About Cinema/Chicago

About Cinema/Chicago

Our Mission

Cinema/Chicago, the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, is a year-round non-profit cultural and educational organization dedicated to fostering better communication between people of diverse cultures through the art of film and the moving image. We serve Chicago’s diverse and under-served citizenry by providing access to world-class cinema. We aim to enrich Chicago’s cultural environment by presenting film in contexts that encourage discussion and debate.

Through the Film Festival, our Education Program, and our year-round programming and membership program, we enhance the cultural assets of the city of Chicago by exhibiting film from around the world. We also strive to promote a deeper understanding of a diverse body of cultures, thus contributing to Chicago’s identity and orientation as an international city.

Code of Conduct

Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival are committed to providing guests with a safe and enjoyable experience. We also appreciate, respect, and honor the diversity of our global community of guests.

Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival does not tolerate discrimination, harassment or violence—verbal, physical, sexual, or otherwise—based on sex, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, race, national origin, religion, class, age and physical or mental disability towards staff, volunteers, guests, audience members, or attendees at any of our festivals, conferences, or events. Our staff and volunteers are committed to ensuring the best possible experience for all of our attendees. We reserve the right to revoke access to festival events and venues, both virtual and physical spaces, for those who engage in such conduct.

Who We Are

The year-round programs and initiatives of Cinema/Chicago, the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, are led and managed by dedicated individuals with a passion for film. From our staff to our Governing Board and Associate Board, each made up of community leaders dedicated to furthering our mission, Cinema/Chicago depends on the support of every member of our team. Our year-round staff is also joined by numerous seasonal employees and volunteers, and is further assisted by our volunteer committee members.


  • Artistic Director Mimi Plauché
  • Managing Director Vivian Teng
  • Senior Programmer Anthony Kaufman
  • Programmer Sam Flancher
  • Development Manager Sheena Laird
  • Sponsorship Manager Jackie O’Connor
  • Operations Manager Mikaela McParlan
  • Graphic Designer Bridget Schultz
  • Web Manager Charles Riffenburg


Governing Board
Associate Board


Accessibility Advisory Committee
Black Perspectives Committee
CineYouth Advisory Committee
International Connections Committee

Contact Information

212 W Van Buren St., Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60607

Phone: 312.683.0121
Fax: 312.683.0122
Email: info@chicagofilmfestival.com

Filmmaker Inquiries

Email: entries@chicagofilmfestival.com

Media Inquiries

Email: publicity@chicagofilmfestival.com

Membership &d Donation Inquiries

Email: membership@chicagofilmfestival.com

Sponsorship Inquiries

Email: jackie@chicagofilmfestival.com

Join Our Team

Interested in working for Cinema/Chicago or the Chicago International Film Festival? Check back often for open job positions, available internships, and volunteer opportunities.


Our Beginning

The Chicago International Film Festival was started in 1964 by filmmaker and graphic artist Michael Kutza to provide an alternative to the commercial Hollywood movies that dominated the city’s theaters. Seeking out the best in international cinema, the Festival has opened windows to a world of film previously or otherwise unavailable in Chicago.  In addition, at more than half of the screenings each year, filmgoers have the rare and exciting chance to meet directors, producers, writers and cast members who introduce their films and hold discussion sessions after the screenings.

The Festival has a rich history of discovering hundreds of ground-breaking directors including Martin Scorsese, John Carpenter, Taylor Hackford, Susan Seidelman, Victor Nunez, Wim Wenders, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Bertrand Tavernier, Peter Weir, Dariush Mehrjui, Mike Leigh, Alan Parker, Michael Apted, Peter Greenaway, Vincent Ward, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Krzysztof Zanussi, Dusan Makavejev, Victor Erice, Jan Troell and Maria Louisa Bemberg.

Our Logo

cinema_eyes Some have thought they were Charlie Chaplin’s eyes (including Mr. Chaplin), others thought they were Liza Minnelli’s (including Ms. Minnelli). However, those eyes on the Chicago International Film Festival logo belong to a combination of silent screen sirens: Theda Bara, Pola Negri and Mae Murray. These actresses starred in countless films at the dawn of cinema and the logo is a rendering of all three. Created by Festival Founder and Artistic Director Michael Kutza, our logo has become internationally recognized as an image that represents both the allure of the silver screen and the cinematic celebration that takes place every year in Chicago. The silent star Celluloid hero, with her heavily mascared eyes, continues to be the Festival’s guiding vision since 1964.