Chicago Film Festivals

Whether you love to watch movies, make movies, or do both, you are sure to find a film festival that piques your interest. When I began researching film festivals in Chicago, I was amazed by how many festivals I found (there are more than 60!) and by the broad range of topics the festivals cover.

Filmmakers, links to festival submission information have been included.

Enjoy!

Scroll through the festival list or click on a link below to go directly to the month you plan to attend a festival.

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

If you are aware of a Chicago film festival that has not been included on this page, please send the festival's information via DM using Twitter (@InspiredChicago).

Visit the following pages to find more festivals:



January



Stranger Than Fiction: Documentary Premieres, January 5–February 1, 2018 • Admission varies.



February



Stranger Than Fiction: Documentary Premieres, January 5–February 1, 2018 • Admission varies.

Festival of Films From Iran, February 3–March 1, 2018 • Admission varies.

Midwest Independent Film Festival, February 6, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Hardcore Horror Fest, February 10, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

AfroFuturism Film Competition, February 17–28, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Arts & Culture Doc Fest, February 25, 2018 • Admission is free!



March



Festival of Films From Iran, February 3–March 1, 2018 • Admission varies.

Chicago Irish Film Festival, March 1–4, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival, March 1–18, 2018 • Admission varies
Submit your entry.

One Earth Film Festival, March 2–11, 2018 • Almost all screenings are free, with a suggested donation of $7 per screening.
Filmmakers grade 3 to college (ages 8 through 25), submit your film for the Young Filmmakers Contest.

Midwest Independent Film Festival, March 6, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Chicago Feminist Film Festival, March 7–9, 2018 • Admission is free!
Submit your entry.

Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival, March 8–11, 2018 • Admission TBA
Submit your entry.

Peace on Earth Film Festival, March 9–11, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

European Union Film Festival, March 9–April 5, 2018 • Admission varies.

Asian Pop-Up Cinema, March 13–May 16, 2018 • Some of the films are free and some require tickets. Visit the website for more information.

Chicago International Television Festival, March 20–22, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

In/Motion Dance Film Festival, March 23–25, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.



April



European Union Film Festival, March 9–April 5, 2018 • Admission varies.

Asian Pop-Up Cinema, March 13–May 16, 2018 • Some of the films are free and some require tickets. Visit the website for more information.

Midwest Independent Film Festival, April 3, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

DOC10, April 5–8, 2018 • Admission varies.

Chicago Latino Film Festival, April 5–19, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Chicago Asian American Showcase, April 6–19, 2018 • Admission varies.

Sight and Sound Digital Media Youth Festival, April 14, 2018 • Admission is free!
Submit your entry.

Sound of Silent Film Festival, April 14, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

CineYouth Festival, April  20–22, 2018 • Admission is free!
Filmmakers 22 years old and younger, submit your film.

Chicago Palestine Film Festival, April 21–May 3, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Windy City Horrorama Film Festival, April 27–29, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.



May



Asian Pop-Up Cinema, March 13–May 16, 2018 • Some of the films are free and some require tickets. Visit the website for more information.

Chicago Palestine Film Festival, April 21–May 3, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Midwest Independent Film Festival, May 1, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

First Nations Film and Video Festival (Spring), May 2–10, 2018 • Admission is free!
Submit your entry.

Chicago Critics Film Festival, May 4–10, 2018 • Admission varies.

Music Box Theatre Movies at Gallagher Way, May 16–September 19, 2018 • Admission is free!

Laugh or Die Comedy Fest, May 19, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 4, May 29, 2018, World Premiere • Admission is free!
This program is available for screenings throughout 2018.
Submit your entry.

International Screenings Program: Reel Music, May 30–October 3, 2018 • Admission is free!



June



Music Box Theatre Movies at Gallagher Way, May 16–September 19, 2018 • Admission is free!

International Screenings Program: Reel Music, May 30–October 3, 2018 • Admission is free!

Juggernaut Film Festival, June 2–3, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Midwest Independent Film Festival, June 5, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Millennium Park Summer Film Series , June 5–August 21, 2018 • Admission is free!

Chicago Underground Film Festival, June 6–10, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

African Diaspora International Film Festival–Chicago , June 8–14, 2018 • Admission varies.

Water Flicks, June 18–August 20, 2018 • Admission is free!

