Established by the BanterFlix movie review website (www.banterflix.com) in 2018, the Dark Hedges International Film Festival is a Horror/Sci-Fi festival based in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Our hybrid festival (mix of physical and online events) aims to screen an eclectic mix of horror/ Sci-Fi features and shorts to audiences here in Belfast.

Our full festival programme will return in October 2021 and will include...

New Cinema Showcase
Cult Classics Strand
Irish and International Short Film Competition

(For more information check out our website www.dhiff.com)

December 2020

The Dark Hedges International Film Festival Christmas Short Film Competition
Following on from our successful festival in October 2020, The Dark Hedges International Film Festival will be hosting a short film competition just in time for Christmas!

Entries are £3 per submission (multiple submissions are permitted, £1.50 for gold members! This competition is for filmmakers within the UK and Ireland only.

We're asking the UK and Irish Filmmakers to create a short Christmas themed horror short film, no longer than 5 minutes in length with the theme of Christmas featuring prominently within the short.

Deadline for all to our Christmas Competition is Friday 18th December

All submissions will be screened for free on our festival's digital player from Monday 21 December until Friday 25 December. The festival team will select a winner, which we'll announce on Thursday 24 December (7 pm) and the winning short will receive a trophy and £100 gift voucher for WEX (https://www.wexphotovideo.com).

Trophy and Certificate will be sent by post to the winning filmmaker in early 2021

(Entries from ROI can redeem vouchers from the WEX website, or by contacting the Belfast store on 02890777770)

2021 Festival (October)

Features Competition

Best Feature Film [New for 2021 Festival]

Short Film Competition
Best Irish Short Film
Best International Short Film
First Time Filmmaker Award (Irish and International)
Women make Horror Award (Irish and International) [New for 2021]

Online Offical Selections will showcase of short films submitted to our Short Film Competition not selected as a finalist.

Festival’s Terms & Conditions

Christmas Short Film Competition 2020

Only Submissions from Filmmakers based in the UK and Ireland will be deemed eligible, we will not issue a refund if you have not checked your short films eligibility.

The Deadline for Submissions is Friday 18 December 2020

October 2021 Festival
Best Feature Competition (New for 2021)

Within the 'New Cinema' strand of our programme, we will be awarding a ‘Best Feature Film Award’ (New for our 2021 programme) based on the features (60 minutes plus) that have been submitted to our programme.

This will consist of no more than 10 finalists, other features that have been submitted, but not been selected as a competition finalist will still be screened in our out of competition category.

This category will be judged by our festival’s Jury panel.

The Dark Hedges International Film Festival's New Cinema' strand is open to films made by filmmakers from around the world of all production techniques, forms and budgets that fall within the horror/sci-fi/ fantasy/thriller genres.

New Cinema Strand (Features)
Only films with a runtime in excess of 60 minutes will be considered for the 'New Cinema' strand of our festival.

We only accept online submission via FilmFreeway. BanterFlix guarantees that your film will never be used in any way other than that to which you agree.

The primary contact completing the submission process must be authorised to submit the film for consideration. This must include permission from a distributor or sales agent representing the film and the applicant must have obtained necessary permissions for the inclusion of any copyrighted music and/or images used in the film.

With this submission, the applicant confirms that they possess all rights necessary for the screening of the submitted film at our festival.

Only films completed before April 2020 will be accepted

Submission Fees

There is a submission fee (£10) to enter your feature. All submissions are final, and there are no refunds.

Submission Agreement

At the point of payment on your submission, you will be asked if you have read and agreed with the festival’s regulations. By agreeing to proceed with your submission, you agree to these regulations, and your application can then be processed.

The entry of a film is binding and implies the acceptance of these regulations. In the event of disagreement concerning the interpretation of the regulations, the interpretation of the festival will take precedence.

Failure to comply with these regulations may result in the submission being disqualified. These regulations are subject to change without prior notice.

Foreign Language Films

If the original language of any dialogue or text featured in the film is not English, the preview and screening copy must be subtitled in English, unless this is at variance with the filmmaker’s intention.

Festival Selection Procedure

Submitted films are viewed by two or more members of the festival’s selection committee, all programming decisions within our festival's 'New Cinema' strand are made at the discretion of the festival and all decisions are final!

