9th Annual

Chicago International Movies and Music Festival

November 09, 2017 to November 12, 2017


Out of Competition


Deadlines & Entry Fees

All fees will be charged in U.S. Dollar

Online Services Offered
Entry Form
Fee Payment
Press Kit
Submission Copy
Earlybird Deadline
September 16, 2016
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 55.00 50.00
Regular Deadline
November 18, 2016
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 65.00 60.00
Late Deadline
January 13, 2017
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 75.00 70.00
WAB Extended Deadline
February 3, 2017
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 85.00 80.00
August Deadline
August 4, 2017
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 85.00 80.00
Final Deadline
September 4, 2017
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 85.00 80.00

Discounted fees apply to projects with pre-purchased Discount Packs, on entry fees greater than 30.00.

Category Details

Approximately September 29, 2017

Shorts: maximum 45 minutes
Features: minimum 45 minutes

No requirement for completed by date

Projects may originate from anywhere in the world

No premiere requirement

Projects may have distribution


Submission & Exhibition Format Requirements

  Secure Online Screener
Media Files
  .MOV (QuickTime)

Subtitled Dubbed Dialog List

Media Files
  .MOV (Quicktime)

Subtitled Dubbed Dialog List

Press Kit Requirements

A press kit is required, but only after acceptance.
> Production Still Photos - Digital
> Photo of the Director - Digital
> Biography/Filmography - Director
> One-Sheet Art - Posters

Prizes & Awards

This category is not a competition.
No prizes/awards entered for this category.

Category Rules

All submissions must be paid and post-marked by the deadline date for consideration.

Narrative Feature, 45 minutes or more that is about music, or uses music in an integral, creative way, or stars a prominent musician, or enters on the strength of its original musical score or soundtrack.

Eligibility Rules:

CIMMfest reserves the right to determine eligibility of any work submitted and to change the category of competition.

For entries to be considered for the competition section of the festival, they must have been completed on or after January 1, 2014. Entries completed before that date are eligible for our non-competitive section.

Entries that have aired on US television or that have screened or are available on home video or on the internet in Chicago prior to the Festival will not be considered for the competition section of the festival.

Works in progress are NOT eligible.

All entries must be submitted on aBluRay (PAL/NTSC); Region 0 or 1 DVD (preferred) NTSC or PAL; or .MOV on a flash/hard drive, WAB, or secure web link such as Vimeo.

All submitted materials become property of CIMMfest and will not be returned.

All entries must either be in English or contain English subtitles. Non-English entries submitted without subtitles or with supplementary printed translations will be automatically disqualified.

We suggest applying early, as the majority of films arrive near the deadline and programmers like to start looking at entries as early as possible.

Entrant confirms and warrants required legal authority to submit the entry into the Festival and to use all music, images, and content in the entry.

Entrant will allow usage of clips from the entry for promotional use on television, on the radio, in print, on the internet, and at live Festival events.

Exceptions to the Festival regulations must be authorized by the CIMMfest Entry Coordinator.

By submitting an entry, you are saying that you have read and agree with the guidelines of the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival (CIMMfest).

All statements you have made in this document/form are true, and you certify that you have cleared all rights for this film and understand that no officers, employees, or agents of the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival (CIMMfest) can be held liable for the contents of or damage to the film.

Your entry into this competition grants the festival the rights that have been stated in these guidelines.

By submitting, you hereby agree to the rules and regulations set by the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival.


1. When and where is the 2016 CIMMfest?
The 2016 Festival will be held in Spring in Chicago, Illinois.

2. What type of films are you looking for?
We’re looking for movies about music, movies for music, movies of music, and movies capturing music as it is made. We look for a fresh point of view in the narrative and/or subject matter that is presented in a creative way, regardless of budget, as long as it’s focused on music or features a prominent musician, OR has a great Original Score or a great Soundtrack that serves the narrative.

3. What makes the Chicago International Movies and Music Fest different from other festivals?
CIMMfest’s focus on the intersection between movies and music makes it unique. Note that this is not limited to popular music; we encourage filmmakers with valuable things to say about any kind of music or the people who make it to submit their films.

4. Is there a market component to CIMMfest?
There is no official market but we are in touch with many distributors who are very interested in what Festival films receive awards or are well received.

5. What if I want to submit but my film will not be completed by the final deadline?
We do not accept works in progress.

6. Will you confirm receipt of my entry?
All entries submitted through Withoutabox will be confirmed when we receive them.

7. Do you grant fee waivers?
Out of fairness to other filmmakers, we do not grant fee waivers or reductions.

8. How recently does my film have to have been produced?
Your film must have been completed after January 1, 2014ate: if you began the film before that date but finished it after, we will still consider it. Films completed before that date will be eligible for our non-competitive section.

9. Do I need to send a press kit with my entry?
No. We do ask for a short synopsis, but copious amounts of marketing material and expensive press kits are not needed. If we accept your film, we will ask for the specific material we need. You may email us with any updates about the film (what festivals have accepted it, new awards won, etc.), but note that we do not choose films by how many festivals it has played, awards it has won, or celebrities it involves.

10. Do you have a category for students?
We do not have a specific category for students, but students are encouraged and are eligible for awards in all categories.

11. Does CIMMfest show films for children?
Even though many of the films will be suitable for the entire family, we do not have a special section for children only.

12. How do you distinguish shorts from features?
We define a short film as under 45 minutes and a feature-length film as 45 minutes and over, but we reserve the right to change the category.

13. What is the preferred submission format?
We prefer BluRay (PAL/NTSC); region 1 or 0 DVDs in either NTSC or PAL. (Region 1 is used in the US and Canada, while Region 0 is "all-region"). Be sure to send your BluRay or DVD in a 5 1/4" by 7 1/2" case. (Smaller, thinner cases can cause your DVD to get lost in the shuffle.) If you are burning a consumer disc, write your Project Title, Film ID# (if Withoutabox entry) and Contact phone number on the disc with a permanent marker. PLEASE WRITE CLEARLY. PLEASE test your consumer-burned BluRay or DVD on several makes and models of players BEFORE sending it to our offices. If there are technical difficulties with the submitted BluRay, DVD we will not request another copy from the filmmaker. Multiple copies reduce chance of failure.

14. What if I have not obtained rights to some of the music in my film?
You are responsible for the music rights to your film. We assume that you have taken care of this when you submit your entry. If we are contacted by any record company or music publisher about the music rights in a film we are showing, we will refer that company to the filmmaker.

15. How many films can I submit?
There is no limit to the number of films you can submit. Just be sure to fill out a separate entry and pay an entry fee for each entry.

16. Can I speak with someone about feedback of my film?
Due to the high volume of films submitted, we cannot give feedback or explain why we did not accept a particular film.

17. When will I find out if my film has been selected?
We will notify accepted films by April 2016. Please be sure to keep us updated regarding any changes to your contact info.

18. Will my submission be returned?
We will not return any submissions. Please do not send original prints or tapes. We do not return any other submission materials such as press kits and stills. Entry fees are also nonrefundable. Also, please note that we do not keep rejected films. If we accept your film, we ask to keep your submission for our archives.

19. If accepted, does CIMMfest pay to bring the filmmaker to the event?
Unfortunately, our travel budget does not allow us to provide travel and accommodation for all filmmakers.