The Unreal Film Festival is an annual film competition held in September in Memphis, TN. The festival accepts both short and feature length films from all over the world, but only films that fall under the horror, sci-fi, and/or fantasy film genres.

Films in the festival will compete for several awards including: Best Feature Film, Best Short Film, Best Director, Best Cinematographer, Best Performance, Best Screenplay, Best Editor, Best Practical FX, Best CG/Compositing, and Best Costume & Wardrobe.

1) To be eligible for submission into the “short film” category, the film must have a projected running time of less than 35 minutes with no minimum time requirement.

2) To be eligible for submission into the “feature film” category, the film must have a projected running time of over 75 minutes with no maximum time limit.

3a) Films submitted to the festival must not be, or have ever been, available for wide release in the United States. This includes any and all video-on-demand or streaming service, DVD/bluray/digital sales, wide theatrical release, and/or televised broadcast available in the United States. If any film is released to the wide market between submission to the festival and its screening at the festival (if selected), the film is disqualified at the discretion of the festival with no refund on the submission fee.

3b) If a film has been previously released to a wide audience as described in section 3a, a film may be eligible for submission if the submitted version is significantly different than the previous version available for wide release. Significant difference is determined by the festival judges on a case-by-case basis.

4) Films completed prior to September 23rd, 2017 are not eligible for submissions.

5) Films submitted that contain significant non-English spoken dialogue must provide on-screen English subtitles. The festival reserves the right to disqualify, without refund of submission fees, any film that contains significant non-English spoken dialogue that does not include accompanying on-screen English subtitles.

6a) Films must be submitted via a screener hosted on a secured streaming service such as Vimeo or YouTube. If a passcode is required to view the applicant’s screener, the passcode must be provided.
6a i.) In the event that the applicant remits an updated version of the film to the festival after having submitted a previous version of the film to the festival during the same calendar year, the festival is under no obligation to view any or all of the updated version.

For full terms and conditions, please visit

Overall Rating
  • I was not able to attend, but it seemed from afar to go wonderful.

    December 2017
  • Huseyin Hassan

    Unreal Film Festival is an excellent festival for genre films. It is run by fellow film lovers who ensure the best films are selected to participate. Great value for money and also has multiple categorizes which recognizes the efforts of the team who also was involved in the making of your film. Genre Film = Unreal Film Festival. Will definitely submit again. Thanks for premiering 2AM at the festival.

    November 2017
  • Nick Spooner

    There's nothing better than being a part of a "genre" film festival that is run by true fans of the genre. The folks at Unreal earn top marks in their enthusiasm, support, knowledge and encouragement for filmmakers such as myself who are new to the festival circuit.

    October 2017
    Unreal film fest weblogo
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Nick! We really enjoyed your film and so did our audience. Look forward to seeing your next film!