The Chicago International Film Festival has been approved for a $30,000 Grants for Arts Projects award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support the Chicago Industry Exchange program. This project will support the Industry Days conference and year-round artistic and professional development programming for independent film and media artists.This project is among 1,130 projects across the country, totaling more than $31 million, that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2023 funding.
“The National Endowment for the Arts is pleased to support a wide range of projects, including the Chicago International Film Festival’s Industry Exchange program, demonstrating the many ways the arts enrich our lives and contribute to healthy and thriving communities,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “These organizations play an important role in advancing the creative vitality of our nation and helping to ensure that all people can benefit from arts, culture, and design.”
“We are very excited for this continuing support from the NEA, which will help the Chicago Industry Exchange be the preeminent professional film development destination in the Midwest,” said Managing Director Vivian Teng. “This grant will especially play a crucial role in fostering our CIX: Lab program, which allows us to support five talented emerging filmmakers get their debut features off the ground.”
The Chicago Industry Exchange (CIX) empowers independent film and media-makers from Chicago and across the Midwest through year-round events and a creative development lab (CIX:Lab), offering vital resources for artistic development and the ability to access people and information not otherwise available in the Midwest. Held annually during the Chicago International Festival in October, Industry Days is a 4-day conference for filmmakers and industry professionals to connect, share ideas, and be inspired. Events include panels, master classes with industry leaders, Decision-Maker Roundtables, and networking opportunities. Full schedule coming September 2023.
The CIX: Lab is a year-long creative project development lab committed to helping close the opportunity gap in the film industry through supporting a cohort of diverse filmmakers across four quarterly learning modules: script development, directing, pre-production, and pitching. During Industry Days, Lab projects will be pitched, while the cohort meets with agents, executives, and financiers. Quarterly Industry Talks and networking events build and enrich the creative community.