Coronavirus and Hellfire Film Festival

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease continues to spread throughout the world we have made the decision to make this year’s Hellfire Short Film Awards a closed event and all other events have been postponed indefinitely.

Updated: March 26, 2020

What does this mean?

All Hellfire Film Festival events barring the Hellfire Short Film Awards have been postponed indefinitely. The Hellfire Short Film Awards will still go ahead but there will not be any public gathering for it.

All films submitted to the Hellfire Short Film Awards will be reviewed by the judges in their own homes via our submissions partner FilmFreeway. The judges will then decide by conference call who the winners will be. The trophies will then be awarded and mailed to the recipients.

Why are we doing this?

At the last Hellfire Short Film Festival audience members came from the length and breadth of the UK. We want to do our bit to help limit the spread of the disease after almost 100 confirmed cases in our county and nearly 10,000 in the UK as a whole. Our director, Gary Ingoldby-Spate, who still receiving treatment for a well documented illness – as such his immune system is almost non-existent, is in the high risk category if he becomes infected so he is now upon medical advice being “shielded” for twelve weeks, so we did not take this decision lightly.

While we are bitterly disappointed to make this decision we hope you understand the reasoning and we hope the situation improves soon.

Stay safe and adhere to all government advice.

New festival information

We are now launching a new festival geared specifically for those isolating at home during this COVID-19 outbreak. Called Hellfire@Home Festival we take a film festival direct to your living room.

Announcement: Hellfire HORRORfest

As you are no doubt aware the submissions deadline for the Hellfire HORRORfest came and went as did the date for the the event itself. Neither actually happened. Here’s why.

The co-founder/executive director and host of the event, Gary Ingoldby-Spate, has been quite seriously ill for several months and was due to undergo spleen removal surgery in October. However following further tests he was given an unwanted diagnosis weeks before he was due to have the surgery. Gary was diagnosed with a form of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. As such he is now undergoing a harsh treatment of immunotherapy and chemotherapy and is currently not in the best of health. He should improve in the coming months and fingers crossed will be in full remission soon. However as is the nature of cancer, treatment and results aren’t straight forward so until he has further tests in the next couple of months it would be foolhardy to make arrangements to rearrange the dates.

As such, all submitted films are still being considered but being completely honest due to Gary’s health and being the main selector of the films he hasn’t watched them all yet. He is slowly watching them when he has his good days and will hopefully get through them all in the coming weeks.

Once Gary receives positive test results the date for the event will be arranged.

We apologise for keeping this all quiet but as you can imagine it has been a very tough time for Gary and his family so in the interest of privacy we haven’t told you the whole story until today. Gary, his family and the whole Hellfire team thank you for your understanding and patience during this difficult time.


Postponed: Hellfire HORRORfest

It is with great regret that we have to announce the postponement of the Hellfire HORRORfest that was scheduled for 26th October 2019. Read more

Dare you take the challenge?

We are excited to announce there are just over two months until the very first Hellfire HORRORfest. Folkestone’s first major film festival takes place on Saturday 26th October 2019. Read more

Hell and Fire comes to Hellfire!

If you cast your mind back to the early days of Hellfire Film Festival our old strapline was “It’s not about hell, it’s not about fire, it’s all about film!” Not anymore! We’re delighted to bring you Hellfire HORRORfest. Read more

Thank you Cath & Andi

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Cath and Andi of Lime Bar Cafe for their amazing generosity in providing Hellfire Film Festival with a home for almost three years. Read more

Making Short Work of the Final

Twenty-two months, 3,300 submissions, 143 countries represented, 163 films screened and it all came down to one night. Welcome to the Hellfire Short Film Festival Grand Final. Read more

A laboured route to the Grand Final

In July 2016 the Hellfire Short Film Festival’s competition format began in earnest. However, the intention of hosting twelve qualifying rounds over the following twelve months didn’t quite go to plan. Read more

Season Two Submissions on Filmfreeway

Season Two Submissions Strong

The submissions process for the Hellfire Short Film Festival Season Two is open. While Season One may still be in the semi finals we thought “why not open the next season early?”. And the numbers are very encouraging!

Season Two of the Hellfire Short Film Festival is due to begin in Spring 2018 and it’s set to be bigger and better than ever. We have a lot of plans for 2018 including an expanded Hellfire Classics schedule and more Hellfire Specials.

Impressive Numbers

The number of submissions for the new season has already surpassed the Season One 12th Round with two months still to go until the deadline. Hopefully this trend will continue throughout the competition. The final submissions count for Season One is 3,183 coming from 143 countries spanning all four corners of the planet. 163 short films took part in the competition and the combined budget (of all of the submitted films where the budget was given) surpasses £4.9million.

FilmFreewayFor Season Two we have reduced the submissions fee and all submissions are made exclusively through our partners FilmFreeway.

Season Two

Season Two’s format will remain the same. Each film selected to be screened in each qualifying round will be voted on by the audience. There will be twelve rounds of 8-10 short films with the highest scoring film in each round going straight through to the final. Two runners up in each round will go into three semi finals for a second chance to make the final. The final round will be a full day event and the winners presented with the coveted Hellfire Short Film Festival trophies.

Next Event

We will now be taking a break from the competition due to the festive period but we’re not going anywhere. There may not be any films to vote for in December however we certainly will be celebrating with our second Christmas Special called “Ho Ho Hellfire 2“. This event takes place on December 27th at the usual venue the Lime Bar Cafe, Folkestone. Maybe you’d like to join us for some festive fun?

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