We want to introduce your short project to the world. Whether you have a shiny new short film that’s just entering the festival scene, a short film that’s been gathering dust on the internet, or a short script you want to see come to life, we want to help you get it in front of audiences who love horror.
Still not sure if you should submit? Check out the FAQ below for more info. And if you still have questions, give us a shout using our Contact Page.
Why should I submit to you guys?
We think the fact that each winner gets 500 smackaroos is a great reason to submit!
You’re right, it is! So how do I submit?
Grave Intentions proudly accepts entries via FilmFreeway.com, the world's best online submission platform. FilmFreeway offers free HD online screeners, unlimited video storage, digital press kits, and more. Click here to submit with FilmFreeway.
If you are new to FilmFreeway, your first step will be to create an account and then create a “project” for your submission. Make sure to include an email address/phone number that is checked regularly in case we need to get in touch with you. Please refer to FilmFreeway for help on how to submit. Do not email us your projects, since we cannot consider anything that has not been officially submitted through FilmFreeway.
When are you accepting entries?
The submission window opens October 3, 2017, and closes February 28, 2018.
How much does it cost to enter?
Entry Fees range from $20 - $50, depending on when you submit, so don’t plod along like a zombie – submit today!
October 1 – October 31: $20
November 1 - December 31: $35
January 1 - January 31: $45
February 1 - February 28: $50
Do you waive submission fees?
No, we don’t waive fees because we want to maintain the integrity of the competition by making sure no project is favored over another, so the same rules apply to everyone. We don’t offer student rates for the same reason.
What are the different categories for submission?
We are accepting short screenplays of 15 pages or less.
We are accepting narrative short films of 30 minutes or less.
The screenplays and films should broadly fit the horror genre. Within that, there’s a lot of leeway for anything that sends a thrill up our spines, such as suspense, thriller, fantasy, sci-fi, psychological thrillers, paranormal, supernatural, horror-comedy, horror-dramas, slasher, mumblegore, monsters, creatures, vampires, zombies, psycho killers, as well as animation that incorporates any of the above.
How many films/scripts can I submit?
As many as you want! As long as they fit the criteria and you pay an entry fee for each one.
Do you have any ratings limitations? Must films/scripts be PG or PG-13?
Due to the ways we want to distribute the anthology, we are only accepting films that fit an R rating or below. The same goes for the screenplays.
I’m having issues submitting my project. What should I do?
There might be high traffic on the FilmFreeway website, so wait a few minutes and try again. If you continue to have problems, try another web browser or try submitting from a different computer. If that still doesn’t work, then contact FilmFreeway directly.
Who are the judges?
The judges are an ensemble of storytellers and industry professionals who will use a rubric to score the films and scripts across several criteria. The producers, Brian Rish and Jocelyn Rish, will make the final decisions based on those scores.
Do you accept international submissions?
Yes! But all non-English language films must have English subtitles, and all screenplays must be in English.
My project is more than 5 years old. Does that matter?
Not at all! There are no restrictions on when the script was written, the film was made or its premiere status, so if you don’t have something new, dust the cobwebs off your scary short and send it our way.
When will you announce the winners?
All winning projects will be announced on April 15, 2018 via this website and our social media.
Since you’re listed on FilmFreeway with other film festivals, is there an actual festival to attend?
No. Although it will be a bummer to not meet y’all in person, we’re keeping everything digital for now. But we are hoping to arrange screenings of the anthology at independent theaters near each of the filmmakers.
Can I enter other competitions?
Please do. We want you to enter any competition that appeals to you.
The $500 prize is great, but is there any other reason I should submit my film?
As short filmmakers ourselves, we know after a film festival run, most short films do not get much exposure. We want to help amazing short horror films get the audience they deserve by grouping them into a feature length anthology that is easier to distribute to traditional markets.
Okay, you’ve convinced me, where should I send the DVD of my film submission?
We are only accepting online screeners. FilmFreeway makes it super easy to upload your project file (up to 10GB) or link your video via Vimeo or YouTube. This way you save on postage, we don’t have to worry about submissions getting lost in the mail, and it’s better for the earth. Click here for our submission page.
My short film is available publicly on YouTube, can I still submit?
Sure, as long as you still own the rights, you can submit even if the film is available anywhere online.
Can I send in a new/better/shorter/longer/color or sound corrected cut?
No, the judges will be screening films as they come in, so it’s not fair to ask them to watch multiple versions of the same film. All submissions are evaluated equally, so submitting early won’t increase your chances of getting accepted and may hurt your chances if the film’s not ready. Please hold off on submitting your film until it is the absolute best you can make it. If you truly want the newer version in the competition, you can submit it along with another entry fee.
What are the judges looking for?
