Chicago International Film Festival First Look

First Look at the 58th Chicago International Film Festival

The Chicago International Film Festival returns for its 58th edition from October 12 – 23, 2022. This year, the Festival will present screenings at venues throughout Chicago, including at AMC River East 21, the Music Box Theatre, the Gene Siskel Film Center, the Chicago History Museum, and several Chicago Park District locations. Select films will also be offered as virtual screenings via the Festival’s streaming platform.

The full film lineup for the Festival will be announced on Monday, September 19. For now, preview our first announced titles below!

Festival passes are now on sale. Save now with early bird pricing, and for early access and the best prices on passes and tickets become a member today.

Learn about Festival Passes

ChiFilmFest Opening Night Block Party

October 12 from 5:00-10:00pm
Southport from Grace to Waveland (in front of the Music Box Theatre)

For the first time in Chicago International Film Festival history, Opening Night will begin with  the ChiFilmFest Opening Night Block Party encompassing Southport between Grace and Waveland, home of the Music Box Theatre. Neighbors, community groups, and film fans from across Chicago are invited to enjoy music, film photo opportunities, vendor booths, and grab a bite at food trucks offering a variety of choices. Entry to the Block Party is free.

Learn more about the block party

Opening Night

A Compassionate Spy

Dir. Steve James | United States, United Kingdom

A tale of espionage, romance, and profound moral questions, A Compassionate Spy follows the remarkable story of Theodore Hall, a University of Chicago graduate who was plucked at the young age of 19 to work on the Manhattan Project to build the first atomic bomb. But soon after he joined the group, he passed crucial military secrets to Soviet intelligence. Oscar-nominated Chicago filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail) has crafted a deeply humanist documentary, combining polished reenactments of Theodore Hall’s life in the 1940s and ‘50s and intimate interviews with his longtime partner Joan Hall, who fled with him to England to evade the FBI. The film tells their fascinating lifelong story of love, intrigue, and the lengths to which some people will go to try to save the world.

Wed, Oct 12, 2022 @ 7:00pm
Music Box Theatre

Learn more and get tickets now

After Dark Opening Night


Dir. John Hyams | United States

In the early days of the pandemic, college students Parker and Miri head out to quarantine in style at a remote lake house in the forest. With their masks off, the young women can finally breathe easier—until a mysterious man shows up outside their door. Co-written by Kevin Williamson (Scream) and Katelyn Crabb and directed by John Hyams (Alone), Sick is a classic bare-knuckled slasher thrill ride with a timely sardonic edge. At a time when any stranger invading your space—let alone one wielding a knife—might shred one’s nerves, Sick feels next-level, filled to the brim with excruciating moments of suspense and horror while giving the word “asymptomatic” a whole new level of dread. Content Warning

Co-Presented with Music Box of Horrors

Wed, Oct 12, 2022 @ 9:45pm
Music Box Theatre

Learn more and get tickets now


Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Dir. Rian Johnson | United States

In this follow-up to Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) travels to Greece to peel back the layers of a mystery involving a new cast of colorful suspects. With Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline, Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, and Kathryn Hahn.

The evening’s program features a Tribute and Career Achievement Award presented to star Kathryn Hahn.

Black Perspectives Special Presentations


Dir. JD Dillard | United States

The harrowing true story of two elite U.S. Navy pilots during the Korean War.


Dir. Nikyatu Jusu | United States

The story of a Senegalese nanny increasingly haunted by the absence of the young son she left behind. Includes a Rising Star Award for star Anna Diop.

Special Presentations

The Banshees of Inisherin

Dir. Martin McDonagh | United Kingdom, Ireland, United States

Two lifelong friends find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship, with alarming consequences for both.

Empire of Light

Dir. Sam Mendes | United States, United Kingdom

A powerful and poignant story about connection and the magic of cinema.

The Whale

Dir. Darren Aronofsky | United States

Brendan Fraser stars as a recluse living with severe obesity and struggling to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter.