The Film Festival for our Event is not held in the convention center but at the newly built entertainment complex, LexLive, in downtown Lexington, KY. ScareFest was founded in 2008 here in Lexington, KY, the ScareFest is celebrating its 14th year. The ScareFest is an annual Horror, Paranormal & Fandom Convention held every year at the Central Bank Center with over 10,000 local, out-of-state & international attendees. The ScareFest is one of the largest of its kind in the country, bridging the horror and paranormal with over 50,000 followers on social media. Every year we host celebrities, of the small and large screens, from the horror and paranormal world as well as local artists, businesses and entertainers.

The ScareFest Film Festival is a 4-day celebration of the macabre and all things horror. We are an event ran by fans for the fans, bringing terror from around the United States into Kentucky. We love to support independent filmmakers, students, & studios looking to showcase their work and anyone who is bringing innovation and excitement to the horror genre. Independent films and low budget masterpieces are central to the Horror genre and so that’s what we strive to showcase to our audiences.

We accept films from any genre of horror… SPLATTER, SLASHER & SUPERNATURAL! Comedy horror, documentary, dark sci-fi… if it’s got blood and guts or will keep you on the edge of your seat then we want to showcase your work!

Our attendees want to see original and pioneering films and shorts. We are looking for films that haven’t been released, are not available on YouTube or DVD and are less than one year old preferably. We are looking for new and fresh works to show our audiences and that’s what they’ve come to expect. Also works from students & our local indie filmmakers are always wonderful and we love to promote our Kentucky Horror Filmmakers!

All film submissions chosen as finalists will automatically receive free VIP passes for the weekend which will gain you early entrance to meet your favorite celebrities & browse our exhibitor halls. It also gets you into our VIP events and our Halloween Costume Ball held on Saturday night with music, drinks and all-around great time. We also offer discounted booths to our entries so you can sell merchandise & actively promote your film to our thousands of attendees as they pass by.

Awards will be available in the following categories:
• Best Feature
• Best Short
• Best Kill Scene
• Best of Horror (Most reflects our fandom)
• Best Cinematography
• Best Director
• Best Actor & Actress
• Best Horror Comedy
• Best Documentary

and New/Back for 2021
* Best Supernatural/Ghost Story
* Best Special Effect
* Best Jump Scare

Each winner will receive a statuette at our awards ceremony to be held at the Saturday Night Costume Ball during the event. Winners will also be featured on all social media, as well as ongoing promotion through all our social media platforms and website. Main Prize Winners may be invited to be guests on ScareFest Television, our weekly video podcast.

Showings of our finalist's entries will be held at The LexLive Krikorian Theaters and open to the public as well as our attendees. This venue will allow your entry to be viewed in an actual theater setting and not just a meeting room at the convention center.

• Productions cannot have been previously screened at the event.
• Premiere status will be preferred and will be a factor in inclusion decision.
• Films that are not available to the public will be a factor in inclusion decision. We prefer to not have films readily available online to current streaming services.
• By submitting, you're giving us permission to exhibit your film at the event, and other screenings (such as promotional events, etc.).
Online submission will be accepted through film festival platform FilmFreeway.
We will accept hardcopies in some cases. These must be a digital copy on DVD (minimum 1920×1080). Please contact us for mail submissions.

By submitting, you represent and warrant that you have full legal right and authority to submit the film/video project for consideration by The Scarefest, and that all necessary consents, licensing, and approvals have been obtained with respect thereto. You agree to hold The Scarefest and its sponsors harmless in any and all matters pertaining to the consents, licenses, and approvals of heretofore film/video project. You understand that your submission is in no way a guarantee of acceptance into The Scarefest Film Festival. No one from The Scarefest or its sponsors has guaranteed you admission into the festival. Should your film be accepted to The Scarefest Film Festival, you grant The Scarefest the right to use any footage from the preview screener, and all submitted publicity photos and any other materials pertaining to this entry for The Scarefest's promotional non-commercial purposes, without limitations.

All submissions are final. No refunds are provided.

Overall Rating
  • Suzanne DeLaurentiis

    We had a great time and good turnout. Would go again for sure!!!

    April 2022
  • What an awesome event! Bummed we couldn't attend the festival. I'll def be submitting again in the future!

    November 2021
  • The Scarefest team provided engaged and consistent communication with us and was truly supportive of our team. We're very thankful for the opportunity they provided our feature, THE LAST FRANKENSTEIN.

    November 2021
  • Corey Lovering

    Thank you to the Scarefest Horror & Paranormal Film Festival & Convention. Miss Mary Mack was honored to be part of your festival! Our only regret was that we couldn't be there in person with you. Our little actress, Lexie Lovering, was thrilled to have won Best Actress. Excellent communication. Highly recommend this festival!! Until next time, thank you!!

    October 2021
  • Christopher Vecchio

    The convention was awesome! The "emailed" communication was great and was super honored to have been picked. After reading the fest's replies to the previous reviews I was convinced the 2021 Film Fest side of Scarefest would be awesome. I was truly disappointed. I went the day before my showing to do some recon and thank God I turned out the Film Fest was being held in a different building from the "convention" a block or two down the street which was no big deal. The PROBLEM was...I only saw one bland poster for the film fest in the entire convention hall ( When I asked the STAFF about the Film Fest most had zero clue or little info on what I was talking about. The movie theater (two blocks away) that was hosting the Film Fest was amazing...but NO promotion that a Film Fest was actually going on. No Banners/Signs ( except for that copy of that bland poster taped to the wall no one can see. I did have two people (out of 100 seats) watch my film, which was GLITCHING like crazy....I know WES was busy and had his hands full, but they need a FILM FEST spot person to be on-point and in charge! I'LL BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO HELP OUT NEXT YEAR...I hope 2022 will be better and take this review not as bashing but as "what can we do better".

    October 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your comments. I will try to address them here so that everyone knows we are working on them: As far as the location of the festival, we thought the theater not being in the convention center was made clear. Convention centers usually do not have real theaters. 2021 was our first year hosting the film festival with LexLive, so we did have a learning curve as to what to expect from them and will try to do better. But LexLive is across the street on the same block as the convention center. We held all of our non-convention events there except one, including our parties. We definitely need to do better with signage, but LexLive does most of their signage on the video screens in their building and we hammered away with our online marketing. We plan on placing more physical signs on our side of the street this year to drive more traffic to the festival, and are working with LexLive to promote more "walk-in" traffic from their customers. Signage is always an issue and we are constantly working on it. As far as the glitching, I am just thankful that it was not universal. LexLive waited until the day before the convention to alert us that there were issues with some of films. We are working that out on the tech side. I think the most surprising point you brought up was that our staff was not helpful. We were short handed (isn't everyone nowadays) and much of our media staff had to be diverted to other departments, but we thought we had drilled into everyone the location and schedule of the festival and I have no excuse for that failing other than people not paying attention in Zoom meetings. That will definitely be addressed! If you would like to help out for 2022, please fill out a volunteer application from and join the media check-in team. We can certainly use the help!