The 666 Film challenge 2024 Screening

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The Independent Horror Society’s 666 Film Challenge is back for a second year!

The challenge is to create a chilling horror film in just 66 hours and 6 minutes over the bank holiday weekend at the end of May. You can use any medium you like, including film, animation, claymation, stop motion, and more. We’re looking for innovative and original ideas that will leave our judges on the edge of their seats. The only limit, is time.

Before the clock starts ticking, you’ll receive an email at 9pm (UK time) on Friday 24th May with the official brief and rules. Please note that no creative work, including writing and composing, can start until then. However, you are allowed to book crew, locations, and equipment beforehand, so be sure to get a head start on planning.

The 666  Film Challenge is open to people of all skill levels and all mediums. Whether you’re a seasoned filmmaker or a first-time horror creator, this is your chance to show off your skills and terrify our judges.

Tickets for our gala Screening & Awards ceremony on 27th July are now available, so head on over to the Genesis Cinema website to grab yours! There’s a £2 discount for regular IHS members, and a stellar 50% discount for members of IHS Pro!  

How The 666 Film challenge works

  • At 9pm (UK time) on Friday 24th May 2024, the first email will be sent to registered challengers with the official creative brief and rules.
  • Amongst this, you will be given a short list of what must be included. This could be a specific prop, a line of dialogue, or maybe even a specific sound effect. 
  • Challengers will then have 66 hours and 6 minutes to write, film, edit and submit their film, which must be between 1 and 6 minutes long. 
  • You’ll be free to submit your entry any time up until 3:06pm (UK time) on Monday, 27th May 2024, and then our judging begins! 
  • The winners will be announced during our very special gala screening event. 
  • You can see our full terms and delivery specs below, along with more information on our judging panel, sponsors, and prizes.

How to enter

  • Entry costs just £6.66 per team, and you can reserve your spot at any time up until 9pm on Friday, 24th May.
  • If you’re not already a member, every entry comes with 1 free month to The Independent Horror Society’s IHS Pro service, just in case you need to find any other collaborators or use our tools before the big weekend! Just email your Film Freeway receipt to 666@independenthorrorsociety.com and we’ll send you your code.
  • If you have any questions, please get in touch via our official 666 Film Challenge Twitter Page.
  • Head to Film Freeway and set up a film freeway account using the “I want to submit my work” option.
  • You’ll then need to add a new project. Click the “My Projects” tab, and then “add a project”.
  • In the “Project Name” section, just add your name (e.g. “John Smith”). You do not need to fill in any more details. Click Save.
  • Head back to our film freeway page and click “Submit Now” again. This time you’ll see a “select project” dropdown, and your new project should be selected. Then click the “standard submission” option. and click “Add to Cart And Checkout”
  • Then fill in your payment details, and click “Pay and Complete Order”
  • And that’s it! Once that’s done, you’ll officially be entered. Then when it comes to the challenge weekend, we’ll be able to email you and all the other entrants to let you know the details. And when it comes to submitting your finished film, you’ll just need to click “Edit Your Project”, and upload it there.
  • Click the “My Projects” tab, and then “add a project”.
  • In the “Project Name” section, just add your name (e.g. “John Smith”). You do not need to fill in any more details. Click Save.
  • Head back to our film freeway page and click “Submit Now” again. This time you’ll see a “select project” dropdown, and your new project should be selected. Then click the “standard submission” option. and click “Add to Cart And Checkout”
  • Then fill in your payment details, and click “Pay and Complete Order”
  • And that’s it! Once that’s done, you’ll officially be entered. Then when it comes to the challenge weekend, we’ll be able to email you and all the other entrants to let you know the details. And when it comes to submitting your finished film, you’ll just need to click “Edit Your Project”, and upload it there.

The Judges

Mike muncer

Mike is a film journalist , producer and presenter with a lifelong obsession with horror cinema. He began working in TV production in 2010 and produced shows such as the BBC Film Show with Claudia Winkleman and BBC’s Inside Cinema series of video essays. In 2017 he launched the Evolution Of Horror podcast, which has since gone on to become one of the most popular horror podcasts in the country

Josh Lawson

Josh is one of the founders and director of programming for the Yorkshire Horror & Fantasy Film Festival Dead Northern, curating 100's shorts since its inception in 2019. Over the years Josh and the founders have focused on championing emerging talent in film. When he's not programming, Josh hosts a range of interviews and talks for the creative industry.

Kat Hughes

Kat is a film critic and interviewer who has a passion for horror films and can regularly be found covering the latest genre festival. The deputy editor for entertainment site THN, Kat has also written for Arrow Video, Second Sight and Certified Forgotten amongst others. When not writing about horror, Kat hosts micro podcast Movies with Mummy along with her five-year-old daughter.

