Student Film Council

Student Film Council

  • 2014-2015 Student Film Council members at the 50th Chicago International Film Festival. Photo courtesy Robert Martinez.


The Chicago International Film Festival Student Film Council is a diverse and unique group of high school students from Chicagoland’s public and private school system.

The Council is a program for students who have a passion and appreciation for film, cinema and the moving image. During the school year, Council members will experience and attend the numerous film festivals and film centers in Chicago and engage in conversations with directors, producers and festival programmers. Through the exploration and analysis of film and its connection to Chicago, Council members have the opportunity to better understand cinema and its relationship with audiences, critics and communities. The Council also serves as the jury for the Chicago International Film Festival’s youth film festival, CineYouth (May).

A professional letter of recommendation is required. This should be submitted by a teacher, guidance counselor, after school program leader, religious leader, etc. who can speak to your work ethic, responsibility and artistic curiosity. Council members must be able to commit to one evening a month (to be determined) from approximately 6PM-9PM. 

If you have any questions, please contact Education Manager Lauren Ponto at

Student Film Council partner organizations include The Polish Film Festival in America, the Northwest Chicago Film Society, Kartemquin Films, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Gene Siskel Film Center

Join the Student Film Council

The Chicago International Film Festival is a seeking high school students from Chicagoland’s public and private school system to join our Student Film Council.

Applications for the 2018-2019 Student Film Council have now closed. Applicants will be contacted by email to schedule an interview. If you have questions, please contact Education Manager Lauren Ponto at