Chicago Film Office

Chicago Film Office Chicago Dept. of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE)

Arts + Creative Industries Division - Chicago Film Office Audiences around the world travel Chicago’s streets through its portrayal in filmed entertainment.
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These compelling images help to generate tourism, promote international business, and establish a new global awareness of our landscape and culture. Adding to local favorites Ferris Buellers Day Off and The Blues Brothers, recent productions of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Contagion, The Dark Knight, and Public Enemies as well as numerous television series have led to Chicago being ranked among the most respected production centers in the country. Since 1980,more than 1100 feature films and television productions have shot in Chicago contributing $2 billion in local revenue. Chicago attracts hundreds of commercials and photo shoots each year that are produced for both national and international clients.This growth industry provides quality jobs for thousands of Chicagoans and creates opportunities for hundreds of hometown businesses. This success would not have been possible without tremendous community support. Thanks to the spirited cooperation of residents, businesses and civic leaders, Chicago is truly a remarkable city for filmmaking.

Operating as usual

Join this FREE virtual conference, April 27-30, for an in-depth discussion with Black media and entertainment industry l...
04/07/2021
Black Media & Entertainment Industry Conference

Join this FREE virtual conference, April 27-30, for an in-depth discussion with Black media and entertainment industry leaders. Our very own, Kwame Amoaku, Director of the Chicago Film Office will close out the event on April 30 to discuss Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Chicago Film and Television Industry. For more info and to register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/black-media-entertainment-industry-conference-registration-148240977755

Join our free virtual conference, April 27-30, for an in-depth discussion with Black media and entertainment industry leaders.

Asian Pop-Up Cinema by Sophia's Choice is back for Season 12. Running between March 15 to May 1, APUC festival will be s...
03/12/2021
Season 12 Overview + Trailer — Asian Pop-up Cinema

Asian Pop-Up Cinema by Sophia's Choice is back for Season 12. Running between March 15 to May 1, APUC festival will be screening 33 films including 8 N. American and 12 U.S. premieres - their largest and most diverse selections yet, with 24 films available online and 9 films at the Drive-in as they continue with the “combo” format from last season. During the six-week run, you will discover a full plate of unhinged, genre-bending films, including uncompromising art-house gems shot in 14 different Asian cities that are only a couple clicks away for you to watch. To learn more: https://www.asianpopupcinema.org/12overview

Running between March 15 to May 1, our festival will be screening 33 films including 8 N. American and 12 U.S. premieres - our largest and most diverse selections yet, with 24 films available online and 9 films at the Drive-in as we continue with the “combo” format from last season. During the s...

CALLING ALL FILMMAKERS! Don't miss this opportunity to apply to Camera Ambassador's Community Builders Grant for a chanc...
03/12/2021
Camera Ambassador's Community Builders Grant

CALLING ALL FILMMAKERS! Don't miss this opportunity to apply to Camera Ambassador's Community Builders Grant for a chance to win $5,000 in gear credit, $3,000 in cash, and additional support for your film. To learn more and to apply: https://filmfreeway.com/CameraAmbassador

ABOUT THE GRANT The Community Builders Grant is a short film fund and rental gear credit grant. Our mission is to arm creators with the necessary tools th...

Check out @OneEarthFF environmental film festival 3/5–3/14. Many events are free. Reservations recommended Tickets: www....
02/18/2021
One Earth Film Festival

Check out @OneEarthFF environmental film festival 3/5–3/14. Many events are free. Reservations recommended Tickets: www.oneearthfilmfest.org #OEFF2021

Get tickets, volunteer, donate, and learn more about the One Earth Film Festival. Takes place in the Chicago region every March with approximately 30 screenings of environmental films at nearly 50 venues. As an added bonus, the Mini Film Fest celebrates Earth Day in April.

Wondering how to turn a proof of concept short into the feature film of your dreams? Join Seed&Spark and Black Film Spac...
02/16/2021
Lunch&Learn: Shorts to Features

Wondering how to turn a proof of concept short into the feature film of your dreams? Join Seed&Spark and Black Film Space in conversation with Andrew Ahn (Spa Night, Driveways) where we’ll break down how their short films led to their award-winning feature films! Feb 24 @ 12pm PT! RSVP: bit.ly/shorts2features

Free and online! This event is brought to you by Black Film Space and Seed&Spark.