The festival team will not provide comments on films before submission, or reasons for rejection, however, we are happy to provide informal feedback on individual films after the festival has taken place.

Notification

BanterFlix will not confirm the receipt of submissions. All applicants will be notified via e-mail about the selection or rejection of their film (We aim to finalize our programme two months before our festival’s opening night).

Short Film Competition
Our short film programme consists of two different categories; our Irish short-film competition (See Eligibility) and our International short-film competition (Open to non-Irish entries)

Submissions for both categories will be shortlisted down to a maximum of 12 finalists and given a physical screening within our festival’s programme.

Awards & Prizes

Best Irish Short Film (Voted for by Festival Jury)

Best International Short Film (Voted for by Festival Jury)

First Time Filmmaker Award * [International/Irish] (Voted for by Festival Jury)

Women Make Horror Award ** [International/Irish] (Voted for by Festival Jury)

* Any shorts made by a first-time filmmaker that enter into the final shortlists of both our international and Irish categories will automatically be considered for this award)

* Any shorts made by a female director that enter into the final shortlists of both our international and Irish categories will automatically be considered for this award)

Honourable Mentions Category (new for 2021)

In 2020 due to the Covid Pandemic, we created a Digital Player for our festival due to the enforced closure of cinemas across the UK and Ireland. Going forward we plan to use this digital player to showcase a maximum of 20 shorts (Irish & International completion combined) on our digital player.

This Digital player is geo-locked to viewers in the UK and Ireland and will be behind a paywall to protect filmmakers who have their work in consideration at our festivals.

Eligibility Criteria

• Shorts runtime must be under 20 minutes in length (including credits)

• All entries (Irish/International) must have been completed within 18 months of our festival's date (April 2020) and not previously selected as a finalist in the previous festival.

• Shorts submitted within the Irish short film strand must be made in Ireland- or made by an Irish writer/director (i.e. shot in England, but writer or director or Lead actors are Irish/NI citizens)

• Submitted online (Via FilmFreeway)

• Available for competition screening in, DCP or HD QuickTime format

Submissions

We only accept online submission via FilmFreeway. The Dark Hedges International Film Festival guarantees that your film will never be used in any way other than that to which you agree.

Submission Fees

There is a submission fee (£5) to enter your short. Due to our low submission fee, we do not offer a discount for student entries. All submissions are final, and there are no refunds.

Multiple Entries

You may enter as many films as you wish. Each entry requires a separate submission form, fee and upload.

Submission Agreement

At the point of payment on your submission, you will be asked if you have read and agreed with the festival’s regulations. By agreeing to proceed with your submission, you agree to these regulations, and your application can then be processed.

The entry of a film is binding and implies the acceptance of these regulations. In the event of disagreement concerning the interpretation of the regulations, the interpretation of the festival will take precedence.

Short’s Selection Procedure

Submitted shorts will be viewed by two or more members of the festival’s selection committee, all programming decisions are made at the discretion of the festival and all decisions are final! Our finalists will then be judged by our festival jury and winners will not be announced until the night of our short film showcase.

The festival team will not provide comments on films before submission, or reasons for rejection, however, we are happy to provide informal feedback on individual films after the festival has taken place.

Contact
For all enquiries, please contact info@DHIFF.com

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Luana Di Pasquale

    Super, well-organised and beautifully curated Film Festival by people who really care about horror genre films and their filmmakers! Thanks, Jim and the rest of your crew! It was great fun! I highly recommend DHIFF to all filmmakers out there !!!

    November 2020
  • J. Martín Vega

    It was an honor to participate in the festival!

    November 2020
  • Sarah Barr

    Thanks so much to the team behind Dark Hedges. Had a great time attending the online fest this year and their online screening platform was the best I've seen - clean design, robust playback and great value for money.

    November 2020
  • Probably the best communication out of all the festivals that I've submited to. Very nice people, amazing selection of films and panels.
    If you like horror movies you should attend. And if you are creating horror movies, you should submit your work.

    November 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Hi, Tobias thank you for your kind words! It means a lot!

  • Unfortunately, we were unable to attend but the festival seemed to really care about the films and filmmakers. We were thrilled to be a part.

    October 2019