Free Films – Cinema/Chicago’s Summer Screenings

May 22 – Sept 25, 2024

Summer Screenings

Free films all summer long

Summer Screenings is Cinema/Chicago’s annual free film series that casts a spotlight on a different country’s national cinema each week all summer.


Complete schedule for Summer Screenings 2024 coming in May!

Download the 2023 program brochure…

A collage of summer colors, sun, and movie goers

Cinema in the City

Cinema has always been fascinated with the city as a “character”— a living, breathing organism that shapes the world around it. This program showcases the myriad ways in which cities are depicted in cinema and how people live, love, move through, and seek connection in urban spaces.

Featuring stories set in cities all around the globe—from the bustling cafes of Bogotá to the seaside cityscapes of Gothenburg and Galway to glittering black and white portraits of Taipei and Seoul to the streets, skyways, rivers, and trains right here in Chicago—these films express the rich, diverse personalities of cities on screen and how they mold and influence how we live.

Films are unrated. Viewer discretion is advised.

Free Tickets

All Summer Screenings are free and open to the public. Free tickets available to reserve beginning 16 days in advance of each screening on each film’s page in the schedule below. Tickets are also available in-person at the screening, based on availability.


All Summer Screenings venues are fully wheelchair accessible and both venues have a limited number of Assistive Listening Devices available.

Wheelchair and companion seating reservations, interpreter requests, and other accommodation requests can be made through our accommodation request form. Learn more and request accommodations…

Screening Venues

Exterior of the Chicago History museum on a sunny summer day

May 22 – July 2, 2024

Screenings will take place at:
Chicago History Museum
McCormick Theater
1601 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614
Plan your visit | Map it

Exterior of the Chicago Cultural Center

July 10 – Sept 25, 2024

Screenings will take place at:
Chicago Cultural Center
Claudia Cassidy Theater
78 E Washington St, 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL 60602
Plan your visit | Map it…

2023 Summer Screenings Schedule

Past 2023 Summer Screenings

Wednesday, May 24 @ 6:30pm

Precious Ivie (Ivie wie Ivie)

Dir. Sarah Blaßkiewitz | Germany

Ivie is a 30-something Afro-German woman and aspiring teacher struggling to land a job. Her world is upended when Naomi, an unknown half-sister, shows up with news that their father (a man neither knows) has died. As the sisters grow closer, Ivie begins to question her life. Showcasing Leipzig’s canals, parks, and nightlife…

Learn more

Wednesday, May 31 @ 6:30pm

A Rising Fury

Dir. Lesya Kalynska & Ruslan Batytskyi | Ukraine

Filmed over eight years, A Rising Fury chronicles the evolution of the Russo-Ukrainian war from a deeply personal perspective. The film follows Pavlo, a passionate Ukrainian who enlists in the military following the 2013 Maidan Revolution in Kyiv and Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea. Juxtaposing front-line firefights with Pavlo’s love story, the film is a moving document of…

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Tuesday, June 6 @ 6:30pm

Welcome Venice

Dir. Andrea Segre | Italy

Brothers Pietro and Alvise, heirs in a long line of fishermen, are at odds about the future of their family home. Is the house on the picturesque island of Giudecca in the Venice lagoon a vital lifeline to a shared history and self-sufficient way of life or their ticket to financial freedom? An epic, impossible clash of wills ensues, bringing…

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Wednesday, June 14 @ 6:30pm

Red Shoes (Zapatos rojos)

Dir. Carlos Eichelmann Kaiser | Mexico

When Artemio receives unsettling news about his daughter, he sets out from his remote mountain farm for Mexico City in search of answers. As he struggles to navigate the utterly foreign capital, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with a down-on-her-luck sex worker. Together the two embark on a journey through the city’s labyrinthian streets and bureaucracies…

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Wednesday, June 21 @ 6:30pm

Bad Poems (Rossz versek)

