Submit to the 2020 Festival


We focus each year on showcasing the finest independent short films of the fantastic.  We welcome not only Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror films, but any film of the imagination that steps out of the slice-of-life category.  This includes Mysteries, Thrillers, Film Noirs, Comedies, Slip Stream/Magical Realism, Surrealistic films, and most dramas, just to name a few, as well as short animated films of all types.  We take narrative shorts as well as documentaries. We also accept a limited number of features.

The lowdown: We take good films on any topic except slice-of-life.  If your film is about two people sitting at a coffee house talking about their problems (and their problems have to do with bill-paying or a nagging mother), then this isn’t the festival for you. Otherwise, this is the place.

The Independent Film Festival is mainly for shorts (under 45 minutes), however, we do screen a small number of features; features compete for a 1st Place in Features award, but not for Best of Fest. Features should be submitted the same way as shorts.

Submission Format

Entries must be submitted by using FilmFreeway’s online screener system, or with a DVD in NTSC format. Foreign-language work must be dubbed or subtitled in English.

The lowdown: Online screeners are fast and easy. If you use a DVD, keep in mind there are lots of encoding tricks involved with making a DVD.  Don’t use any.  Make a disk that is playable on every DVD player—it makes you look professional.  Find a friend who has a player from 1997 and test your disk in that.  If it doesn’t work, re-encode that disk.  Also, mark your name and email address on the disk itself.

You don’t need to send a paper press kit with your film.  Trust me, no film festival director, anywhere, looks at them.  I’ve spoken to many directors and none of us care about anything except your film until after we accept it.


The submission deadlines for 2020 are:
Early Deadline: March 2, 2020
Regular Deadline: May 4, 2020

Entry Form

The Dragon Con Independent Short Film Festival prefers online entries submitted via Filmfreeway, which provides cost-saving, paperless submission to film festivals around the world.
The Dragon Con Independent Short Film Festival proudly accepts entries via, the world’s best online submissions platform. FilmFreeway offers free HD online screeners, Vimeo and YouTube integration, and more. Click to submit with FilmFreeway.


Cost of shipping is the responsibility of the entrant. Screener & exhibition copies (if the two are not the same) must be sent to the festival prepaid. The festival cannot accept responsibility for damage or loss of materials while in transit. Disks will NOT be returned. Please protect your disks with a plastic case, and label it with your name and address, your email address, and the film’s title and running time (and your FilmFreeway tracking number). Mail your entry to:

Dragon Con Independent Short Film Festival
PO Box 16459
Atlanta, GA 30321-0459

If you pay the entry fee online, so that you are only mailing the film, you may send it directly to the festival director; this gets your film in the hands of the selection committee faster.  In that case, the address is:

Matthew M. Foster
2860 Georgian Manor Drive
Johns Creek, GA 30022

However, you MUST pay the fee online to use this option.

Selection and Notification

All submissions will be examined by our selection committee and you will be notified on or around June 18th if your film has (or has not) been chosen to be screened during the Festival via email. Selected films are screened throughout the four-day event.  We reserve the right to screen your film more than once.

Judging & Awards

This is a juried festival. All selected films were evaluated by our panel of judges.Awards will be presented for 1st place in each category, including features.  Specific categories will be determined based on the entries, but in the last 3 years, they have included: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Thriller, Contemporary, Horror, Horror Comedy, Comedy, Documentary, Animated Comedy, Animated Horror, and Animated Fantasy & Science Fiction. We also present Best of Fest chosen from the 1st Place winners in each category (excluding features) which includes a cash prize.

Attending Filmmakers

While you do not have to attend Dragon Con for your film to be selected, we are always happy for our filmmakers to attend.  It gives you a chance to speak about your film, and we’d love to meet you.  Acceptance of your film grants you one pass to Dragon Con (which allows you access to all screenings, all panels, all concerts, the dealers room, the art show, and all dances (and that is only a partial list). Information on purchasing “memberships” for your friends can be found here.

Panels and Programming

Filmmakers attending the event may elect to participate on panels geared for independent filmmakers. If you are interested in appearing on panels, please contact Matthew M. Foster. Sooner would be better as we have many filmmakers and only a limited number of panelist slots.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *