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    John McCourt

    Great festival run by good, good people. Unfortunately I live several thousand miles away from the venue so couldn't attend, but it looks to have been a cracker. Excellent communication from the organisers, which is always good when you live half a world away from a screening. And if you can point me in the direction of where I could buy a T-shirt with that logo, I may buy several!

    June 2017