Be Part of the 2024 Festival! Panel Pitches, Author Readings, and Presentation Requests are now open.

Interested in participating in Literary programming at this year's H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival?

Apply for Author Reading spotsPitch a Panel discussion, or apply to give a scholarly or entertaining Presentation or Performance !

2024 Lovecraftian MicroFiction Contest is open for entries

An Annual Festival Tradition

Each year since 2014 we have held a Lovecraftian MicroFiction Contest, taking entries from authors from all over the world! The winning entries are published in a small book with the Challenge From Beyond for that year. We began this as a way to engage and include more creators in the Cosmic Horror genre, and the proceeds support the Festival directly. 

What is it?

Micro Fiction is very short prose fiction. Smaller than Flash Fiction but bigger than a haiku. Usually 500 words or less. There are some famous short short stories, including Hemingway’s - For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.

For our Lovecraftian Micro Fiction contest, we look for Cosmic Horror, Weird Fiction, or Speculative or Science Fiction with a Horror twist, as well as horror or ghost stories with an uncanny tone.

According to Lovecraft, “The true weird tale has something more than secret murder, bloody bones, or a sheeted form clanking chains according to rule. A certain atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces must be present; and there must be a hint, expressed with a seriousness and portentousness becoming its subject, of that most terrible conception of the human brain--a malign and particular suspension or defeat of those fixed laws of Nature which are our only safeguard against the assaults of chaos and the daemons of unplumbed space.”

Lovecraft himself wrote some extremely short fiction. "Memory," "What the Moon Brings," and "Ex Oblivione" are examples. Micro Fiction is a fun way to explore a genre or topic in a challenging way.

Can you write a complete story in this limited amount of space? By complete story, we mean a character, situation, beginning, middle, and end. Not a vignette, not a character study, but a story.

What do I get if I win?

  • The winning authors will be published in a book with the current year's Challenge From Beyond! Winning authors will receive 2 complimentary copies of the book.
  • The overall winner will be invited to participate in the 2024 Challenge From Beyond round robin story project with some of the finest modern Lovecraftian Authors! (Past authors include Molly Tanzer, Joseph Pulver, Sr., Wilum Pugmire, Nick Mamatas, Ross Lockhart, Cody Goodfellow, Pete Rawlik, Sylvia Moreno-Garcia, Gemma Files, Lee Zumpe, Selena Chambers, Nadia Bulkin, Angela Yuriko Smith, and Tim Pratt.) Participation is not mandatory if you win.
  • The overall winner, if planning to attend this year's H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, OR, will have an author reading slot reserved for them so they can read their story at the festival! (this is optional)

How to Submit

You can submit up to 5 entries by going to the contest entry page on ArkhamBazaar.com

Rules, Terms and Conditions

  • Stories must be 500 words or less. Entries of more than 500 words will be disqualified with no refund and will not be read. Please check your word count before submitting! Most word processing programs have a built in word counter. There are also web sites for this, like wordcounter.net
  • All entries must be English language.
  • Stories should not require any special formatting besides normal paragraph breaks. We're looking for content, not visual formatting.
  • All entries must be written by you. You may not submit another author’s work. Your original stories only, please.
  • Your entry must contain your legal name, your author name (if different), and story title.
     
  • FILE FORMAT should be a text file (.txt) or rich text format (.rtf)
  • Your file name should be "your name-MFC2024-#of entries". For example if you submit 2 stories, your file name should look like this: JaneDoe-MFC2024-2.rtf
  • Deadline for entries is AUGUST 9, 2024. Winning entries will be notified no later than SEPTEMBER 4, 2024
  • The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival® & CthulhuConTM reserves the right to publish the winning entries in a limited edition book with the current year's Challenge From Beyond, which may be sold to cover printing costs. All submissions may be used for promotional purposes. Authors of the top 10 entries will receive 2 complimentary copies of the book, for which shipping in the US is free, and outside the US may incur a small shipping fee. Additional copies will be available for purchase.
  • Overall winner will be invited to participate in the 2025 Challenge From Beyond round robin story project, which will take place in summer 2025.