The IHS Team

The IHS is staffed a passionate group of horror enthusiasts dedicated to promoting and celebrating the genre. Committed to creating an inclusive community for fans and professionals, we aim to showcase a diverse range of voices and perspectives within horror, making it the perfect place for seasoned veterans and curious newcomers alike to connect and explore their love of all things spooky.

The AWARDS

While the whole ethos around the 666 Film Challenge is not about individual awards, we want to be able to highlight some of the films that really stand out for us in specific ways.

Here are the award categories that we’ll be selecting this year, and all participants will be automatically entered into all (apart from Best Neo-Fright — See below!).

Each winner will receive a coveted 666 Film Challenge Award Trophy, and a bonus prize to go alongside it, and most importantly, eternal glory!

Best Overall Film

This will be awarded to the film that the judging panel think stood out across the board.

Bonus Prize: £150

The Neo-Fright Award

We are absolutely buzzing by the amount of first-timers giving this challenge a go, and we think it’s only fair to call this out. So if this is your first project, please do let us know and we’ll put you straight into consideration.

Bonus Prize: £100 

Best Script

It’s tough to write a decent script at the best of times, let alone under strict time pressure! That’s why we want to call out what we consider to be the best-written film submitted.

Bonus Prize:  TBD

Best Camera Work

While we’re not necessarily looking for glorious cinematography overall (that might have been asking a bit much!) we do want to give a nod for what we consider to be the best or most effective use of your camera. Make of that what you will…

Bonus Prize: One free year of IHS Pro (worth £49)

Best Death

I mean, we had to, right? While having some form of death in your film is by no means necessary, we’re always keen to reward macabre creativity.

Bonus Prize: A fitting memento to your victim.

Our SPonsors

Help me

If you’re looking for a little help in organising your project, then why not check out this recorded discussion from last year’s edition with producer extraordinaire Yvie Russell. 

In it, we break down all the documents you need to prepare for an organised day of shooting, and answer some common questions submitted by your fellow participants. 

You can also download the same key release forms and documents by clicking the button. Although please note, filling these forms in is no way mandatory. We just think they might help!

Also, the 666 team will be on hand throughout the challenge weekend to answer any questions that come up as you go along. You’ll find us inside the IHS Pro Discord server, and on Twitter.  

The 2023 Edition

Thank you to all of the entrants, judges and supporters that made the very first 666 Film Challenge a rip-roaring success.  We saw 40 teams take part including a whole host of first-timers, and an incredible 27 of them managed to complete it! 

The briefing

Welcome to The Independent Horror Society’s 666 Film Challenge!

Your task is to create a chilling horror film in just 66 hours and 6 minutes over the bank holiday weekend at the end of May. You can use any medium you like, including film, animation, claymation, stop motion, and more. We’re looking for innovative and original ideas that will leave our judges on the edge of their seats. The only limit, is time.

Before the clock starts ticking, you’ll receive an email at 9pm (UK time) on Friday 26th May with the official brief and rules. Please note that no creative work, including writing and composing, can start until then. However, you are allowed to book crew, locations, and equipment beforehand, so be sure to get a head start on planning.

This filmmaking competition is open to people of all skill levels and all mediums. Whether you’re a seasoned filmmaker or a first-time horror creator, this is your chance to show off your skills and terrify our judges.

Leading up to the start of the challenge, we will be releasing more details including the names of our esteemed judges, prize details, and some other little bonuses too. So be sure to stay tuned!

Delivery Specifications

  • Delivery Deadline: The deadline for film submissions is 3:06pm (UK time) on Monday 27th May 2024. Submissions received after this date will not be considered.
  • File Format: All films must be submitted in a high-quality digital format, and uploaded via filmfreeway. If your film is selected for our 666 screening event, you will also need to provide a digital cinema package (DCP) format. (We can help you with this!)
  • You will need to include the official Title Card at the start of your completed film. This will be provided when the brief is unveiled. 
  • Resolution: Films must have a minimum resolution of 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels) and a maximum resolution of 4K (4096 x 2160 pixels). It is recommended that films be submitted in the highest available resolution.
  • Aspect Ratio: The recommended aspect ratio for your festival is 2.39:1 (scope). Films that do not conform to this aspect ratio may be letterboxed or pillarboxed.
  • Audio: All films must have at least a stereo mix. However a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound mix is acceptable. Audio must be synced with the picture.
  • Subtitles: Non-English language films must have English subtitles burned into the image.
  • Compression: Films must be compressed using a high-quality codec with a minimum bitrate of 100 Mbps. The finished film must be uploaded to FilmFreeway by the deadline, so please allow yourself enough time to upload! 
  • Copyright: Filmmakers must have all necessary permissions and clearances for the content used in their films, including music, images, and other copyrighted material.
  • Technical Support: Filmmakers are responsible for ensuring that their films meet the technical requirements outlined above. 

