Thanks for a Great 2019 TEEN FILM FEST!

On August 9, we screened 12 films all created by teens at the 13th Annual Teen Film Fest. Thanks to all the teen filmmakers, our amazing judges, library staff, and our wonderful audience!
We hope you’ll join us again next year! If you’re a teen between 12 to 18-years-old, please consider submitting a film next summer!
See below for rules, tips, classes, and equipment. As always, if you have any questions, email, stop by the Hub or call 847-506-2669.
Watch all the films from the 2019 Fest here and see the winning films below.
Best Acting
Homesick by Hayden Westerfield
Best Editing
Control Freak by Geoffrey Buck
Best Screenplay/Story
Thunderstruck by Graham Reid
Best Special Effects
Doughnut Time by David Petratos
Audience Favorite
Jelly Beans by Madeline Painter
Best Overall
Kris by Edin Ramovic

Teen Film Fest Rules 

Film Rules
  • Filmmakers must be present at the Film Fest to win a prize.
  • We're awarding $300 total for films.
  • Films should be no longer than six minutes in length.
Submission Rules
  • Only three films are allowed per person.
  • A completed entry form must be submitted for each film and will be available on this page in early June 2020. Forms can be returned in-person to the Hub desk or emailed to Those directors who are under the age of 18 must have a parent’s signature.
  • Filmmakers must be 12 to 18 years of age. Adults may appear in the film, but should have no other responsibilities in the production of the film.
In the case of a high number of submissions, we may not be able to show all of the films submitted to the fest. We will notify you if your film will be screened at the film fest.
Any questions? Email

Need help with your film?

Try an online tutorial - log in using your library card to access these free courses.
We have equipment you can check out too!


Using your original footage or copyright-free, public domain or creative commons copyright images will ensure that there will be no copyright infringement by films in the fest. For suggestions of places to find good images, please see below:
Videvo is a great resource for free-to-download stock footage, motion graphics, sound effects, and even music! Make sure you read each file's rules about if and how the creator wants to receive credit in your film.
  • Death to the Stock Photo  founded by two rogue photographers Allie and David, was launched in 2014 to help creatives struggling to find images that fit their vibe and tribe. There are plenty of free photos to choose from, but there’s also an option to upgrade and ‘go premium’.
  • Pexels, described as the website with the ‘best free stock photos in one place,’ adds five new high quality photos daily.
  • Little Visuals is a simple yet wonderful free resource where you sign up to get seven high-res images zipped up in your inbox every Thursday. Think quality city scenes and rolling landscapes, and you're able to use the images any way you want.
  • Life of Pix offers high-resolution photos with no copyright restrictions. Added weekly, all images are donated to the public domain, courtesy of Leeroy, an advertising agency in Montreal and its trusted network of photographers.
  • Calling itself your number one source for beautiful free stock photos, Stocksnap offers hundreds of high resolution images, added weekly. And not a whiff of cheese either.
  • Another great little website, Unsplash adds 10 new photos every 10 days. And those pictures are really quite wonderful. From fantastic portraits to architectural imagery, this will become an essential bookmarked site.
  • PicJumbo offers full quality photos for free. An attribution is appreciated but not necessary.
  • Gratisography provides free high resolution pictures you can use for your personal and commercial projects. All pictures have been taken by Ryan McGuire and are free of copyright restrictions.
  • Photographer Daniel Nanescu loves photography so much that he gives his shots away for free. He's the driving force behind SplitShare, a website that's already had 80,000 downloads and over a million page views. And if you love the free images that you can access, there's also a 'premium' service where you can receive even more. The thing we love most about this particular site is the categorization of images. Browse through fashion and food, wedding and technology - to find the free pic you need.
  • For all those startups out there, this site is for you. Offering free stock imagery that you can use for any purpose, Startup Stock Photos even allows you to contribute and add your own free pictures.


Using your original music or copyright-free, public domain or creative commons copyright music will ensure that there will be no copyright infringement by films in the fest. For suggestions of places to find such music, please see below:
  • Make your own music: Use GarageBand and our state of the art microphones and editing equipment in the library’s new digital media lab, the Studio, to produce your movie’s soundtrack. Call 847-392-0100 to learn more and make a reservation.
  • Use some of these ready-made scores created by Arlington Heights teens on the Sound Hounds summer volunteer squad. There's music for comedy, mystery, and even romance films.
  • Check out where alternative song artist Moby has composed music that can be used for free in independent films.
  • Public Domain 4U has copyright ok’d older (way older) songs.
  • is a good sight for royalty free music.
  • Musopen is an online library of contemporary recordings of public domain music (Musopen does require an acknowledgement if music is used from their website).
  •, which hosts a seemingly endless collection of recordings in the public domain. The archive also holds hundreds of public domain films that can be downloaded and even creatively incorporated into your project.
  •  Offers all kinds of music such as pop, blues, classical, electronic, folk, experimental, jazz, rock, historic, soul, RnB, instrumental, hip-hop, pop, spoken, rock and country.
  • Incompetech is the ideal site for all your royalty-free music needs. If you decide to use any of the songs for commercial purposes, be sure to give ownership credit. As with other sites, read the license agreements carefully before downloading any songs.