Dark Matters 48-Hour Horror Film Challenge


The terror begins Friday, October 23rd @6pm

Live ZOOM premiere event will be hosted on Halloween, Saturday, October 31st at 6pm.

(The Dark Matters Premiere will be streamed LIVE on ZOOM for FREE. After the event, all films will he hosted on our Vimeo On-Demand page for two weeks. The films will be available online for a $10 ticket fee, and will be split 50/50 with teams at the end of the two weeks. Payments will be made via PayPal or check.)


- Rules and Regulations -


Terms and Conditions for participating at the 48-hour film challenge and screening at Side Street Studio Arts, aka “organizers of the Challenge.”

1. The Dark Matters Challenge Committee invites and selects the filmmakers as teams or individuals, to participate in the 48-hour film challenge after the submission deadline. Each team invited to be part of the official selection by the Committee will receive a Certificate of Participation.

2. Only films that meet the following criteria may be chosen for screening at the festival:

i) Films that have been produced onsite during the allocated 48 hours as specified by the festival organizers.  
ii) Films must fulfill all requirements as instructed by the festival administrators.

iii) ALL films must be UPLOADED and ready for viewing by *Sunday, October 25th at 7pm.

(*This allows us time to upload all the content to our Vimeo server.)

3. Teams will be given 3 Elements at the beginning of the Challenge that must be included in the film, i.e. "1 black hat, 1 keychain, and 1 garden rake." These elements must receive screen time. How that happens, is all up to you. (This list will be given to all filmmakers LIVE at our ZOOM launch FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23rd at 6pm.)

4. All non-English speaking films must be presented in their original version with English subtitles.

5. The Dark Matters Committee selects all members of the jury for competition and screening. Each jury member will vote by a secret ballot. No person having taken part in the production or promotion of a film in competition may be on the jury.

6. The jury is obliged to award for the Best Picture, 1st Runner Up, and 2nd Runner Up. Awards will be released directly after the last film has premiered. (Judges will have early access to all films.)


Horror Awards include:

Best Scream

Best Kill

Best Gore

Best Scare

Best Original Concept

Best Villain

Best Music

Best Acting

Best Script

Best Director

Best Lighting

Best Costumes

Best Set Design/Dressing

Best Director

7. All films to be submitted for the official selection must be delivered in person. Films delivered after the specified time will not be accepted.

8. All films must be submitted in digital file format. The festival will not be responsible and will reject or withdraw faulty files, and it is the duty of the participant to make sure the files are checked for quality of delivery.

9. The producer, confirms that all release agreements for the submission, including music rights, are in place and will take full responsibility for any matters arising from its broadcast.

10. All submitted films must carry the logos of Side Street Studio Arts, NFP in their credits. Said logo will be attached and sent via email.

11. The festival does not accept liability for any technical failures during production. However, in certain conditions, application for extension of time could be considered by the festival director, but he's a real prick so I wouldn't count on it.

12. Registration fees: The registration fee entitles the team to register and participate in the festival. This applies to the whole team and allows all members of the team to attend the screening of the films.

Registration Fee - $75/team by Wednesday, October 21st at 6pm.


All payments must be made online via the PayPal submission section via PayPal account or CC or DC. (No cash or checks.) The Challenge shall decline registering any application which does not include its fees.
The registration fees are non-refundable.

13. The Dark Matters 48-Hour Horror Film Challenge is organized by Side Street Studio Arts, NFP, and holds the right to refuse any individual and/or team of filmmakers access or acceptance to the Festival at any time.

14. SSSA has the power to settle all cases not covered by the present rules and regulations.

15. Participation in the Dark Matters 48-Hour Horror Film Challenge implies acceptance of all the aforementioned regulations and respect of submission and screening conditions. Furthermore, by completing the initial online submission form (you/ your company) agree to the Challenge’s terms of the release as follows;

  • [You / The Company] hereby grant(s) Side Street Studio Arts permission to screen the film during the Challenge Premiere Event, other associated promotional events, and use for marketing online. For the avoidance of doubt the location and timing of any screenings of the film shall be the sole decision of the organizers of the Film Challenge.

  • [You / The Company] [have / has] obtained signed release forms in relation to copyright and all other rights now known from all the cast, crew and any freelance contributors who were involved in the making of the film.

  • The film contains no material which is obscene, sexually gratuitous, libelous or defamatory, or contains any hate speech whatsoever.

  • [You / The Company] [have / has] obtained the appropriate copyright clearances for all music used in the film (if required).

  • [You / The Company] will be solely responsible for all costs resulting from the submission of the film to the Challenge including but not limited to any and all costs to submit to the online festival, postage or insurance of the film, transport costs of the film to and from the Festival and travel costs and expenses of your staff or any representatives of the film at a onsite/in-person festival. (2020 is a completely online festival.)

  • [You / The Company] will indemnify the organizers of the Challenge against all claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses (including legal fees), proceedings and losses resulting from the screening of the film at the Challenge or from claims by any third parties.

  • [You / A director of the Company] [have / has] read, understood and agree[s] to be fully bound by the Rules and Regulations Of the 220 Dark Matters 48-Hour Horror Film Challenge.

  • [You / The Company] understand[s] and agree[s] that any failure to follow and adhere to the Rules and Regulations 2020 of the Festival will result in the disqualification of the film.

  • [You / The Company] hereby give[s] the organizers of the Challenge a non exclusive license to use [your/ its] name, [photograph / logo], and likeness in connection with any and all publicity and promotional activities relating to the Festival, and its promotional activities and events.

  • [You / The Company] understand[s] that the Challenge is not obliged to return any physical copy of the film that [you / the company] submitted to the Challenge and confirm that [you / the company] [have / has] retained at least one other copy of the film. (2020 is a completely online festival, therefore no physical copies are needed.)

  • [You / The Company] understand[s] that the organizers of the Challenge accept no liability for the loss or non-receipt of the film, in physical form or digital.

  • [You / The Company] understand[s] that there are no fees [due to you / it] for screening the film at the Challenge or for any other matters arising from the submission of the film to the Challenge and accept that the organizers of the Challenge are therefore under no obligation to pay you any sum to any accepted filmmaker(s) other than the winning films.

  • [You / The Company] agree[s] to be bound by the decision of the judges of the Challenge whose decision will be final. [You / The Company] further understand[s] and agree[s] that the judges are not obliged to give any feedback to you regarding the film.

  • [You / The Company} confirm[s] and warrant [s]that [you are/it is] the author of the film and the sole and exclusive owner of all rights now known in the Film and [have /has] full and exclusive rights to submit the film to the Challenge. [You / The Company] further warrant [s] that the film is not under option, nor has it been purchased by any third party. [You / the Company] also warrant[s] that there is no current dispute as to the ownership of the film and that no rights or permissions are required from any third parties before the film can be screened at the Challenge.

  • [You / The Company / All Participating individuals must sign an artist liability waiver prior to the beginning of Challenge film production. 

Any questions?