This Fall, SLEEPY HOLLOW INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (SHIFF) returns to historic Sleepy Hollow, NY, and its debut year venue, the legendary Tarrytown Music Hall (as well as the Warner Library)! Our developing line-up of exciting screenings and events for 2023 already includes the return of our popular Disney family event, Disney's HOLLOW-WEEN TREAT!

In 2021, SHIFF created a special pop-up HORSELESS CARRIAGE DRIVE-IN at Kingsland Point Park, in Sleepy Hollow nestled on the bank of the Hudson River. Three nights of big-screen fun under the stars were complemented by SHIFF’s online festival, via Filmocracy, and special honors included a Horseman lifetime achievement award for the late esteemed actor, Donald Moffat (THE THING, CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER), a Sleepy Hollow, NY resident.

“2019 has been a banner year, from a ‘Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ stage musical to the inaugural SLEEPY HOLLOW INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL.” —THE NEW YORK TIMES"

"A line up worthy of the Sleepy Hollow name!" -- YAHOO ENTERTAINMENT

The Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival (SHIFF) continues its celebration of outstanding genre cinema in the very cradle of the American Supernatural. The fest takes place in Sleepy Hollow, NY on October 3-8, 2023, and is now accepting film and script submissions! Be a part of this wondrous exploration of creative cinema, right in the heart of the historic Hudson Valley region, during its celebrated Halloween season!

SHIFF debuted in October 2019 and was an official partner in the Bicentennial celebration of Washington Irving’s immortal story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” SHIFF '19 unveiled four days of memorable programming at the historic Tarrytown Music Hall and Warner Library, thrilling attendees with feature film premieres, live stage events, special guest panels and film and screenplay competitions. Entertainment giants Disney and Universal Pictures participated in the launch, presenting special events and screenings.

“Certain it is, the place still continues under the sway of some witching power that holds a spell over the minds of the good people, causing them to walk in continual reverie." —WASHINGTON IRVING, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”

And the reverie continues: This special place, this remarkable hollow of the indescribable, bewitched not only Irving, but also artists of every creative pursuit for the next two centuries—including masters of the cinematic arts. Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival celebrates this legacy of artistic inspiration and achievement.

The festival's 2023 advisory board, selection committees and jury includes film and literary professionals with industry experience who will program and award new films of quality, in all genres that touch upon, relate to or simply explore the otherworldly or unknown. SHIFF 2019's offerings included U.S. and regional premieres of THE WRETCHED, PHANTOM OF WINNIPEG and MAKING APES as well as a special advance screening of Peter Strickland’s IN FABRIC and more! Our program also included stunning live events, such as Jeffrey Combs as Edgar Allan Poe in NEVERMORE, or Dana Gould and an all-star comedy cast in a live stage reading of PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE!

SHIFF '19 honored legendary actor/songwriter/performer Paul Williams (PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE) with its first Washington Irving Legend Award and iconic producer Edward R. Pressman (THE CROW, AMERICAN PSYCHO, WALL STREET) with a Horseman Award for lifetime achievement in producing. Additionally, our "Unproduced Original Screenplay" winners received mention in renowned trade publication, Variety.

There is no more perfect place to celebrate the uncanny than in historic Sleepy Hollow. Filmmakers and fans alike are welcome to participate October 3-8, 2023, to foster a new legend, where the breathtaking whirl of unthinkable sounds and visions witnessed will inspire us all for centuries to come!

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And check out the amazing sights and events in Sleepy Hollow, NY at

SHIFF will announce winners on closing night of the fest in the following categories:

Films must have been finished after January 1, 2022

Premiere status is a factor in considering a film’s inclusion in Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival (SHIFF). Films (features and shorts) must be one of the following: A world, U.S., New York State, or a Westchester County, NY premiere.
Films (features and shorts) may not have had any kind of public or festival exhibition within the borders of Westchester County, NY, prior to SHIFF. Films (features and shorts) must have had no previous commercial exhibition or release in the US—This includes theatrical, television, streaming, VOD, internet, home video or otherwise.
Films (features and shorts) can be of any genre, but the submission must have, at the very least—a hint of the unknown, supernatural, sci-fi or the fantastic within. If the feature or short is a documentary, then the subject(s) explored must have at least a tangential connection to the same.
Short films must be at least 2 minutes long, but no longer than 20 minutes.
Feature films must be no shorter than 75 minutes, but no longer than 180 minutes.
Non-English Language Films (features and shorts) must be subtitled in English for exhibition at SHIFF.
Film submissions may be rough cuts, or works in progress, but only if the completed film will be available to the festival no later than September 20, 2023. Films must be submitted as Blu-Rays or Digital Files.
Film submissions selected for Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival (SHIFF) will be notified no later than September 10, 2023.
SUBMISSIONS: Films may only be submitted to SHIFF through FilmFreeway.

Entry fees are in U.S. Dollars, for each film and are non-refundable. SHIFF reserves the right to disqualify any submission, without refund of any kind, if eligibility requirements are not met including if eligibility status changes post-submission.
All entries that are selected into SHIFF grant SHIFF the right to use any footage from the screener and all submitted publicity photos, key art and any other materials sent to us pertaining to this entry for SHIFF’s promotional purposes, without limitations.
All DCP's and Blu-rays are to be retrieved after the screening and signed for by the filmmaker. If you attend SHIFF and don’t collect your Files and/or Blu-ray, you will be responsible for the shipping costs.

I, the undersigned, represent and warrant that I have full legal right and authority to submit the heretofore mentioned film/video and/or screenplay project for consideration by SHIFF, and that all necessary consents, licensing and approvals have been obtained with respect thereto. I agree to hold SHIFF and its sponsors harmless in any and all matters pertaining to the consents, licenses, and approvals of heretofore film/video and/or screenplay project. I understand that my submission is in no way a guarantee of acceptance or nomination into and at SHIFF. No one from SHIFF or its sponsors has guaranteed me admission into the festival. I, the undersigned, have read the terms and conditions appearing herein, and agree, without exception, to all the terms and conditions stated.
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Overall Rating
  • Andrew Ford

    Was thrilled to have our little film be a part of this festival, and I can't recommend it highly enough! Will absolutely apply here again (and hopefully can attend in person one day).

    November 2021
  • I was honored to have my screenplay DUTCHESS COUNTY selected as an Honorable Mention. I seemed to have missed the online ceremony, though. I was not told when this would be nor given a link to watch it. Would love to see more about the festival and maybe see some video from it.

    October 2021
  • John Leary

    The SHIFF was a great experience. Instead of going all virtual, they created an dual online and live fest. The Horseless Carriage Cinema was a treat. And they honored the local filmmakers by screening the shorts on the big drive-in theater screen (excellent projection and sound) in between The Thing, American Werewolf in London, and Monster Squad.
    There were some fun guests and I will submit again for 2022.
    I will recommend SHIFF to my fellow horror scribes.
    Great job and thank you!

    October 2021
  • Tony Olsen

    Kia Ora from Aotearoa/New Zealand. The 'HOT WOOL' team were thrilled to be an Official Selection for the SHIFF 2021 short-film programme, as it represented our World, U.S., and New York State Premiere. A big thank you to the festival committee and our congratulations to all fellow filmmakers who participated in this years festival.

    October 2021
  • Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival hosted a wonderful online event for their second annual fest. We were so honored to have our film 'For Roger' chosen as an Official Feature Selection. The staff was incredibly kind and helpful, and the virtual Q&A was a ton of fun. We will be sure to submit here again in the future and we are hopeful that we can attend in person next year!

    October 2021