2020 Halloween-O-Thon

Thriller & Horror Film Competition

Write, shoot and edit a five-minute thriller or horror short film for the Halloween-o-thon Film Competition. Then invite your friends, family and random strangers to the impressive Black Family Arts Center’s Loew Auditorium to see your film premiere on the “BIG SCREEN,” and possibly win awards and lavish praise

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Amateur and pro filmmakers alike are invited to participate in this competition. Films entries will be judged in these three categories:

  1. Middle School
  2. High School
  3. Adult



  • Friday, July 10th – Online Registration OpensMonday, October 5th, 4:45 pm – Registration Close Date
  • Tuesday, October 13th, 6:30 pm – Films are due delivered to CATV Studio or
  • Tuesday, October 13th, 11:59 pm – Films are due by Dropbox to CATV email (info@catv8.org)
  • TBD  7:30 pm – Middle & High School Film Premiere & Award Ceremony
  • TBD 7:30 pm  – Adult Film Premiere & Award Ceremony


Register online or in-person at the CATV office, 85 N. Main Street, White River Junction, VT by Monday, October 5th. 
Registration fee is $25 per team, payable by check, cash or credit card.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: He who registers early is a happy filmmaker. Number of entrants is limited, so it is recommended to register early.


We’re trying something new–no kick-off event this year. Once you have read these instructions, if you still have any questions, please feel free to call CATV at 802.295.6688 or email the office at info@catv8.org. Remember that October 5th is the last moment for slow pokes to register their team in the competition.


All films must abide by the following:
1. Final film duration limit (five minutes). Film duration starts at the first image or sound of the film.

2. Include the all-important creative prompt as follows: “Dead on Arrival”

3. Cast and crew of your production must be volunteers.

4. Keep it legal, part 1: Entries must be original work of the team and must NOT infringe on other’s work. Copyrighted music is not allowed unless you have approval from the rights owner. Proof of written permission must be shared with final film submission.

5. Keep it legal, part 2: Films may not contain defamatory statements about any person, company, organization or entity; may not invade privacy or other rights of any person, company or entity; may not violate applicable laws & regulations. Be good.

6. Keep it legal, part 3: Talent release forms are the responsibility of team leader and must be available upon request.

7. Note that all submissions will air on CATV television and will be uploaded to our various media libraries (video on-demand, social media platforms, etc). So make sure you have the rights to use all the creative in your film.

8. Keep it PG: This is where it gets tough. We challenge you to make a really good movie that is scary without obscene, indecent, gory, or drug-using content.

9. The final movie you submit must follow the final film submission guidelines (noted below) in size, format and titling.

10. Final film must begin with five seconds of full-screen black, followed by a title card that states:
2020 CATV & HOP Halloween-o-thon
(Name of your film)
(Team name)

Whew! You made it through the rules without glazing over. Bravo!


Deadline for final films is Tuesday, October 13th by 6:30 pm if hand delivering to the CATV studio, OR by 11:59 pm if submitting through Dropbox. Submit your final project in QuickTime file format (.mov) or .mp4 on a thumb drive in person or electronically via a video sharing system such as Google Drive or Dropbox. Send video to info@catv8.org. The movie file resolution and format must be HD 1920 x 1080. Digital file name must read Your_Film_Name_2020Halloween.mov


Our illustrious judges will award 45 points to Artistic Merit, 30 points to Technical Merit and 25 pts to Adherence to the Assignment.
Judging Rubric (100 points total)

45 points – Artistic Merit
15 points – Content/Plot
Excellent, seamless structure to communicate the story to an uninitiated audience. The message/intent of the film was clear on the first viewing. Excellent dialogue; distinctive and compelling characters
15 points – Creativity
The production displayed independent thought and imagination. The style and concept was novel and distinct
15 points – Entertainment
Excellent overall impression, enjoyment factor, and replay value

30 points – Technical Merit
10 points – Sound/Audio
Audio levels were consistent; clear sound with an absence of distracting noises (buzzes, hums, hisses, etc.). The music selection complemented the story
10 points – Editing
The transitions were seamless and smooth, complementing the continuity of the story
10 points – Cinematography
The film was visually stunning. Lighting, camera movement, angles, and shot selection were excellent.
25 points – Adherence to the Assignment
The team adhered to the competition rules, and the prompt was incorporated creatively to tell/contribute to the story



SAVE THE DATES: Waiting for the Hopkins Center to give us premiere date(s) & time(s). The film premiere is
followed by an award ceremony. Premieres are at the Loew Auditorium in the Black Family Visual Arts Center adjacent to the Hopkins Center in Hanover, NH. Oooooo the BIG SCREEN. Come in Halloween attire if the mood strikes you! Specifics to follow.

Yes, there are awards—woohoo!!! And the rumors are correct, both moola and fun awards will be given at the Premiere. Hot dang!

If you have any burning questions, don’t hesitate to call the alacritous CATV crew at 802.295.6688.

CATV: CATV is a non-profit public access media center in White River Junction, VT that has reach into NH. We are a communication conduit that fosters community connectedness. We help community members harness and apply the power of media so they can examine their diverse perspectives. CATV rocks!

The HOP: This collaboration with the Hopkins Center is part of the HOP’s Community Venture Initiative (CVI), which provides new opportunities for Upper Valley residents of all ages to create, access and explore the arts. CVI builds the Hop’s commitment over its 50-year history, to community-oriented programs involving a strong network of local organizational partners like CATV.