VIDEO NASTIES GENRE FILMFEST is a spectacular live event, held in the heart of London, where the "video nasties" phenomenon was originally birthed. Our first screening event happened 31 October 2023, and was hosted by celebrity screenwriting legend David McGillivray (Frightmare, Satan’s Slave).


In the 1980s, new video distribution companies in Britain got the idea to make a fast buck by distributing cheesy, low-budget and violent Italian and American horror films.

Unfortunately, at the time there was no law that required videotapes to be classified before being rented, and anyone of any age could legally rent any video; so films such as Cannibal Holocaust and I Spit on Your Grave could be (and were) rented by children as young as 10.

In 1984, the Video Recordings Act was passed, which made it illegal to distribute any film that had not been classified. The British Board of Film Classification created the infamous list of the "Video Nasties". This ultimately comprised 72 films, of which 39 had been successfully prosecuted. Video stores renting them were subject to police raids.

In 2023, we believe that VIDEO NASTIES should no longer be a term of derision - we want to celebrate genre films that exist outside of the "mainstream" ... and create a new venue to enjoy these risky, challenging and bold works of art.

We are curating films that are not for the faint of heart! Films that engage the senses, challenge our moral compasses, and give us frissons of intensity!

Videos in the genres of:

HORROR NASTIES - films that explore the supernatural, or the evil in the hearts of men, in a way that shocks, engrosses, and disturbs.

SCI-FI NASTIES - films that push the boundaries of what is possible with technology, and throughout the universe, known and unknown, beyond our comprehension.

EROTIC NASTIES - films that titillate, push the boundaries of sexuality, modesty, morality, and propriety. If they wouldn't be censored elsewhere, they don't belong here.

COMIC NASTIES - films that shine a light on the base absurdities of existence. These are not sitcoms; they challenge what offends us, or what we can say, in a satirical or parodic way.

NASTY COSPLAY - videos and photo albums of favourite genre characters, or even original concepts!

We accept content from anywhere in the world - even from the gates of Hell!

Trophies and laurels will be given to the best of the festival in a number of categories, as adjudicated by a celebrity panel. These will be presented at the event to those filmmakers who are able to attend.

Cash award and prizes will be given at our discretion, to be announced at a later date (subject to sponsorship, etc.)


NASTY OF NASTIES - awarded to the year's best video nasty
SHORT NASTY - awarded to the best nasty under 15 minutes
NASTY GORE - awarded for the best special effects and/or makeup
HORROR NASTY - awarded to the most terrifying nasty
COMIC NASTY - awarded to the nasty that makes us laugh most
NASTY SEXY - awarded to the best erotic nasty
NASTY DIRECTOR - awarded for the best direction of a video nasty
NASTY THESPIAN - awarded to the best actor(s) in a video nasty (gender non-specific)
DIE NASTY DIE - awarded for the best death scene
NASTY CAMERA - awarded for the best camerawork and lighting
MUSIC NASTY - awarded for best original music score
EDITING NASTY - awarded to the nasty with the best editing
SCRIPT NASTY - awarded to the best script writer(s) screen, radio or stage
NASTY COSPLAY - awarded to the best cosplay photo or video, or during our live event


1. VIDEO NASTIES is a celebration of genre fiction. Any depictions of actual violence or exploitation causing harm will be rejected out-of-hand and reported to the applicable authorities.

2. VIDEO NASTIES assumes no propriety of the films selected to the festival. Applicants are free to apply and share their films anywhere at their pleasure.
All entries should be sent via FilmFreeway with a secure online screener.

3. By submitting to the festival you confirm that you own the rights of the video content, including the rights to the music in the film.

4. Content that have had public or private screenings are eligible for submission to VIDEO NASTIES.

5. Content previously submitted to VIDEO NASTIES can be re-submitted.

6. Filmmakers may submit multiple entries as long as each video is submitted with its own Entry Form, online screener and paid Entry Fee.

7. All applicants must complete the official festival submission form located on FilmFreeway.

8. VIDEO NASTIES reserves the right to disqualify any content submitted through these websites without refund of any application fees.

9. The applicant holds the sole responsibility of copyright clearance of any copyrighted material in the content. Videos including unauthorised copyrighted material are ineligible.

10. Films not in English must be subtitled in English unless dialogue is minimal and not necessary for the comprehension of the Film.

11. All genres are welcome (narrative, animated, experimental, documentary or music video) as long as they could feasibly have been banned in the 1980s.

12. There is no minimum running time


1. Multiple versions of the same video will be reasonably considered. Only the most recent submitted version of a video will be considered for VIDEO NASTIES.

2. Upon selection, applicants grant VIDEO NASTIES the right to share limited excerpts and screen captures from their content, including on the public internet, and on platforms such as Youtube, in the interest of mutual promotion of the festival and its participants.

3. If the submitted content does not play, VIDEO NASTIES staff will make an attempt to contact the applicant based on the contact information supplied at the time of submission in order to obtain a replacement. If a replacement is not available, VIDEO NASTIES reserves the right to disqualify the video without refunding the submission fees.

4. VIDEO NASTIES will attempt, but is under no obligation, to view a submission that arrives after the designated deadline without refund of the submission fee.

5. Submitted films that qualify based on the regulations and eligibility requirements stated here will be seen by VIDEO NASTIES programming staff and be considered equally with all other submissions.

6. VIDEO NASTIES reserves the right to disqualify any content for non-payment of the submission fee. VIDEO NASTIES will attempt to contact the applicant based on the contact information supplied at the time of submission in order to resolve non-payment status.

7. Applicants acknowledge that VIDEO NASTIES reserves the right to change the nature of screenings and events due to circumstances related to public health and welfare or at the direction of local or federal authorities. In such cases no submission refunds shall be issued.

8. VIDEO NASTIES is under no obligation to provide comments regarding submitted content to any applicant. The festival is not responsible for any internal comments obtained by the applicant regarding their film.

9. VIDEO NASTIES may also consider your script submission for production, and will contact you in due course with an offer of terms for collaboration.

Overall Rating
  • Chad Ferrin

    Was a true pleasure to play this amazing fest!

    April 2024

    December 2023
  • great festival thank you for including me +++

    November 2023
  • Antonio Rotunno

    It was really nice to have our short "It Got Bloody" here as basically our influences for it came from many of the cult video nasties list! Even if I was not able to attend because of the distance, communication & hospitality was really good. Thank you!

    November 2023
  • Saul Berenbaum

    My screenplay, "Boiler Room Brodie," was named as a Finalist at Video Nasties, which I consider a genuine honor. You should expect great communication and a wonderful spirit from this festival.

    November 2023