Dir. Gábor Reisz | Hungary

Tamás is heartbroken. After his girlfriend dumps him in Paris, he faces an inglorious return to hometown Budapest. As he begrudgingly attempts to get his life back on track, his wanderings across the city of his youth and time spent in his childhood home send him on a self-reflective trip down memory lane into his tortuous past. Dreamy surrealism couples with…

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Wednesday, June 28 @ 6:30pm


Dir. Joseph Amenta | Canada |

Three friends fall in love with summertime Toronto’s lively nightlife. Young, queer, and unapologetically self-confident, the trio spends their days holding court and plotting to sneak into a nightclub. When one of their caregivers goes missing under suspicious circumstances, reality comes crashing in and their seemingly unbreakable bond is tested. Featuring…

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Wednesday, July 5 @ 6:30pm

Cumar: A Galway Rhapsody

Dir. Aodh Ó Coileáin | Ireland |

Nestled along Ireland’s Western coast, Galway holds a magnetic attraction for artists of all stripes. Through a series of interviews with writers, musicians, poets, and painters, Cumar (Irish for “confluence”) crafts a portrait of the metropolis as seen through the eyes of its artists. This visually sumptuous, reflective ode to the city itself explores…

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Wednesday, July 12 @ 6:30pm


Dir. Eric Barbier | France

Youri, 16, has lived all his life in Cité Gagarine, a public housing complex on the outskirts of Paris. Gazing out his highrise window, he dreams of becoming an astronaut. When demolition plans for the complex are announced, Youri rallies friends and neighbors in hopes of saving the only home he’s known. Shot on location and in collaboration with neighborhood residents…

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Wednesday, July 19 @ 6:30pm

The Dragon Defense (La defensa del dragón)

Dir. Natalia Santa | Colombia

A former chess champion, a homeopath, and a watchmaker – old friends Samuel, Marcos, and Joaquin seem to belong to another era. Routine days find them on well-worn paths from work to the cafes and casinos of Bogotá and home. As the stresses of life pile up, the three wonder if they will ever take a risk again. Lighthearted charm and…

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Wednesday, July 26 @ 6:30pm

Our Midnight (A-wo Mi-deu-na-it)

Dir. Lim Jung-eun | South Korea

Caught between pursuing his passion and settling for a “real” job, struggling actor Jihoon takes up a gig patrolling the streets of Seoul at night. A serendipitous meeting with Eunyoung, a kindred spirit also facing a personal crisis, turns into a reflective, intimate stroll through the city’s twilight hours…

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Wednesday, Aug 2 @ 6:30pm

Asako I & II (Netemo sametemo)

Dir. Ryūsuke Hamaguchi | Japan

Living in Osaka, Asako falls madly in love. The object of her affections, Baku, is passionate, restless, and hard to pin-down. One day, he wanders right out of her life. Years later, living in Tokyo, Asako encounters Ryohei—a kind, respectable businessman and, mysteriously, Baku’s spitting image. What follows is an intoxicating tale told…

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Wednesday, Aug 9 @ 6:30pm

Keep Stepping

Dir. Luke Cornish | Australia |

In Sydney, Gabi and Patricia train to compete in Destructive Steps, Australia’s largest street dance competition. Both are pushing themselves mentally and physically in hopes that winning the contest will open new doors and possibilities for a better life. The film spans seven years and provides viewers with intimate access to the breathtaking artform…

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Wednesday, Aug 16 @ 6:30pm

Far Away Eyes

Dir. Wang Chun-hong | Taiwan

A photographer wanders through Taipei as the city braces for a presidential election. Adrift and questioning his chosen vocation, self-doubt begins to creep in as his 30th birthday approaches. What does his future hold? A thoughtful blend of fiction and documentary, complemented by gentle, strikingly composed black-and-white cinematography, distinguish this contemplative urban…

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Wednesday, Aug 23 @ 6:30pm

City, Living: Chicago Stories

Dir. Various | United States |

Chicago-made short films create a patchwork of perspectives on life in the city.Featuring a profile of a busker, an exploration of the city’s bricks, a comedy about a souvenir salesman, a document of the reversal of the Chicago River, an examination of gun violence, a rumination on family and place, and a comedy about a dog sitter.

