Festival Programs

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Banner: the 58th Chicago International Film Festival

Festival Programs

View the 58th Festival selection in carefully curated thematic Programs chosen by our programmers.

Best of the Fest

Don’t miss newly added screenings of these Festival award winners and audience favorites!

Closing Night

The festival comes to a close with White Noise, a hilarious and horrifying, lyrical and absurd, ordinary and apocalyptic tale of a contemporary American family’s attempts to deal with the mundane conflicts of everyday life.

International Competition

Striking and masterfully crafted films from around the world represent the best in current cinema.

New Directors Competition

Screening for the first time in the U.S., these bold works from emerging talents showcase exciting new voices in international cinema.


These real-life stories go up-close and personal with the people and issues that define who we are, where we come from, and where we’re going.

Special Presentations

The most highly anticipated films of the season from celebrated filmmakers featuring unforgettable stories and stunning performances.


Award-winners and critical favorites, these films are among the year’s most acclaimed
and accomplished.


These resonant films capture moments of seismic change and pivotal emotional turning points from all corners of the globe.

Collection of sixteen film stills representing the Shorts Programs


Succinct yet mighty films that demonstrate the virtuosity and craft of the short format.


These superbly crafted films reflect the myriad perspectives and experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals. Many of these films will be competing for the Q Hugo Award.

After Dark

These shock-filled, spine-tingling, and wildly strange visions will keep you up late into the night.

Black Perspectives

A celebration of the richness and diversity of African American and Black stories, from Prohibition-era Chicago to the Korean War to contemporary New York,
and beyond.

City & State

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


From slapstick to subversive, surrealist to satirical, this program presents a range of films that will leave you laughing all the way home.

Sound on Screen

From blues legends to The Beatles, country stars to Icelandic performance artists, these melodious movies will strike a chord.

Women in Cinema

Powerful and provocative films by both leading women filmmakers and exciting new voices.

Bonus Features

Special screenings of classics from the past presented alongside festival premieres.

Past Events

Opening Night

This year’s festival kicks off with A Compassionate Spy, a fascinating story of Manhattan Project scientist Theodore Hall who passed crucial military secrets to Soviet intelligence in the hopes of saving the world.

After Dark Opening Night

Join us opening night for Sick, the new slasher film from the writer of Scream, which follows two college co-eds who quarantine at a remote lake house, only to discover they are not entirely alone.


Our Centerpiece presentation is Glass Onion, director Rian Johnson’s rousing, enormously entertaining follow-up to Knives Out.

Drive In

A specially curated collection of festival films appearing at ChiTown Movies Drive-In in Pilsen.

Gala Presentations

These red-carpet premieres of high-profile, buzz-worthy titles are the talk of the town, with scheduled in-person appearances from filmmakers, stars, and special guests.

Newly Added

Exciting, last-minute additions to the festival lineup.