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A celebration of outstanding genre cinema in the historic cradle of the American supernatural.





Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival (SHIFF) celebrates outstanding genre cinema in the historic cradle of the American supernatural. And what a celebration it will be as 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of Washington Irving’s story, the 70th anniversary of Disney’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and the 20th anniversary of Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow

Open to all Sleepy Hollow High School, Middle School and Elementary students from grades 1 through 12, the 2019 SHIFF Student Filmmakers Competition is primed to have the next generation of Hudson Valley storytellers tap into the unknown by creating their own short film, the winner of which will be showcased at a special screening at the Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival. Students of Irvington and Ossining are also invited to participate.

Be sure to mark your calendars to attend the Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival from October 10-13, 2019!


The competition is open to all Sleepy Hollow students from grades 1 through 12, and are due by midnight, September 6, 2019. Students will be judged in three separate categories—high school, middle school and elementary—allowing for winners in each, all which will be shown at the festival. A grand festival winner will be chosen among the winners. There is no cost for submission. Students under 18 will need permission from a parent or guardian to submit their film.


Participation in the competition constitutes entrants’ full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of the rules and the decisions of SHIFF, which are final and binding. Winning a prize shall be contingent upon complying with the rules and fulfilling competition requirements of film submission. SHIFF reserves the right to disqualify any entrant who fails to comply with all official rules.

Topic Categories
Films can be of any genre—horror, comedy, drama, etc.—but the submission must in some way touch on the unknown, supernatural, sci-fi or the fantastic, and be connected to the historic Hudson Valley.

Film length
Entrants may submit a film of 2 to 11 minutes. SHIFF will accept and consider short animated films. The minimum length for animated submissions is 1 minute.

Film performances
Participants performing in the film submissions must be comprised of 50% or more of Sleepy Hollow residents.

The main Competition winner will receive the Legend in the Making Award, receive a $250 cash prize, and have his or her film screened at the Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival’s main venue, the historic Tarrytown Music Hall sometime during Oct 12 or 13, 2019. If students choose to submit an entry together, only one prize will be awarded to the group as a whole if selected as winner.

Judging criteria
Judges will check to adherence to these submission rules, including compliance with film length, topic, etc. Films will be judged by the SHIFF board and local participants based upon quality and content of the film and its ability to uphold the artistic inspiration and achievement set in place by Washington Irving and his immortal classic.


All submissions for the 2019 film festival must be submitted and received by Sept. 6, 2019. Entries submitted after this time will not be considered


There is a limit of one (1) entry per person or per group. Any additional entries will be void. All film submissions must be posted on either or privately on YouTube and the respective links/passwords sent via e-mail to

All entries become the property of SHIFF and entrants agree that the winning entry can be used for future events held by SHIFF and on SHIFF’s website.

To submit:
Post your film on and password protect it, or post your film privately on YouTube.

Send your video Vimeo link and its viewing password, or send your private YouTube link, to

The subject heading of your e-mail submission to SHIFF should read: SHIFF STUDENT SUBMISSION

Along with the Vimeo link/password, or the private YouTube link, you need to include the following information in the body of your e-mail:

Your Name
Your Age, Grade and School
Short Film Category (High School, Middle School or Elementary)
The Title of your short film

Film Delivery Formats
If your short is selected for the festival, you must provide the festival with at least a 1080p HD resolution file and back up Blu-Ray. (We will contact you about delivery requirements and instructions if your short is selected)

Intellectual property
Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, including literary and artistic works, designs and symbols, and names and images used in commerce. By entering this competition, all entrants agree that their submission is their own original work, does not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of others, and complies with all copyright laws.

Fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. Students should consider original work in preference over using copyrighted music, video or images.


During the week of September 23rd, 2019, SHIFF will contact the potential winners after judgment of all eligible entries. Judges will consist of local participants and members of the SHIFF board. SHIFF will attempt to notify the winners via telephone or email. If the winner cannot be contacted within five (5) days after the date of the first attempt to contact, SHIFF may choose to award the next runner-up in place of the originally selected winner.


SHIFF reserves the right to disqualify any entrant that it finds to not be in compliance with or in violation of the competition rules.

In submitting a film and signing the application form, all entrants agree to these terms and conditions of the contest and that SHIFF is not liable for any unauthorized or inappropriate sharing of films. Note that violence, profanity or direct attacks on individuals or organizations will not be accepted. All films must adhere to copyright laws.

Any film utilizing copyrighted material that is not the creation or property of the entrant will not be considered.


By voluntarily participating in the competition, entrants agree to release and hold SHIFF harmless from and against any claim or cause of action arising out of the entrant’s participation in the competition including but not limited to intellectual property disputes (where entrant agrees that their submission is their own intellectual property), cancellation of the competition, or injury, death or losses of any kind from entrant freely participating in competition. Entrant waives any right to claim any damages whatsoever, including but not limited to consequential, punitive, direct or indirect damages.

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