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The MAGIC OF HORROR festival has been celebrating everything that puts the “magic” into the horror genre since 2016!

Due to the amazing response we had when we did this contest in 2019, we are doing another “GIVE US YOUR WORST!” contest!

First films that didn’t turn out as expected, projects where everything went sideways, etc… If you have a film that you’d never dream of submitting to a festival because it’s so bad… we want it!

Films may be anywhere between 1 minute and 91 minutes long. There are no "created by" time frame, debut status, or even publicly released film restrictions for submissions.

Don’t worry, this isn’t the kind of contest where the winner gets tomatoes thrown at them, although having a good sense of humor and being able to laugh at your own mistakes is a must!

Believe it or not, there is an educational purpose behind the “Give Us Your Worst” block at the Magic of Horror. The winner of this contest will be screened in a special film block at the 2023 Magic of Horror festival and the film-maker will be invited to talk to the audience about where they went wrong and how not to make the same mistakes.


The Magic of Horror is a festival in Richmond, VA that will be taking place at the historic Firehouse Theatre in November 2023.

The “Give Us Your Worst” film block is promoted as a special interest block for novice film-makers and people who are just interested in seeing how difficult getting started in the industry can be!

The festival ends with the awards ceremony where the winner of this contest will be announced.


We will also be premiering our 2023 Awards Show Video online during (or shortly after) the live event in order to share the love with everyone who could not be there in person. We NEVER show full films in this online show. However, all selections will be required to provide a poster and a trailer (or a short teaser clip) for their film to be shown to our virtual audience and used for promotions. (Don’t worry, we don’t give away spoilers.)

You can see our previous awards shows on our YouTube channel:

The winner will receive two free passes to the Magic of Horror Festival as well as digital laurels and a trophy. We mail trophies free of charge to the winner if they are unable to attend the event.

Submissions that do not follow the rules will be disqualified, so please ask any questions before submitting.


1. No works-in-progress will be accepted. All entries must be complete and the final cut/copy submitted.

2. Submissions may not include real violence and/or death toward humans or animals.

3. Absolutely no pornography. (Nudity is okay.)

4. Filmmakers submitting films that have been released to the public and are under a distribution or similar contract with a third party must have retained all the rights to screen and promote the film.



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

2. All entries must be original works, unless the source material is in public domain (examples: Edgar Allen Poe or H.P. Lovecraft), or they have gained legal permission to use the source material from the owner. Questionable entries may be asked to provide this documentation.

3. The person submitting a project to this festival affirms that he/she has all the copyrights and/or other legal rights pertaining to the story, audio, video, images and music of the film/script/photographed work and he/she remains responsible before the law.



1. In the spirit of fairness to all, we DO NOT offer student discounts or hardship waivers for the submission fees. (Submission fees for this special contest are much lower than our usual fees for films anyway.)

2. 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.

3. Multiple submissions are accepted, but each must be submitted with a separate fee. There are no discounts for multiple submissions. If you send multiple projects on one submission, only the first of the series will be considered.

4. Understand that the submission fee does not guarantee your project a place in the festival. Entries are judged by a panel who make the decisions of Finalists and Jury Prize winners. The judges decisions are final and may not be disputed.

5. All entries must be sent via FilmFreeway. Please do not send DVDs, BluRays, images, photographs, or any downloadable files to us directly. We will not look at them.

6. You agree to indemnify and hold us harmless from any claim made by you or any third party due to or arising out of project(s) you submit to this contest. You understand that there are thousands of film-makers, writers and other artists and the similarities in story, characters, design, etc... of two or more submissions are certainly a possibility.

7. The contest directors and judges will not knowingly share your submission with any third party (unless your film submission is accepted into the festival to be screened or shown.)

8. By submitting your work to the Magic of Horror, you consent to receiving notices, newsletters, announcements, and advertisements from the Magic of Horror festival and its parent company (Rogue Chimera Films).



1. All Selections understand and agree that if their submission is accepted for presentation and/or screening in the festival, they grant full and unrestricted permission for Rogue Chimera Films LLC / Magic of Horror (MOH). to screen or show their entry project at times of the festival’s choice and understand that the festival will charge an admission fee for the general public at any live events.

2. The Submitter understands and agrees that they do not participate in receiving any funds from the ticket sales to the festival or any other revenue, which are fully retained by the event organizers to help cover the overall cost of the festival presentation.

3. Selections will be required to send a screening copy of their submission, along with any other promotional materials, to the festival by October 10, 2023. Any film that is not received by this deadline will be dropped from the program. (We have to be firm about this since we not only have to test screen at the theatre but also put together the Awards Video where we promote all of the films.)

4. Selections will be offered two free passes to the event. These comp tickets must be reserved no later than October 15, 2023 to be guaranteed a seat at the live event.

IMPORTANT: Because the venue has limited seating capacity, those who do not RSVP by 10/15/2023 will not be guaranteed tickets if the theatre has reached its seating capacity. We have come very close to selling out in the past, so we very strongly encourage those who are planning to attend to RSVP!

5. If attending the live event, all attendees agree to follow any house rules set down by the Firehouse Theatre or any other physical venue that a MOH event is being held.

6. Winners will be announced both at the festival and on the Awards Video online. (And on our website and social media a day or so later.) Award-winners who are unable to attend the live festival will have their trophies mailed to them and will need to provide a physical mailing address.

7.Selections will be asked to submit a poster and a trailer or teaser clip from their film. Film entries that do not have trailers prepared consent to allowing MOH to use a clip from their film for both promotional purposes and for the Awards Video that will be shown online to the general public. The Selected 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. MOH may revisit selected projects from time to time on social media to continue promoting them.

8. We keep all film entries as secure as possible prior to and during the festival. However, with the popularity of camera devices and advanced cyber threats, we cannot promise the security of content submitted to the festival. The Submitter releases MOH and its organizers from any and all liability whatsoever for theft, copyright violations, or piracy of the entry.

9. The Submitter accepts and understands that the festival, in conjunction with the Firehouse Theatre, will do everything it can to present the films in the best possible manner but the festival is not responsible for any and all malfunctions or technical difficulties during the presentation of any film at its festival screening.

10. The Magic of Horror festival reserves the right to make changes in the screening date and times and to possibly not screen a film regardless of its Finalist status.

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