The transgressive nature of horror has always skewed queer. Queer Fear's mission is to fling open the closet door and spotlight the rainbow end of the horror and genre film spectrum. Gays lost in the woods? We're into it. Lesbian vampires? We want them (really, call us). Trans Final Girls? Send them in. Experimental animation through a queer lens? Yes, thank you, more please. Like sexuality, our definition of horror is pretty fluid. Sci-fi, thrillers, dark fantasy, harrowing documentary, and cinematic experiments are all welcome. If your story faces down the darkness in the world or within, we probably want to see it.

Be part of the South's only exclusively queer horror and dark genre film festival! We set ourselves apart by building a community dedicated to queer creators and queer stories, from the campy to the truly skin-crawling. Horror has always embraced The Other, and queer folx around the world know a thing or two about being Othered. But we're not alone.

Our fourth annual event will be in-person at a/perture cinema in downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina. All accepted filmmakers will receive a screening fee and two all-access festival passes.

Our judge's top picks for Best Short, Best Feature, and Best Student Film, as well as our Audience Choice film, will all receive cash prizes and a coveted Golden Unicorn statue.

Best Feature Film | Prize: $250
Best Short Film | Prize: $250
Audience Choice Film | Prize: $250
Best Student Film | Prize: $250

Films should be made by LGBTQ+ and queer creators, and/or center LGBT+ and queer characters and stories. Films do not need explicitly queer content to be considered, as long as key creatives involved identify as queer.

LGBTQ+ includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, nonbinary, pansexual, asexual, genderfluid, and other identities. Queer is an umbrella term that encompasses all of these identities, and identities that fall between or outside these labels.

We accept films of all styles and modes: narrative, documentary, experimental, animation, and hybrid.

- Films must have been completed on or after January 1, 2022.
- By submitting, you agree that you are the owner or have the permission of the owner of the film submitted and all contents within. We love fan films, but we can't screen them.
- Films must be either in English or subtitled in English.
- We are unable to screen pornography.
- Filmmakers may submit multiple projects, but an individual entry must be submitted for each project.
- Submitted films are considered the final finished versions of those films by the Festival (no “in progress” projects).
- Participants agree that clips from their film and other material related to their project may be used and/or published in the event program, on the Festival website, and for any promotional purposes in print, broadcast, or online.
- All film submission fees are non-refundable.
- There is no guarantee that films submitted will be selected for Festival screening.

Premiere status is not required.

Overall Rating
  • What an incredible honor to have our film Violet Butterfield screen at Queer Fear!! Bummer we couldn't make it in person! Communication and everything was amazing! Thank you so much to the entire team!!

    December 2023
  • Tim Connolly

    An absolute delight! I was able to screen my film “Mystery Solved” with Queer Fear this year, and had such an incredible experience. Tiffany and the entire staff were so delightful and so enthusiastic about the work shared at the festival. Our Q&A was amazing, both in person and virtual, and I felt so welcomed, respected and supported by everyone involved! Will absolutely be back in the future. If you’re looking for somewhere to submit, do it here! They are the best!

    October 2022
  • Shoshana Rosenbaum

    I attended remotely. Really appreciated this festival's programming, and the fact that they made time for thoughtful Q&A's after each screening block. Would definitely submit again!

    October 2022
  • Great festival! Not only is the title and logo of this festival one of my personal faves, but Tiffany, Anna, and the Queer Fear team were so nice, supportive, and communicative (which isn't all that common). I was honored to have my short film Twin play here, and grateful for the opportunity to do a virtual Q&A on Zoom with a couple other filmmakers from my block. Great shorts selection! Thank you all!

    October 2022
  • Had a great experience with the staff of QF 2022. Great economic accessibility, reasonable scheduling, and a great central theme. Hoping to see them again next year.

    October 2022