Dark Nights Film Fest Is Unleashed and Calls for Entries!

February 20, 2024

Written by Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry is the Film Festival Editor for Horror Fuel; all film festival related queries and announcements should be sent to him at josephperry@gmail.com. He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.

Bryn Tilly, who ran Australia’s A Night of Horror Film Festival for four years, has announced a new fright-fare fest for that country: Dark Nights Film Fest. The inaugural edition is scheduled for October of this year, and the call for entries is now open. Following is the official press announcement.

Get ready to embrace a spine-chilling, heart-pounding experience as former director and programmer of the renowned A Night of Horror International Film Festival brings you an exhilarating new venture – Dark Nights Film Fest – set to haunt Ritz Cinemas in Sydney this coming October.

With many years of festival programming experience under his belt, Dark Nights’ founder, Bryn Tilly, announces the festival’s inaugural Call for Entries and invites horror and dark genre filmmakers, screenwriters, and thrill-seekers to join this essential new journey. 

Tilly helmed and successfully navigated Sydney’s film festival A Night of Horror through the wilderness of a global pandemic and beyond, and promises to elevate frightful festivities with an unparalleled selection of cutting-edge horror and dark genre films in this exciting new event.

“Dark Nights Film Fest is not your average film festival filled with movies plucked from other festivals that have an imminent theatrical release already lined up,” says Tilly, “Dark Nights champions the awesome new blood that might otherwise get lost in the wilderness. A ritualistic celebration of the best new independent films from the more tenebrous corners of cinema.”

Tilly will craft Dark Nights Film Fest to be the ultimate playground for dark genre enthusiasts, showcasing a carefully curated selection of features and short films, much of it from cold submissions, from emerging and established Australian and international filmmakers, promising a provocative, memorable experience for all involved.

Tilly elaborates, “I want audiences to immerse themselves in an atmosphere that redefines and pushes the boundaries and leads them into new, unknown or lesser-known territory. Not just visceral horror, but also psychological thriller, dark fantasy, cosmic dread, neo-noir, that kind of thing. Dark Nights will spread its tendrils deep and wide.”

Filmmakers can check out submission criteria via the Dark Nights Film Fest website (darknightsfilmfest.com), or head straight to the festival’s FilmFreeway submission page for full details (filmfreeway.com/darknightsfilmfest)

Dark Nights Film Fest – Call for Entries deadlines:

Earlybird: May 26

Regular: June 23

Late: July 21

Dark Nights Film Fest will unfold its nightmarish tapestry at Ritz Cinemas, Randwick, Sydney, October 11 – 13, with the iconic venue becoming a sinister sanctuary for likeminded enthusiasts and filmmakers, the perfect platform to discuss films and filmmaking plans.

Dark Nights Film Fest awaits, and the shadows are hungry for your screams. Don’t miss your chance to be part of an awesome new event experience – as audience member, as filmmaker, as unproduced screenwriter, maybe them all – that will haunt your dreams for many dark nights to come.

Catch the fever and follow Dark Nights Film Fest on social media. Join the conversation using the hashtag #DarkNightsFilmFest and connect with fellow horror enthusiasts.



Keep your eyes peeled for the festival’s jury and patrons announcement in coming weeks, and inaugural program reveal in September, as part of the festival’s soft underbelly launch, and join the bravest souls who dare to step into the shared darkness.

Bryn Tilly is no stranger to the world of dark genre cinema. A horrorphile since the days of pre-cert VHS, with fond memories of working on Peter Jackson’s cult classic BRAINDEAD, he’s been a film critic for thirty years, an occasional filmmaker, and ran Australia’s original, longest-running genre festival, A Night of Horror, for four years. 

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