Festival Programs

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Banner: the 57th Chicago International Film Festival

Festival Programs

View the 57th 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 King Richard, a portrait of an undeterred father instrumental in raising two of the most extraordinarily gifted athletes of all time.

Drive In

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

Special Presentations

The most highly anticipated films of the season from celebrated filmmakers featuring unforgettable stories and amazing performances from the best actors working today.

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.

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.

Global Currents

Colorful characters, meta fictions, and epic storytelling characterize these resonant films from all corners of the world.


A cornucopia of the latest masterworks from the world’s most venerable and renowned filmmakers.

OutLook Competition

Competing for the Festival’s Q Hugo Award, these superbly crafted films reflect the myriad perspectives and experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals.


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

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 and storytellers from Chicago to Chad, Mali to Somalia, and beyond.

Cinemas of the Americas

A dynamic showcase of fresh work by emerging and veteran filmmakers from across South and Central America and Mexico.

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 satire, romantic hijinks to surrealist wit, this program presents a range of films that are funny and about funny people.

Green Screen

From the Amazon rainforest to the Arctic ice caps, these urgent, topical, and captivating films tackle stories of climate change and environmental crisis.


Women in Cinema

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

Opening Night

This year’s festival kicks off with The French Dispatch, a wondrous and inspired tale from the visionary mind of award-winning filmmaker Wes Anderson.

Opening Night @ the Drive-In

Kick off this year’s festival at the drive-in with The Velvet Underground, a mesmerizing documentary from acclaimed filmmaker Todd Haynes (Velvet Goldmine, I’m Not There).

A father reads to a child in bed


Our Centerpiece presentation, C’mon C’mon, is a powerfully resonant and hopeful portrait of our times, starring Joaquin Phoenix and directed by Mike Mills (20th Century Women, Beginners).

Newly Added

Exciting, last-minute additions to the festival lineup.