Ever wanted to have your short or feature screened on an actual film print? This is your chance.
The Steel City Underground Film Festival is a small but passionate two day celebration of horror, arthouse, experimental and weird cinema, taking place in the KAPU (an infamous underground punk rock venue and underground cinema, a venue with a long musical history, even having hosted an early Nirvana concert back in the days) in Linz, Austria, the Steel City. Hosted by Flesh of the Void director and Sodom & Chimera Productions founder James Quinn, our mission is not only to show quality films from all around the world, with a clear focus on the anything wildly unusual, especially horrifying, incredibly artistic or just downright weird, but also to do so in a way that most films and the filmmakers who made them never get the chance to, and also a way which a lot of horror fans never get to watch them in, which is projected on 16mm.
Besides hosting screenings of original 16mm prints of milestones of horror like Nosferatu (1922, with live score), A Trip to the Moon (1902), Tod Browning's Freaks (1932), Un Chien Andalou (1929) and Frankenstein (1931), every film selected will get a transfer to a 16mm print, on which it will be screened at the festival.
There will be Djs and concerts after the screenings each day, and a chance to have a beer with attendees in the KAPU bar downstairs.
The production of the prints will, of course, occur at no additional cost for the filmmaker. Steel City Underground Film Festival is a non-profit event that will use the entirety of the submission fees to fund the production of the 16mm prints. By submitting, you agree to allow the festival to keep and archive all prints made for the event. The festival agrees to not screen the print at any time after the festival, unless an agreement is made with the filmmaker. If a filmmaker should find an opportunity elsewhere to screen their film on 16mm, we will make the print available at no cost (shipping excluded).
As mentioned, what we're looking for are predominantly horror, experimental or arthouse films, preferably ones that are visually interesting or stand out. This can be anything, from surreal expressionist works to polished and cinematic horror thrillers. We also have a thing for the grotesque and unconventional, so if you have a film that's weird or seriously messed up, or something that just doesn't follow traditional horror concepts, we want to see it!
Again, we don't have strict conditions for what we choose and just want to see good looking horror shorts screened in a way that most films never get to, on 16mm.
Short films under 14 and features under 120 minutes have the highest chance of being selected. We might still select longer ones though if we deem it a fit for the festival. Shorts can be a maximum of 40 minutes.
Bonus points go to films that were shot on film, no matter if Super 8, 16mm or 35mm.
We have no premiere requirements whatsoever.
Attendance does influence our selections. Please let us know if you can attend the fest.
Even though the focus will be more on giving filmmakers the opportunity to have their films screened on film, and giving them an audience that appreciates that, we do give out a small handful of awards. These will go to Best Feature, Best Narrative Short Film, Best Arthouse/Experimental Film, and Best Weird/Extreme Film. More information on the categories can be found below.
We are a small festival on a tight budget, so there will be no award statues. Since we do want to give the filmmakers something special, the winners will receive a file of a Full HD scan of the 16mm print of their film, giving them their own vintage version of what they've created.
Now in our first year, we are planning on continuing this festival for the years to come, and building it out to something bigger every year.
All accepted filmmakers receive free entry to all of the screenings, as well as free entry for whoever they want to bring.
Best Narrative Short
Best Weird/Extreme Film
We generally prefer shorts under 14 minutes of length. If you have a short that's longer and feel like it would still be a fit for our mission, feel free to still submit. We won't disqualify it, and will still watch and judge it, since we believe there might just be one out there that could perfectly work for us.
Features of all sorts, over 60 minutes (Narrative, Arthouse/Experimental, Weird/Extreme)
Narrative Short Film:
Films of all genres dealing with themes of the macabre or sinister, no matter if horror, dark fantasy or dark thrillers.
Films that either don't follow a traditional story line and/or use unconventional methods of filmmaking, or simply have a very strong focus on artistic execution.
(Examples of films to submit in this category go from strong experimental works like Un Chien Andalou or Eraserhead to more narrative arthouse films like The Eyes of My Mother)
All films that are on the extreme side. This goes for extremely violent films, films that cross the line and break taboos and social norms, films with graphic sexual content, or even films that simply deal with extremely controversial subjects. Weird pretty much explains itself. You think your film is weird? Too weird, maybe? We want to see it.
We only accept digital screeners for the judging process. Final deadline is June 20th.
All filmmakers who submitted will be notified of the selection status by July 1st.
Steel City Underground Film Festival is hereby granted the right to use an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the festival for promotional purposes. The festival is hereby also granted the right to use image(s) and/or biographical information of the filmmakers for promotional purposes. The festival reserves the right to fill in any information not supplied by the filmmaker from whatever source available and will not be responsible if incorrect information is entered.
It is the responsibility of the filmmaker to secure authorization for any copyrighted material that may be used in the film. I shall indemnify and hold harmless Nightmares Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.