Virtual Cinema

Virtual Cinema

The Chicago International Film Festival is thrilled to partner with distribution partners for new release films available to stream in our virtual cinema. 50% of all proceeds will support the Festival.


Director: Josephine Decker
107 mins. | USA | 2020

WINNER – U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Auteur Filmmaking – 2020 Sundance Film Festival

Renowned horror writer Shirley Jackson is on the precipice of writing her masterpiece when the arrival of newlyweds upends her meticulous routine and heightens tensions in her already tempestuous relationship with her philandering husband. The middle-aged couple, prone to ruthless barbs and copious afternoon cocktails, begins to toy mercilessly with the naïve young couple at their door.

“Elisabeth Moss is phenomenal.” -Slash Film
“A perversely entertaining take on a brief period of Shirley Jackson’s life gives Elisabeth Moss one of her most daring roles to date.” -The Guardian

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A Towering Task: The Story of the Peace Corps

Director: Alana DeJoseph
107 min | USA | 2019

Narrated by Academy Award® Nominee Annette Bening

A Towering Task tells the remarkable story of the Peace Corps and takes viewers on a journey of what it means to be a global citizen.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy gave young Americans the opportunity to serve their country in a new way by forming the Peace Corps. Since then, more than 200,000 of them have traveled to more than 140 countries to carry out the organization’s mission of international cooperation. Nearly 60 years later, Americans – young and old alike – still want to serve their country and understand their place in the world; current volunteers work at the forefront of some of the most pressing issues facing the global community.

Yet the agency has struggled to remain relevant amid sociopolitical change. More than once it had to fight for its very existence, and now – between COVID-19, a rise in nationalist sentiment, and deep cuts to governmental-agency budgets – the Peace Corps is again confronting a crisis of identity: What role should it play around the world and in the lives of engaged citizens?

“Enlightening and uplifting. A Towering Task puts a human face on the Peace Corps – and makes sense of its history of idealism, improvisation, politics, and at times its failings.” -Paul Theroux, Travel Writer & Novelist

To support our Chicago neighbors in this difficult time, the Chicago International Film Festival will donate 50% of our proceeds received from rentals of this film to My Block, My Hood, My City which funds repairs to small businesses in response to our current crisis.

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Tune in to our virtual Q&A with director Alana DeJoseph on Wednesday, June 10 at 7pm CT.


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The Painter and the Thief

Director: Benjamin Ree
102 mins. | Norway | 2020

WINNER – Special Jury Prize, International Documentary Competition – 2020 Sundance Film Festival

Desperate for answers about the theft of her two paintings, a Czech artist seeks out and befriends the career criminal who stole them. After inviting her thief to sit for a portrait, the two form an improbable relationship and an inextricable bond that will forever link these lonely souls.

“A documentary that looks at everyday humanity as a work of art”
“An intriguing tale of lost souls and found redemption” -Screen Daily

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Watch our pre-taped virtual Q&A with director Benjamin Ree and subjects from the film on YouTube.


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Poster: Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth

Director: Matt Wolf
115 mins. | USA | 2020

2020 Sundance Film Festival – Official Selection, U.S. Documentary Competition

Spaceship Earth is the true, stranger-than-fiction, adventure of eight visionaries who in 1991 spent two years quarantined inside of a self-engineered replica of Earth’s ecosystem called BIOSPHERE 2. The experiment was a worldwide phenomenon, chronicling daily existence in the face of life threatening ecological disaster and a growing criticism that it was nothing more than a cult. The bizarre story is both a cautionary tale and a hopeful lesson of how a small group of dreamers can potentially reimagine a new world.

“One of humanity’s wildest science experiments.”Indiewire
“A moving spark of idealism in our darkening current world.”Variety

Stream Now

Watch our virtual Q&A with director Matt Wolf and subjects from the film on YouTube.


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The New Bauhaus

Director: Alysa Nahmias
89 mins. | USA | 2020

When radical Hungarian artist László Moholy-Nagy moved to Chicago in 1937, he spearheaded “The New Bauhaus,” a movement descended from the famous German school. An original Bauhaus member, Moholy-Nagy took a pioneering interdisciplinary mixed-media approach to art and design that was vastly ahead of its time. Featuring intimate interviews with Moholy-Nagy’s daughter and an in-depth exploration of his groundbreaking work, The New Bauhaus offers an illuminating portrait of a visionary teacher and thinker.

Pre-order Now, Stream Starting June 12

Pre-order Now

Tune in to our virtual Q&A with director Alysa Nahmias, Executive Producer Marquise Stilwell, and The Art Institute of Chicago’s Liz Siegel on Tuesday, June 16 at 7pm CT.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Captioning is an available feature on our films.

If the rental period is expired, we unfortunately are unable to provide a refund. If you would still like to see the film, please repurchase for a new rental period. If you need a refund for another reason, please contact to request one.

NEON’s Virtual Cinema is supported by Vimeo. Creating an account allows you to pause and revisit the film anytime within 72 hours of your purchase, and helps prevent potential piracy.

Revenue from your purchase is split evenly between NEON and the Chicago International Film Festival, similar to a traditional box office split.

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