Plastic Kills! Horror Short Film Contest

Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S) and Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) are now accepting submissions for “PLASTIC KILLS!”—a horror short film competition designed to highlight the terrors of plastic pollution and its toxic effects on our bodies, our children, our pets, and our planet.

Mutilated bodies! Melted brains! When it comes to killers, no one and nothing is quite as demented, as twisted, as prolific as…PLASTIC! Eat your heart out, Freddy Krueger. (But be warned: there’s probably plastic in it.)

Plastic pollution and microplastics haunt every aspect of life on earth. Plastics have been found in the stomachs of whales, fish, and birds. Microplastics have been found in human blood, hearts, lung tissue, placentas, and even breast milk. Plastic pollution has unfortunately become a permanent part of beaches and shorelines, with more washing up daily, like ghosts hauntingly reminding us of industries’ out-of-control plastic production. The plastic pollution horrors persist, but if we collectively work to highlight these issues, we can Flip the Script on Plastics and work towards a plastic-free future.

How It Works

Tell whatever story you want in a short 1-3 minute horror film. The tone can be straight horror, comedic horror, thriller, or suspense; just remember, we’re dealing with a killer here.

There is no entry fee. The deadline for submissions is Friday, October 13, 2023. The winning film will be awarded $2,000. HH&S and PPC will announce the winner on Halloween, October 31, 2023. 


Rules and Guidelines

The short film must highlight the horrors and/or toxic effects of plastic and plastic pollution in a creative way.

• All submissions must pass The Begley-Cohen Test, meaning:

(1) No single-use plastics appear on screen (i.e., the film/show is set in a time with no plastic, or plastics are replaced with refillable, reusable, or package-free options), or…

(2) If a single-use plastic item appears on screen, it is portrayed or discussed as problematic.

Horror or horror-adjacent genres only: The tone should be fitting for Halloween. 

1–3 minutes total run time.

• Films must be submitted in .mp4 files.

Original, scripted material only. Documentaries, “unscripted” content, montages, reels, or trailers will not be accepted.

• Films must be in English or subtitled in English.


• Entrants must submit the following materials through the online submission form

▫ .mp4 file of film completed and available for online viewing by the time the contest period ends.

▫ One sentence logline for the film.


Grand Prize Winner receives:

• Cash prize of $2,000

• Special invitation to the Hollywood, Health & Society Sentinel Awards in Los Angeles, California

• Special invitation to a Plastic Pollution Coalition VIP event in Los Angeles, California, in May 2024

• Film screening during the annual Hollywood, Health & Society Sentinel Awards, attended by press and entertainment industry professionals

Top Five Finalists Receive:

• Plastic Pollution Coalition plastic-free swag bag

• Promotion and shares across Plastic Pollution Coalition and Hollywood, Health & Society newsletters, pages, and social channels

Judging Panel

Jack Bender – Producer and Director: Lost, Child’s Play 3, From

Ian Brennan – Executive Producer: Dahmer, The Watcher, Scream Queens 

Alan DiFiore – Co-Executive Producer: Grimm, The Expanse

Esteban Gast – Comedian, recently named as one of Grist’s 50 Fixers

Paul Grellong – Executive Producer and Writer: The Boys, Revolution, Hawaii Five-O

John Herrera – Writer and Producer: Handmaid’s Tale, The Purge

Liv Hewson – Actor: Yellowjackets, Santa Clarita Diet, Under My Skin

Peyton List – Actor: School Spirits, Cobra Kai, Light as a Feather

Jill Mazursky – Producer and Writer: Exposure, Gone Fishin’, Golf Punks

Jonathan Penner – Writer and Actor: The Bye Bye Man, Let the Devil Wear Black, Horror Cinema

Paula Poundstone – Comedian and Author: Home Movies, Inside Out, Hyperspace

Sean Reycraft – Co-Executive Producer and Writer: Mayfair Witches, Coroner, Killjoys, Vampire Diaries

Paul Robinson – Mixed media, photography based artist 

Sarah Yarkin – Actor: School Spirits, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Happy Death Day 2 U



Learn More & Get Involved

Learn more about Flip the Script on Plastics, including additional resources and latest news on how we’re helping Hollywood eliminate single-use plastics from sets and storylines. To get involved with our initiative, contact


One response to “Plastic Kills! Horror Short Film Contest”

  1. Dianna Cohen says:

    Very excited for this playful and fun short scripted film contest. The deadline for submissions is October 9th, so knock yourself out and let’s reveal the creativity looming out there and explore what plastic does in the shadows…..

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