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City & State

Competing for the Chicago Award—a showcase of the year’s best stories and brightest talents from our own backyard.


All Jacked Up and Full of Worms

Alex Phillips  |   United States
Comedy, Horror

After a disturbed recluse scores hallucinogenic earthworms, he embarks on a psychedelic journey of self-discovery with a sex worker and a hotel maintenance man as his companions.


Art and Pep

Mercedes Kane  |   United States
LGBTQ, Political, Social Commentary

A heartfelt tribute to activists Art Johnston and Pepe Peña, whose celebrated gay bar Sidetrack has fueled movements and created community on Chicago’s Halsted Street for decades.


The Big Payback

Erika Alexander & Whitney Dow  |   United States
Political, Social Commentary, Women Centered

An inspiring look at rookie Alderman Robin Rue Simmons’ fight to redress the wrongs of “redlining” and the legacy of slavery through a groundbreaking reparations program in Evanston, Illinois.


A Compassionate Spy

Steve James  |   United States, United Kingdom
Historical, Political, Social Commentary

The fascinating story of Manhattan Project scientist Theodore Hall, who passed crucial military secrets to Soviet intelligence in the hopes of saving the world.


Dirtbag [short film]

Karsten Runquist  |   United States

Harold is given a bag of dirt, and he needs to get rid of it immediately.


King of Kings: Chasing Edward Jones

Harriet Marin Jones  |   France, United States
English, French  
Historical, Social Commentary

The thrilling life story of the legendary African American powerbroker, who built a multimillion-dollar empire running a racketeering syndicate on Chicago’s South Side in the 1930s and ’40s.


The Limits of Vision [short film]

Laura Ann Harrison  |   United States

A woman trapped in a deadly domestic universe who is suddenly sprung free when she comes into contact with the king of dust, Mucor.


Matriarch [short film]

Donald Conley  |   United States

Legacy, life, and elderly motherhood is celebrated from the perspective of the filmmaker’s grandmothers.


My Summer Vacation [short film]

Kelly O'Sullivan  |   United States

An elementary school student, Cass, gives an unorthodox presentation on her summer vacation in Pompeii.


No Ordinary Campaign

Christopher Burke  |   United States
Family Affairs, Political

In this inspiring story of love, hope, and activism, former Obama political director Brian Wallach, who was diagnosed with ALS at age 37, fights alongside his wife to find solutions for the debilitating disease.



Alex Thompson  |   United States
Drama, Mystery, Thriller

In this deftly directed psychological thriller, a promising young doctor loses his grasp on reality after developing an unhealthy obsession with a patient whose symptoms seem suspect.

Collection of four film stills representing Shorts Program 1

Shorts 1: Dimensional (City and State)

Various  |   United States

These shorts reflect the makeup of Chicago in unique visual styles that together form a creative local landscape.


The Year Between

Alex Heller  |   United States
Comedy, Coming of Age, Family Affairs

In her sharply comic feature debut, Chicago filmmaker Alex Heller plays an acerbic college student with bipolar disorder struggling to connect with her parents and make her way in the world.