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Wednesday, Aug 30 @ 6:30pm

You Have to Come and See It (Tenéis que venir a verla)

Dir. Jonás Trueba | Spain

Having lost touch over the course of the pandemic, two 30-something couples catch up in Madrid for dinner and a concert. They make plans to hang out again—this time in the countryside where one couple has moved and is adopting a suburban lifestyle. The afternoon transforms from a friendly get-together into a referendum on opposing approaches…

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Wednesday, Sept 6 @ 6:30pm

Nowhere Special

Dir. Uberto Pasolini | United Kingdom |

Thirty-five-year-old window cleaner and single father John has dedicated his life to raising his son. Given only a few months to live, he traverses Belfast, visiting homes of the working class and wealthy alike. He has a singular goal: to find the perfect family to raise his toddler Michael. How can he carry out this impossible task? Inspired by true events…

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Wednesday, Sept 13 @ 6:30pm


Dir. Shamira Raphaëla | The Netherlands

It’s summertime, and 14-year-old Shabu is in trouble. After a disastrous joyride in his grandmother’s car, he must spend his holiday working to pay for the damages. Rather than dwelling on his misfortunes, the magnetic Shabu makes a plan: skip the job and raise money throwing the party of the summer. Shot in…

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Wednesday, Sept 20 @ 6:30pm

So Damn Easy Going (Så jävla easy going)

Dir. Christoffer Sandler | Sweden

Navigating the rollercoaster of highschool while caring for her clinically depressed father has Joanna feeling scattered. Making matters worse, her ADHD medication is running out with no money for a refill. Enter Audrey–a cool, confident new classmate. Joanna is smitten. Now with a full heart on top of a buzzing brain, she must get creative…

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Special Thanks 2023

Cinema/Chicago’s Summer Screenings Program would not be possible without the support of the following individuals and organizations:

Australian Consulate-General in Chicago
British Consulate-General, Chicago: Consul General Alan Gogbashian and Deputy Consul General John Murphy
Consulate General of Canada in Chicago: Colleen Duke
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events: Commissioner Erin Harkey
Chicago Film Office: Jonah Zeiger, Betsey Grais, Alex Vazquez, and Thavary Krouch
Chicago History Museum
Chicago Sister Cities International
Consulate General of Colombia in Chicago
Dutch Culture USA / Netherlands Consulates General in Chicago & New York
Goethe-Institut Chicago: Leah Gallant
Consulate General of Hungary in Chicago: Consul General Tamas Kovacs and Cultural Affairs Erzsebet Mate
Illinois Arts Council Agency
Instituto Cervantes of Chicago: Executive Director Anastasio Sanchez and Cultural Program Curator Teresa Hernando
Consulate General of Ireland, Chicago: Consul General Kevin Byrne and Vice Consul Sarah Keating
Italian Cultural Institute in Chicago: Director Luca Di Vito
Japan Information Center at the Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago: Consul-General Hiroshi Tajima, Rikidai Sako, and Byron Ovalle
Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Chicago: Consul General Junghan Kim, Vice Consul Kyoungju Oh, and Cultural Coordinator Heeju Han
Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago: Consul Reyna Torres Mendivil
Swedish American Museum: Karin Moen Abercrombie
Honorary Consulate of Sweden – Chicago: Karin Moen Abercrombie and Anna Engstrom Patel
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago: Director General Johnson S. Chiang
Taipei Cultural Center in New York: Director Huichun Chang
Consulate General of Ukraine in Chicago: Consul General Serhiy Koledov & Deputy Consul General Yevgeniy Drobot
Villa Albertine Chicago & the Cultural Services of the French Embassy: Axelle Moleur and Laurence Geannopulos

Summer Screenings Sponsors 2023

In Partnership With

Logo: DCASE Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events 311x100Logo: Chicago History Museum 202x75

Additional Support

Logo: DCASE/Chicago Film Office (202) - 450x75logo: Chicago Sister Cities International 175x75Logo: Illinois Arts Council - 133x100

This project is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events

Accessibility Partner

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