City & State
This stellar collection of films—competing for the Festival’s Chicago Award—showcase the year’s best stories and brightest talents from our own backyard
This epic docuseries from Hoop Dreams director Steve James captures Chicago at a crossroads, still reeling from the shooting of Laquan McDonald and in the midst of the contentious 2019 mayoral election. From protests to penthouses, James chronicles the divisions that separate and the issues that unite our city.
In 2017, Chinese student Yingying Zhang went missing just weeks after arriving at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Filmmaker Jiayan “Jenny” Shi investigates the mystery surrounding Yingying’s disappearance and its devastating impact on her family and her community.
Meet Mama Gloria. Chicago’s Black transgender icon Gloria Allen emerged from the South Side’s drag ball culture in the 1960s to trailblaze a path for transgender youth to follow. With positivity and polish, she overcame prejudice and traumatic violence to become a proud leader in her community.
From the award-winning team behind the Chicago International Film Festival hit documentary Louder than a Bomb comes this inspiring and emotional film following Jesse Teverbaugh, a charismatic leader at the job-training program Cara, as he mentors four Chicagoans during their precarious journey from homelessness, addiction, and incarceration to stable employment.
These innovative shorts showcase the very best in Chicago and Illinois filmmaking across a wide variety of genres and forms. Featuring works by Andre Muir and Danielle Alston, Jennifer Boles, Hannah Welever, Orlando Leroi, Lisa Barcy, Ian Bertorelli, Alex Heller, and Ben Strang.