QUEER SCREAMS accepts submissions exclusively through FilmFreeway


November 1st, 2024


June 15th, 2025


  • Best In Show (Feature or Short)
  • Director
  • Lead Performance
  • Supporting Performance
  • Writing
  • Cinematography
  • Editing
  • Effects (Visual or Makeup)


By submitting to QUEER SCREAMS through FilmFreeway, you are stating that the work is original and owned by the submitter, and is not the subject of any disputes regarding ownership. You are also stating that there is no defamation, invasion of privacy, violation of rights of publicity, intellectual property infringement or similar violation of law.

You understand that your entry is valid only upon completion of the following conditions: (1) receipt of a copy of the work, (2) the processing of the entry fee by the festival organization, and (3) when the work is found to be original and owned by you or those you represent.

While we understand that you retain all rights to ownership of the work, if selected, you hereby give the QUEER SCREAMS permission to feature, advertise, display, in whole or in part, the work for festival purposes, including promotion.

Each work is judged solely on its own merits.


1. Films MUST be made by LGBTQ+ filmmakers &/or contain an LGBTQ+ MAIN character(s) to qualify for selection.
2. All films must be submitted via online screener (Vimeo preferred, but not required).
3. There is no completion date. QUEER SCREAMS accepts films from ANY YEAR.
4. NO Premiere Status required.
5. Feature films can have a distribution deal, but should not be available online prior to the festival dates.
6. Foreign films (in their original language) must be presented with English language subtitles.
7. Student rate submissions require proof of enrollment (during production). Entries by filmmakers under 18 years of age must be submitted by a parent or legal guardian.
8. The festival does not provide transportation or lodging for filmmakers.
9. QUEER SCREAMS does not pay screening fees.
10. Submission fees are non-refundable.


  • Horror
  • Science Fiction
  • Fantasy
  • Thriller
  • Suspense
  • Psychological
  • Action
  • Gothic
  • Horror Comedy
  • B-Movie
  • Campy
  • Drag
  • Experimental
  • Documentary


Filmmakers who have “been around the block” a few times know that most film festivals in the USA charge a submission fee. Fees can range from nominal to outrageous.

But why do most film festivals charge a submission fee? Good question. Unlike their European counterparts (where many festivals are subsidized by the government) most USA festivals are on their own to cover the full expenses of the event. And it ain’t cheap. Film festivals use submission fees to help pay for part of the cost of running the festival: theater rental, equipment rental, insurance costs, printing costs, promotion costs, etc. Festivals also consider “manpower” and workforce. It takes time to organize submissions, to watch every film submitted and to review (including written comments) each film for consideration. And that time/energy/work has (some monetary) value.

But why should filmmakers pay to “fund film festivals”, especially if their films are not selected? Great question. Let’s start by saying, “Film festivals are not the only organizations that require a submission fee and do not guarantee acceptance.” Other institutions/organizations/businesses that require an application fee include: colleges and universities, landlords and rental agencies, manuscript and journal publications, bank loans, etc. Almost ALL of these fees are non-refundable and do NOT guarantee acceptance and/or admission. Most of these fees cover the aforementioned “manpower”/workforce aspect of the process. Requiring a fee also filters out submissions that don’t meet a festival’s criteria. Some filmmakers will submit to ANY free festival, even if the film and the festival are not a match (i.e. Submitting an R-rated zombie film to a children’s animation festival simply because it’s free – it’s happened).

But why submit to the QSFF? Excellent question. One reason is support. By submitting to the QSFF you are not only supporting the festival but also supporting the other LGBTQ+ filmmakers, helping their films reach a wider audience. And thus, helping to create community. Another reason is the vow that EVERY FILM will be watched in its entirety (all the way through the end credits) and fairly reviewed. Some of the submission fees will go towards providing that service (“manpower”/workforce). For films submitted via Vimeo, Vimeo can provide detailed analytics regarding views and finishes. The QSFF promises to communicate the status of every submission on (or prior to) the notification date. In addition, every film submitted will get a “Shout Out” on the festival’s social media (advertising). 

One final thought… There is an old saying, “People don’t value the things they get for free. They value what they pay for.” When something costs us nothing, we tend to invest the same amount in it.


Questions about submissions? Questions about attending? Questions about Life, the Universe and Everything? Drop us a line!

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