The Highlands Film Festival, in partners with Western Carolina University is celebrating and experience the era of films and Cinema in the gorgeous mountains of Georgia and North Carolina. The Festival is promoting the tourism of Northeast Gerogia area as well as beauty of mountain towns of Highlands, Cashiers, Dillard, Cherokee, Sylva, Asheville, Waynesville and Brevard. The area is located on Blue-ridge Mountains, a physio-graphic province of the larger Appalachian Mountains range. The mountain range is located in the eastern United States, and extends 550 miles southwest from southern Pennsylvania through Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. Winter, summer, spring and fall, Georgia’s Blue Ridge is simply beautiful. Winter is cool and quiet with occasional snow. Spring is best for trout fishing, wildflowers, blooming dogwoods and native azaleas. Summer brings a profusion of mountain laurel and rhododendron blossoms, along with warmer water for tubing & rafting. Blue Ridge is the perfect place to celebrate the harvest and the glorious color of fall, or to enjoy the holidays with family and friends. The best way to experience the beauty of the mountains and countryside is in Dillard, further surrounded by the Natanhala forests. The Nantahala National Forest, established in 1920, is a national forest located in the American state of North Carolina. The word "Nantahala" is a Cherokee word meaning "Land of the Noonday Sun.

Further, driving onto the Dillard Road, the whole area is surrounded by Highlands-Cashiers Plateau in Western North Carolina. Yes, here comes the fairy-tale mountain towns of Highlands, Cashiers, Sapphire, Lake Glenville and Lake Toxaway have so much to offer. Whether you're looking for a nice place to stay, a good restaurant, shopping, golf, a pharmacy, a veterinarian or just something fun to do, these tiny towns will uplift your mood specializing from high-end shopping, hiking trails, waterfalls to selling their art and craft made by the local handicrafts. Our idea of the festival is to celebrate the Cinema in a stress-free way with recognizing the beauty of mother Earth.

We are here to welcome you to the first year of celebrating the cinema from around the world and introduced the festival workshops as a way of teaching and inspiring the filmmakers of tomorrow. The Highlands Film Festival is going to take place in the Dillard House this year, Nestled on a plateau in the picturesque Little Tennessee River Valley of North Georgia, The Dillard House boasts a breathtaking view of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. Known as the oldest mountains in North America, Blue Ridge gets its name from the enchanting blue-gray fog that wisps through the hills, sometimes obscuring the sun. Guests of The Dillard House can enjoy this natural spectacle from the front porch and, depending on the season and available light, will witness colors of blue, gray, purple or silver. No matter the time of year, it truly is a memorable vision. The whole place is magical where you can connect creativity with mother earth. Highlands is a gorgeous little fairy town residing in the Mountains. It has been a hub for writers, filmmakers, businessmen come and forget about the stress of life.

The festival wants to promote tourism of the area, especially the mountain towns-Highlands, Cashiers and Dillard, along with bringing filmmakers and artists to this town to feel free and let the souls of fresh air and the winds make their spirit so high that they achieve best for the long term. It is like "Come for a Blessing for your Project." The Event will feature movies from shorts, documentaries to animation and foreign films to student films. These unique, creative and diverse films come from passionate, independent global filmmakers bringing novel ideas and varied art forms to the craft. The Annual Festival will include Red Carpet, Special World Premiere Shows, Audience Choice Awards and Award Ceremony and much more. Educational workshops will be presented by brilliant filmmakers. We are delighted to have you to be part of this grandeur, amidst the beautiful Mountains. Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to connect with the majestic of the town that is bringing filmmakers and creative artists from all genre.

Our Festival is expected to be thought-provoking, stimulating and powerful, and allow the viewers to see the world through a different lens. Audience members come together to explore, learn and engage in a healthy discourse, experiencing cultural events on par with the world’s greatest cities … right here in the mountains of Georgia and North Carolina.

We provide the excellent customer service to the Film-Makers as each film-maker is part of our growing family, and, we are happy to assist from stage of submission to the end result at the Annual Event. We will try to be in touch with you within 24 hours to resolve any queries related to your film or submission. We are very excited to review your film and observe the detailed creativity of your work.

Additionally, HFF is promoting Highlands, Cashiers and Dillard as a tourist destination and potential cinema production venue through its annual events. The festival will be happening in the Dillard House in Blue-ridge mountains where Walt Disney has done films in the early 90s.

