For more information about the Magic of Horror, please contact festival directors Lowrie Fawley and Shiva Rodriguez at


The next Magic of Horror festival will take place on November 5, 2023 at the Airfield Conference Center in Wakefield, VA.


Being film-makers themselves, Lowrie and Shiva have participated in over fifty different festivals and decided to start the Magic of Horror as a way to spotlight independent genre films that often don't get much attention at big events.



The Magic of Horror started as an online screenwriting contest in 2016 and grew into a live festival event by 2018.  They now have regular competitions for film, screenwriting, film trailers, and movie poster art.

The festival takes place every year in November in Virginia.

When the COVID-19 pandemic made a live event impossible in 2020, the Magic of Horror gave their Finalists an online awards presentation and then dedicated the first day of the 2021 festival to all of the 2020 films and screenwriters.

Since the Magic of Horror features films from all around the world, the online awards show became a regular event for those who could not attend the live festival.  This video is premiered on the MOH YouTube Channel every year at the same time as the awards ceremony at the live event.

MOH generally screens between 25-30 films and several trailers each year.  Most are short films under 40 minutes long, but in 2021 the festival began screening a limited number of feature films as well.

Attending film-makers are encouraged to mingle and the festival makes sure that there are plenty of intermissions for this. Film-makers are also invited to the stage after their film plays for a Q&A session with the audience.

MOH also holds a "Script Talk" session for attending Screenwriter Finalists to tell the audience about their stories. 

Not without a fun side, MOH regularly holds special contests. The most popular was in 2019 when they held a "Give Us Your Worst" film contest that the winning filmmaker talked to the audience about how to avoid the mistakes that he made.  In 2023 the contest is being held once again.

MOH Award Winners receive skeletal trophies at the end of the festival, followed by photos on the red carpet. The festival mails these trophies out to the winners who are unable to attend the live event.

Official Selections of MOH are promoted on their website and social media for years. The festival directors routinely check with past participants for updates and make announcements on social media if a film has become available to the public.

MOH is open for submissions most of the year. All submissions receive feedback from the jury regardless of if they are accepted into the festival or not.  The members of the jury are kept anonymous because many of them do actively work in the industry.  The festival directors themselves rarely see a film until after the jury has evaluated it.

In the future, MOH plans to expand by adding a second festival outside of Virginia.

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