Themes and Content
Learn more about horror (sub)genres, runtime, and creative boundaries regarding edgy horror film content.
Every film accepted into the festival has adhered to the following content guidelines:
- The film was made within the past year.
- Any foreign-language films include English subtitles.
- It clearly belongs in a ‘horror’ genre or sub-genre.
- It is a live-action or animated film. Anything goes.
- It is a narrative film. Non-fiction, music videos, or film trailers may be played but aren’t award-eligible.
- It is under 10 minutes in length (there is no minimum runtime).
- It includes a title with the film’s name.
- It includes a title identifying the creators’ location.
- It includes end credits.
- It generally conforms to the MPAA’s PG-13 rating.
- While it includes violence and gore, it does not include graphic depictions of sexualized violence or abuse.
- Graphic depictions of drug use—including alcohol and (e)cigarettes—are kept to an absolute minimum.
- Explicit language is minimal. One ‘f-bomb,’ max.
- Contains absolutely zero sexualized language.
Legal and Copyright
It’s important to properly license and credit your fellow creatives. Here’s how to do that.
We take pride knowing that our filmmakers create entirely original films every year.
It’s important to get permission from actors, creators, and private property owners before involving them in your film.
Release forms be provided upon our request.
Media you use
Your film must not contain any copyrighted music, video, or images that you haven’t obtained written permission to use.
People you involve
Everyone in your film needs to understand that they’re working on your film and that their likeness may be made public on the web and social media.
It’s also critical that your film doesn’t contain defamatory statements targeting individuals, groups, organizations, or companies.
Locations you film at
Private property owners must be aware you’re filming on their land and give you written permission to use it.
Written permission to use public places (parks, trails, public buildings, streets/sidewalks, etc. ) is not required, but it’s best practice to inform local authorities where and when you’ll be filming.
Audio and Video
Ensure your film looks incredible on the silver screen: aspect ratios, audio, frame-rates, and file format.
In editing software it is possible to enter the width and height of your video—the aspect ratio. In 2019, this is mostly a stylistic choice by the director.
The theater projector will display your film differently depending on which aspect ratio you choose.
We recommend going with 2:39:1—it looks great and fills the entire cinema screen.
We recommend you export your film as an MP4 (h.264 codec) file in the highest audio and video quality possible.
Awards & Entry Fees
Every filmmaker helps make this event possible. Here’s what you could win and how to support us.
A grand cash prize and excellence awards await our winners at the After Party.
Our panel of community film critics will select (1) grand prize winner—the recipient of a cash prize and our distinctive award for ‘Best Picture.’
Additional excellence awards will also be presented:
Best Costume Design
Best Film Editing
Best Production Design
Best Sound Design
Best Special Effects
Each entry into the film festival is $40. Pay when you’re ready.
Create a free account with FilmFreeWay—fill out the contact information. Let us know where you’re from in Vermont, too!
Create a Project
If you don’t have everything ready, don’t worry: You can create your project later.
Uploading your film
On your ‘project’ page, upload your film directly to FilmFreeWay from your computer. This ensures we get a high-quality copy of your film without video compression.
This keeps the video from being viewed by the public ahead of the film premiere.
Submit & Pay
Visit our FilmFreeWay festival page (linked below) and hit the submit button. Select your project and enter your payment information.
By submitting a film, you agree to the following:
Your film adheres to the guidelines detailed above.
You acknowledge that entry fees are non-refundable.
You’ve gotten written permission for any media, people, and privately-owned locations that appear in your film and will provide those docs when we request it.
You agree to allow us reserve the right to determine if your film is eligible for public viewing and awards.
You agree that the festival organizers 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.
Upload your film