Entries Now Open for 2021 PBS Short Film FestivalIllinois Public Media is seeking short films from local filmmakers for ...
02/08/2021
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Entries Now Open for 2021 PBS Short Film Festival

Illinois Public Media is seeking short films from local filmmakers for inclusion in the 2021 PBS Short Film Festival—a showcase for powerful and engaging stories from filmmakers across the country.

Illinois Public Media, the PBS station based at the University of Illinois, is a curator for the PBS Short Film Festival again this year. Short films between 3 and 15 minutes that are no more than three years old are eligible for submission.

To enter, filmmakers should send a link or video file of their film to [email protected]

In addition, please include the title of the film, the filmmakers’ contact information, plus a two to three sentence description of the film. Films should be 3-15 minutes in length and can be fiction or non-fiction. The most appropriate films for this festival are those that have creative or compelling storytelling, as well as high production quality.

For full consideration in the 2021 PBS Short Film Festival, submissions must be made by February 23, 2021.

If selected, filmmakers will be required to adhere to technical requirements for the festival, as well as submit additional information about their film upon request. If you have questions about the requirements for the festival, please send them to [email protected]

Here are the winners from the PBS Short Film Festival in 2020:
https://www.pbs.org/filmfestival/2020-festival

Watch, vote and share your favorite entries from the PBS Short Film Festival.

All you need is a 350- word pitch to share your story and win an incredible opportunity to pitch LIVE, over Zoom, to a p...
02/05/2021
Virtual Pitch Competition - ScreenCraft

All you need is a 350- word pitch to share your story and win an incredible opportunity to pitch LIVE, over Zoom, to a panel of entertainment industry leaders, as a part of the ScreenCraft Summit Virtual Pitch Competition. Check out the contest page for more information on the jury and submit your pitches before the final deadline on Feb 12th. https://screencraft.org/virtual-pitch-competition/

Don’t miss this opportunity to be considered for the live Pitch Finals!

The Chicago International Film Festival has a long history of presenting films selected to represent their country as su...
02/02/2021
Pedro Costa, Gianfranco Rosi, and More International Oscar Contenders On Telling Stories for Global Audiences

The Chicago International Film Festival has a long history of presenting films selected to represent their country as submissions for the Academy Awards’ Best International Feature Film category. These past two years have been no exception, with many contenders presented at the 56th and 55th editions of the Chicago International Film Festival.

Their International Contenders Round Table, presented in partnership with IndieWire, features directors from around the world discussing their work, from past nominees (Agnieszka Holland, Gianfranco Rosi) to acclaimed international auteurs (Pedro Costa, Andrei Konchalovsky) to the directors of award-winning second features (Philippe Lacôte, whose film won two prizes at the 56th Festival, and Lili Horvát, winner of the Gold Hugo in the New Director’s Competition).

Watch the panel discussion below: https://www.indiewire.com/video/chicago-international-film-festival-directors-roundtable-1234613777/

The Chicago International Film Festival and IndieWire present a wide-ranging interview with some of this year's contenders for Best International Feature.

Last chance to apply! Deadline is this Sunday.
01/12/2021

Last chance to apply! Deadline is this Sunday.

CALLING ALL INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS! Here's your opportunity to apply to the 2021 cycle of the Chicago Independent Producers Lab. Participating producers will have the chance to work with industry professionals to grow their network and expertise in different areas of independent film producing. Application Deadline: January 17, 2021. To learn more and to apply: https://www.fullspectrumfeatures.com/producers-lab

“We have a number of episodic shows that will be coming to town, hopefully putting down roots and creating jobs for a lo...
12/15/2020
‘2021 looks good’ for Illinois filming industry after productions delayed for months because of COVID

“We have a number of episodic shows that will be coming to town, hopefully putting down roots and creating jobs for a long, extended period of time. We also are looking to draw more feature film work to the city,” Kwame Amoaku said. “There’s a push to add more film production infrastructure to the city, more soundstages to increase our capacity. That’s something that we’ll be working hard on in 2021.”

The COVID-19 pandemic affected filming of "Chicago Med," "Chicago P.D." and "Chicago Fire." Those TV shows and others are back in production. Here's what's on tap for Chicago filming in 2021.

11/18/2020
Career Sustainability Panel: Beyond the Film Set

The Chicago Film Office, Seed&Spark and the Illinois Film Office present a panel discussion with creative entrepreneurs about creating and sustaining a film career. They will discuss how their career journeys challenge the typical narrative of "making it in the business" and offer alternative narratives to what are typically taught as ideal roles to aspire to (i.e. working in Hollywood, producer, director roles, etc.). Professional development panels often discuss the craft of filmmaking. We will instead discuss what it looks like; and what it takes to actually create a sustainable career in film; one that is both economically and creatively sustaining. Ultimately, there is more than one way to creating and sustaining a "film career" and the path will look different for everyone.

