Spooky Empire's Horror Film Festival returns to the Hyatt Regency Orlando this October 11-13, 2024!

Spooky Empire brings you the goriest, spookiest, and most frightening short and feature-length horror films for your viewing pleasure. With 20,000+ guests attending annually, this film festival is the premier destination to immerse yourself in horror culture. With massive amounts of genre fans, celebrity guests and other special attendees, get your film noticed by all the right people!

There's something at Spooky Empire for every kind of horror filmmaker! Looking for informative panels with insight into the industry? Check! Looking to immerse yourself in international horror cinema from a variety of subgenres? We've got you covered! Looking for a Meet & Greet networking hour? We've got it, and we'll ensure those important connections are made in the most comfortable, non-awkward environment possible! All capped off with Sunday's RIP Best of the Fest block of the Screening Committee's favorite films and the awards ceremony. Will YOU be Fearmaker of the Year?

To keep up to date with information about the festival, follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/spookyfilmfest, Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/spookyempirefilmfest, and YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/c/AndYouFilms.

Fearmaker of the Year
Best Short Film
Best Cinematography
Best Makeup
Best Practical Effects
Best Visual Effects
Best Actor
Best ScareActor
Best Screenplay
Best Art Direction
Best Student Film
Audience Choice
Florida Fear

Best Feature

In addition to our premier awards, Spooky Empire Film Festival also gives out a handful of superlative awards. The specific categories of superlatives change each year, so stay tuned for this year's announcement!

Spooky Empire seeks independent short and feature-length films from around the world in any of the following genre groups:
- Horror, Supernatural
- Horror Comedy
- Sci-Fi
- Animation
- Thriller, Suspense
- Cult, Bizarre, Genre-defying, Experimental
- Documentaries with a genre-related or cult/bizarre subject matter

- Completed after January 1st, 2021
- Works-in-progress and rough cuts are not accepted
- Run time of less than 2 minutes
- Not previously submitted to the festival
Films in a language other than English must be subtitled in English

- Completed after January 1st, 2021
- Works-in-progress and rough cuts are not accepted
- Run time of less than 30 minutes
- Not previously submitted to the festival
Films in a language other than English must be subtitled in English

- Completed after January 1st, 2021
- Works-in-progress and rough cuts are not accepted
- Run time of 30 minutes or longer
- Not previously submitted to the festival
Films in a language other than English must be subtitled in English
*NOTE: Feature films are not in competition with short films at Spooky Empire Horror Film Festival. Rather, a few select features will be admitted as special screenings geared toward promotion of the films. The Festival Committee will program the weekend around selected features and work closely with the filmmakers to market and support attendance of their films. So much hard work and effort is put into producing a feature, and we want to assist in making these screenings as successful as possible!

RIFFtacular Horror Theatre:
We are unveiling a brand-new category this year, inspired by Mystery Science Theater 3000! It’s all about celebrating the fun rough edges of filmmaking – whether it’s an old student project, childhood creation, one of your first excursions into the world of film, or even a more recent project you enjoy poking fun at. During a special event night, professional local comedians will humorously riff on selected films from this category for all to enjoy! Share those gems you look back on with fondness. Just remember, professional comics will lovingly add their own hilarious touch during the festival. It’s all good fun, so only submit if you’ve got a sense of humor and can handle a good laugh at your work. Let’s make this special event a laughter-filled hit!
- Films from any completion year are accepted
- Works-in-progress and rough cuts are not accepted
- Run time of less than 90 minutes (shorts and features welcome)
Films in a language other than English must be subtitled in English
*NOTE: Films in this category are not in competition with short or feature films at Spooky Empire Horror Film Festival.

Spooky Empire ONLY accepts online film screeners. Also, any applicable submission fees must also be paid online at the time of your entry.
Our Standard Festival Participation Agreement (Terms and Conditions), which all submitted films are also expected to uphold, is as follows:

I have read and accept the terms and regulations of Spooky Empire Film Festival. I will provide the festival with any additional information required pursuant to these rules and regulations. I authorize Spooky Empire Film Festival to exhibit my film, and if selected, I confirm that an exhibition copy will be available in a required format for screening during the 2024 festival (October 11-13, 2024). I certify that I hold all necessary rights for the submission of this film/video to the Spooky Empire Film Festival and that all rights and clearances have been made. This film is not subject to any litigation nor is threatened by any litigation. I hold Spooky Empire Film Festival harmless from damage to, or loss of any or all materials en route to, from or otherwise at the festival. I assume all legal responsibilities therein. By agreeing to these terms, I transfer to Spooky Empire Film Festival the right to use excerpts, stills, and trailers of the submitted film, for the purposes of publicity and marketing of the film at the 2024 festival, and for other non-commercial uses related to the promotion of the 2024 festival. I hereby agree to indemnify Spooky Empire Film Festival, in the event that such rights have not been properly transferred.

