SPECIAL NOTE: Feature films are now being accepted for 2022 on the regular Magic of Horror listing here: https://filmfreeway.com/MagicofHorror

The Magic of Horror festival has been celebrating the horror genre since 2016. This year we are introducing a brand new contest especially for FEATURE-LENGTH FILMS!

Our original Magic of Horror festival is still accepting submissions for short films, trailers, and other contests here:

Our feature film competition is all about promoting independent horror movies, and we found a way to get them in front of more genre fans than we can pack into a theatre! Films that are nominated for awards (we call them "Finalists") are heavily promoted and have their trailers shown during the online awards ceremony that takes place before the Magic of Horror festival in November.

The Top Prize winner ("Best Film") will have a special screening during the 2021 Magic of Horror festival at the Firehouse Theatre in Richmond, VA in November. All other award winners ( "Best Actor", "Best Special Effects", etc...) will be invited to screen their film's trailer at this live event.

We present everyone who submits with the scorecards used by the jury along with the notes they’ve made about it. (See the rules for details.)

The Magic of Horror’s Feature Film Competition aims to promote horror movies. We know how hard it can be to get a film seen once it has been released and we want to help fans of independent horror find those gems!

We don’t care if it was released ten years ago or is fresh out of post. We want to see your best work no matter when it was produced.

All films are judged on their own merit. We do not compare a big-budget film to one that was done on a shoestring. Our judges focus on the aspects such as performances, special effects, set design, etc... and make their nominations for films that really stand out in one or more of the award categories.

Our Awards Categories are as follows:

Best Film
Best Director
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Cinematography
Best Music Score
Best Set Design
Best Costumes
Best Special Effects
Best Editing

(Please note that some categories may be dropped if there are not enough submissions nominated for them. This hasn’t happened yet, but there is always the possibility of a first time.)


All submitted films receive the scorecards and notes given by the judges. Scorecards are sent at the end of the judging period. Please note that withdrawing a submission cancels this perk.


FINALISTS (Award-Nominated Films)

Finalists will receive digital laurels and be featured on the Awards Show video. The Awards Show video is how we announce the Award Winners and spotlight the Finalists. Once this video premieres, it will remain online for an indefinite period of time for public viewing.

We are all about promotion! Finalists will be frequently spotlighted on our social media, announced in our press releases, and whatever else we can do to promote them. Because we often revisit the films that were selected in previous years, we encourage Finalists to keep us updated when their film releases so we can spread the word.

Finalists will be required to send in additional promotional materials. Please see the "If Selected As A Finalist" section of our rules for more information.

We do NOT screen the full films online. Only the promotional materials given to us by the the film-makers are used for our Awards Show video that can be viewed by the general public. You can see the awards video for our short film MOH 2020 season here: https://youtu.be/vByTQECsIvQ



Winners in each award category will receive our fun skeletal trophy and winner's laurels in addition to all of the Finalist perks. We ship out trophies to the recipients free of charge shortly after the winners are announced.

The film trailers for Award Winners will also be screened at the 2021 Magic of Horror festival in Richmond, VA.


THE GRAND PRIZE (Winner of Best Film award)

The winner of the top award, "Best Film" will have their film screened at the 2021 Magic of Horror festival in Richmond, VA. The winning film-maker will also be invited to attend this popular event and tell the audience more about their film. Dates for this event are Nov. 13-14, 2021.


We DO NOT offer discounts or hardship waivers for the submission fees. We feel that the practice of issuing waivers is very unfair to those film-makers who pay the fee to compete.

The person submitting a film to this festival affirms that he/she has all the copyrights of story, audio, video, images and music of the film and he/she remains responsible before the law.

The person submitting must be at least 18 years of age.

All entries must be in English (or have English subtitles).

We accept films that have already been released to the public. In fact, we encourage that since the whole goal of this competition is to promote great horror films.

Films that have not been released to the public must have a website or active social media page that can be promoted.

Submissions may not include real violence toward humans or animals. Absolutely no pornography.

All submissions will receive via email the scorecards and any corresponding notes from the jury after the judging period has ended. Each submission is evaluated by at least two members of our jury pool and the notes given are solely the opinions of the individual judges and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of MOH or its organizers.

Any submissions that are withdrawn will not be eligible to receive scorecards and judge’s notes.



All submissions must be sent electronically via FilmFreeway. Submission fees must be in U.S. dollars. These fees are non-refundable, even in the case of disqualification or withdrawal of an entry. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Multiple submissions are accepted, but each must be submitted with a separate fee. There are no discounts for multiple submissions.

Understand that the submission fee does not guarantee your film will be accepted into the competition's program. Submissions are evaluated by members of a jury pool who make the decisions on Finalists. Award Winners are determined by committee. The jury decisions are final and may not be disputed.

You agree to indemnify and hold us harmless from any claim made by you or any third party due to or arising out of film(s) you submit to this contest. You understand that there are thousands of film-makers and the similarities in story, characters, design, etc... of two or more submissions are certainly a possibility. The contest directors and judges will not knowingly share your submission with any third party.



Finalists will be required to provide a trailer or film clip up to three minutes long for public presentation in the Awards Show video. Finalists who do not provide these materials by the deadline given will forfeit the nomination and will not be included in the Awards Show.

Film Trailers and video clips may NOT include frontal nudity.

MOH reserves the right not to screen any trailers or film clips for any reason. (We almost never exercise this right, but if your promotional material contains scenes that our video hosts or promotional outlets won't allow, we really won't have a choice in the matter.)

Finalists will also be asked to submit any promotional materials that they have available for public view such as film poster, trailer, still photos, etc... The Filmmaker grants MOH the right to use any and all promotional materials in any manner they see fit for publicity purposes related to the festival.

Finalists grant full and unrestricted permission for Rogue Chimera Films LLC / Magic of Horror (MOH). to screen or show their trailer or film clips at times of the festival’s choice. This includes the Awards Show video that is available to the public, and also includes periodic plugs on the festival’s social media.

Winners will be announced on the Awards Show video that will be premiered before the Event Date. Award-winners will have their trophies mailed to them. Award winners will be invited to screen their film trailer and display promotional materials at the live Magic of Horror event.

The top winner "Best Film" will be invited to screen their full film at the Magic of Horror festival in Richmond, VA on November 14, 2021. A digital copy of the film must be provided by November 5, 2021 in order to be shown at the event.

Overall Rating
  • Ever since we submitted, Magic of Horror has truly been a *magical* experience for us. It was one of our first-ever submissions, so to have our film selected into MoH was huge… but for the team to then bestow us with awards for Best Feature, Best Directing, and Best Editing is…. absolutely unreal. We were deeply saddened that we couldn’t be there in-person to see our film in such a cool venue. A huge thank you to Lowrie, Shiva, and the whole staff at MoH. Great communication throughout our entire experience. Highly recommend it to any indie horror filmmakers out there. Five stars.

    November 2021