Chicago Comedy Film Festival is an international festival. We aim to showcase films that are both humorous and poignant. Comedy often has difficulty competing against other genres in the film festival circuit. The Chicago Comedy Film Festival is a welcoming environment for both experienced and first time comedy filmmakers. What our fest offers:

* Networking with some of the worlds funniest filmmakers, celebs, comedians
* We send out three submission waivers PER MONTH through our newsletter, first come first serve.
* An organized, legit festival (we do not screen in some dive bar or in the basement of our production house) We're bring you really opportunities that you'll only get at the top ranked film festivals.
* A festival staff that cares about your work and success. We're filmmakers too! (But we never screen our own work, our staff's projects or close friend's films because that is not fair to everyone that pays to submit)
* We have a management deal with YouTube Studio, Collab. If you want to learn more about YouTube success, we're the fest. Our channel here:
* A strong alumni network. We do LA events often.
* Introductions to Chicago press and Chicago film reviewers from Chicago Film Critics and other publications
*We're the only Chicago festival to premiere an Oscar nominated film. Why Do I Have to Take Care of Everything
* Networking with some of the world's funniest filmmakers, celebs, comedians
* We send out three submission waivers PER MONTH through our newsletter, first come first serve.
* Top Female Filmmaker (since our first year in 2010) and Diverse Voices in Comedy Awards as well as top awards in all categories.
* Be seen and talk to Cow Lamp Films, independent film distributor. And another distributor being added for 2018.
* Sometimes we have cookie or beer sponsors

Mission Statement: To support comedy as a vital and influential art form.

Our partner film festival: Chicago Independent Film (+TV) Festival (submit on FilmFreeway)


The Second City's Harold Ramis Film School-APPLY>>

The Harold Ramis Film School is the only film school in the world focused entirely on comedy. We educate writers, performers, directors, and filmmakers through the collaborative styles of comedic content creation embraced by The Second City and alumnus Harold Ramis.

“I look for the meaning in what’s funny, and I look for what’s funny about things that are meaningful to me.” – Harold Ramis

Have a viral video? Submit here:

Got America's next big reality show hit? Go here:

Top Award recognition(s) and Audience Choice in each category as well as
Top Overall Female Filmmaker (since 2011) and Diverse Voices in Comedy Award (starting in 2018)

In 2018 we are excited to announce that Cow Lamp Films will be in attendance at the festival to meet with filmmakers about distribution. Cow Lamp Films is the first independent film distributor in the Midwest- run by filmmakers, for filmmakers. Based in Chicago, with an office in LA, the Cow Lamp family represents many up-and-coming filmmakers and is always looking to represent new artists.

* We only screen Chicago premieres and non distributed films.

*If you fail to inform us that your film is screening in Chicago we have the right to replace your film.

*Our team does research films for inaccurate descriptors (age of film, whether it has screened in Chicago, has distribution, whether it has already been up online for free-not including web series).

*You may submit to our festival and once accepted tell us that you have already gotten distribution. If you inform us within 7 days (by end of day on September 7th) after acceptance there will be no penalty. If you do not notify us of changes within 1 week of acceptance we will charge you a $250 non screening fee.

* Exhibition Specs Accepted

Digital Video:

Media Files:

-Dolby Digital EX
-Dolby Digital

Cinescope (1:2.35)

* Waiver requests must be accompanied by a trailer or excerpt. We consider waivers early in our screening process and decisions are based on a variety of factors. While we understand submission fees can be costly for filmmakers, there must be a compelling reason for us to waive your fee over everyone else. Please sign up for our monthly newsletter to be part of our monthly waiver lottery.

FURTHER TERMS AND CONDITIONS (please read thoroughly before submitting)

Chicago Comedy Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes. Payment of submission fee does not guarantee inclusion in our festival. If your film is chosen as an official selection CCFF does not compensate for travel, accommodations, or appearance fees unless otherwise offered. CCFF reserves the right to schedule changes and may at any time revoke a film screening, festival passes, accommodations, and any other filmmaker agreements for any reason. Films with theatrical release prior to festival dates will not be accepted. ONLINE SCREENERS ONLY. Once the film is accepted to Chicago Comedy Film Festival, DIGITAL COPIES and PRESS SCREENERS (DVD) will be required. The committee reserves the right to rescind any screening engagement if the film is not delivered on time. Chicago Comedy Film Festival holds your screeners in a secure fashion and takes the filmmakers rights very seriously. Please note that technical glitches will not be adjusted during the screening of your film. Your screener must be in final format upon acceptance and filmmakers will not be allowed to have private technical meetings with the projectionist due to CCFF contractual rules with the theater. The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. Upon acceptance, CCFF may offer contract options to join the CCFF Youtube network and/or work with CCFF digital partners as CCFF. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Chicago Comedy Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

If accepted and notified, project head has 10 (ten) business days to notify the festival if they intend to NOT screen or a $500 (US) fee will be charged back to the filmmaker. (This is to cover booking and scheduling issues)

Overall Rating
  • Neal Fischer

    Had a wonderful time at this festival. It's run by passionate filmmakers, and designed for passionate filmmakers!

    February 2018
  • Chris Deir

    The absolute best festival I've ever been a part of. Brent and his crew really know how to put together a festival. It was professional, organized, and highly entertaining. I was so happy to see my film on the big screen. And it was great to share that moment with my friends and family. Thank you to the CCFF crew!

    December 2017
  • Julia Mercer

    This festival is extremely well organized and had some amazing films as well! Def would recommend submitting or attending!

    November 2017
  • Brett Stumpp

    I wasn't able to attend, but it was a really well communicated Festival and a great experience overall.

    November 2017
  • David Figlioli

    This is a top notch well organized festival. The money they receive from submissions obviously goes right back into the festival to provide a great experience for the film makers attending. Highly recommended.

    November 2017