Thank you for your interest in submitting your project to the very FIRST American High Film Festival. The AHFF is the first-ever high-school-only film festival. American High was founded in 2017 by Jeremy Garelick (The Wedding Ringer, The Hangover, The Break-Up, The Binge…) . American High is a full-service production company that specializes in heartfelt teen comedies.

The AHFF was founded under the same belief as American High’s mission: to create the next generation of iconic high-school films. Why high school? Simple. Because it is one of the only shared experiences that we all go through. It’s where every challenge feels like life and death, where every victory is your greatest accomplishment. It’s a world of firsts. It’s where you first snuck out of your house and were grounded for a week, where you first learned how to drive and crashed into a lake, where you had your first kiss. The first time you touched a boob or someone touched yours. Where you discover who your friends are, the music you love, the movies you love, what your style is, who you are.

In 2017, filmmakers began flocking to Syracuse, NY to join us on our mission to spread laughter and make timeless high-school comedies. In our first year of production, we completed five films, with one of them—BIG TIME ADOLESCENCE, starring Griffin Gluck and Pete Davidson—premiering at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and being acquired by Hulu.

Since then, we have produced over 10 high-school comedies. 8 of them were directorial debuts, as we strongly believe in giving opportunities to first-time filmmakers. Summer 2022 will mark American High’s first Film Festival. AHFF was founded under the same belief as American High: focusing on high-school comedies and discovering new voices. Our goal is to nurture and support emerging and established filmmakers, share their creative voices, and promote diversity, community outreach, and educational opportunities in the Central New York area.

The American High Film Festival consists of comedian stand-up routines, an industry-veteran panel, screenings in American High’s very own legendary high school, and parties that you thought only existed in movies…

The American High Film Festival awards consist of
•Best Narrative Feature
•Best Narrative Short
•Best Student Short
•Best First Time Director - Narrative Feature
•Best First Time Director - Narrative Short
•Best Screenplay - Narrative Feature
•Best Screenplay - Narrative Short
•Audience's Favorite

• Only high-school-comedy/dramedy/horror shorts and/or feature-length entries are accepted.

• AHFF focuses on stories told through the lens of a high-school character or characters;

• Filmmakers of all ages are welcome to submit.

• Films should be submitted through FilmFreeway only.

• All entries will be kept by the American High Film Festival.

• By submitting your project, you acknowledge that you have read and agreed to all of the following rules and terms and that you authorize the American High Film Festival to exhibit your film in any and all American High Film Festivals.


As writers and filmmakers ourselves, when we prepare to watch a submission, we understand that we’re not just watching a film – we’re witnessing the culmination of intense collaboration, planning, and work, as well as appreciating the combined efforts of a passionate cast and crew.

American High Film Festival considers every festival submission with a careful and equal eye. Our judges’ panel is composed of experienced, knowledgeable, and trusted industry veterans who we know will fairly and perceptively assess all entries. Multiple committee members view each movie and their notes are heavily weighed when finalizing our shortlist of films. Our screening process is important to us because your work is important to us.


• Short films that are publicly available online prior to the Festival may be considered for exhibition during the Festival, but will be ineligible for Jury Awards.

• Short films should run no longer than 35 minutes.

• Feature films are expected to run 60 minutes minimum.

• AHFF’s categories are Narrative Short, Narrative Student Short and Narrative Feature, all within the comedy/Dramedy/Horror genres.

• AHFF reserves the right in its sole discretion to reject or disqualify any ineligible entries, without a refund.

• Films that are selected to screen at the Festival may not necessarily be selected to be “in competition” for awards purposes. Notifications regarding potential selection for competition status possibly may occur subsequent to notifications of acceptance for exhibition.

• Films must be the original work of the applicants. If a film is based upon another person’s life or upon a book or other underlying work, applicant(s) must secure any necessary rights to make such adaptations. However, it is not necessary to submit the adaptation rights agreements to the Festival. Neither the Festival nor its jurists investigates or attests to the authenticity of an applicant’s statement of authorship or rights secured. By entering the competition, you represent that you have secured all necessary rights.

• Applicants are solely responsible for obtaining all necessary rights and permissions for third-party materials included in their films, including but not limited to music, trademarks, logos, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights. AHFF expressly disclaims all liability or responsibility for any violations of the foregoing.

• Participants must disclose any/all viewer discretion (nudity, crude humor, drugs, violence, etc.).

• All foreign-language films must be submitted with English subtitles. If we discover a foreign-language submission is missing subtitles, we will attempt to email the submitter for an update. If the submitter fails to provide working subtitles by the final submission deadline, the project will be considered incomplete and will be disqualified without refund of submission fees.

• Once an entry payment has been received we cannot provide a refund. If a payment is disputed by an entrant for any reason, the entrant may be subject to any transaction fees or similar amounts incurred by AHFF in connection with the dispute.

• Please include in your submission if your film was SHOT IN SYRACUSE (include locations) or made by CNY FILMMAKERS. We don’t want to miss your film.

• AHFF has no obligation to disclose any of the following information: i) identities of screeners or judges; ii) notes, feedback, or information relating to the submitted project; and/or iii) details regarding the submission review or selection process.

• AHFF explicitly disclaims any liability or responsibility for any comments, notes, or opinions expressed about a submission, whether by AHFF or by its volunteers.

• AHFF reserves the right to adjust the film’s loudness if submission fails to meet ITU broadcast standards.

• Participants will get notified if they got accepted or rejected by June 15th, 2022.

• Accepted films will receive an invitation letter by email. Films that are not accepted to screen will also be notified by email by the notification deadline.

• The American High Film Festival will take place from August 19th to August 21st.

• Winners will be announced on August 21st, 2022. The judges’ decision is final.

• The Jury will consist of Industry professionals, announced in advance of the festival.

Something isn't clear? The AHFF Department is happy to help!