Award Winners for the 28th Annual H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival

The 28th Annual H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival took place in person at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland, OR October 6-8th. Filmmaker Guest of Honor Rebekah McKendry (Glorious), Author Guest of Honor Clay McLeod Chapman (What Kind of Mother), and Special Guest screenwriter Dennis Paoli (Re-Animator, Suitable Flesh) joined us for the weekend! During the annual Awards presentation on Sunday evening 10/8, Award Statuettes were presented for these categories:

Best Feature Film went to Suitable Flesh, written by Dennis Paoli, directed by Joe Lynch, produced by Barbara Crampton, and starring Heather Graham, Judah Lewis, Jonathan Schaech, Bruce Davison, and Barbara Crampton. Adapted from H. P. Lovecraft's short story "The Thing on the Doorstep," this neo-noir, erotic body-swapping horror thriller is bloody, it's horny, and at times humorous, but it stays true to the spirit of the original story. The A-list cast gives their all, with some of them playing multiple characters as the Wizard Waite claims each of his victims's bodies.

The script, the gender flipped characters (at Joe Lynch's behest!), excellent performances, and careful balance between horror, gore, sex, and humor proved to be a winning combination! Suitable Flesh also went home with the Audience Choice award! 

Best Short Film went to "Whisper in the Static" directed by Heather Humpleman, written by Nathan Carter. A young woman hears a mysterious noise over the radio and pursues it with dangerous consequences. The premise, performances, direction, photography, editing, and sound design all coalesce in this short film to deliver an original and fresh take on cosmic horror.

Best Adaptation was awarded to Alain Fournier's adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft's "The Temple". Set in WWII, the crew of a German u-boat on a mission in the North Atlantic witness strange phenomena on board. After an inexplicable explosion in the engine room, the submarine slowly sinks to the abyssal depths, while madness decimates the submariners. This faithful adaptation of the story is brought to life with beautifully rendered CG animation, convincing voice acting, and stellar sound design.

We had five finalists in our annual Screenplay competition:

  • Cellar Door by Sean Buttimer - A band of squatters inhabit an abandoned house only to find that the very hungry former owner still occupies the cellar. 
  • Inherent Dread by Steven Jackley - Emily has an obsession with the rocker girl across the hall; after she becomes estranged from her druggy boyfriend, Emily steps in to help this new friend when she gets pricked with a used needle leaving her hand infected... and possessed.
  • The Drowned People by Thomas O'Malley - Fisherman Patrick Hennessey and his wife, Maggie, live an idyllic life with their two children in the remote New England fishing community of Folly Cove on isolated Great Saucauset Peninsula. On the eve of the town’s 400-year anniversary, a covenant their Pilgrim ancestors made with an ancient evil has come due.
  • Unspeakable: Beyond the Wall of Sleep by Chad Ferrin - A sequel to Chad Ferrin's Unspeakable combined with H. P. Lovecraft's "Beyond the Wall of Sleep."

WINNER Best Screenplay: The Secret Skin by Wendy N. Wagner. When struggling art teacher June Vogel returns to her family estate, she discovers her niece has uncanny powers and that the house she fled is haunted. But just as June begins to make peace with the place, her newly remarried brother and his bride cut short their honeymoon, turning the family -- and the house -- into turmoil. A classic Gothic horror is updated with Lovecraftian cosmic horror when June realizes just what it is that's haunting the house, and how her family's legacy plays into the horrific events that have blessed and cursed her lineage.

Lovecraft Under the Gun 72 Hour Film Contest

Each year, teams of filmmakers are challenged to make a Lovecraftian short film in just 3 days, including a required prop and line of dialogue. Each team had to use a sponge as a prop, and use the line of dialogue "Abomination of abominations." (from "The Thing on the Doorstep") Four teams completed this year's competition, and were screened at the festival, with the audience deciding the winning film. This year's winner was "Abomination" by team Trash People From The Bump. This monster kid inspired film utilized stop motion, live action, original songs (written and performed by Theoddra Monstar and Aunt Gore) and a real live turtle, winning the audience's hearts and the Award!

