3rd Annual

Chicago Independent Film (and TV) Festival

April 12, 2019 to April 15, 2019

Film Market
Submit Online
1846 W. Lunt Ave.
Chicago IL 60626
Phone: 7733181808

CLOSED FOR THE SEASON • Information may be outdated. Add this event to your Watch List and set a Remind-Me if you want to be notified when the next Call For Entries is posted.

Narrative Feature
Features are 44 minutes or longer
Documentary Feature
Documentary films and projects. 21 minutes or longer.
Narrative Short
5-21 minutes in length.
Documentary Short
21 minutes and under.
Music Video
10 minutes and under. Experimental welcome.
Student Film
Must provide legitimate academic adviser contact name and phone number. Shorts and features accepted.
Online Content - 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.

Online content covers a wide variety of projects. Be sure that you are submitting to the correct category. online content only.
Television Pilot
Traditional TV or Digital Pilot. Single and multi-cam. All genres. 59 minutes and under.
Television Sizzle
Under 5 minutes. Must be for an unproduced final project. No director's reels, compilation videos or similar.
For narrative projects between 21-44 minutes. No pilots. Please submit to that category if applicable.


Chicago’s annual Film (+TV) festival showcasing a diverse selection of independent projects from across the world.

A weekend film festival with 60 + feature films, short films, made-for-web content, pilots, proof of concepts and music videos in all genres.

Mission: Showcase strong and diverse independent works from around the world. Provide filmmakers Offer real opportunities for industry education, networking and community building that goes beyond the typical “Chicago Way”. Working at bridging the industry in Los Angeles to the Midwest. Fostering the near-universal convergence of storytelling and technology.


Year 3, Spring 2020

The Chicago Independent Film and TV Festival supports international and national filmmakers and showcase strong independent work in the city of Chicago. We're teaming up with some big names to make our Year Two even better!

CIFF fills the overdue need for a quality international independent film festival in Chicago. Ran by filmmakers with a recognized 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 10 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 educate and champion local production opportunities but also the actuality of the current industry.

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 for 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 executives. We will bring this high level of quality and opportunity to CIFF.

Bringing the knowledge learned as filmmakers, festival attendees and fest administrators, our inaugural CIFF will not disappoint.

“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.” -
Rebecca Stocchetti, outgoing Local Initiatives Coordinator Chicago 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.” - Jack Newell, filmmaker and director of The Second City Harold Ramis Film School.

“There is a strong, immediate need for a quality independent film and television event in Chicago.” - Independent filmmaker Brent Kado, the festival’s founder.
As Executive Director of the Chicago Comedy Film Festival, Kado has helped grow that event into a premier destination for comedy and film. He hopes to mirror the success of CCFF with this new festival.
“Independent film and television is rapidly changing and we want to help foster that change in Chicago.” Kado also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College.

Please note:
If accepted and notified, project head has 10 (ten) business days to notify the festival if they intend to NOT screen or a $500 (US) fee will be charged back to the filmmaker. (This is to cover booking and scheduling issues)


Brent Kado (Festival Registrar); Brent Kado (Festival Registrar)


Submit in correct categories. Read all rules carefully.


TERMS AND CONDITIONS (please read thoroughly before submitting)

Chicago Independent Film (and TV) Festival (CIFF) is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes. Payment of submission fee does not guarantee inclusion in our festival. If your film is chosen as an official selection CIFF does not compensate for travel, accommodations, or appearance fees unless otherwise offered. Online distribution of the film prior to screening at the festival is prohibited. Local screenings and announcements (75 miles radius) are prohibited within 90 days prior and 30 days post CIFF screening. CIFF reserves the right to schedule changes and may at any time revoke a film screening, festival passes, accommodations, and any other filmmaker agreements for any reason. ONLINE SCREENERS ONLY.

Once the film is accepted to Chicago Independent Film Festival, DIGITAL COPIES and PRESS SCREENERS (DVD) will be required. The committee reserves the right to rescind any screening engagement if the film is not delivered on time. Chicago Comedy Film Festival holds your screeners in a secure fashion and takes the filmmakers rights very seriously. Please note that technical glitches will not be adjusted during the screening of your film. Your screener must be in final format upon acceptance and filmmakers will not be allowed to have private technical meetings with the projectionist due to CIFF contractual rules with the theater.

The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. Upon acceptance, CIFF may offer contract options to join the CIFF Youtube network and/or work with CIFF digital partners as CIFF. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Chicago Independent Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.