Why Highlands Film Festival has Chosen Dillard House?

Our Idea was to have the destination where the Venue itself can explain the era of films. We did quiet a research on finding the right destination for the Film Festival. We could have totally done it at the local theater or a place house. But according to us. we believe in celebrating in knowing the details and history in a story telling form. Here is the story of Dillard House, where the Festival will be held in the first week of June.
In 1794 Captain John Dillard was awarded a land grant of 1000 acres in the valley for his service during the American Revolution. Legend says that Captain Dillard made peace with the local Cherokee Indians by trading a muzzle-loading rifle, a jug of apple brandy, one coonskin cap and $3 cash for all the land between the two mountain tops. Hospitality and Family Tradition. Carrie and Arthur Dillard initially established the present-day Dillard House in 1917 in the Georgia mountains, when their first guest was a circuit-riding minister named Rev. Henry Byrd. Carrie Dillard was a woman of high values, strong work ethic and keen business sense. She was a wonderful cook, gifted gardener and very accommodating hostess. Every guest was treated like family, and Carrie taught that practice of hospitality to her children and grandchildren, alike. Since that time, hundreds of thousands of guests have enjoyed wonderfully prepared Southern style home-cooked meals at the Dillard House in the same family tradition as when Carrie first put up her jams and relishes. Now in its 100th year, The Dillard House Inn and Restaurant have become famous throughout the area for its traditional home-style meals and authentic Southern hospitality - the unique result of our 200-year heritage.

The place was once a simple and modest mountain home of just six rooms, The Dillard House has grown into a modern hotel that can accommodate hundreds of guests at a time. With 92 guest rooms and suites, more than 28 cottages and chalets, a modern business center and all the standard amenities, we can provide comfortable and beautiful surroundings as well as exquisite hospitality and service for every guest we receive.

In the past, the Venue had famous folks, such as Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone and Walt Disney. Arnold Palmer dined here while designing the golf course at the Cullasaja Club in Highlands, North Carolina. Lady Bird Johnson enjoyed lunch in the Rock House in the late 1970s. Even politicians such as President Jimmy Carter, Senator and Mrs. Sam Nunn, Governor Nathan Deal, Governor George Busbee, Senator Max Cleland, Mayor Maynard Jackson and Ambassador Andrew Young have all honored with their visit here at The Dillard House. Many movies such as Decoration Day, Great Locomotive Chase and Deliverance have been filmed in Rabun County and have brought Hollywood stars Henry Silva, James Garner, Chuck Connors, Burt Reynolds and Lonnie Anderson, and Jane Fonda to The Dillard House. Performers like Blondie and Alan Jackson have also visited the House.

Early Entry Deadline– Shorts: US$30; Features: US$45
Official Entry Deadline – Shorts: US$45; Features: US$55
Late Entry Deadline – Features only: US$65

You must fully comply with these Entry Rules & Regulations, including all deadlines, film length, entry material and other requirements.

1. All non-English speaking films must be presented in their original version with English subtitles.

2. Short Film Entries should not exceed 30 minutes in duration excluding titles provided the titles don’t last for more than 2 extra minutes.

3.Feature films are 40 minutes in length or longer. Short films are under 40 minutes in length. All non-English speaking films must be presented in their original version with English subtitles. All subtitling expenses are to be met by the film’s producer.

4. Films previously entered and screened at our festival are not eligible for re-entry in subsequent years.

5. All submissions are screened and evaluated by the HFF Preview and Selection Committees, appointed by the festival steering committee. Their reports are final and confidential. All films received, which meet our criteria, will be screened at the festival in our Distributed Cinemas.

6. In the event of a film being withdrawn, HFF will not be liable to refund the fee or return the materials entered.

7. HFF will attempt to resolve any technical matter related to the submission. For more information and queries, contact us.

8. One entry fee per category. The same film can be entered one or more categories, but each category requires an entry fee.

9. Student Filmmakers are encouraged to apply with their student identity to prevail occasional discounts.

10.Entries must be submitted for pre-screening through FilmFreeWay.com. If you use a secured link, you are REQUIRED to keep us updated with passwords or your film may be rejected.

12.Works in progress are accepted but are not encouraged. We cannot promise that we will be able to watch re-edited submissions. Please only submit works in progress if submitting close to the final deadline.

13.You may submit multiple entries but must fill out a separate entry form and pay an entry fee for each.