Rules & Terms

Digital entries can be submitted through

You will need to register an account on FilmFreeway to submit your film.  There is no cost for this account; it only requires an email address.

You will then be directed to fill out information about your film (title, credits, length, etc.). If you don’t know how to answer a section, or it doesn’t apply to you, it’s ok to leave that blank.  If we have questions, we’ll contact you.  The most important part to fill out is the section called “Submitter Information”.

After you complete the Project information page, you will be asked to upload your film.  An alternative would be to share a YouTube or Vimeo link for your movie.

You can also submit poster images, headshots, and more, but none of that is required for our festival.  Once it’s complete, you can submit your film to any of the festivals listed on FilmFreeway!  Search McHenry Fall Film Festival or click the link listed above to make sure you submit your film to the McHenry Fall Film Festival.

Make sure you submit your completed film by the deadlines listed below.  That’s it!  Happy filming!

Information coming soon.

  • Any genre is acceptable
  • Finished film must be between 5 and 10 minutes, excluding credits, which may be up to 1 minute in length.
  • Filmmakers must be the copyright holder of any elements used, including but not limited to music, sound/special effects, and footage, unless public domain elements are used and credited accordingly.
  • There must be at least one scene recognizably filmed in the McHenry area. (We will work with filmmakers to secure shooting locations.)
  • Film must be in English or have English subtitles.
  • Filmmakers will receive reimbursement up to $250 for props, costumes, catering, set design or accommodation expenses incurred for filming if purchased at a McHenry Area Chamber member business.
  • Filmmakers do not have to be present to win an award; however, we will have a Q and A session during the screening  that all filmmakers are encouraged to attend.

Short Film Competition films may be rated R or below. (Please keep in mind that this is a community event.)

  • Films must not contain excessive violence or gore.
  • Films may contain profanity, but nothing egregious or derogatory.
  • No glorification of violence or lewd behavior.

Failure to abide by the rules stated above will disqualify you from the competition.  Ineligibility due to content is at the sole discretion of the McHenry Fall Film Festival committeeIf you have concerns, you may contact Molly at the McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce for guidance on acceptable content.