Terms And Conditions

  • Eligibility: The short film challenge is open to individuals or teams of individuals. The lead or main entrant must be over the age of 18 at the time of entry.
  • Any entry found to be using assets, whether whole or in part, generated by “Artificial Intelligence” (A.I.), Image Generators or Text-to-Image models, including but not limited to imagery and audio, are not permitted. All entries must be works of either live action, stop-motion, or animation, created by the entrant and their team alone with the exception of licensed materials. If at any point, an entry, whether whole or in part, falls under scrutiny by The Organisers as to whether elements of the entry are licensed and the entrants have obtained permission, evidence of the legal indemnity or permission for the usage of the aforementioned assets may be requested. The Organisers maintain the right to disqualify any entries that do not meet the above requirements and are not obliged to refund entry fees for entries found to be violating the above requirements.
  • Submission Requirements: Entries must be original short films that are no longer than 6 minutes and 6 seconds long. Films must be submitted in a digital format that meets the technical specifications outlined in the submission guidelines. Entrants are responsible for their own production and must have all necessary permissions and clearances for the content used in their films, including music, images, and other copyrighted material.
  • Rights: Entrants retain ownership and all other rights to their films. By entering the challenge, entrants grant The London Horror Group Ltd a non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, and display their films, in whole or in part, throughout the world, in any and all media or platforms, whether now known or hereafter devised, for any purpose, including but not limited to, promotional and marketing purposes.
  • Screening and Broadcast: Selected films may be screened at a cinema and may be shown on a television channel. Selected entrants may be required to provide additional materials, such as high-resolution images and posters, for use in promotional and marketing materials. The London Horror Group Ltd will not be held responsible for any issues that may arise in connection with the screening or broadcast of the films, including but not limited to technical issues, errors, omissions, or inaccuracies.
  • Selection and Judging: Entries will be judged by a panel of judges selected by The London Horror Group Ltd. The judges’ decisions are final and binding. Entrants agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of the challenge and by the judges’ decisions.
  • Indemnification: Entrants agree to indemnify and hold The London Horror Group Ltd and its officers, directors, employees, agents, and affiliates harmless from and against any and all claims, damages, liabilities, costs, and expenses arising from or in connection with their participation in the challenge, including but not limited to any claims of infringement of intellectual property rights or other proprietary rights.
  • Liability: The London Horror Group Ltd will not be responsible for any injury, loss, or damage to entrants or their property arising from or in connection with their participation in the challenge. Entrants participate in the challenge at their own risk.
  • Termination: The London Horror Group Ltd reserves the right to terminate, suspend, or modify the challenge, in whole or in part, at any time and without notice, for any reason, including but not limited to fraud, technical failures, or any other factor beyond its control that corrupts or affects the administration, integrity, or fairness of the challenge.
  • Governing Law: The challenge is governed by the laws of the United Kingdom, without regard to its conflicts of law provisions.
  • Agreement: By entering the challenge, entrants agree to be bound by these terms and conditions, as well as the submission guidelines and any additional rules and regulations posted on The London Horror Group’s website (independenthorrorsociety.com) or provided to entrants in connection with the challenge.
  • Entries must be original works of fiction and must not have been previously screened, broadcasted, or exhibited in any other film festival, contest, or platform.
  • The maximum duration of the film should not exceed 6 minutes and 6 seconds, including opening and closing credits.
  • Entries must be submitted in digital format via an online platform, as specified in the competition guidelines.
  • The submitted film should be in the English language or have English subtitles.
  • Entries must not contain any obscene, offensive, or defamatory content.
  • By submitting their entries, participants grant the organisers the right to screen, broadcast, and exhibit the films in any format, in any media, and for any promotional or non-commercial purposes, without further compensation to the participants.
  • The organisers reserve the right to disqualify any entry that violates any of the terms and conditions or that, in their sole discretion, is deemed inappropriate or offensive.
  • The judges’ decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • The organisers reserve the right to cancel or suspend the competition or to amend the terms and conditions without prior notice.
  • The organisers accept no responsibility for any damage, loss, injury, or disappointment suffered by any participant as a result of entering the competition or accepting any prize.
  • Participants must ensure that they have obtained all necessary clearances, licenses, and permissions for any copyrighted materials or music used in their films.
  • Participants retain the copyright to their films but agree to grant the organisers a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license to use and distribute the films as specified in the terms and conditions.
  • The competition winners will be notified by email and announced on the competition website and social media channels.
  • The competition prize(s) will be specified in the competition guidelines and are subject to change at the discretion of the organisers.
  • The organisers reserve the right to use any submitted materials (including still images, trailers, and synopses) for promotional purposes in connection with the competition, without further compensation to the participants.
  • The challenge is open to individuals who are at least 18 years old.
  • By entering the competition, participants agree to these terms and conditions in full.