The American Presidents Film & Literary Festival will take place Sept. 24 – Oct. 2, 2022 in Fremont, Ohio, home of America’s first presidential library. This new film festival focuses on the American Presidency through the themes of people, places, politics, and power.

Filmmakers of all ages and skill levels, from emerging to seasoned, are invited to submit a film to the festival and can do so at the Film Freeway here: filmfreeway.com/AmericanPresidentsFilmandLiteraryFestival.

“This is the only festival that is devoted to the issues of social and political importance about where we came from as a country, where we are going and the people who brought us here through the American Presidency.” – Kirk Ellis, screenwriter for the HBO miniseries “John Adams” and 2018 Keynote Speaker

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Film Submission Information


  • The theme of this year’s festival is “People, Places, Politics, and Power.” We ask that films make some connection to this broad theme and encourage films that make some reference to the American presidency.
  • Any genre of film is welcome.
  • Foreign language films must contain English subtitles.
  • No refunds on registration fees.
  • If you are uncertain if your film meets the criteria, feel free to contact us!


We are excited to provide the following awards!

– $250 for Best Feature Length Film
– $250 for Best Short Film
– $250 for Best Production
– $250 for People’s Choice


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2022 Keynote Speaker

Bob Schmuhl

Dr. Robert Schmuhl

Robert Schmuhl became the inaugural Walter H. Annenberg-Edmund P. Joyce Chair in American Studies and Journalism at the University of Notre Dame in 2006 and occupied the chair until July of 2018, when he became Chair Emeritus. The founder of Notre Dame’s John W. Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics & Democracy, he served as the Program’s Director from 1997 until 2016. He was also Chair of the Department of American Studies four separate times from 1991 until 2016 during his 38 years on the Notre Dame faculty.

Schmuhl is the author or editor of fifteen books, including Statecraft and Stagecraft: American Political Life in the Age of Personality (1990, 1992, and 2016), Demanding Democracy (1994), Thomas Jefferson: America’s Philosopher-King (1996 and 2014) and Wounded Titans: American Presidents and the Perils of Power (1996 and 2017). His edited volume, The Responsibilities of Journalism, has been published in four foreign editions. Oxford University Press published his book, Ireland’s Exiled Children: America and the Easter Rising, in the spring of 2016, the hundredth anniversary of the Rising. His most recent book, The Glory and the Burden, (about the American presidency since the New Deal) appeared in September of 2019 and was a finalist for the Foreword INDIES book of the Year Award in Political and Social Sciences. A new, expanded edition of The Glory and the Burden: The American Presidency from the New Deal to the Present will be published in the fall of 2022. He is currently working on a historical study, Mr. Churchill in the White House, about Winston Churchill’s relationships with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower during Churchill’s terms as Prime Minister.

A frequent contributor to popular publications, Schmuhl’s columns, features, and reviews have appeared in The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Philadelphia Inquirer, USA TODAY, The Washington Post, Irish Independent, Sports Illustrated, Irish America Magazine, Commonweal, American Journalism Review, History Ireland, and several other newspapers, magazines and online outlets.

Schmuhl has appeared on CBS, CNN, PBS, NPR, C-SPAN, the Voice of America, the BBC, Sky News, and several other television and radio programs in the U.S. and abroad.

Full List of Speakers

2018 People’s Choice Award Winners

The 2018 People’s Choice Film winners tell us why they love the American Presidents Film & Literary Festival.

2021 Judges

Holly Hey
Professor of film and video production, University of Toledo

Holly Hey is currently a professor of film and video production within the Department of Theatre and Film. She is also the head of the film program. Hey has a master of fine arts degree in film making from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in photography from Ohio University.

Her work has screened at professionally recognized festivals including The Aesthetica Short Film Festival – York, UK; the Ann Arbor Film Festival – Ann Arbor, Michigan; the Athens International Film and Video Festival -– Athens, Ohio; the Mix Festival – New York; the Onion City Film Festival – Chicago; the Denver International Film Festival; and the Vancouver Queer Film and Video Festival, among other national and international venues.

Hey has also had her short documentary, “Rat Stories,” distributed through The National Educational Television Association. “Rat Stories,” a 30-minute documentary, undermines stereotypes about rats to examine the importance of human connection. NETA distributes content for PBS licensees and educational entities in all 50 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Hey is an “undependent” filmmaker and an experimental weaver of media who strives to provoke active relationships between her cinematic art and the diverse audiences that it reaches.

Tammy Kinsey
Professor of film, University of Toledo

Tammy Kinsey is the Faculty Advisor for the UT Film and Video Society. She was named a UT College of Arts & Sciences Master Teacher for 2009-2011. Kinsey teaches such courses as experimental film, advanced 16mm production, optical printing, documentary field production, film/video workshop, film censorship, The YouTube Phenomenon: Cinema in Cyberspace and history of video art.

Kinsey joined the University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film in 1997. She has a master of fine arts degree in photography and film from Virginia Commonwealth University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Virginia Tech.

Her research interests include visual language, experimental and documentary film making, arts censorship and issues of representation in popular culture.

Kinsey’s films have been screened in such venues as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Anthology Film Archives in New York, the Kaunas Biennial in Lithuania, SOMArts Cultural Center in San Francisco, the Telluride Experimental Film Festival, London’s Exploding Cinema, the Wexner Center for the Arts and the Ann Arbor Film Festival.

Kinsey’s written work appears in many publications, as well.

Craig Shoup
Reporter and columnist, Fremont News-Messenger

Craig Shoup is a 2009 graduate of Bowling Green State University, where he majored in broadcast journalism and minored in film studies.

He is currently a reporter with the News-Messenger in Fremont, a Gannett newspaper, and writes an entertainment column “Reel Talk.” He has worked for Gannett newspapers since 2014.

“Reel Talk” features takes on current movies, Hollywood trends and Shoup’s thoughts on the industry. Columns feature topics including Academy awards preview and predictions, the #MeToo movement and inclusion among female actors and directors.




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