Lovecraftian Microfiction Contest Winners

The 2023 Lovecraftian Microfiction contest challenged authors to write a complete Lovecraftian story in 500 words or less. The 10 winners and 3 honorable mentions for this year's contest are:

  • OVERALL WINNER: Maxwell Marais - "The First Act" 
  • ​Khloe Rhodes - "Call of the Ram"
  • Bob Brinkman - "The Devourers Beneath"
  • Maria Huning - "Clarias"
  • Ish Galvan - "Rep"
  • Jillian Rae Young - "Burning Feather"
  • David Haas - "Dreams of a Mountain"
  • Gary Butterfield - "The Pale Green Shed"
  • Kristi Petersen Schoonover - "Independence"
  • Rick Hutchins - "Ambergris Morning"

Honorable Mentions:

  • Erik Gorka - "Going Home"
  • Felicia Martinez - "Where Go the Beloved Cats of Ulthar"
  • Brian Garbe - "Marty"

Congratulations to all of the winners!

Mark your calendars for the next H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, OR, October 4-6, 2024!

Submissions will be open soon on https://filmfreeway.com/HPLovecraftFilmFestival

Re-Animator and Suitable Flesh scribe Dennis Paoli joins H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, Oct 6-8

Dennis Paoli

Dennis Paoli, the screenwriter of landmark films based on the works of H. P. Lovecraft like Re-Animator, From Beyond, and Castle Freak, as well as horror classics like Ghoulies 2 and Body Snatchers, is joining us October 6-8 to present his newest film Suitable Flesh, based on H. P. Lovecraft's "The Thing on The Doorstep." In the wake of the Writer's Guild of America union strike, which saw new union contracts finally successfully negotiated after a heroic 148 days on the picket line, we're thrilled to host the writer of all of our favorite movies. Dennis worked hand in hand with director Stuart Gordon to bring Lovecraftian visions to life, and audience members who get to see Suitable Flesh will have serious resonator flashbacks to these classic works, largely due to Dennis's script, as well as the loving work of director Joe Lynch and producers Barbara Crampton (Dr. Catherine McMichaels in From Beyond) and Brian Yuzna (the Re-Animator series). This film is a serious homage to the erotic horror that many of us young Lovecraft fans in the 80s cut our teeth on. Dennis will be at the festival to introduce both screenings of Suitable Flesh (Friday, opening night, October 6th at 9pm, and the encore screening on Sunday, October 8th at 9:30pm), as well as a still to be announced classic Lovecraftian film. 

 

Get Exclusive perks in our HPLFF 2023 Portland, OR Kickstarter!

Our annual fundraising campaign is LIVE! Every year, this lets the community pledge to help the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival® take place in Portland, OR without the need for big corporate sponsors. It covers upfront expenses like theater rental, and the hundreds of myriad expenses from transportation to badge printing that go into putting on a show of this scale, hosted by two Lovecraftian horror fans and their horde of volunteers. Plus, pledging in the Kickstarter rewards you with exclusive merchandise and goodies like sculpture and art that have been made only to support this campaign by wonderful local creators.

The H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival takes place October 6-8, 2023 on all three screens of the beautiful and historic Hollywood Theatre. We also hosted the HPLFF in Providence, RI, August 18-20, and will be hosting a brand new event in Mobile, AL on November 3-5, followed by a separate streaming event December 2-3, 2023. We hope to see you there!

Pledge Now and support the festival (even if you can't come)!

SUITABLE FLESH premiering at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival

Suitable Flesh official poster

SUITABLE FLESH directed by Joe Lynch, adapted by Dennis Paoli (screenwriter of RE-ANIMATOR and FROM BEYOND) from Lovecraft’s story “The Thing on The Doorstep”, starring Barbara Crampton and Heather Graham, will be making it’s Providence, RI premiere at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival at the Columbus Theatre, August 18-20 (GET TICKETS HERE), and its Pacific Northwest premiere at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, OR on October 6-8, AND playing the new HPLFF in Mobile, AL on November 3-5! How’s that for a series of premieres for this NEW CLASSIC!

