First Look at the 56th Chicago International Film Festival

Belushi Announced as Opening Night Film!

It’s here— your first look at the 56th Chicago International Film Festival!

The Chicago International Film Festival kicks off Wednesday, October 14th, with the world premiere documentary film Belushi, chronicling the celebrated career and untimely death of native son and The Second City alumnus John Belushi. The Festival embraces the current moment with its 2020 edition, and will retain its signature screening slate of international features and shorts in and out of competition, along with celebrity and director Q&As and special events.

The full schedule for the 56th Chicago International Film Festival will be revealed on Tuesday, September 22. For early access and the best prices on passes and tickets become a member today!

Opening Night

Online streaming and in-person drive-in screenings Wednesday, October 14.

Belushi still



A feature documentary from award-winning filmmaker R.J. Cutler about the too-short life of John Belushi, the once-in-a-generation talent who captured the hearts and funny-bones of audiences worldwide. Told using previously unheard audiotapes, this film examines Belushi’s extraordinary life in the words of his collaborators, friends, and family, including Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi, Penny Marshall, Lorne Michaels, Carrie Fisher, Chevy Chase, Harold Ramis, Jane Curtin, Ivan Reitman and his high school sweetheart and later wife Judy Belushi.

From his early years growing up in Wheaton, Illinois, John Belushi showed an extraordinary talent for comedy and music. It was a visit to The Second City theater in Chicago where he discovered his true calling, and from that moment John became an unstoppable and pioneering force in the comedy world. From National Lampoon’s Lemmings and Radio Hour to one of the founding cast members on Saturday Night Live, his insatiable drive kept the candle burning at both ends. John simultaneously appeared on SNL each Saturday night while filming Animal House and forming a band, The Blues Brothers. The result: by age 30 Belushi was on the #1 television show, had the #1 comedy in movie history and the #1 record album in the world. But as John’s fame grew, so did his demons, and not even Judy could save him from the drug use that would eventually take his life. This film captures the complicated and singular essence of a beloved American icon who changed culture and comedy forever. Courtesy of SHOWTIME® Documentary Films

How To Enjoy The Festival

The safety of our audiences is our top priority. This year’s festival will include a remote streaming film screenings, events, and Q&As along with a selection on in-person drive-in screenings.

Drive-In Screenings

The Chicago International Film Festival will host five nights of drive-in screenings at Pilsen’s ChiTown Movies drive-in theater at 2343 S Throop St.

Streaming to Your Home

Virtual screenings and events will be ticketed and many will be accessible to national audiences via CineSend, the Festival’s streaming platform. Virtual movies, not currently available on commercial streaming services, will be streamed by the Festival and viewable from the safety and comfort of the home via the Festival’s streaming site and apps for Roku and Apple TV. 


Multi-ticket passes are now on sale. Pass holders will be able to begin reserving ticket sfor individual screenings beginning September 25th.

Buy Passes Now

Drive-in and streaming single tickets will be available through the website for Cinema/Chicago members beginning Wednesday, September 23rd , and Monday, September 28th for the general public.

Become a Cinema/Chicago Member Now