18th HÕFF – April 28th - 30th 2023

Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival (HÕFF), taking place annually on the final weekend of April, is the “one and only stop” for the genre hungry in the Baltics.

Held in the unique setting of the city of Haapsalu - once a renown summer retreat of the Russian Czars, now a picturesque town, and the home of an infamous Baltic ghost - the White Lady, haunting the medieval castle on the the western coast of Estonia.

Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival is organised by the team of Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.

Film categories

Feature Films
International genre cinema feature films (45 minutes or over) for main programme consideration.

Short Films
International genre cinema short films (45 minutes or under) for out of competition short film programme consideration.

Méliès d’Argent Competition for European Short Films
European genre cinema short films (25 minutes or under). HÕFF, as a member of the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation, holds a competition for European Short Films where an international jury gives out a Silver Méliès (Méliès d’Argent) to the best film. The winning film goes on to compete for the Golden Méliès at the federation's end-of-the-year gala announced at Cannes.

Audience Favourite Award:
Chosen by popular vote by the Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival audience.

Méliès d’Argent Award for the Best European Short Film:
The winning film goes on to compete for the Méliès d'Or at the European Fantastic Film Festival Federation's end-of-the-year gala.

Navigator Pirx Award for Best Sci-Fi Feature
Chosen by Estonian Science Fiction Association jury

Regulations and requirements

1.1 Films premiered after: January 1st 2022
1.2 Short (45 minutes or under) or full-length (45 minutes or over) films
1.3 Genre cinema (fantasy, horror, sci-fi, etc.)
1.4 Screening format: DCP (Interop or SMPTE), ProRes
1.5 Translation: with English subtitles if not spoken in English

Méliès d’Argent Competition Film Eligibility Criteria

2.1 Films premiered after: January 1st, 2022
2.2 Short films (25 minutes or under)
2.3 The Film must belong to the fantastic genre
2.4 The Film must not have won a Silver Méliès at another festival
2.5 The Film must be a European production.

The determination of the European character of a film is done according to the 2 following options:
The director(s) is (are) European and in this case a co-production could be considered (1 or 2 European countries and 1 non-European country).
The director(s) is (are) non-European, in which case the production has to be entirely European (a non-European co-production, even as a minority interest, is not accepted).

The list of countries accepted as European is:
Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Croatia.

Fore more information, please contact submissions@hoff.ee

Overall Rating
  • Ivan Basov

    HOFF was my first ever selection, so I will be eternally grateful to it. The programming was really strong, with lots of top-shelf shorts that are currently travelling the world. Still, since switching to the online format was a new and difficult thing, some hitches happened: like, for example, we never got a free pass to watch the festival program, despite being promised one, so ended up paying money to watch our own film. I totally understand there was no ill will involved, but it happened, so I have to menton it. Anyway, awesome festival, best of luck in the future!

    July 2020
  • Hanna Mironenko

    We had a very positive experience with a festival. Festival made it's best to make a high level virtual edition 2020.

    May 2020
  • 13th Door

    Great festival for a genre that is often overlooked

    May 2018
  • We salute HÕFF and all that they do for the horror and fantasy community - we are always delighted when we get our clients screened here. You couldn't ask for a stronger programme, highly recommend it!

    May 2018
  • Niall Shukla

    My short film A DOLL DISTORTED was selected for the Méliès d'Argent Competition at this years festival line up. I could not attend the festival itself, but felt the excitement from afar. Really great communication and they did a lot to promote the film! Great festival.

    May 2018