This film feels like an old-school Stuart Gordon film, due in large part to the screenplay by Dennis Paoli, but has a beautiful neo-noir atmosphere courtesy of director Joe Lynch and cinematographer David Matthews. Lovingly shepherded by producer Barbara Crampton (who starred in several of Stuart Gordon’s Lovecraft films), this is a love letter to Lovecraft fans who long for the kind of sexy horror most of us cut our teeth on. It takes Lovecraft’s story, flips the script so that Upton and Derby are women, and ratchets up the potential of the tale to erotic,  sinister, and frankly insane heights.

In the film, successful psychiatrist Elizabeth Derby (Heather Graham) has brutally murdered her young patient Asa Waite (Judah Lewis). Locked up in a psych ward, she recounts to her friend Dr. Daniella Upton (Barbara Crampton) an insane, obsessive tale of erotic attraction, out-of-body experiences, ancient curses, grisly deaths and unspeakable evil. The things Elizabeth has felt, seen and done have destroyed her marriage, ruined her reputation, left bodies in her wake, and led her to a ‘kill or be killed’ desperation. If Daniella doesn’t believe her now, more deaths will follow, and Elizabeth will be forever lost. But who would believe such a mind-bending story? And worse, if it is all true, who will be left to tell it?


Barbara Crampton as Dr. Upton comforts Heather Graham’s Elizabeth Derby in the psych ward.

Get Tickets to the Providence event, August 18-20th.

 

 

2023 Group Rate DoubleTree Lloyd Center Portland, OR - Book by Sept 6th

For 2023, The DoubleTree Portland has given us a courtesy rate of $149/night + tax for 1 Queen bed, or starting at $164/night + tax for 2 Queen beds. Located at 1000 NE Multnomah, near Lloyd Center, the DoubleTree is right on the MAX light rail and is one stop from the Hollywood district. There are a limited number of rooms available, and this hotel usually sells out. To take advantage of the discounted rate, please book by September 6, 2023.

To reserve online, CLICK HERE for the DoubleTree by Hilton group reservation page

HPLFF Returns October 6-8, 2023!

The 28th Annual H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival is October 6-8, 2023! Mark your calendar and then prepare for 3 days of the best new independent short and feature films in the cosmic horror genre, classic screen gems, special Guest speakers, author readings, panel discussions, art, live events, our world-famous Mall of Cthulhu, and an amazing community of fans! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more frequent updates (@hplfilmfestival on both).

2022 Award Winners!

The 27th Annual H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival took place at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland, OR October 7-9th. The festival's return to all 3 screens of the theater was well-attended by audience members, filmmakers, and literary guests! During the annual Awards presentation on Sunday evening 10/9, Award Statuettes were presented for these categories:

Best Feature Film was awarded to Freeze, written, directed, and produced by Charlie Steeds. This period piece features the crew of the HMS Innsmouth on a rescue mission in the Arctic. When their ship becomes icebound, they are overrun with Deep Ones and must test their luck in the snowy landscape. The audience loved this fast paced, ambitious adventure film! It has the right balance of action, sweeping frozen vistas, powerful performances, Lovecraftian horror, and some of the best fish monsters we've ever seen on screen! 

 

Best Short Film went to festival alumni Francesco Santoro for "At The Mountains of Madness," adapted from the H. P. Lovecraft novella. Notoriously difficult to adapt to screen, Santoro captures the overarching story in a very small space. Rather than being a fragment or vignette, his original script tells the complete story of the lost expedition, the Elder Things, and Shoggoths, with great character development and performances. The film closes with the final revelation of the origin of the human race in a highly impactful scene that drives home the madness and cosmic horror of Lovecraft's story.

Whistle and I'll Come to You, directed by Valentina Battorti, won Best Adaptation. Beautifully filmed as a lush period piece, Battorti captures the chilling atmosphere of the M R James story, culminating in a truly terrifying scene wherein Professor Parkins has a close encounter with the entity stalking him. From the set design, costumes, and the prop whistle, careful attention to details made this an immersive and effective film.

