2017 Television Festival


The Chicago International Television Festival celebrates the best in local, national and international television and advertising productions with free screenings and insightful panel discussions. The festival culminates with a festive Awards Night honoring the achievements of producers, content creators and advertisers from around the world, while also celebrating the careers of exceptional performers, journalists and content producers.

The 53rd Chicago International Television Festival will take place March 21st – 23rd at the AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois St.)

All screenings are free and open to the public. RSVP below.

To guarantee yourself a seat, you can purchase a TV Pass here!

Tuesday, March 21st

Public Housing Unit – 6pm

The Chicago International Television Festival kicks off with the world premiere of the pilot episode of “Public Housing Unit,” a new locally produced crime drama set in Chicago’s housing projects of the 1980s about three cops fighting to serve a fragmented community, broken by an unjust system.

Creative team members, cast and crew will be in attendance to discuss the episode and the series, as well as their experiences producing an episodic show in Chicago.

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American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story – 8pm

Cooper Hefner (son of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who now serves as the company’s Chief Creative Officer) joins executive producers Steven David and Peter Jaysen for the world premiere of “American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story,” a docudrama featuring vintage 1960s footage as well as reenacted scenes from the legendary Playboy mansion, focusing on the media empire and its impact on pop culture and the expression of free speech. The new series premieres on Amazon Video April 7.

Note: This program features sexual content.

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Wednesday, March 22nd

When the Street Lights Go On – 6pm

Set in a small Illinois town in 1983, “When the Street Lights Go On” follows 15-year-old Charlie (Max Burkholder of “Parenthood”) who discovers a gruesome murder that sets the whole town on edge. Recently acclaimed at its Sundance Film Festival premiere, Indiewire described the show as an “eerie ’80s murder mystery (that) provides plenty of suspicious characters, and builds a world we’re not ready to leave.”

Co-Writers Eddie O’Keefe (a Chicago area native) and Chris Hutton will be in attendance for a discussion following the screening.

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Crashing – 8pm

Following his successful premiere on HBO this month, comedian Pete Holmes hosts an un-aired episode of his hit series “Crashing.” Based on Holmes’ personal experiences, and executive produced by Judd Apatow, the series chronicles the life of a down-on-his-luck stand-up comedian trying to make it in the New York comedy scene. In this episode, Pete meets Sarah Silverman, who invites him to stay with her and her collection of stray comedians.

The screening will be followed by a conversation and Q&A with Holmes.

RSVP to attend

Thursday, March 23rd

53rd Chicago International Television Awards

6pm – Pre-Reception (Lucky Strike Lounge)
7:30pm – Awards Ceremony 

Join us Thursday, March 23rd for the 53rd Chicago International Television Awards as we celebrate the very best in television. We will be announcing the winners from our annual television productions and commercials competitions as well as the Audience Choice Award Winner presented by WTTW11. We will also be honoring the creative careers of a host of distinguished honorees. Click here to learn more.

The pre-reception and ceremony will take place at the AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois St.) with the reception starting at 6pm and the ceremony starting at 7:30pm. Click here to purchase your tickets!