PLEASE E-MAIL US QUESTIONS, ANYTIME: spookyempirefilmfest@gmail.com


Overall Rating
  • Shannon Thompson

    The Spooky Film Festival delivered a captivating and SUPER FUN cinematic journey, featuring our sci-fi short, "Tell Him." This festival stands out as a go-to destination in Orlando, both for submissions and annual attendance.

    Our networking opportunities built long lasting business connections and friendships. The insights we gained will significantly influenced our approach to our debut feature film. The practical knowledge gained played a crucial role in shaping our strategic planning.

    What truly stood out were the thoughtful touches, such as goodie bags stocked with snacks and entertaining films. The attention to detail extended to their innovative advertising approach. Films were proudly showcased outside at designated tables adorned with block information and eye-catching posters. Adding to the immersive experience was a large monitor strategically placed to share film trailers, providing a visual feast for festival and convention-goers.

    Networking at Spooky was a game-changer. Connecting with fellow filmmakers was an enriching experience. This festival goes beyond screenings, offering a gateway to collaboration, FUN, networking, and knowledge that propels filmmakers forward.

    All of this awesomeness is happening while the a huge horror convention is going on allowing us an opportunity to meet Elvira, Greg Nicotero, and The great Robert England.

    A huge thank you to Spooky Film Festival for awarding "Tell Him" Best Visual FX. This recognition adds an extra layer of appreciation.

    In conclusion, Spooky Film Festival is a must-attend event, offering exceptional films, transformative experiences, and the chance to celebrate accolades like Best Visual FX. Submit, attend, and immerse yourself in a cinematic journey that goes beyond the screen.

    We need to highlight the great people at SEFF who did such an incredible job. And You Films, Brendan Rogers, Alea Figueroa, Ric Figueroa, Bloodline Entertainment, and Mary.

    January 2024
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for all of your kind words! We had a blast meeting you at the festival, and we loved sharing "Tell Him" with our audience. Our Spooky Empire family is very important to us, and we couldn't be happier that your experience was so positive. Congratulations again on your "Best Visual Effects" win!

  • Really good attention by the organizers

    January 2024
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for the kind words! We loved sharing "Night Of The Dead Seer" with our audience!

  • This was the most amazing Film Festival to start my journey with!!! They are so passionate about filmmaking and want everyone to know how much they are worth! It was a competition, but at the same time, everyone was just so excited for everyone else! This is an amazing Horror Film Festival and the experience with it being in a Convention gives a great time to meet others and network with anyone there. Even with every film, they basically knew which film you were by telling them your title! I cannot speak highly enough of this film festival!!!!!

    December 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for your kind words! We loved meeting you at the festival and having the opportunity to share "Meat the Parents" with our audience! We look forward to seeing more of you in the future!

  • Øyvind Willumsen

    Great festival! Thank you for the awards! I hoping to return next year!

    November 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for the kind words! Our audience loved "The Weaver," and we had a blast sharing it at the festival! Congratulations again on your "Best Short Film," "Audience Choice," and "Best ScareActor" wins!

  • Our feature film, Bloody Frickin Mary, was selected and premiered at The Spooky Empire Int. Horror Film Fest! My cast & crew & I felt so validated being added to this film fest. Alea & the Spooky Crew bragged on our film & the performances. The cast & crew were interviewed, did podcasts & even discussed the film after it played. Nevermind all the ghouls & goblins and folks celebrating Halloween the whole weekend.
    Thank you Alea & crew very much! And everyone please go watch Bloody Frickin Mary on Tubi TV. Just don't say her name 3 times:)

    November 2023
    Response from festival:

    We had a great time meeting you all and sharing "Bloody Frickin Mary" with our audience! Thank you so much for the kind words!