Story is always king, so an engaging, well-told tale is essential. However, the judges will also score films based on creativity, acting, pacing, cinematography, directing, editing, and sound.
How many films will be selected?
It depends! The completed anthology will have a runtime of approximately 90 minutes. We are accepting short films of up to 30 minutes, so there could be as few as three films in the anthology, but if the best films are super short, there could be many more. Since we are also including a wraparound featuring Madam Josephine, our hostess with the mostest, we don’t plan to select more than ten. But the final number of selected films will depend on the runtimes of the highest scoring films.
If I win, will I still own my short film?
Absolutely. All winners will be required to sign a NON-EXCLUSIVE licensing agreement with our parent company Death Cat Entertainment, LLC. Since the agreement is non-exclusive, you still own the film and can do whatever you want with it, as long as you don't give anyone else exclusive rights during the license period of five years.
How will Grave Intentions be distributed?
At very the least, Grave Intentions will be distributed on DVD and Video-On-Demand (VOD). Additional distribution channels will also be pursued.
When will the Grave Intentions anthology be released?
We're planning a premiere date in October of 2018. Stay tuned to this website and our social media for details!
Do I have to have music rights to my film?
Yes. The filmmaker/submitter must hold all rights, permissions, and releases to the film, including but not limited to music. We will ask for confirmation of clearance of these rights if your film is selected.
Do filmmakers get a cut of proceeds from the anthology?
The $500 prize is to compensate the filmmaker for the licensing of their film, and is likely higher than any split of the proceeds would be. This way you get money up front for your great film, and you don’t have to worry about the film making a profit before you get paid. However, if the anthology takes off, we plan to award the filmmakers bonuses at various profit milestones that will be detailed in the licensing agreement.
My film didn’t get in – can you tell me why?
We can only pick a few, and preferences are very subjective. We’re so sorry we didn’t pick your film, but at this time we do not offer feedback on film submissions.
The $500 prize is great, but the filmmakers get to be in anthology – so what’s the bonus for writers?
Since we also write short scripts, we know how tough it is to get one made, but we persevered through producing two award-winning short films. If the circumstances are right, we want to utilize our expertise to produce the winning script for the next volume of Grave Intentions.
What do you mean when you say, “Screenplays should be in standard industry format?”
Screenplay formatting adheres to a specific set of standards that make the script more efficient to read and analyze. It’s complex, so you should use screenwriting software that automatically formats for you like Final Draft or Celtx. But for an explanation and example of the formatting, you can click here.
Should my script have a title page or be anonymous?
It doesn’t matter – we can easily remove it – so send it however you currently have the PDF formatted.
How should I list co-writers or someone with story credit?
That’s up to you and your collaborators. The $500 will be sent to the person who submitted the screenplay, and it will be up to them to split the money between the contributors.
Do you accept screenplays through snail mail?
We are only accepting submissions through FilmFreeway. They make it super easy to upload a PDF of your script. This way you save on postage, we don’t have to worry about submissions getting lost in the mail, and we save a few trees. Click here for our submission page.
I’ve made revisions to my script – can I send you the updated version?
No, the judges will be reading scripts as they come in, so it’s not fair to ask them to read multiple versions of the same script. All submissions are evaluated equally, so submitting early won’t increase your chances of getting accepted and may hurt your chances if the script’s not ready. Please hold off on submitting your script until it is the absolute best you can make it. If you truly want the newer version in the competition, you can submit it along with another entry fee.
What are the judges looking for?
Story is always king, so an engaging, well-written tale is essential. However, the judges will also score screenplays based on characterization, pacing, dialog, and originality.
How many scripts will be selected?
Only one script will win the $500 screenplay prize.
What is the projected budget for producing the winning short script?
The best screenplay will win the $500 prize, but there are several factors that will determine whether Death Cat Entertainment moves forward with producing that winning script, including the complexity of the script and what it would cost to film the winning script. Depending on the amount of funding Death Cat Entertainment can secure for the project, we anticipate a budget of approximately $15,000.
Will I receive notes on my script?
We do not offer notes or feedback on scripts at this time.
If I submit, do I still own the rights to my screenplay?
Yes, you still own the rights. It is not required, but we do encourage you to either register your screenplay with the WGA (East or West) or copyright it through the US Copyright Office.
I previously/currently make my living as a screenwriter. Am I still eligible to submit?
My script was previously optioned – can I submit it?
As long as the option has expired, so your screenplay is not currently optioned, it is eligible. If during the judging process the script goes under option, we will simply pull it from the competition.
Do you accept adaptations?
No, the script should be your own original material. If you are adapting something you yourself previously wrote, then that is acceptable.
All these questions and answers, yet you still didn’t answer mine. :-(
Never fear, just shoot us a message using our Contact Page.
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