About the festival

American Film Festival (AFF), taking place since 2010 and the first film event in Central Europe solely devoted to the works of contemporary and classic American cinema, takes place in the cultural heritage city of Wroclaw, Poland and is organized by New Horizons Association.

The AFF presents contemporary independent productions in two major competitive sections:

  • SPECTRUM, a panorama of contemporary American cinema, focusing on filmmakers in mid-careers and those making significant directorial debuts, and
  • AMERICAN DOCS, a program of compelling and award-winning documentaries from the film festival circuit, with Audience Awards with cash prizes of $10,000 and $5,000 for Best Narrative Feature and Best Documentary Feature, respectively.

The AFF 2022 Audience Awards winners were Lisa Steen with Late Bloomers and Charlie Sadoff with Againts All Enemies.

The AFF honors recognized US filmmakers with INDIE STAR AWARD to a master of independent filmmaking. In the past years ISA was presented to Todd Solondz, Jerry Schatzberg, Christine Vachon, Whit Stillman, David Gordon Green, Hal Hartley, Jonas Mekas, Rosanna Arquette, John Carroll Lynch, Mark Webber, John Waters, Nina Menkes and in 2023 to Adele Romanski and Alex Ross Perry. The AFF also boasts of RETROSPECTIVES of American classics. Tributes to the likes of John Cassavetes, Shirley Clarke, Clint Eastwood, Samuel Fuller, Nicholas Ray, Orson Welles, Billy Wilder, Gregory Peck, Ida Lupino, Jim Jarmusch, Robert Altman and Camille Billops & James V. Hatch have been organized during past editions of the AFF.

The last stationary edition of American FF took place in 2023 in Wroclaw and included 215 screenings of over 90 features.

Running yearly in the framework of the AFF, US IN PROGRESS is a unique film industry event connecting European buyers and American independent filmmakers. US in Progress aims to strengthen the trans-Atlantic film industry collaborations and partnerships. US in Progress presents 4-8 independent American projects in final production stages to top European buyers (sales agents, distributors and festival programmers) and post-production houses, who offer their services as in-kind awards. In 2021 US in Progress invited also Canadian projects. Check dates and regulations at usinprogress.com.

Cool theaters: "screens of IMAX proportions." Cool audiences: "fashionable young crowds and the hottest new bands." Cool digs: "five-star accommodations, fancy dinners and tours of the local castles." No wonder Wroclaw is a hot ticket for U.S. moviemakers, "dignitaries" to the "best festival in Poland and perhaps all of Eastern Europe." Celebrating a different kind of American cinema than what traditionally permeates those far-flung shores, AFF doesn't just showcase indies, it nurtures them: Panelists love their U.S. in Progress program, which awards cash prizes to features in post. – this is how in September 2015, the MovieMaker Magazine described the AFF, when the event was selected as one of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World by the Magazine.

In April 2024, AFF was included in the MovieMaker's Top 50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee annual list for the 11th time:

Here comes the verdict:

Sometimes you have to leave America to appreciate how good we have it, film-wise: From its vantage point in Central Europe, the American Film
Festival heralds the best of U.S. cinema (...). That doesn’t mean getting in is easy: It is mostly curated. But if you get in, except to enjoy generous help with travel and accommodations, the presence of major distributors known to include Universal, Sony, Paramount, Warner Bros and Disney, and tens of thousands of dollars in prize packages. Films that played the latest edition include Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers, Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla,
and Kristoffer Borgli’s Dream Scenario. Other draws include the U.S. in Progress program, which promotes partnerships between U.S. filmmakers and Polish post-production facilities, buyers and producers, among others. Last year’s festival also included insights from Adele Romanski and Alex Ross Perry, as well as a silent disco party.

You can find some information about the city here.

15th American Film Festival will take place on November 5th-11th, 2024 in Wroclaw.

stay in touch
festival partners