Underground Film Journal

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2009 Spooky Movie Film Festival: Call For Entries

By Mike Everleth ⋅ February 2, 2009

Bold text saying Spooky Movie

Washington D.C.’s Spooky Movie Film Festival is already the world’s premiere horror film fest. Of course it’s located in our nation’s capital because this is the grand statesman of horror film fests. Heck, it’s the Barack Obama of horror film fests, if I can go so far as that. It’s imbued with the hope, promise, change and new way forward that the horror genre needs.

Spooky Movie has been having a banner year, too. Not only did it hold it’s biggest edition so far in 2008, but the fest has released two short film compilation DVDs featuring some of the best up-and-coming directors in the genre. I’ve already reviewed Festival of Horrors: Volume One and a review of Volume Two should be coming shortly.

But, as good as all that is, it sounds like things are going to get better. 2009, which will be the fest’s 4th year and will run Oct. 22-25, will see a whole new dimension added to the festivities. This year Spooky Movie is hosting their first ever screenplay competition: The DarkHart Screenplay Award. Teaming up with DarkHart Press, awards will be given to two winning screenplays — one for shorts and one for features — both of which will be published in 2010 by DarkHart.

As for the films, the rest of the festival will be non-competitive. But the fest offers a diverse selection of horror, from the sublime to the extreme over-the-top. And I’m not pulling all this out of my ass. 2008 was the first year I’ve included Spooky Movie on the Underground Film Journal and festival director C.W. Prather was kind enough to send me screeners of almost every film that played, many of which I reviewed on the site. Now, that’s totally no substitute for going to the actual fest, but I was spectacularly impressed by the selection of films. One of them, Rona Mark‘s Strange Girls even made it into my picks for best films of the year. (Strange Girls is also now streaming online)

To get a feel for what Spooky Movie might be looking for, check out last year’s lineup, maybe read a few reviews, then submit. Deadlines are as follows and submission fees go for features, shorts and screenplays:

First Look Deadline:
April 17
$25 (Regular)
$20 (Without a Box)

Early Deadline:
May 22
$30 (Regular)
$25 (Without a Box)

Regular Deadline:
June 26
$40 (Regular)
$30 (Without a Box)

Late Deadline:
August 7
$45 (Regular)
$35 (Without a Box)

Extended Deadline:
August 28
$55 (Regular)
$40 (Without a Box)

For more info and submission guidelines, please visit the official Spooky Movie website.

And check out the Underground Film Journal’s list of film festivals for more great underground fests to submit to.