The highly coveted Audience Choice Award was won by "Tim Travers and the Time Traveler's Paradox" by Stimson Snead. This sci-fi comedy short straddles the line between cerebral and hilarious with a deft hand. Samuel Dunning plays all the iterations of Tim Travers with perfect comedic timing. Coupled with the smart story line that bends towards the cosmic, an absurd amount of violence, and snappy dialogue, it's a perfect storm of math and humor. Coming in a close second, was "Memento Mori," a beautiful and elegaic animated piece by Paul O'Flanagan.

There were four finalists in our annual Screenplay competition:

  • Floris by Ben Huffman and William Andrew Lewis - Oakmont Manor Nursing Home just admitted a new patient that will change the course of three young nurses lives forever. Based on true events.
  • Black Kiss Stigmata by Chad Michael Ward - When a violent drug addict’s lover goes missing, his hunt for her uncovers an ancient doomsday cult that traps him in a hallucinatory fever dream of madness and revelation.
  • Ms. Mary Madness by Craig Ouellette - A homeless mother is haunted by a Shadowbeast that devours people and puts their souls inside her mind. With each new soul, the voices in her head multiply. But is the Shadow real or is she going insane?
  • WINNER: The Cage by Paul Campion and Ted C Rypel - A customer and four employees held captive in a home electronics store must escape from a fanatic who intends on using them as human sacrifices to summon a monstrous evil entity from another dimension, hidden in the static of dormant TV channels.

Campion and Rypel put together a compelling bottle drama with perfect pacing, excellent visualization, realistic characters, good character development, and a fresh take on human sacrifice. The Cage wins Best Screenplay, but we truly hope to see all of these screenplays make it to the screen!

Lovecraft Under the Gun 72 Hour Film Contest

Each year, teams of filmmakers are challenged to make a Lovecraftian short film using a required prop and line of dialogue in just 72 hours. Each team had to use an Amulet as a prop, and use the line of dialogue "I will tell you only what you need to know." (from "Through the Gates of the Silver Key") Seven teams completed this year's competition, and were screened at the festival, with the audience deciding the winning film. This year's winner was "The Ecstasy at the End of the Sea" by team The Amelus. This Lovecraftian nightmare utilized a fantastical monster, haunting sound design, and impressive stop motion to edge out the runner up and last year's winner, team Trash People From The Dump.

Pickman's Apprentice

Being back on all 3 screens of the theater allowed us to bring back the Live Art competition, Pickman's Apprentice! Artists Liv Rainey-Smith, Nick Gucker, and Dave Correia competed for the title by drawing (in just 80 minutes) a depiction of "Ghouls Gone Wild" - a theme suggested by the audience members! This year's winner is Dave Correia! The original pieces were sold in Silent Auction with the proceeds going to AnimalAid PDX. 

Lovecraftian Microfiction Contest Winners

The Microfiction contest challenges authors to write a complete Lovecraftian story in 500 words or less. The 10 winners and 3 honorable mentions for this year's contest are:

  • OVERALL WINNER: Mack W. Mani "The Dweller in the Smoke"
  • Lisah Walden - "Mouth of the Faceless"
  • Russell Smeaton - "Eye See You"
  • Kristi Pertersen Schoonover - "Sea Legs"
  • Felicia Martinez - "Always and Forever"
  • Therese Walton - "The Siblings"
  • Maxwell Marais - "Proliferation"
  • James McRobert - "Floaters"
  • Selina Field - "Strange Treasure"
  • Yeshoshua Reyez - "Diaspora"
  • Aaron Besson - "But is it art?"
  • Bob Brinkman - "Amen"
  • Christiane Merritt - "The Restorer"

Congratulations to all of the winners!

Mark your calendars for the next H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, OR, October 6-8, 2023!

Submissions will be open soon on https://filmfreeway.com/HPLovecraftFilmFestival

Festival Passes and Single Day Tickets on Sale at the Hollywood Theatre

Full Festival Passes and single day tickets now available through the Hollywood Theatre website! You can also purchase in advance at their box office. The theatre is located at 4122 NE Sandy Blvd.

Get Tickets