The Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase was created in 2014 as a new component of the Chicago Park District's popular Movies in the Parks program, to bring films from Chicago's thriving film scene to the city and neighborhoods that inspired them.

Chicago Onscreen gives local filmmakers the opportunity to share their work with a citywide audience through free outdoor public screenings in local parks. Since 2014, Chicago Onscreen has featured 163 local films to thousands of viewers in more than 60 parks across the city.

All selected films are awarded an honorarium of up to $500.

Showcase Rules and Guidelines
By submitting a film for consideration, you acknowledge you have read and agree to all guidelines listed below.

General Guidelines:
1) The number of films chosen and the location(s) and date(s) of screenings will be decided at the discretion of the Chicago Park District.
2) The Chicago Park District is not responsible for submitted DVD screeners that may be lost or damaged during shipping but will notify entrants of damage and request a new copy.
3) Selected entrants will be notified directly in April 2024.
4) The Chicago Park District reserves the right to use any and all submitted materials for promotional and marketing materials in perpetuity for the Chicago Onscreen Showcase, Movies in the Parks, Night Out in the Parks and the Chicago Park District.

Eligibility Requirements:
5) Films submitted must be the original work of the person or persons submitting.
6) Submitted films must have been produced in the past 3 years (completion date no earlier than December 31, 2020).
7) Films must have a demonstrable and significant to Chicago and/or any neighborhood/community therein (Production/shooting location, filmmaker residence, documentary subject, etc.)
8) Films do not need to be rated, but must be the equivalent of MPAA Rating PG-13 or lower to meet Movies in the Parks screenings standards. The Chicago Park District will make the final call regarding the appropriateness of the content.
9) Short film submissions must be no longer than 25 minutes.
10) Feature submissions must be no longer than 150 minutes (2.5 hours).

Guarantee of Authority:
11) As the producer, director or submitter of your film, you are responsible for acquiring the legal right and authority to submit your film and for the use of any music, images, and content contained therein. The Chicago Park District holds no responsibility for the use of copyrighted material contained in your film. Submission of a film warrants that you have obtained all necessary legal permissions. Unlicensed usage of protected images or music can be subject to legal action and fines.
12) In the event that any claim, dispute, or proceeding shall be brought by any person or entity alleging unlawful or unauthorized use of any copyrighted material, the submitter shall indemnify and defend the Chicago Park District, its Commissioners, officers, agents, employees, and volunteers from any liability in connection therewith and from any costs and expenses, including but not limited to attorneys costs and fees, that may be incurred in connection therewith.
13) The Chicago Park District reserves the right to disqualify any film that includes any unauthorized copyrighted material.

Technical Requirements:
14) Entrants may submit up to 1 feature and 1 short or 2 shorts.
15) The preferred method of film submission is via an online screener. Dropbox files, Vimeo links, YouTube links, etc. are all acceptable.
16) If selected, submitted films must be made available via a digital file. Downloadable links or file transfers are acceptable. Hi-Res files are preferred.
17) If a film is submitted on DVD, submitted discs must be Region 1 compatible and play in a stand-alone player. If selected, DVD submissions must be made available via digital file as indicated above.
18) Submitted DVDs must contain no more than one film per DVD and disc and all accompanying packaging must be prominently labeled with the name of the entrant and the title of the film. Do not use paper labels or stickers on DVD discs.
19) Any shipping costs are the responsibility of the entrant. The Chicago Park District is unable to return submitted DVDs.
20) DVDs must be submitted to:
Chicago Park District
Movies in the Parks
7059 S. South Shore Dr.
Chicago, IL 60649

21) All submissions must be received no later than 11:59:59 pm on Sunday, November 26, 2023.
22) Entries submitted via DVD should allow 3-5 extra days for shipping, to allow submissions to route through internal Chicago Park District mailroom channels.
23) Selected entrants will be notified in April 2024.

Overall Rating
  • Ben Kurstin

    We were so honored to be included in the festival this year. Knowing only a few films get in, and we were one of them means a lot. Having so many screenings in the parks all across Chicago was incredible. The festival made amazing books, and schedules, that looked great. It's the feather in our cap of fests we've gotten into.

    September 2023
  • Salvador Salazar

    Jon the festival coordinator is a very hospitable and understanding person. He responds promptly to any questions regarding screenings. It overall was a great experience!

    September 2023
  • Kamelya Alexan

    There’s something very special about having your film screened in the parks of Chicago! This truly was a festival I can’t forget!

    September 2022
  • Michelle Yates

    Fantastic festival! Very good communication. Great quality! Thank you for screening my film.

    September 2021
  • Vanessa Wright

    The Chicago Onscreen Film Festival is amazing! I am so honored that my documentary, Sankofa Chicago was selected to screen in the Park. The event and everything leading up to it was very professional. This was one of my favorite festivals to date. Jon was great with communication and well organized. Thanks again!! I will never forget this experience.

    September 2021