Founded in 2010, the Chicago South Asian Film Festival is the largest annual South Asian event in the heartland of America. #CSAFFestival is organized by the Chicago South Asian Arts Council Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and is dedicated to enhancing diversity in Chicagoland through international cinema, conversation and culture. With premiere films, panel discussions, speaker series, workshops, film awards, dazzling receptions, after parties and networking events – we celebrate international cinema in the warm and personable style that is unique to Chicago.

Consistently, we have had the support of the Mayor of Chicago, Chicago Film Office, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Consulate General of India, Consulate General of Pakistan, Chicago Sister Cities, the City of Evanston, educational institutions and industry ambassadors.

This year Atlanta Indian Film Festival is joining hands with Chicago South Asian Film Festival.

We are proud to present the following awards:

- Award for Best Fiction Feature Film
- Award for Best Fiction Short Film
- Award for Best Documentary Feature Film
- Award for Best Documentary Short Film

CSAFF Rules and Regulation

The Chicago South Asian Film Festival (CSAFF), will take place from September 22, 2022 – September 25, 2022. The Festival thrives on providing South Asian talent, stories and themes a world platform. We look forward to having you be a part of our festival that celebrates cinema in the warm and personable style that is unique to Chicago.

Please read below to gauge your eligibility.

By submitting your Film on FilmFreeway, you accept that this document has been read and understood.

For any questions regarding submissions, please email programming@csaff.org.

Film Submission Categories:

1. In Competition Fiction Feature Film
- The Film run-time should exceed 30 minutes
- The film must be a Chicago premiere when screened at CSAFF

2. In Competition Fiction Short Film
- Film runtime should not exceed 30 minutes
- The film must be a Chicago premiere when screened at CSAFF

3. In Competition Documentary Feature Film
- Feature-Length Films should exceed 30 minutes
- The film must be a Chicago premiere when screened at CSAFF

4. In Competition Documentary Short Film
- Short Films should not exceed 30 minutes
- The film must be a Chicago premiere when screened at CSAFF

5. Episodic Content (Non Competition)
- Live-action, documentary/nonfiction, or animation project presented in a multi-
episode format (includes web series, docuseries, limited series that was created to
unfold over multiple episodes).
- Can be short-form and long-form content, with minimum of 5 episodes

Eligibility Criteria For ALL Films:

All Films being submitted to The Chicago South Asian Film Festival must meet the criteria below along with their Category requirements, listed above.

1. All Films submitted must have been completed within 2 years of festival date.

2. All Films must present South Asian content, topics, themes or have South Asian heritage within the team (Producer, Director, Screenwriter, Composer, Actor). This clause is not applicable to International and Chicago Student Filmmakers.

3. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Iran and Tibet are included in the classification of ‘South Asian’.

4. Films that contain non-English spoken dialogue must provide on-screen English subtitles.

5. Accepted Film formats for theatrically exhibited projects are DCP, mp4 and pro-res. The required exhibition formats for virtually/online exhibited projects will be confirmed by the Festival after invitations have been extended and confirmed. Please check in with the Festival staff before creating your Festival exhibition copy or copies to ensure the format and technical specifications are correct.

6. If you are submitting a Film that was previously not chosen by CSAFF, then it will only be considered by programming if considerable changes have been made to the film since its last submission attempt. Resubmission of the same film will not be approved and all fees are non-refundable.

7. For Episodic Content - if some but not all of the episodes have been exhibited theatrically or made available via any other public platform, you may only submit episodes that have not been exhibited theatrically or otherwise released to the public. For example, if the first season of your series is available online, you may only submit episodes from a subsequent season that have not been released to the public in any form. All episodic content must play continuously in one single video file for digital upload and do not exceed 10GB in size.

Film Submission Process:

Please follow the details below in order to submit your Film:

1. All films submissions must be submitted via FilmFreeway, a safe and secure platform to upload and stream your film. You must provide a link with a download option. Our programmers are in different parts of the world and need download access to your film since internet speeds vary and are not reliable for streaming. It is the sole responsibility of the Film’s applicant to provide ALL information asked during the registration process via FilmFreeway. Link included below.

