Stephenville Fright Fest is an annual horror film and multimedia festival located in Stephenville, Texas, and jointly sponsored by Ranger College and the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council. Founded in 2015 as an annual venue for screening feature-length horror films accompanied by lectures and discussions, in 2019 the festival morphed into a new monster that retains its original character but now adds a short horror film contest and, this year, a ruin photography contest.

SPOTLIGHT AWARD: Awarded in each contest division (film and photography) to the work receiving the highest total score by the judges.

PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD: Awarded to the film receiving the highest number of viewer votes at the live screening.

HONORABLE MENTION: An award that may be given in each contest division (film and photography) to individual works scoring the highest in a single category on the judges' score card.

Winners in the film division will receive a trophy. Winners in the photography division will receive a plaque.


Filmmakers are encouraged to submit short films for consideration in accordance with the rules below. Films selected for inclusion in Stephenville Fright Fest (SFF) will be scored by an independent panel of judges and publicly screened at the Ranger College Erath County Center on the evening of October 25, 2019.

1. RUN TIME: The short film component of SFF is a horror film competition with the maximum run time of submitted entries limited to 15 minutes, including titles and credits. Opening titles should be limited to no more than 30 seconds and end credits to under a minute. Entries with a run time of longer than 15 minutes will not be accepted.

2. SUBMISSION METHOD: All films must be submitted digitally online via FilmFreeway at This is the only accepted submission method.

3. ENTRY FEE: An entry fee of $25 will be required for each submitted film.

4. NOTIFICATION DEADLINE: All entrants will be notified about the acceptance or non-acceptance of their submission for 2019 SF by no later than October 1.

5. “COMPLETION BY” DEADLINE: SFF has no “completion by” deadline. The festival will accept any short film that adheres to these rules, regardless of when it was produced. However, works in progress will NOT be accepted for submission.

6. RESUBMISSIONS: Films may be resubmitted in future competitions IF they have been substantially re-edited. Resubmissions will not receive a discounted entry fee, as they will go through the same judging process.

7. EXCLUDED CONTENT: SFF does not accept pornographic, propaganda or hate films, or films with specific religious or political agendas. While it is understood that the horror genre lends itself to elements of suspense, gore, and supernatural depictions, organizers of the festival reserve the right to disqualify or remove from screening any submissions that include gratuitous vulgarity, sex, and/or violence. At heart, Stephenville Fright Fest endeavors to foster a positive atmosphere for education, discourse, and community involvement.

8. JUDGING CRITERIA: The Official SFF Jury evaluates film entries based on several subjective criteria:

- Story/Screenplay: The storytelling is fresh and inventive, with (as applicable) effective dialogue, distinctive characterizations, and compelling plotting.

- Incorporation of theme: The film effectively incorporates the 2019 SFF theme of “ghosts and hauntings” as a central element.

- Directing: The overall production exhibits a style and tone that is unified, unique, cohesive, clear, and distinctive.

- Acting: The actors’ performances are strong and believable.

- Cinematography: Visual elements (camera movement, shot selection, lighting, etc.) are skillfully executed and cohesively realized in support of the film’s overall vision.

- Editing: The film’s editing skillfully establishes pacing and flow in support of the story and the overall vision.

- Sound Design and Music: Overall sound design displays both technical skill and aesthetic excellence. The choice of music (as applicable) supports and complements the story, theme, message, mood, and/or tone.

- Special Effects: Any special effects (including, but not limited to, optical effects, prosthetic makeup effects, digital compositing, and bluescreen/greenscreen effects) are convincingly executed and effectively integrated in support of storytelling.

- Technical design: The film makes skillful use of elements such as set design, costuming, and props in support of the overall story and vision.


Ruin photography artists are encouraged to submit original works that will be on display during Stephenville Fright Fest in the lobby of the Ranger College Erath County Center as well as at the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council River North Gallery. Artist wishing to submit a piece to the exhibit should:

1. Provide a complete list of works to be exhibited along with a price list and/or insurance values. List of works should include artist name, title, location of photograph, and dimensions of displayed piece.

2. Label each piece prior to arrival to ensure proper identification during exhibit.

3. Submit electronic images of each piece to be submitted for verification.

4. Agree to pick up/reclaim artwork at a pre-determined date after the festival has concluded. Unclaimed artwork left at the gallery more than 30 days becomes the property of CTFAC.

5. Prepare works to be displayed either by easel or wall hanging. NOTE: We use a filament hanging system and cannot accommodate “saw-tooth” hangers.

6. Insure their art for the duration of the exhibit. Although we do our best to protect every piece, CTFAC is not responsible for any damage done to the artwork.

7. Agree to CTFAC Gallery terms for all featured exhibits, including a 20% commission on all sales of pieces placed in the exhibit.

JUDGING CRITERIA: Entries in the ruin photography competition will be judged on the following criteria:

- Adherence/appropriateness to the theme
- Creativity and originality
- Composition and visual design
- Color, lighting, exposure, focus, etc.
- Overall artistic impression


I. Stephenville Fright Fest is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted for promotional purposes.

II. Stephenville Fright Fest is hereby granted the right to share the contact information of filmmakers, artists, and photographers entered in the competition, in specific instances when someone inquires about a work and is trying to make contact with the maker.

III. The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to submit the film for consideration and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

IV. By entering a film, artwork, or photograph for consideration to Stephenville Fright Fest, the submitter authorizes that the work is cleared for festival exhibition and accepts full legal responsibility for the intellectual property therein. The submitter and all others associated with the project shall indemnify and hold harmless Stephenville Fright Fest and any of its representative or affiliates 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, exhibition, and loss of or damage to the creative works entered.

V. Entrants who were not granted awards and/or screening time will be notified by email, which will also include any feedback received from judges and evaluators. Results may be delayed, dependent upon the volume of entries.

VI. Stephenville Fright Fest winners will be emailed their feedback, along with a PDF of their Award Certificate(s) and information on the awards presentation ceremony held during the festival. Entrants are encouraged to make an effort to attend the ceremony.

DISCLAIMER: The viability of holding a film festival screening will be determined by the number of paid entries in each season. We require a minimum number of entries to offset the costs incurred in holding a screening event. If we do not reach the required minimum, we reserve the right to combine that season with the next available season. All entrants will still receive their scoresheet and Judges’ Comments on the notification date; however, the competition will be combined with the next available season.

Overall Rating
  • A great experience being able to drive back to the area I grew up around and be able to attend a film festival there. Festival staff were great and had a genuine love of film.

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    We loved featuring your film, Jason! Hope you'll send us something for consideration next year.

  • We weren't able to attend, but every experience we had with the festival staff was incredible. Hopefully we'll have something new to send them next year and will be able to make time to actually get out there!

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks, Bri! We loved "Buy In" and look forward to another submission from you.