The Scares That Care Weekend Film Festival was created to promote the artistry of independent horror cinema and also raise funds for children and families which are supported through “Scares That Care,” a 501(c)(3) charity organization. It is an event held every year as part of the Scares That Care Weekend Charity Convention in Williamsburg, VA. The convention draws in thousands of attendees every year who come to meet celebrity guests from the horror film, writing, and TV world. Past guests have included genre heavyweights like Stuart Gordon, Tony Todd, Sid Haig, Kane Hodder, Joe Lansdale, & Edward Lee, The convention also offers workshops and events for creating haunted attractions, FX artists, and writers. The festival is open to all attendees of the convention as part of their ticket. 100% of the submission fees go directly to families and children in need!

Each year we screen a collection of short films and features that fall into the realm of Horror/Thriller and their many subgenres. We've screened films ranging from the incredibly disturbing to the incredibly hilarious and everything in between. We also provide audience Q&A's for attending filmmakers, so if your film is selected and you are planning on coming, please let us know so we can schedule time for you after your screening!

About the charity: “Scares That Care!” Inc., is an IRS approved, 501(c)(3) charity. Founded in 2006, “Scares That Care!” to date has raised and donated over $120,000 to organizations that treat sick children and families with a child affected by illness, burns or women fighting breast cancer. “Scares That Care!” is also proud of the fact that we are an all volunteer organization, with no salaries or paychecks issued to any staff member involved with the charity.

Scares That Care is a non-competitive festival.

Submissions must fit into Horror or a related subgenre.

We do not accept trailers or works in progress.

Online screeners through FilmFreeway and password-protected Vimeo links only.

Submissions cannot contain footage of real violence against people or animals.

If your film is selected, you are required to provide a high-quality download link or a flash drive with the film on it. Failure to do so within the given timeframe will result in your film being disqualified.

Due to the charity nature of the event, no free tickets will be given to selected filmmakers.

Participation in the Festival implies acceptance of all the aforementioned regulations and respect of submission and screening conditions. Furthermore by completing the initial online submission form (you/ your company) agree to the Festival’s terms of the release as follows;

1) [You / The Company] hereby grant(s)the organizers of the Festival
Permission to screen the film during the Festival and other associated promotional events. For the avoidance of doubt the location and timing of any screenings of the film shall be the sole decision of the organizers of the Film Festival.
2) [You / The Company] [have / has] obtained signed release forms in relation to copyright and all other rights now known from all the cast, crew and any freelance contributors who were involved in the making of the film.
3) [You / The Company] [have / has] obtained the appropriate copyright clearances for all music used in the film (if required).
4) [You / The Company] will be solely responsible for all costs resulting from the submission of the film to the Festival including but not limited to postage or insurance of the film, transport costs of the film to and from the Festival and travel costs and expenses of your staff or any representatives of the film.
5) [You / The Company] will indemnify the organizers of the Festival against all claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses (including legal fees), proceedings and losses resulting from the screening of the film at the Festival or from claims by any third parties.
6) [You / A director of the Company] [have / has] read, understood and agree[s] to be fully bound by the Rules and Regulations of the Festival.
7) [You / The Company] understand[s] and agree[s] that any failure to follow and adhere to the Rules and Regulations of the Festival will result in the disqualification of the film and forfeiting of your submission fees.
8) [You / The Company] hereby give[s] the organizers of the Festival a non exclusive licence to use [your/ its] name, [photograph / logo], and likeness in connection with any and all publicity and promotional activities relating to the Festival, and its promotional activities and events.
9) [You / The Company] understand[s] that the Festival is not obliged to return the copy of the film that [you / the company] submitted to the Festival and confirm that [you / the company] [have / has] retained at least one other copy of the film.
10) [You / The Company] understand[s] that the organizers of the Festival accept no liability for the loss or non-receipt of the film.
11) [You / The Company] understand[s] that there are no fees [due to you / it] for screening the film at the Festival or for any other matters arising from the submission of the film to the Festival and accept that the organizers of the Festival are therefore under no obligation to pay you any sums
12) [You / The Company] agree[s] to be bound by the decision of the judges of the Festival whose decision will be final. [You / The Company] further understand[s] and agree[s] that the judges are not obliged to give any feedback to you regarding the film.
13) [You / The Company} confirm[s] and warrant [s]that [you are/it is] the author of the film and the sole and exclusive owner of all rights now known in the Film and [have /has] full and exclusive rights to submit the film to the Festival. [You / The Company] further warrant [s] that the film is not under option, nor has it been purchased by any third party. [You / the Company] also warrant[s] that there is no current dispute as to the ownership of the film and that no rights or permissions are required from any third parties before the film can be screened at the Festival.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Rakefet Abergel

    Although I didn’t get to attend personally, I heard awesome things and even had a few filmmakers reach out to me to tell me how much they liked my film! This is a don’t miss fest with a good cause !

    September 2019
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you, Rakefet!

  • Kai Erfurt

    Thank you for selecting BETA. Great festival, great communication.
    It was a honor for us.

    August 2019
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you for the great feedback, Kai!

  • Jeremy Herbert

    While I tragically did not have the chance to go, I'd recommend Scares That Care to anybody. It's easy to sometimes get lost in the weekend wonderland of film festivals and forget about the world outside the theater. There's no better example of a way to do more than Scares That Care. They've always got my support, one way or another.

    August 2019
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much, Jeremy!

  • W. Trent Welstead

    This was a wonderful event. Mike Lombardo, the Festival Director, was incredibly nice and also served as an effective moderator. It was clear that he made an effort to understand the films, communicate with the guests, and facilitate meaningful interactions throughout the whole weekend.

    August 2019
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you for the positive feedback!

  • Christoph Wetty

    I tried to think of any reason not to give this festival full 5 stars, but I couldn’t come up with anything. My personal experience with the entire Scares That Care staff and festival was nothing short of perfect. Without a doubt, I will be submitting to this festival again and again. Scares That Care is such a great cause and I encourage everyone to submit their films or at least attend the unforgettable weekend!

    Christoph Wetty

    August 2019
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you very much!