Welcome filmmakers and screenwriters,
The 23rd annual Screamfest® Horror Film Festival will take place at the TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood.

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. In 2021 and 2022, we provided a safe in-person festival at TCL Chinese Theatres. 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.

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 2023 SCREAMFEST® Horror Film Festival. The 2023 film competition is open for all new features and short films from around the world. We will accept submissions until August 15, 2023.

Films must have been completed after January 1, 2022. Competing short films must be no more than a year old at the time of the festival in October 2023. Short films older than this time frame can still screen out of competition during the festival.

-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 — 40 minutes or more
Super Short films — Less than 10 minutes
Short films — between 10-25 minutes
Extended-length short films — between 26 and 40 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, 2023.


We will accept films completed after January 2022. 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.

https://screamfestla.com/submissions/screenplay-submission-guidelines OR
other FilmFreeway profile https://filmfreeway.com/ScreamfestHorrorScreenplayCompetition

Early deadline 1/15/23
Regular deadline 3/15/23
Final deadline 6/2/23
Extended deadline 6/15/23

**Due to the varying deadline date differences compared to the film deadline dates, screenplay submissions are not accepted on this FilmFreeway festival profile. 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
  • Taska Film

    We were very proud to have the North American premiere of Melchior the Apothecary (dir. Elmo Nüganen) at Screamfest Horror Film Festival. The film also won awards for best cinematography and best editing. Great collaboration with the festival team. Thank you.

    January 2023
  • Lindsay Zibach

    A top-notch festival experience! The quality of the screening alone (the theater, screen, sound system!) was incredible, and the integrity of the festival (kind organizers! a black carpet with press!) are second to none. Everything was well-organized and easy to deliver.

    December 2022
  • Peter Ahern

    There's nothing more iconic and noteworthy than having your film screened at Hollywood's TCL Chinese Theatre at the longest running horror film festival in the country!
    We were so honored to have our short Buzzkill selected and pick up the "Best Animated Short '22" award!
    The festival team threw a great event that was full of amazing short films, new features and beloved classics, all centered in the vibrant, crazy heart of LA.
    Thanks for the memorable experience Screamfest!!

    December 2022
  • Paul Davis

    Could not have been happier to kick off the festival run of D.O.D. at Screamfest! Had such a good time the entire week, was able to do as much networking as I was comfortable with, and saw some really great horror films, both features and shorts. Screening my film for a packed house at the historic Chinese Theater was a night I won't soon forget. Being honored with Best Horror Comedy was an horror. The hospitality made me feel comfortable, and the ladies running the festival stopped and said hello and chatted with me, knowing my name and my film, every time they saw me. All in all, very worth the submission, and very happy with this festival overall.

    November 2022
  • François Ricard-Sheard

    To be part of this festival means so much for me and my career. For me to have a Hollywood premiere The true embodiment of grandiosity run by a top notch, heartfelt team. Hope to be there next time.

    November 2022