Chicago Independent Film (and TV) Festival

chicago independent film+tv festival

Chicago Independent Film (+TV) Festival

Advocating and showcasing strong independent work.

The Chicago Independent Film and TV Festival will support international and national filmmakers and showcase strong independent work in the city of Chicago.

CIFF will fill the long need for a quality international independent film festival in Chicago. Ran by filmmakers with an acknowledged and notable track record, CIFF will not only bring quality projects to Chicago but will also partner with reputable, knowledgeable local film and arts groups. We will use an inside-out approach to championing local creators. After having worked in both Chicago and Los Angeles for nine years we understand the realities of film and video in Chicago and the bulk of the opportunities outside of the region. We see the need to bolster and champion local production opportunities but also the realities of the current industry. 

In our first year we hope to emulate the success we've had in our sister project Chicago Comedy Film Festival. CCFF, now in its seventh year, has become the go-to festival or comedy film and video projects. The fest was named one of MovieMaker Magazines Top 50 film festivals. It is the only Midwest film festival to nationally premiere an Academy Award nominated film. Hosting thousands of film and comedy lovers for a weekend each November, CCFF brings together over 200 industry creators, managers, agents and administrators. We will bring this high level of quality and opportunity to CIFF. 

CIFF will enter it's second year in 2019.

“Exhibition platforms such as the new Chicago Independent Film (+TV) Festival are important both to showcase diverse Chicago stories and voices, as well as strengthen our local networks and offer space for creative collaboration and development,” offers Rebecca Stocchetti, outgoing Local Initiatives Coordinator for the City’s Film Office.  

“Chicago has an incredibly vibrant independent film and TV community and the Chicago Independent Film (+TV) Festival is another great opportunity for filmmakers to connect with audiences,” states Jack Newell, filmmaker and director of Second City’s Harold Ramis Film School.


Categories & Fees

Narrative feature

Features are 44 minutes or longer. 

documentary feature

Documentary films and projects. 21 minutes or longer. 

documentary short

21 minutes and under. 

chicago made short

Any genre of short 1 min to 30 min in length that was made in Chicago and has a crew/cast majority Chicago based.

narrative short film

5-21 minutes in length. 


micro feature

TFor narrative projects between 21-44 minutes. No pilots. Please submit to that category if applicable. 

music video

10 minutes and under. 

student film

Must provide legitimate academic adviser contact name and phone number. Shorts and features accepted.


Traditional TV or Digital Pilot.  52 minutes and under. 

sizzle proof reel

Under 5 minutes. Must be for an unproduced project. No director's reels, compilation videos or similar. 

web series

Web Series are 3 to 7 minutes in length (each episode) and are part of an internet television series. Submit two webisodes of the series. If selected screen up to 12 minutes of the series. Individual episodes only, no compilations. 


July 1st, 2019
September 1st, 2019
November 1st, 2019
December 20th, 2019