2. All of the included fields must be completed, your submission will not be considered complete until they are. If there are any issues with your application, CSAFF will notify you by email.

3. An application will ONLY be considered eligible for CSAFF once a complete submission kit has been submitted. Along with the above requirements, a complete submission kit must include the following:
a. Synopsis, language, length, year, country of origin, screening format, cast & crew credits, filmmaker picture and bio
b. Online Media screener of the Film

On selection the following will be required (but not limited to):
a. Posters & postcards for display
b. Press Kit with film stills, reviews
c. Online Trailer of the Film (up to 1 minute)

Recommended minimum sizes:
-Web: Long edge - 900px @72dpi;
-Print: Long edge - 1800px @240dpi
-Video Trailer: Can send us a downloadable link via Vimeo, DropBox, etc. Resolution: 1080p

4. The applicant is responsible for all required mailing costs and will provide an ideal print in the requested Film format. It will be the applicants responsibility to arrange for returns of Film print and to bear related costs.

5. No fee waivers. Due to the high volume of emails received, email requests of fee waivers will not be answered.

CSAFF REGULATIONS:

1. CSAFF reserves the right to disqualify any submission if it does not meet the stated requirements.

2. CSAFF does not provide comments or feedback regarding the submitted Film to the Applicant or any other representative of the submitted Film.

3. Upon selection into the Festival, withdrawal of the film is not permissible.

4. CSAFF holds the right to determine the eligibility of any new or previously submitted film. In the event the film is deemed ineligible, CSAFF is under no obligation to refund any or all submission fees previously collected from the applicant.

5. It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to secure clearance from the copyright holders of any copyrighted materials included within the submitted Film. CSAFF or CSAFF sponsors will not be held responsible for the unauthorized inclusion of any copyrighted materials within or relating to the submitted Film.

6. It is the Applicant’s responsibility to read and understand the Legal Terms & Conditions below, which are in place to protect both the Festival and the Filmmaker. By submitting your film on FilmFreeway, you are stating that you have read the Legal Terms & Conditions which follow.

7. CSAFF has no obligation (other than as stated in these rules) to disclose any of the following information: i) identities of screeners or judges; ii) notes, feedback, or information relating to the submitted project; and/or iii) details regarding the submission review or selection process.

8. CSAFF explicitly disclaims any liability or responsibility for any comments, notes, or opinions expressed about a submission.

9. CSAFF reserves the right to set geographic blocking rules and settings at its sole discretion, for virtual/online exhibited film content.

LEGAL TERMS & CONDITIONS
I, the authorized representative of the project being submitted (the "Film"), acknowledge and agree as follows in connection with the Film's submittal for consideration for the CSAFF (the “Festival”):

1. I represent that I am 18 years of age or older, or that, if I am younger than the legal age to enter into contracts in my state/country, I have provided the Festival with a written consent from my parent or legal guardian.

2. I hereby represent and warrant to the Festival that: (a) I am duly authorized, on my own behalf and on behalf of all other persons or entities who have any ownership rights or interests (including, without limitation, intellectual property rights) in or relating to the Film (the “Film’s Owners”), to exhibit this Film at the Festival, (b) exhibition of the Film at the Festival will not violate any law or any right or consent of any person or entity; and (c) the Film is not subject to any litigation, arbitration, or other adversarial claim or proceeding, nor is the Film the subject of any threat of litigation, arbitration, or other adverse claim or proceeding.

3. I further represent and warrant, on behalf of myself and the Film’s Owners, that the exhibition of the Film at the Festival will not violate or infringe any copyright, patent, privacy right, publicity right, trademark, service mark or any other personal or property right of any person or entity, and that the Film does not constitute or include a defamation of any person or entity. I have paid and will pay in full all license fees, clearance fees, and other obligations, of any kind, arising from or associated with the exhibition of the Film at or in connection with the Festival.

