CineYouth is the Chicago International Film Festival’s yearly film festival that showcases short films made by filmmakers 22 years old and younger from around the world.  CineYouth strives to encourage the talent of young artists and to provide them with opportunities to tell their stories, network with their peers and be recognized for their creativity. CineYouth is free and open to the public of all ages.

Entries have closed. Thank you to all who submitted this year! Programming decisions are being made. All filmmakers will be notified by April 3, 2017.

Submit your short films through FilmFreeway or Withoutabox. CineYouth 2017 will take place May 4-6 at The Music Box Theatre.

Submit your film through FilmFreeway

Submit your film through Withoutabox

Regular deadline for entries is March 10, 2017. Final deadline is March 17, 2017.

CineYouth Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When and where does CineYouth take place?
A: The 13th annual CineYouth Festival takes place May 4-6, 2017 at the Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Ave.) in Chicago, IL.

Q: How can I submit my film and how much does it cost?
A: The entry fee is $15 per film and you can submit via FilmFreeway or Withoutabox. For additional submission questions, please contact Education Manager Lauren Ponto.

Q: When is the submission deadline?
A: Entries for the 2017 CineYouth Festival will be accepted November 1, 2016 – March 10, 2017, with a late/final deadline of March 17, 2017.

Q: How will I know if my film got into CineYouth?
A: Filmmakers who submitted to CineYouth 2017 will be notified of programming decisions in early April 2017.

Q: I’m 23 years old now, but when I made my film I was 22. Is it still okay to submit?
A: As long as you were 22 years or younger at the time you made the film it is okay to submit.

Q: What is the total run time of the films you accept?
A: The length of all submissions must be 15 minutes or less, including credits.

Q: Will I get my submission file back once I enter it?
A: No. We do not send entry files back. Please make sure that you are not sending your master copy, it will not be returned to you.

Q: Do you offer any help with travel and lodging for visiting filmmakers?

A: We often have travel and lodging discounts available! Please visit our website in April of 2017 to find out more.

Q: How are winners chosen and what do winners receive?
A: One to two winning films are chosen for each genre category by a jury made up of our Student Film Council. Winning filmmakers receive awards and their films are screened at the Chicago International Film Festival at a free CineYouth “Best of the Fest” screening.

Educators, please see our Educator Guide for more information on how to get your students involved. 

CineYouth 2016

Take a look at past winners and film challenge projects.