Festival

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 2019 Audience Awards winners were Alex Thompson with Saint Frances and Tyler Measom & Patrick Waldrop with Biography: I Want My MTV.

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, and in 2019 to Mark Webber. 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 and Gregory Peck have been organized during past editions of the AFF.

The 2019 edition of American FF included 246 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 4-6 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. 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 2020, AFF was included in the MovieMaker's Top 50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee annual list for the 9th straight year.

Here comes the verdict:

One of the greatest compliments to American film is Poland’s celebration of it, never so exuberantly as in Wrocław. This festival has no entry fee—how could it not make our list?—and helps with airfare, lodging, and transportation. The intoxicating, electric nightlife gives American moviemakers many chances

to joyously proclaim their love of Krzysztof Kieślowski while recounting last year’s Polish premieres of films like The IrishmanJojo Rabbit, and Knives Out, as well as meet about a dozen distributors from studios including Warner Bros., a past attendee. The more than $50,000 in prizes includes a significant cash prize of $10,000 for the top feature.

You can find some information about the city here.

This year, American Film Festival will exceptionally join forces with New Horizons International Film Festival. The festival will take place online.

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