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Paranormal Pandemic! Announcing the “2nd Wave” of The Outbreak Breakout Short Film Contest!

We’re still reeling from the tremendous response to our first Outbreak Breakout Short Film Contest (the winners were recently announced, HERE). Since most of us will still be enduring another few more weeks of self-quarantine and social distancing, holding another contest was a no-brainer for us. That’s why, today, we’re announcing a “Second Wave”. It’s time for a “Paranormal Pandemic”!

While participants in our first contest were asked to make a pandemic-themed horror short, this time, we’re narrowing our focus. Now, we’re asking for filmmakers and enthusiasts to deliver a genre mash-up, one that blends traditional “outbreak” tropes with the supernatural!

We want to see quarantine-themed shorts that also include something otherworldly: Ghosts, monsters, aliens—even Bigfoot! The only limitation is your imagination. We’re also loosening some previous constraints: While we will continue to stress responsible filmmaking through social distancing, participants can use whatever technologies are at their disposal. We’re also increasing the time limit to three-minutes!

The deadline for submission is Monday, May 11th!

The Grand Prize Winner will take home a $500 cash prize; Second Place will get $200 in Dread store merchandise and Third Place will get $100 in Dread store merchandise.

But that’s not all. We’ll share your film with everyone here and on Dread Central’s YouTube channel. And… Your film will also be reviewed as a proof of concept for a potential feature film produced by Dread! No guarantees on your short getting made, but it’s got a chance!

Send your film to with “OUTBREAK BREAKOUT: 2ND WAVE” in the Subject line.

You must agree to the terms below:

1. Film Length, Content, Format & Type: Film entries shall not exceed 3 minutes running time including credits (credits not to exceed 5% of the total running time). The submission must suitable (nothing more than a “hard R” rating) for Dread Central’s audience. Submissions must be sent in MP4 format (or via unlisted/sharable Vimeo or YouTube links).

2. Eligibility: The competition is open to filmmakers worldwide.  Submissions must be received no later than 5pm PST on Monday, May 11th.

3. Prizes: The Winners shall be announced by May 22nd, 2020.

4. Releases and Copyright: Original, non-copyrighted material.  Each filmmaker must guarantee that no copyrighted material was used for the creation of their short.

5. Judging: The panel of judges will be comprised of Dread Central staff. Judges’ decisions will be final.

6. Deadline: All submissions must be submitted by end of business, May 11th, 2020.

7. Dread will be granted the exclusive first right to develop your short into a feature if it wins a top 3 prize.

We want to make one thing very clear: This is NOT an invitation to ignore self-isolation and social distancing. We do NOT want you to go out and film empty streets, mingle with your actor friends, or purchase supplies. We want you to embrace the “Quarantine” spirit of this contest by using only what’s already at your disposal. Entries that appear to ignore these guidelines will be disqualified.

Have at it, Dread Central fans! Show us what you got!

Written by Josh Millican

Josh Millican is the Editor in Chief at Dread Central.

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