Welcome filmmakers and screenwriters,
Screamfest® Film Festival supports independent filmmakers and creative writers. We provided a safe physical Drive-In festival in 2020, so you can be assured in submitting to Screamfest at any time.

We are planning a physical festival at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Los Angeles for our 21st year this October as scheduled. Our goal is to promote your stories for fans and industry alike.

Our film and screenplay competitions are open and we will continue to accept your work. Stay healthy!

Screamfest® team

Some of the largest horror online publications have called it the "Sundance of Horror."
Moviemaker Magazine's
50 Best Genre Fests in the World 2021,
25 Film Festival's Worth the Entry Fee & 13 Film Festivals to Die For
30 Bloody Best Genre Fests in the World 2019.

Screamfest® Horror Film Festival is the largest and longest running horror film festival in the United States. Paranormal Activity was discovered and premiered at the festival in 2007.

The festival showcases new genre films from around the world. Other premieres have included Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, Paranormal Activity, Dead Ant, Trick 'r' Treat, 30 Days of Night, The Human Centipede, American Mary, Diary of the Dead

To view past Screamfest® short films visit our YouTube channel - www.youtube.com/screamfestla

Stan Winston designed 24 carat gold plated Skull Award

Thank you for your interest in submitting your film to the 2021 SCREAMFEST® Horror Film Festival. The 2021 film competition is open for all new features and short films from around the world. We will accept submissions until August 15, 2021.

Films must have been completed after January 1, 2019.
-Premiere status will be one of the factors considered when determining a film’s (shorts & features) inclusion in the Festival. Feature-length films including international features should have a World, North American, US, West Coast or LA premiere. Short films must be an LA premiere.
-Feature films must not have had any public or festival screenings in the Southern California regional area.
-Feature films and short films must not have had any commercial theatrical, television, or internet / online play in the US.
-Feature films and short films in a language other than English must be subtitled in English for festival presentation.

The following are the film length that should determine your film submission type:

Feature-length fiction and documentary films — 60 minutes or more
Super Short films — Less than 10 minutes
Short films — between 10-25 minutes
Extended-length short films — between 26 and 35 minutes

Films that have been submitted for consideration in previous years are eligible for re-submission only if significant changes have been made to the film. A detailed list of the changes must be included in the submission packet.

Please do not email us links to new versions of your film after you have completed your submission. We are only able to judge ONE version of each film.

For submission purposes, online screeners may be works-in-progress, films with temporary soundtracks or digital outputs. Rough cuts and works-in-progress can only be submitted in the FINAL deadline and if the completed film will be available by September 15th, 2020.


We will accept films completed after January 2019. If your film has been released it is not eligible for this competition.

You will be notified of acceptance via phone or email.

Complete press kits for films will be requested only after acceptance.

If accepted, a feature film trailer for promotion is mandatory.

Acceptable screening formats are: DCP.

All entries selected into Screamfest® grant Screamfest® the right to use any footage from the preview screener and all submitted publicity photos and any other materials sent to us pertaining to this entry for Screamfest's® promotional purposes, without limitations.

All prints must be picked up after the screening and signed for by the filmmaker.

SCREENPLAY SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: (Submit on festival website)
Early deadline 1/15/21
Regular deadline 3/15/21
Final deadline 6/2/21
Extended deadline 6/15/21

**Due to the varying deadline date differences compared to the film deadline dates, screenplay submissions are only accepted on the festival website. FilmFreeway is unable host different final deadlines on their site.**

Screenplay file names should be saved in this format: Title_Lastname.pdf
Feature film screenplay length should be at least 75 pages and not over 130.
Short screenplays are not accepted.
Writers who submit screenplays to Screamfest will have the option to receive feedback from our readers. The feedback is very brief, generally three to five sentences outlining the strengths and weaknesses of your screenplay.
Please include a title/cover page with your screenplay title, author name, WGA registration number and/or copyright information. The title page will not count towards the overall script page count.
Screenplays can be submitted online by clicking the link above.

We will notify screenplay finalists in October. The winning screenplay will be announced at the festival closing night awards ceremony.

The screenplay finalists will be announced in an email sent to you from Screamfest and posted on the front page of the Screamfest website in October.

Please add our email address to your email safe senders list, address book or contact list so that any correspondence with Screamfest will not be blocked or filtered into your bulk folder.

Overall Rating
  • Scott Vasey

    This was an all-timer festival experience for me. Karen and Rachel are tremendously kind, and helpful people, and they really take care of their filmmakers. They're fabulous communicators, and love the genre so much it shows in everything they do. The screenings were top notch, and the theater was packed. The social events were well-run, and you couldn't pick a better venue to screen your film. I loved my time out in LA with Screamfest and will definitely be submitting future films here to capture this magic one more time.

    October 2021
  • Scott O'Hara

    Great Festival! Went out of their way to make it happen despite all the limitations with Covid. Great experience, organization and display of films. Highly recommend!

    March 2021
  • Meredith Red

    Screamfest is one of my favorite festivals to be in! The festival itself is a lot of fun with loads of quality content and great events. I have had two films in competition with them so far and I couldn’t have been happier. The folks in charge of Screamfest (Rachel and Karen) are great to work with. They are professional, communicative and really love horror. I will continue to submit my films and cross my fingers that I get in as Screamfest really is in the top of its class!

    March 2021
  • It was amazing to be able to attend an actual film festival in 2020 and see our film up on the big screen! Rachel and the team did a fantastic job of making this happen and utilizing the Drive-in format to allow filmmakers and film fans to have some sort of live event during the pandemic. Can't wait to create more films to submit and look forward to catching more great films to watch in 2021!

    February 2021
  • CATCALLS Short Film

    Unfortunately I could not attend the festival when my short Catcalls played there but after the festival they offered for my short to release on their YouTube channel. This channel, viewed by thousands of people means my short has been seen by almost a million people! Every filmmakers dream. <3

    February 2021