4. In the event that the Film is accepted by the Festival, I acknowledge, on behalf of myself and the Film’s Owners, that the Festival's exhibition or presentation of the Film does not and will not create any confidential or fiduciary relationship between the Festival on the one hand and myself and/or the Film’s Owners on the other. I further acknowledge, on behalf of myself and the Film’s Owners, that I and we understand that neither I nor any of the Film’s Owners will receive any compensation for such exploitation. I acknowledge that no obligation of any kind is assumed by, or may be implied against, the Festival or the Chicago South Asian Arts Council, Inc. in the event of, by virtue of, or as a result of the Festival’s selection of the Film. I and the Film’s Owners understand and acknowledge that the selection of the Film by the Festival does not and will not in any way constitute an express or implied endorsement or approval by the Festival or the Chicago South Asian Arts Council, Inc., of the content of the Film or any opinion expressed therein.

5. I agree, on behalf of myself and each of the Film’s Owners, to indemnify and hold harmless the Festival and the Chicago South Asian Arts Council, Inc., together with each of their parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, parents, officers, directors, employees, attorneys, creative advisors, agents and representatives (collectively, “CSAFF Related Parties”) from and against any and all claims, losses, liabilities, damages, fees and expenses (including, but not limited to, reasonable attorney's fees and other costs) that may be asserted by any person or entity or may be incurred by the Festival, the Chicago South Asian Arts Council, Inc., or any CSAFF Related Parties at any time in connection with the Film or the Festival’s use thereof, and/or arising from any breach or alleged breach of any representation made by me to the Chicago South Asian Arts Council, Inc, including, without limitation, any express or implied representation in these Terms and Conditions.

6. In the event that the Film is accepted by the Festival, I hereby grant, on behalf of myself and each of the Film’s Owners, each of the following rights to the Festival, the Chicago South Asian Arts Council, Inc., and their related entities without reservations, conditions or qualifications: (a) the right to use footage, stills and/or titles, and information from or relating to the Film for promotional purposes; and (b) the right to issue and authorize publicity concerning the filmmakers and the Film and to use all associated names, likenesses and biographical information. I also agree to provide contact information for the director and producer(s) of the Film and to grant the Festival the right to provide this information to film industry organizations sponsoring Festival events at its discretion.

7. I further agree, on behalf of myself and each of the Film’s Owners, that any claim, dispute or controversy arising out of, in connection with, or otherwise related to the Film, the Festival, or these Terms and Conditions (including the breach, termination, enforcement, interpretation or validity thereof), as well as the determination of the scope or applicability of this agreement to arbitrate, will be governed by the internal, substantive laws of the State of Illinois and will be submitted to exclusive, binding arbitration before an arbitration forum in Chicago, Illinois. In agreeing to this exclusive arbitration provision, I hereby waive and relinquish, on behalf of myself and each of the Film’s Owners, any right or entitlement that I or the Film’s Owners might otherwise have had to bring or litigate any claim or claims encompassed by this paragraph in federal or state court against Chicago South Asian Arts Council, Inc., the Festival, or any CSAFF Related Party, and any right to a trial by jury with respect to such claim or claims.

8. I hereby acknowledge that I have read and understood the rules and regulations for submitting a film to the Festival and that the information contained shall supersede any information obtained elsewhere, including, but not limited to, information contained in any rules and regulations documents from prior years.

9. It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to secure authorization and permission from the copyright owner(s) of any and all copyrighted content or materials included within the submitted Film. The Institute expressly disavows any responsibility for, and will not be held responsible for, any unauthorized inclusion of any copyrighted content or materials within or relating to the submitted Film, including any content or materials that are or may become the basis for any third party claims for copyright infringement. The Institute reserves the right to disqualify, without refund of any or all submission fees previously collected from the Applicant, any Film with any unauthorized inclusion of copyrighted content or materials. In the event that any claim, dispute, action or proceeding shall be brought or asserted by any person or entity that alleges that the Film makes unauthorized or unlawful use of any copyrighted content or material, Applicant shall fully indemnify and defend the Institute, the Festival, and each of their representatives and affiliates from any liability in connection therewith and from any fees and expenses, including but not limited to attorneys’ fees, that any of them may incur in connection therewith.

