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57th Chicago International Film Festival banner

City & State

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


In-Person
Virtual

Acts of Love

Isidore Bethel, Francis Leplay  |   United States, France
English  
Documentary, LGBTQ, Sex and Sexuality

Filmmaker Isidore Bethel mixes fiction and documentary in this tender exploration of hookup culture, gay sexuality, and universal questions about what it means to love and be loved.

In-Person
Virtual

Any Given Day

Margaret Byrne  |   United States
Bulgarian, English  
Documentary, Social Commentary, Women Centered
In this raw, moving, and remarkable examination of struggle and resilience, director Margaret Byrne (Raising Bertie) follows Chicagoans Angela, Daniel, and Dimitar as the trio participates in a probation program [...]
In-Person
Virtual

Broadcast Signal Intrusion

Jacob Gentry  |   United States
English  
Horror, Mystery, Thriller

When AV tech whiz James stumbles across grainy archival television footage, it sends him on a search for answers, and he soon uncovers unexpected connections to the inexplicable disappearance of his wife years earlier.

In-Person
Virtual

By the Time I Reach Him [short film]

Meg Walsh  |   United States
English  
Documentary

A filmmaker grapples with her father’s early stages of Alzheimer’s.

In-Person
Virtual

Close Ties to Home Country [short film]

Akanksha Cruczynski  |   United States
English  
Drama

An immigrant dog walker finds connection in the hearts of the wealthy pets she cares for.

In-Person
Virtual

For the Left Hand

Leslie Simmer, Gordon Quinn  |   United States
English  
Documentary, Music, Social Commentary
When aspiring Chicago pianist Norman Malone was just 10-years-old, his father violently attacked him with a hammer, leaving the young virtuoso paralyzed on his right side. But Malone never gave [...]
In-Person
Virtual

Get Well Soon [short film]

Ashley Thompson  |   United States
English  
Drama

A woman is concerned about her family members’ illness.

In-Person
Virtual

Love, Charlie: The Rise and Fall of Chef Charlie Trotter

Rebecca Halpern  |   United States
English  
Biopic, Documentary
In the 2000s, chef Charlie Trotter was the toast of Chicago, his eponymous restaurant one of the world’s top fine-dining destinations. A gastronomic revolutionary and a culinary bad-boy, Trotter paved [...]
In-Person
Virtual

Monochromatic Dreams [short film]

Kristen Nutile, JP Olsen, Brian Zahm  |   United States
English  
Drama

Media installation artist Yvette Mayorga produces mesmerizing work.

In-Person
Virtual

Punch 9 for Harold Washington

Joe Winston  |   United States
English  
Biopic, Documentary, Political
In this epic story of American politics, race, and triumph against all odds, director Joe Winston chronicles the captivating rise, surprising reign, and enduring legacy of Chicago’s first African American [...]
In-Person
Virtual

Shorts 1: Expanding Sensibilities (City and State)

Various  |   United States
Documentary, Drama, Horror

This eclectic showcase highlights the vibrancy of the Chicago and Illinois filmmaking communities across an array of forms and genres.

In-Person
Virtual

Sink [short film]

Curtis Matzke  |   United States
English  
Horror

An experimental horror film told entirely from above the bathroom sink.

In-Person
Virtual

Speck of Dust [short film]

Simo Ezoubeiri  |   United States
English  
Documentary

Older generations are forced to question their worth while facing unmet emotional needs.

In-Person
Virtual

Winning in America [short film]

Amrita Singh  |   United States
English  
Drama

A young student questions the meaning of success while vying for a spot at the prestigious National Spelling Bee.

In-Person
Virtual

The Year I Went Looking for Birds [short film]

Danny Carroll  |   United States
English  
Documentary

This film explores a precious archive of collected materials.