Teen Film Fest Rules

  • The filmmaker must be present at the Film Fest to win a prize(we're awarding $300 total for 6 different categories!) The Film Fest screening will be on Friday, August 21st beginning at 6:00 p.m. at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in downtown Arlington Heights. Sign up yourself, all friends, and family for the fest right here!
  • All films must be made into YouTube videos on the director’s YouTube account. You must allow for embedding of the videos on your YouTube account.
  • The deadline for submissions has been extended until 4 p.m. Tuesday, August 11th.
  • E-mail YouTube links to teens@ahml.info.
  • A completed ENTRY FORM must be submitted for each film. Return forms to the Teen Desk (in the Hub) on the first floor of the library, addressed to Tom Spicer. Those directors who are under the age of 18 must have a parent’s signature.
  • Films should be no longer than six minutes in length.
  • Only three films are allowed per person.
  • 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 willnotify you if your film will be screened at the film fest.
Any questions? E-mail teens@ahml.info.
Want to see last year's winners. Look here!

Movie Making Classes at the Library 

Movie FX Studio
Thursday, July 9, 1–4 p.m. / Training Center
Learn to make amazing digital effects to bring  your movies to the next level. We'll work in the library's Training Center to add effects like lasers and explosions, make objects float and disappear, and more! You can make your entry for the Teen Film Fest blockbuster quality. For teens in grades 7–12. Register July 1
Anime Academy: Dub Your Own Anime
Friday, July 24, 7–9:30 p.m. / Cardinal Room
Learn the basics of how to dub an anime in a fun exciting way. Anime Academy will be dubbing a random anime, with no knowledge of the actual anime. Five groups of three will be working on snippets of the anime, then we will put it all together to watch. For teens in grades 7–12. Register July 1
Cut and Re-Cut: Fandom Crossovers
Saturday, August 1, 1-3 p.m. / Training Center
What if Batman fought alongside Sherlock Holmes? Or what if Iron Man went up against Maleficent? Try your hand at creating a great crossover video through the power of movie editing! Just picture it, you can cut and re-cut your favorite clips to make even the most unlikeliest of crossovers! Please bring your headphones. For teens in grades 7–12. Register July 1
On Location: Photography & Photoshop Workshop 
Saturday, August 8, 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm / Training Center
Learn about shooting on location and using Photoshop to design a movie poster! Professional photographer Rebecca Reuland will show you how to set up shots in various locations and teach you the basics of using Photoshop. For teens in grades 7–12. Register July 1

Movie Making Classes at Metropolis

Sketch Comedy
Sketch Comedy is a great way for any actor to experience improv in a fun, supportive environment. Through the practice of improv, students will have a blast creating original characters and interesting stories and crafting them into a structured piece of comedy.
Grades 6-12, June 15–August 15th, Wednesdays, 7:00-8:30 p.m., $185
On Camera Techniques
Get ready for a starring role! Students will learn the basics of being in front of the camera, including “hitting your mark,” “action,” stage vs. camera acting, and commercial audition tools. Acting experience is recommended but not required.
Grades 6-12, June 15–August 15th, Tuesdays, 7:00-8:30 p.m., $185
Musical Theatre Intensive
This intensive class will get students into shape, ready to join any musical theatre cast! Students will be polishing song and dance pieces from current and classic Broadway shows, getting experience in a wide range of musical and dance styles.
Grades 6-12, June 15–August 15th, Thursdays, 7:00-8:30 p.m., $185
Want to take these classes at Metropolis School of the Performing Arts? Follow this link!

Tips for Using Copyright Free Music

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 Mobygratis.com 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.
  • Musopen is an online library of contemporary recordings of public domain music (Musopen does require an acknowledgement if music is used from their website).
  • Archive.org, 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.

Sound Effects

Aliens (Download)


Breaking Bone (Download)


Campfire (Download)


Cheering (Download)


Creepy (Download)


Evil Laugh (Download)


Explosion (Download)


Glitchy Bells (Download)


Ooooh! (Download)


Pretzels (Download)


Rain (Download)


Roar (Download)


Sweeping (Download)


Ugh (Download)


Vending Glitch (Download)