Rules and Regulations

Official Regulations

A) Eligibility Requirements

  1. Films completed on or after September 1, 2014 are eligible.
  2. Films previously submitted to the Chicago International Film Festival are NOT eligible.
  3. Films must be at least a Chicago premiere. Films that (a) have screened publicly in the Chicago area, (b) have had a theatrical run in the US prior to the Festival dates, (c) have aired on US television prior to the Festival dates, (d) are available for purchase on DVD in North America, or (e) are available for public online viewing in their entirety are NOT eligible. Short films (under 40 min) are exempt from the online viewing restriction.
  4. Films shown at private screenings not open to the public (for crew, investors, etc) are eligible.
  5. All entries must be either in English or subtitled in English. Dialogue lists are not accepted.
  6. Entrant confirms and warrants required legal authority to submit the entry into the Festival and to use all music, images, and content in the entry.

B) Submission Guidelines

  1. Films must be submitted on DVD or Blu-ray disc, or as an online screener (for Documentaries and Short Films only).
  2. Only complete entries (including fee payment and DVD/Blu-ray, or online screener) will be considered.
  3. Entrants are permitted to submit works-in-progress (i.e., without final color correction or sound mixing), but please note that the programming committee will only consider the version submitted. Subsequent cuts or replacement copies will only be accepted at the request of the programming committee.
  4. To qualify for student entry fee rates, entrant must include proof of student status at the time of production (e.g., copy of student ID, transcript, etc.)
  5. The following exhibition formats are eligible for Festival screening: 35mm, DCP, and HDCAM.

C) Deadlines

Our Early Bird and Regular deadlines have passed. Late deadline entries must be postmarked by July 6, 2015.

D) Shipping

The cost of shipping an entry to the Festival must be paid by the entrant. Collect or COD shipments will not be accepted. All international entries must be sent “free domicile” to the Festival office with all transportation charges, duties, and taxes prepaid by the shipper. For films selected to screen at the 2015 Chicago International Film Festival, the Festival will only cover one-way shipping costs for the public screening film print, tape, or hard drive.

E) Judging & Selection

Feature, Documentary, Short Subject, and Student Films are selected for Festival presentation by the Chicago International Film Festival Programming Committee. If a film is selected for screening, the Festival office will contact the entrant by phone or email.

All entrants will be notified on or before September 4, 2015.

Films selected for the International Feature, Docufest, New Directors, and After Dark Competitions are judged during the Festival. All other competitive film categories, including the Chicago Award and Short Film Competition are judged before the Festival.

F) Entry Fees

Each entry must be accompanied by the appropriate entry fee. Entry fees are not refundable. Fees cover registration, notification that your entry has been received, and notification of results. These fees may be paid by check or money order, made payable to Cinema/Chicago, or by credit card (VISA, MasterCard, or American Express).

Late Deadline (Postmarked by July 6, 2015)

Feature-length Narrative (category 1) $200.00
Feature-length Documentary (category 2) $150.00
Short Subject – under 40 minutes (category 3) $70.00
Student Productions:
Feature-Length (categories 1-2) $80.00
Short Subject – under 40 minutes (category 3) $50.00

G) Categories

  1. Feature-length Narrative
  2. Feature-length Documentary
  3. Short Subject – under 40 minutes