Looking for inspiration and/or advice on how to navigate a career in film & media -- one that feeds you creatively and f...
11/17/2020

Looking for inspiration and/or advice on how to navigate a career in film & media -- one that feeds you creatively and financially? Join us for an inspiring talk tomorrow (11/18) with this group of amazing creators and creative entrepreneurs! For details and to register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/126437478903 #careerpathways #filmcareer #careerdevelopment

11/12/2020
Career Sustainability Panel: Beyond the Film Set

The Chicago Film Office, Seed&Spark and the Illinois Film Office present a panel discussion with creative entrepreneurs about creating and sustaining a film career. They will discuss how their career journeys challenge the typical narrative of "making it in the business" and offer alternative narratives to what are typically taught as ideal roles to aspire to (i.e. working in Hollywood, producer, director roles, etc.). Professional development panels often discuss the craft of filmmaking. We will instead discuss what it looks like; and what it takes to actually create a sustainable career in film; one that is both economically and creatively sustaining. Ultimately, there is more than one way to creating and sustaining a "film career" and the path will look different for everyone.

Welcome to Chicago, Disney Channel. We can't wait for the 2021 debut of #DisneyChristmasAgain. Chicago's TV & Film indus...
11/10/2020
Disney Channel holiday movie begins filming in Chicago this month

Welcome to Chicago, Disney Channel. We can't wait for the 2021 debut of #DisneyChristmasAgain. Chicago's TV & Film industry is one of the most diverse and fastest-growing in the U.S. — and it plays a leading role in Mayor Lightfoot's economic recovery strategy. (Last year, filming resulted in an estimated economic impact of nearly $560 million in job creation and local expenditures.)
Filming has resumed in Chicago, with all productions following the COVID-19 health and safety measures outlined in the Restore Illinois Film Production Guidelines and the City of Chicago's Be Safe Film and Television Production Guidelines.
Details at ChicagoFilmOffice.us.

"Christmas Again" is the rare holiday movie set in Chicago that's actually shooting in Chicago.

Are you an aspiring filmmaker? The Free Spirit Media Cohort application is now open for 2021. Apply for an opportunity t...
11/06/2020

Are you an aspiring filmmaker? The Free Spirit Media Cohort application is now open for 2021. Apply for an opportunity to get 12-weeks of intensive training and to learn from industry leaders and professionals.

Applicants must be between 18-25 years old, live in Chicago, and have a passion for media, film, and television. Application opens on October 31st and closes on November 30th. To apply visit: http://bit.ly/FSMCOHORT2021

For more information about Free Spirit Media’s Cohort, visit freespiritmedia.org/inpathways or contact Aira Alcantara via [email protected] for more information.

The Chicago Film XLerator has kicked off Cycle 2 of programming!Submission dates: Nov 1 - Dec 1*Finalists will be select...
11/06/2020

The Chicago Film XLerator has kicked off Cycle 2 of programming!

Submission dates: Nov 1 - Dec 1
*Finalists will be selected mid-Dec and the virtual pitch event will be late-Jan in partnership.

For more info and to apply, visit www.creativecypher.org.

Did you know that our very own Kwame Amoaku was part of this year's Children's Jury for the 37th Chicago International C...
11/06/2020

Did you know that our very own Kwame Amoaku was part of this year's Children's Jury for the 37th Chicago International Children's Film Festival?

With over 200 amazing films to choose from and virtual screenings available for the first time ever, CICFF37 has something to make everyone happy! Get tickets and family passes at cicff.eventive.org #CICFF37 #WatchFromHome #NoTheaterNoProblem

CALLING ALL INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS! Here's your opportunity to apply to the 2021 cycle of the Chicago Independent Produce...
10/09/2020

CALLING ALL INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS! Here's your opportunity to apply to the 2021 cycle of the Chicago Independent Producers Lab. Participating producers will have the chance to work with industry professionals to grow their network and expertise in different areas of independent film producing. Application Deadline: January 17, 2021. To learn more and to apply: https://www.fullspectrumfeatures.com/producers-lab

Registration for the 2020 VIRTUAL edition of Industry Days at the 56th Chicago International Film Festival is now open. ...
10/08/2020

Registration for the 2020 VIRTUAL edition of Industry Days at the 56th Chicago International Film Festival is now open. Register now!

