The first SLEEPY HOLLOW INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (SHIFF), a celebration of outstanding genre cinema in the very cradle of the American Supernatural, is taking place in Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, NY, on October 10-13, 2019, 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 legendary Halloween season!

Exciting premiere feature films and groundbreaking new films in competition will screen alongside thrilling retrospectives, live events and panels. Venues include the historic Tarrytown Music Hall, the Warner Library and others to be announced.

“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: 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of Washington Irving's classic tale, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," an iconic American original of immortal wonders that have firmly gripped the very psyche of our culture. 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. In addition to the bicentennial of his story—and an uncanny happenstance worthy of Irving himself—2019 is also the 70th anniversary of the beloved 1949 Walt Disney animated classic The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and the 20th anniversary of Tim Burton's acclaimed 2009 feature film, Sleepy Hollow. The festival will commemorate both of these big-screen landmarks with one-of-a-kind event showings, complemented by special guest appearances and panel discussions.

But it is not enough to look back. Just as Irving used the Hudson Valley as a wellspring of extraordinary ideas to push his art forward, Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival strives to bring important works from current and future filmmakers into the world with exciting new films in competition and premiere screenings.

The festival's advisory board, selection committees and jury will include film and literary professionals with industry experience who will program and award new films of quality, of all genres, and that touch upon, relate to or simply explore the otherworldly or unknown.

Special lifetime and individual achievement honors will be bestowed upon artists whose influential work recalls the spirit of Irving's creativity.

There is no more perfect place to launch such a mission than in the actual, historic Sleepy Hollow, New York—the very cradle of the American supernatural. Filmmakers and fans alike are welcome to participate October 10-13, 2019, for the inception of 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, and award SHIFF official trophy statuettes, on closing night of the fest in the following categories:


BEST PICTURE, BEST SCREENPLAY and BEST SHORT SHIFF fest awards also receive an InkTip script listing so writer(s) can promote themselves and their script to InkTip's large network of producers and reps.

Companies who are InkTip members include: ABC, Anonymous Content, APA, CBS Films, HBO Films, ICM, Paradigm, Paramount Pictures, Hallmark Channel, FX, Universal, WME, Echo Lake, Zero Gravity, Bad Robot, 20th Century Fox, and many more. Producers have made more than 375 films from scripts and writers found through InkTip.)

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

Includes $500 cash and SHIFF original trophy statuette.

Includes $250 cash

Includes $250 cash

Winners in ALL categories will be posted on SHIFF’s website, announced on SHIFF’s socials, and official “winners” press release blast to media outlets, as well as published in SHIFF’s local media partner, River Journal.


Films must have been finished after January 1, 2018

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 23, 2019

Film submissions selected for Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival (SHIFF) will be notified no later than September 2, 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.

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 16, 2019.


Films and screenplays can 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 DCP and Blu-ray, you will be responsible for the shipping costs.

SUBMITTER'S AGREEMENT: 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
  • 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