Cinepocalypse, June 21–28, 2018 • Admission varies.



July



Music Box Theatre Movies at Gallagher Way, May 16–September 19, 2018 • Admission is free!

International Screenings Program: Reel Music, May 30–October 3, 2018 • Admission is free!

Millennium Park Summer Film Series , June 5–August 21, 2018 • Admission is free!

Water Flicks, June 18–August 20, 2018 • Admission is free!

Illinois Independent Film Festival, July 19, 2018 • Admission TBA
Submit your entry.

Windy City International Film Festival, July 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.



August



Music Box Theatre Movies at Gallagher Way, May 16–September 19, 2018 • Admission is free!

International Screenings Program: Reel Music, May 30–October 3, 2018 • Admission is free!

Millennium Park Summer Film Series , June 5–August 21, 2018 • Admission is free!

Water Flicks, June 18–August 20, 2018 • Admission is free!

Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival, August 3–9, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Black Harvest Film Festival, August 4–30, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Midwest Independent Film Festival, August 7, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Chicago Independent Film Festival, August 19, 2018 • Admission TBA
Submit your entry.

Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase, August 29–September 2, 2017* • Admission is free!
Submit your entry.

Chicago Festival of Bosnian–Herzegovinian Film, Fall  2018 • Admission is free!
Submit your entry.



September



Music Box Theatre Movies at Gallagher Way, May 16–September 19, 2018 • Admission is free!

International Screenings Program: Reel Music, May 30–October 3, 2018 • Admission is free!

Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase, August 29–September 2, 2017* • Admission is free!
Submit your entry.

Midwest Independent Film Festival, September 4, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Asian Pop-Up Cinema, September 12–November 14, 2018 • Admission varies.

Chicago South Asian Film Festival, September 20–23, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ + International Film Festival, September 20–27, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Chicago Social Change Film Festival, September 27–29, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Chicago Horror Film Festival, September 28–30, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Irish American Movie Hooley, September 28–30, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.



October



International Screenings Program: Reel Music, May 30–October 3, 2018 • Admission is free!

Asian Pop-Up Cinema, September 12–November 14, 2018 • Admission varies.

Midwest Independent Film Festival, October 2, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

(In)Justice for All Film Festival, October 4–13, 2018 • Admission is free!
Submit your entry.

ReelAbilities Film Festival, October 4–8, 2017* • Admission is free!
Submit your entry.

Chicago Visions Film Festival, October 5, 2017* • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Chicago South Side Film Festival, October 6–8, 2017* • Admission varies.

Chicago International Film Festival, October 10–21, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Collected Voices: Chicago's Ethnographic Film Festival, October 15–31, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Fashion Film Festival Chicago. Per Fashion Film Festival Chicago staff, official festival selections will be shown at a private Fashion Focus Chicago event.
Submit your entry.

Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema, October 25–November 5, 2017* • Admission varies.



November



Asian Pop-Up Cinema, September 12–November 14, 2018 • Admission varies.

Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema, October 25–November 5, 2017* • Admission varies.

Chicago International Children's Film Festival, November 1–9, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

First Nations Film and Video Festival (Fall), November 1–10, 2017* • Admission is free!
Submit your entry.

Chi-Town Multicultural Film Festival, November 2–3, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

MOSTRA VIII: Brazilian Film Series, November 3–12, 2017* • Admission varies. Most films are free. Some special events may require tickets.

Polish Film Festival in America, November 4–19, 2017* • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Chicago Comedy Film Festival, November 9–11, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

CIMMfest: Chicago International Movies and Music Festival, November 9–12, 2017* • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Chicago International REEL Shorts Film Fest, November 9–11, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Adventure Film Festival, November 2018 • Admission varies.

Blow-Up Arthouse International Film Festival, November 12–13, 2018 • Admission TBA
Submit your entry.

Black Alphabet Film Festival, November 16–17, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.

Amarcord Arthouse Television & Video Fest Awards, November 19–20, 2018 • Admission TBA
Submit your entry.



December



Chicago Paranormal Film Festival is on hiatus in 2017*

Midwest Independent Film Festival, December 5, 2018 • Admission varies.
Submit your entry.


*Festivals that have not been updated with information for 2018 will be updated when festival organizers announce the information for 2018.