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. This means creating 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.

Awards & Prizes

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

Rules & Terms

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 2016. 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. 2017 and March 2018).

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.).

4 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Carol Brandt

    Everyone who worked this festival was so lovely and helpful. I hope they celebrate many more years of this fest.

    April 2017
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    Yasmin Mistry

    This is a great festival. Communication is good, the screenings are well attended, and they make every effort to help filmmakers attend the festival.

    March 2017
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    Mazin Sherabayani

    Great festival, communication was excellent, thanks very much for the opportunity to take apart. Bests

    March 2017
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    Shayna Connelly

    This is a fantastic festival and I'm glad I could attend it in its entirety. There's nothing better than intersectional feminism and filmmaking combined.

    March 2017