What horrors lurk among us in the northwestern corner of Vermont?

For 11 years we've screened over seventy spooky stories conjured up by dozens of local filmmakers, showcasing the immense amount of creative talent and macabre imagination present in Franklin County, Vermont.

Every October the city of Saint Albans hosts the area's only film festival. Aspiring filmmakers will find their work shown on the big screen to a rabid audience of home-grown horror fans, family, and friends.

Started in 2013, Northwest Nightmares is the creation of Kris Hoyt, a media educator and horror film enthusiast. Thanks to Kris' vision we’ve inspired hundreds of people—students, parents, artists, and whole communities—to find joy in the art of filmmaking, learn valuable media skills, and connect with their communities over terrifying tales of ghosts, ghouls, and ghastly horrors of all kinds.

Join us and compete for gory glory, prizes, and awards. It's an experience unlike anything else around!

⟐ ⟐ ⟐

Northwest Nightmares is organized by Northwest Access Television, a media center that strongly supports the local creator community by providing equipment and studio space for video production and editing.

Filmmakers will find their films up for nomination in several categories and evaluated by a panel of community film critics and the audience.

🏆 'Best Picture'

🏆 'Best Scare'
🏆 'Best Acting'
🏆 'Best Cinematography'
🏆 'Best Costume/Makeup'
🏆 'Best Film Editing'
🏆 'Best Production Design'
🏆 'Best Screenplay'
🏆 'Best Sound Design'
🏆 'Best Special Effects'

To submit a film, you must have created an original short horror film, have the rights and/or permission for any content included with it, and agree to abide by our rules and guidelines.

⟐ Content ⟐
Read the complete filmmakers' guide at our website: https://nwnightmares.com/submit/

⟐ Rules ⟐
We pride ourselves on consistently showcasing original, locally-made films made within the past year to a loyal audience of nearby horror film fans.

1. We do not accept films made before November 1st, 2023.

2. All foreign-language films must include English subtitles.

3. All films must adhere to the guidelines found on our website.

4. Filmmakers own or have permission to use the content found in their film.

5. We reserve the right to determine if your film is eligible for public viewing and awards.

6. We are not responsible or liable for any damages, claims, physical harm, or lost data as a result of entering, participating in, or attending the film festival.

7. Entry fees are non-refundable.

Overall Rating
  • The audience was fantastic, and the after party was a lot of fun and a great opportunity to meet local film makers.

    November 2023
  • Mason Mashtare

    This festival is great. It's always a blast to watch your film on the big screen, but I've never been a part of a film festival with so much care put into it. This fest goes the extra mile in all areas. So much fun! Long live Northwest Nightmares!

    November 2021
  • Literally, can't say enough wonderful things about this festival and the organizers. Timely, courteous, and thorough with all questions leading up to the festival. They provided a great venue to see our work, and created great community support resulting in a sold out premiere! The premiere and celebration afterwards were so fun and a great opportunity to meet other creators. The organizers make this festival accessible, and provide an encouraging atmosphere for us all to create our best. Can't wait until next year! Hats off to the entire team at Northwest Nightmares! Thank you!! :-)

    November 2018
    Response from festival:

    Brent, this means so much to us. So excited for next year!

  • Evan Wisell

    Northwest Nightmares Film Festival was a tremendous amount of fun. The organizers were clear about what they wanted, were in touch with the film-makers and very clearly cared about putting on the best show around. I highly recommend attending or submitting a film! We'll definitely be back next year!

    November 2018
    Response from festival:

    Evan, this is amazing—thank you!