10. It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to secure authorization and permission from the owner(s) of any and all trademarked content or materials included within the submitted Film. The Institute expressly disavows any responsibility for, and will not be held responsible for, any unauthorized inclusion of any trademarked content or materials within or relating to the submitted Film, including any content or materials that are or may become the basis for any third party claims for trademark infringement, trademark dilution or unfair competition. The Institute reserves the right to disqualify, without refund of any or all submission fees previously collected from the Applicant, any Film with any unauthorized inclusion of trademarked content or materials. In the event that any claim, dispute, action or proceeding shall be brought or asserted by any person or entity that alleges that the Film makes unauthorized or unlawful use of any trademarked content or material, Applicant shall fully indemnify and defend the Institute, the Festival, and each of their representatives and affiliates from any liability in connection therewith and from any fees and expenses, including but not limited to attorneys’ fees, that any of them may incur in connection therewith.

11. It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to clear all content of the Film from any and all actual or potential legal claims and issues, including, without limitation, claims based upon theories of libel, defamation, invasion of privacy, violation of rights of publicity, theft of trade secrets, breach of confidence, breach of confidential relationship, and breach of express or implied contract (“Third Party Claim(s)”). The Institute expressly disavows any responsibility for, and will not be held responsible for, any unauthorized inclusion of any content or materials within or relating to the submitted Film that are or may be the basis for any Third Party Claims based upon any of the foregoing legal theories or others. The Institute reserves the right to disqualify, without refund of any or all submission fees previously collected from the Applicant, any Film that is or may become the subject of any Third Party Claims. In the event that any Third Party Claim(s) shall be asserted by any person or entity, Applicant shall fully indemnify and defend the Institute, the Festival, and each of their representatives and affiliates from any liability in connection therewith and from any and all fees and expenses, including but not limited to attorneys’ fees, that each of any of them may incur in connection therewith.

12. Festival is not responsible for any streaming lags, interruptions, outages, or inability to access Online Film exhibition ("virtual or online screening of Film during Festival") as a result of internet connection or any other technical, hardware, equipment, system, server or technology related issues. Festival is not responsible for any data security, breach or piracy related issues while accessing the Online Film exhibition.

13. CSAFF does not pay a rental fee for the programmed work. Please notify the festival in advance if your film is being acquired by a distributor.

14. CSAFF does not provide airfare & stay for every filmmaker who is selected for the film festival.

By submitting my Film to the Chicago South Asian Film Festival, I freely and voluntarily give and express my full and complete acceptance of all of the terms and provisions set forth in these Terms and Conditions. I acknowledge that no oral representations, inducements, promises or assurances, not set forth in these Terms and Conditions, have been made to the Film’s owners or me by the Festival, Chicago South Asian Arts Council, Inc., or any other Related Parties.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Loved being part of CSAFF with our film. Thanks for including it.

    July 2022
  • Anjali Patil

    Thank you so much CSAFF for Premiering our film.
    Feels absolutely honoured to be part of this festival.
    Thank you Jigar and the entire team!

    May 2022
  • I am esctatic to write about CSAFF. First of all thank you for accepting our film, Just Another Day.

    I would like to point out the facts that the festival was well organized and their communications were prompt and transparent.

    January 2022
  • Jaraad Virani

    Ketki has assembled such a remarkable team to organize this wonderful event, chief among them festival director Jigar Shah who was such a warm, delightful presence throughout the fest. I will always treasure CSAFF giving my film it's world premiere on the big screen followed by a wonderful Q&A session afterwards, along with awarding us Best Fiction Feature. But the intimate, supportive community and meeting the other talented, passionate filmmakers was the best part by far. Truly a dream from start to finish. Could not recommend more highly!

    October 2021
  • Indrani Ray

    My first festival experience (albeit virtual) and I am so glad it was with CSAFF. The team is wonderful and supportive and hard working and warm. What made it sweeter is my Special Mention win as Director for Tea And A Rose. This will always be so special. Looking forward to next year and being there in person. A big thank you and a massive shout out to Ketki and Jigar and Team CSAFF for a really well organised event. You guys are stars!

    October 2021