Eligible films will:

  • Have an absolute maximum run-time of 12minutes.
  • Belong to the horror or horror-related genres of suspense/thriller/psychological horror. (Basically, it just has to be genuinely scary.)
  • Be produced or released at any time in the last 100 years. We feel that no short horror film is too old to be appreciated or awarded by Haunted Oaks Film Festival, though films produced within the last 2 years will have an edge in the chances of selection.


  • The Film must be produced wholly or partially in Greater Pittsburgh/Western PA/ Ohio Valley area (any pre-production, production,  or post-production can count towards this criteria).

:: OR ::

  • The Film must be accompanied IN PERSON by its filmmaker who will attend Haunted Oaks Film Festival on October 7, 2017 in Oakmont, PA. Out-Of-Town Filmmakers are welcome to submit to this Pittsburgh event if they are able to appear in person to participate in the live Q&A and event itself at their own expense. If you are submitting your film as an out-of-town filmmaker, please make a note in your submission form regarding your ability to attend the event, or intention to send an suitable representative (must be a key creator of the film), to attend the festival in your place.


  • Artistic Merit (story,creativity, entertainment value ) : 50%
  • Technical Merit : 40%
  • Fear Factor: 10%


  • Best Picture, Winner of Haunted Oaks Film Festival and $300 Cash Prize*
  • Second Place Winner of Haunted Oaks Film Festival and $100 Cash Prize*
  • Audience Choice Award (chosen by popular vote of attendees)
  • Best Director
  • Best Actress
  • Best Actor
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Writing
  • Best Editing
  • Best Art Direction
  • HONOREE: Scream Queen

*Winning film director must attend Award Ceremony in person or send pre-approved representative in order to claim cash prize

For full list of Eligibility and Terms & Conditions visit our FilmFreeway Page here.


2017 JUDGES:

2016 JUDGES:

Kahmeela Adams, Producer, 48 Hour Film Project – Pittsburgh

Cathy Rescher, 3 Rivers Screenwriters Conference

Shawn Ronzio, SFX Artist & Instructor at Tom Savini Make-Up School

2015 Judges:

Kahmeela Adams, Producer, 48 Hour Film Project – Pittsburgh

Al Hoff, Assistant Editor and Film Critic, City Paper

Sara Kanter, Staffer, Steeltown Entertainment Project