This year's Keynote Conversation features Dede Gardner, Producer of Moonlight and The Big Short.

Additional featured events include Master Classes with Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter John Logan (Skyfall, Penny Dreadful, Hugo) and six-time Grammy-winner and Oscar-nominated trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard (BlacKkKlansman, Da 5 Bloods, One Night in Miami), along with a one-on-one conversation with trailblazing producer and CEO of Gamechanger Films Effie Brown (Dear White People).

Other guests will include representatives from the following companies and organizations: Array Now, CAA, Cinetic Media, Endeavor Content, IFC Films, MPI Media, Music Box Films, Neon, Netflix, the Sundance Institute, and many more.

Industry Days will also include our popular competitive Pitch session, intimate Decision-Maker Roundtable meetings and virtual networking.

View the full schedule and apply for accreditation at www.chicagofilmfestival.com/festival/industry-days

10/07/2020
Film Permit Workshop

The Chicago Film Office presents an online workshop that covers the what, where, when, why, and how of film permitting. If you’re planning to film on city property, city streets, and/or sidewalks or if you require city services such as street parking, you won’t want to miss this informative and enlightening workshop. Join Policy Analyst, John Hundrieser and Cultural Affairs Coordinator, Timothy Olson as they cover the following:

ONLINE APPLICATION PROCESS
OTHER PERMITS (I.E. DRONE FLIGHTS, PRIVATE PROPERTIES)
CITY SERVICES & RATES
ALTERNATE JURISDICTIONS (I.E. CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT, MILLENNIUM PARK, ETC.)
AND SO MUCH MORE!

10/05/2020
Film Permit Workshop

The Chicago Film Office presents an online workshop that covers the what, where, when, why, and how of film permitting. If you’re planning to film on city property, city streets, and/or sidewalks or if you require city services such as street parking, you won’t want to miss this informative and enlightening workshop. Join Policy Analyst, John Hundrieser and Cultural Affairs Coordinator, Timothy Olson as they cover the following:

ONLINE APPLICATION PROCESS
OTHER PERMITS (I.E. DRONE FLIGHTS, PRIVATE PROPERTIES)
CITY SERVICES & RATES
ALTERNATE JURISDICTIONS (I.E. CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT, MILLENNIUM PARK, ETC.)
AND SO MUCH MORE!

Interested in learning how to better serve audiences and filmmakers with disabilities? Tune into Access Reframed, where ...
10/01/2020

Interested in learning how to better serve audiences and filmmakers with disabilities? Tune into Access Reframed, where accessibility thought leaders will discuss actions that we can take towards a more inclusive film and media arts community. Register for the live conversation here: https://accessreframed-presenter.eventbrite.com/. ASL and CART captioning will be provided on Zoom with additional accommodations available upon request.

Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival starts today! Showing 30 features, 54 shorts across eight shorts...
09/24/2020
Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ + International Film Festival

Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival starts today! Showing 30 features, 54 shorts across eight shorts programs from 21 countries, Reeling will offer home viewers access to new films not currently available on commercial streaming platforms. From dramas to comedies to international documentaries and short films, Reeling offers something for every movie lover! For more info on the films and tickets: https://reelingfilmfestival.org/2020/

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The Chicago International Film Festival has released their full schedule! With many films streaming across the U.S. and ...
09/23/2020
56th Chicago International Film Festival

The Chicago International Film Festival has released their full schedule! With many films streaming across the U.S. and select primetime screenings happening at Pilsen's ChiTown Movies drive-in, enjoy their selection of the most exciting, compelling, and groundbreaking feature films, documentaries, and short films of the year. See the full schedule: https://www.chicagofilmfestival.com/festival/

The Chicago International Film Festival is the longest-running competitive film festival in North America.

09/22/2020

Fund your next film by applying for the 2021 Individual Artists Program Grant! Application Opens October 26, 2020.

DCASE is pleased to announce the timeline for the 2021 Individual Artists Program (IAP) grant cycle. IAP grants aim to assist Chicago's practicing artists in creating work that develops their craft and elevates their careers, while adding to the cultural vitality of the city of Chicago.

The application will open and guidelines will become available on October 26, 2020, and are due before December 1, 2020 at 5pm CST. For eligibility requirements and grant calendar, please visit chicagoculturalgrants.org.

