We hope that you and your loved ones are staying well and safe in this challenging time.
For reasons that are obvious, and after serious consideration, we have decided to postpone the SLEEPY HOLLOW FILM INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (SHIFF) to OCT 2021.

Beyond vital safety and health concerns which are most important, we also want to make sure it's possible put on the best fest we can. Postponing SHIFF to OCT 14-17, 2021 will allow us to do just that. We've already confirmed our historic main venue, the Tarrytown Music Hall for these new dates, along with the Warner Library and more!

We will continue to accept film and script submissions now for SHIFF 2021 via FilmFreeway. If you have already submitted a feature film, a short, or screenplay, for this year's postponed fest, know that your entry remains completely valid, and that it remains in official consideration for the OCT 2021 fest. More information on this will be available on our official fest website (www.sleepyhollowfilmfest.com) and this FilmFreeway posting.

For those who have entered our free NYFA Workshop contest, your entries are still valid and we are still accepting entries through 5/1/20. The winner will be announced after 5/1/20. You can find more info on this at the official fest website: www.sleepyhollowfilmfest.com

In the meantime, remain well and safe! Let's get through this together and we'll see you for an amazing 2nd year of SHIFF in Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, NY OCT 14-17, 2021!

The SHIFF Team

“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 program takes place in Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, NY, on October 14-17, 2021, 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, and will be participating with other noteworthies in 2021 as well!

Films selected for competition will join a fabulous roster of premiere features and thrilling retrospectives, live events and panels. The intimate scale of the event brings Hollywood legends and up-and-coming talents together for a memorable weekend of macabre magic.

“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 2021 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! We can't wait to unleash what is in store for 2021—and we're excited to make your selected film and script submissions the backbone of the experience!

We will also bestow special lifetime awards upon artists whose influential work recalls the spirit of Irving's creativity. 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 14-17, 2021, to foster a new legend, where the breathtaking whirl of unthinkable sounds and visions witnessed will inspire us all for centuries to come!

Visit www.sleepyhollowfilmfest.com for more info
And check out the amazing sights and events in Sleepy Hollow, NY at www.visitsleepyhollow.com

SHIFF will announce winners, and award SHIFF official trophy statuettes, on closing night of the fest in the following categories:
Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Short awards also receive an InkTip script listing to promote themselves and their work to InkTip's large network of producers and reps.

SHIFF will announce Unproduced Screenplay winners on closing night of the fest in the following categories:
Includes $500 cash, InkTip prize package and SHIFF original trophy statuette.
Includes $250 cash and InkTip prize package.
Includes $250 cash and InkTip prize package.
Winners in ALL categories will be posted on SHIFF’s website, announced on SHIFF’s social media sites, and official “winners” press release blast to media outlets, as well as published in SHIFF’s local media partner, River Journal.

All Unproduced Screenplay winners receive an InkTip price package that includes an InkTip script and magazine listing, so writer(s) can promote themselves and their script to InkTip's large network of producers and reps.
Every InkTip producer has been vetted via resume and references and demonstrated the ability to get movies made. Companies who are InkTip members include ABC, Anonymous Content, CBS Films, HBO Films, ICM, Paradigm, Paramount Pictures, Hallmark Channel, FX, Universal, WME, Bad Robot, and 20th Century Fox.

Films must have been finished after January 1, 2019
Screenplays must be longer than 70 pages, but no longer than 135 pages.
Screenplays 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. Please make sure your screenplay’s cover page has the following information – Title, writer(s) and writer’s contact info, including address, e-mail and phone number.
Screenplays are to be submitted through our festival listing at FilmFreeway in pdf format only. No hard copy paper script submissions will be accepted. Include part of the script's title and writer(s) last name(s) in the file name.
Winning SHIFF screenplay submissions will be notified no later than September 14, 2020.
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 30, 2020. Films must be submitted as Blu-Rays or DCPs.
Film submissions selected for Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival (SHIFF) will be notified no later than September 14, 2020.
SUBMISSIONS: Films and screenplays may only be submitted to SHIFF through FilmFreeway.

Open to all Sleepy Hollow, NY area (Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, Ossining, Irvington, NY) High School, Middle School and Elementary students from grades 1 through 12, the 2020 SHIFF Student Shorts Competition is primed to have the next generation of Hudson Valley storytellers tap into the unknown by creating their own short film, the winner of which will be showcased at a special screening at the Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival. Local student short film submissions are free.
The competition is open to all Sleepy Hollow, NY area (Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, Ossining, or Irvington) students from grades 1 through 12, and are due by midnight, September 4, 2020. Students will be judged in three separate categories—high school, middle school and elementary—allowing for winners in each, all which will be shown at the festival. A grand festival winner will be chosen among the winners. There is no cost for submission. Students under 18 will need permission from a parent or guardian to submit their film.
Participation in the competition constitutes entrants’ full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of the rules and the decisions of SHIFF, which are final and binding. Winning a prize shall be contingent upon complying with the rules and fulfilling competition requirements of film submission. SHIFF reserves the right to disqualify any entrant who fails to comply with all official rules.
Films can be of any genre—horror, comedy, drama, etc.—but the submission must in some way touch on the unknown, supernatural, sci-fi or the fantastic, and/or be connected in some way to the historic Hudson Valley.
Entrants may submit a film of 2 to 20 minutes. SHIFF will accept and consider short animated films. The minimum length for animated submissions is 1 minute. Films must be submitted as Blu-Rays or DCPs.
Participants performing in the film submissions must comprise at least 50% residents of Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, Ossining, or Irvington, NY.
The main Competition winner will receive the “Legend in the Making Award,” receive a $250 cash prize, and have his or her film screened at the Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival’s main venue, the historic Tarrytown Music Hall sometime during Oct 17 or 18, 2020. If students choose to submit an entry together, only one prize will be awarded to the group as a whole if selected as winner.
Judges will monitor adherence to these submission rules, including compliance with film length, category, etc. Films will be judged by the SHIFF board and local participants based upon quality and content of the film and its ability to uphold the artistic inspiration and achievement set in place by Washington Irving and his immortal classics.
Enter in one of the local student short categories (elementary, middle or high school) through SHIFF's FilmFreeway page. There is a limit of one (1) entry per person or per group. Any additional entries will be void.
Entrants agree that the winning entry can be used for future promotion and events held by SHIFF and on SHIFF’s website.

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 DCP and 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.
For more info, visit www.SleepyHollowFilmFest.com

Overall Rating
  • Kyra Gardner

    This was such a fun festival! Very accommodating and communicative. There's such a special feeling about Terrytown and Sleepy Hollow - especially around Halloween time. It is such a fun atmosphere and all the coordinators are extremely nice. I had such a blast representing two of my films and taking part in a Q & A afterwards. I cannot wait to see this festival grow and I hope to be back next year.

    October 2019
  • Andrew Pelosi

    Wasn't able to attend this one, but looked like it went awesome!!

    October 2019
  • Tyler Christensen

    Sadly I could not attend the festival, but my script won best unproduced screenplay and the festival directors were great. Very responsive and helpful. I'm bummed I couldn't get out there for the event, but from the looks of it, it was amazing! Will definitely recommend SHIFF as won't miss next year!

    October 2019
  • An excellent festival - I attended this year and had a blast! I am honored to have screened my film, the Spirit Seam, with SHIFF! I highly recommend submitting and attending.

    October 2019