The Chicago Feminist Film Festival showcases independent film, predominantly shorts, spanning documentary, fiction, and experimental genres, and aims to address issues of gender, sexuality, race, and other forms of inequality often missing from mainstream media. We aim to create an inclusive festival space for under-represented artists to share their work — particularly women, people of color, queer, and transgender folks, given their struggle for visibility in the mainstream film industry. Another goal is to forge connections between local, national, and international film and filmmakers. The over-arching assumption behind the festival is that art plays a vital role in bringing people together and encouraging them to think deeply about issues of equality and social justice.

Audience Awards are given in four shorts categories: best in show, fiction, documentary, and experimental.

Films must meet at least one of two criteria to be considered for programming: the film was created with an eye toward gender, sexuality, or social justice issues, and/or the film was created by people underrepresented in media fields (women, people of color, queer, transgender, disabled).

Columbia College Chicago current students or alumni and Chicago Feminst Film Festival alumni may request a submission fee waiver. Please message us before submitting, as submission fees will not be refunded.

Shorts must be 30 minutes or less and created since March 2017. Any non-English language films must be subtitled in English.

We prefer Chicago premieres. Films may not screen publicly in the Greater Chicago area within three months of the CFFF (between Dec. 2018 and March 2019).

By submitting a film to CFFF for Festival consideration, the submitter represents that they have obtained consent from any and all owners, creators, writers, producers, and/or other authorized representatives of the film, including clearing all rights to copyrighted music used in the film. In the case of any rights related to Errors and Omissions, the filmmaker and submitter relieves the festival of any responsibility resulting from copyright infringement or libel.

Submitters grant legal permission to the CFFF to include their name, likeness, stills, and very short portions of their film in promotional materials (festival programs, trailers, news articles, websites, social media, etc.).

Overall Rating
  • Sean Patrick Leonard

    An amazing festival. Can't wait to submit again.

    April 2018
  • Nadine Asmar

    Perfectly organized festival with a great communication team !

    April 2018
  • Gabriela Santos Alves

    The festival was great!
    Communication and hospitality were really good!

    March 2018
  • Izaskun Arandia

    Great festival! Shame I couldn't attend but communication and the opportunity to network were fab. I will continue to submit my films and to support this little gem.

    March 2018
  • sigrid Clementine

    What a great festival! I'm so happy that my short film April 6th was selected and that I was able to attend CFFF. Communication with Susan was amazing, and the festival was very fun and inspiring. I truly recommend it to everyone who want's a really good festival experience!

    March 2018