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78 E. Washington Street
Chicago, IL
60602

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(312) 744-6415

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Our Story

Audiences around the world travel Chicago’s streets through its portrayal in filmed entertainment. These compelling images help to generate tourism, promote international business, and establish a new global awareness of our landscape and culture. Adding to local favorites Ferris Buellers Day Off and The Blues Brothers, recent productions of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Contagion, The Dark Knight, and Public Enemies as well as numerous television series have led to Chicago being ranked among the most respected production centers in the country. Since 1980, more than 1100 feature films and television productions have shot in Chicago contributing $2 billion in local revenue. Chicago attracts hundreds of commercials and photo shoots each year that are produced for both national and international clients.This growth industry provides quality jobs for thousands of Chicagoans and creates opportunities for hundreds of hometown businesses. This success would not have been possible without tremendous community support. Thanks to the spirited cooperation of residents, businesses and civic leaders, Chicago is truly a remarkable city for filmmaking.

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Good afternoon -- Here is an anthology filmed in Chicago -- highlighting the chaos, anxiety and stillness we have all been forced to accept. They are bite size commentaries on isolation, self reflection and the mundane hilarity we all encounter dealing with our selves in quarantine.
"The Misadventures of Mistress Maneater" has been doing well on the fest circuit...stars Lorrisa Julianus and Mickey O'Sullivan are getting stellar reviews for their work...as have Shannon Brown and the rest of the cast...we're in talks with several distribution companies and a few film agents, and we'll know the ultimate landing place for the film soon. We launched on Prime and Vimeo two weeks ago, and this review showed up on imdb today:
Just finishing up on a complete script about the pandemic. This will be my sixth screenplay going for ten, and I'm excited.
As the Education Director of FilmNorth in St. Paul, Minnesota, I'm reaching out to film organizations across the country. For nearly 30 years we've offered a vast array of classes in screenwriting, cinema production, documentary, editing, animation, and photography. When the pandemic struck, we adapted many of our core courses to online, so now anyone, anywhere, can attend FilmNorth's VERY AFFORDABLE classes! They're interactive with awesome instructors, who are all local film industry pros. Please check out our summer schedule, which includes some brand-new offerings. We'd love for you to join us here in Minnesota for a class or workshop!
I have always been interested in learning how the film industry is structured in regard to independent films. In my exploration process, which has given me the opportunity to become more familiar with film, Film Festival Flix has been the platform that allowed me to discover new cinema and appreciating it for all its aspects. Since film festivals have been canceled this year, Film Festival Flix would be great if you are interested in viewing film festivals through an online perspective. Ashland Independent Film Festival will be available to stream on this platform as well on May 22nd. Let me know if you get a ticket!
Does this department hire these tyrants or is it taught in THEIR dept to do this George Orwell — 'If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.
Hey Chicago, it's beginning to look a LOT like Christmas! If your tastes are nostalgic and you're starting your holiday shopping, pre-order my film the "Solstice: 25th Anniversary Restoration" on Indiegogo! Guaranteed delivery by December 15th, Lifetime's first original holiday movie has been lovingly restored in 2K by local director Jerry Vasilatos and features hours of bonus content on the making of the film along with an award-orchestral score! Shot throughout the Southport corridor, it's a cinematic Christmas card to Chicago and available in limited quantities! Check out the campaign here for the Blu-ray, DVD, soundtrack CD and poster and to all a good night! https://igg.me/at/solsticebluray/x/13077443#/
Chicagoans here need to be on the lookout for a new Ethan Hawke and Mark Strong film that debuted at a couple festivals recently. More importantly I have reading a couple Tribeca Film reviews where they absolutely love this film "Stockholm" which tells the origin story of how Stockholm syndrome got its name. What I have been reading is that the movie does a great job of recreating a true story that gives the audience the 1970's era hair, clothing, cars, and music. It will be releasing soon on the 26th of April at our local AMC Streets of Woodfield.
Stockholm is a funny and agile film that documents the origin story of Stockholm Syndrome. My favorite part of the film was the acting. I felt as if everyone really embodied their roles which led to the connections feeling very genuine. I really enjoyed this movie with all the heart-pounding action and focus on human connection, Stockholm is a must watch, especially if you are a psychology buff.
DocYourWorld is a unique documentary celebration, put together entirely by Columbia College students. Come for the skateboards and stay for Mr. Rogers and in between, take a trip to the Arctic!