We are now accepting submissions for FACETS 38th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (“CICFF”), running November 5 through 14, 2021.

As the first Academy®-qualifying children’s film festival in the world, our festival presents the best, most innovative international films for kids and teens. We seek out films that both entertain audiences and challenge them to widen their perspectives. But more importantly, we invite film submissions that inspire and speak to the creative minds and hearts of young people.

For almost 40 years CICFF has set the standard of excellence, celebrating films from around the world that break new ground in their approach to storytelling, offer unique or seldom-heard points of view, and demonstrate artistic and technical mastery. Our goal is to raise the bar of what films for children and teens can achieve.

CICFF is an advocate for children, prioritizing their human rights and protecting their health and well-being. Films selected for the Festival are child- or teen-driven. The stories are culturally authentic and timely and are of universal appeal. The content speaks positively to people of different backgrounds, cultures, and orientations.

We strongly believe that audiences should be engaged, entertained, and enlightened. Films should stimulate discussion and insight into new concepts and motivate active responses from children and teens.

We seek and provide opportunities to connect filmmakers with our festival audiences. In addition to the Festival, CICFF provides year-round thematic programming that promotes media education in the community and the classroom. Through virtual Q&As, available to a worldwide audience, filmmakers have an incomparable opportunity to discuss their work with the widest possible array of viewers.

NOTE for 2021: Per CDC guidelines for COVID-19, the CICFF may, in addition to virtual screenings, offer limited in-person screenings.

ORGANIZATION:
The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival is the first Academy®-qualifying children’s film festival in the world. Oscar®-qualifying film categories include Live-Action Short Film and Animated Short Film.

Founded in 1984, the CICFF is the oldest children’s film festival in the country and the largest in the world, screening 262 films from 52 countries during the 37th season in 2020.

The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival serves as a global hub for filmmakers and producers of films for young people, as an opportunity to connect with and elevate the aesthetic and production standards for youth cinema production.

At in-person and virtual screening Q&A’s filmmakers have an incomparable opportunity to discuss their work with the widest possible array of viewers.

MISSION:
The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival aims to set an internationally recognized standard of excellence in film production for children and youth.

We strive to support the work of talented and dedicated filmmakers by showcasing international films of the highest quality and awarding prizes in multiple categories of production formats and genres. The film experiences of young viewers are deepened through a broad range of programs which extend Festival film viewing into discussion and learning.

The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival is produced and presented by FACETS. FACETS is a nonprofit that connects people to independent ideas through transformative film experiences. Since 1975, we have produced pioneering programs focused on film education, exhibition, and distribution. Most recently, we have developed two streaming platforms, FACETS Kids and FACETS Edge, to increase access to independent and art-house films for kids, teens, and adults.

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION:
Festival films reach unique audiences diverse in age, socioeconomic background, ability, and ethnic heritage, as well as a broad range of children and teens, educators, parents, and peers unduplicated in the youth film festival audience landscape worldwide. At post-screening discussions, filmmakers have an incomparable opportunity to connect with the widest possible array of viewers.

Awards are determined by a Professional Jury consisting of filmmakers, critics, teachers, community leaders, and parents, who award prizes in all categories including the Oscar®-qualifying Best Animated and Best Live-Action Short Film categories.

The CICFF also hosts a Youth Jury (ages 14-19) and Children’s Jury (ages 7-14) led by a team of media educators who meet separately from the Professional Jury and award their own respective awards in all categories.

Special awards are determined by separate jury groups.

AWARDS:
Award categories include: Live-action Feature, Animated Feature, Live-action Short, Animated Short, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short, Live-action Television Production, and Animated Television Production.

Prizes may not be awarded in all categories each year.

Special Prizes that may be awarded include: Best of the Fest Prize, Milos Stehlik Global Impact Award, Best Production for Early Childhood (Ages 2 to 5), Programmer’s Choice Award, Teacher’s Choice Award, Parent’s Choice Award, Girl Empowerment Award, and the STEM Award.

Awards are announced at the conclusion of each Festival. Please note that awards are given to the director of the film, unless otherwise specified on the entry form.

ACADEMY (OSCAR©) QUALIFICATION:
Films that win first prize from the Professional Jury in the category of Live-action Short Film or Animated Short Film are eligible for Academy Awards consideration.

The following Rules and Terms control the submission of films to the 38th Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (the “Festival”). The Rules and Terms are by and between FACETS Multi-Media, Inc. (“FACETS,” “we,” or “us”), an Illinois nonprofit corporation with a place of business at 1517 West Fullerton Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60614, and the individual or entity submitting a film for consideration in the Festival (the “Submitter” or “you”), By submitting a film to us for consideration in the Festival, you agree to the following Rules and Terms.

We are now accepting submissions for the 38th Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, running November 5 through 14, 2021. Participation in the Festival (November 5 through 14, 2021) also includes the possibility of being considered for special, extended encore screenings for groups and the general public (November 15 through December 31, 2021), and special consideration to participate in the Festival Travelling Festival (November 15 through October 31, 2022) screening at venues throughout the United States. Additional opportunities to participate in screening programs may also be extended to Festival participants after the 12-month period.

As the first Academy®-qualifying children’s film festival in the world, our festival presents the best, most innovative international films for kids and teens. We seek out films that both entertain audiences and challenge them to widen their perspectives. But more importantly, we invite film submissions that are for kids, not simply about them.

CORRESPONDENCE:
All correspondence to the Festival management, including entry forms and support materials, must be in the English language.

At peak times during the submission process, it may take several days for us to respond.

The Submitter will be the main contact for all communications.

If the ‘Distributor Info’ section is left blank, we will use the ‘Submitter Info’ information to represent ‘Distributor Info’.

QUESTIONS?
If you have any questions about the submission process, please refer to the Rules and Terms or contact our Festival Coordinator at filmreg@facets.org.

SUBMISSION MATERIALS:
Enter a film by submitting to FilmFreeway and/or emailing/postmarking materials by May 1 (for early entries) or May 31, 2021:

All submissions must go through FilmFreeway:
-A separate entry form, payment, and preview screener must be provided for each film or episode submitted
-Entry fee in USD – United States-affiliated bank checks and international money orders should be made out to “FACETS” and the title of the film/episode(s) should be written on the check. Entry fees are non-refundable
-Please read the Rules and Terms and Participation Agreement entirely.

Preview Film Submission Formats:
-Online screeners must be downloadable
-Downloadable file types include: H264, .mov, .mp4, and .avi
-Include the link AND password
-Download link must be available through August 31, 2021.
-If submitting a Blu-Ray or DVD for preview, the full-length preview copy must be formatted for all-region, multi-zone, or Zone 1 (NTSC, North America) and clearly labeled with title of production.
-In order to make the CICFF more inclusive, an English closed caption file (.srt) is also requested.

Film Stills:
-Two high-quality images from the production (.jpgs or .tifs)
-Images MUST be 300 dpi or higher
-Provided via FilmFreeway or emailed to filmreg@facets.org

Marketing Links:
-Websites/Social Media
-Trailers (if available)
-Other Production Information (if available):
-Director headshot (300 dpi or higher)
-Production information (full cast & credits, etc.)
-Director’s filmography (with years)
-Director(s) Biography
-Posters/Lobby Cards

Materials (DCP, Blu-Ray, posters, photos, etc.) can be mailed/emailed to:

Chicago International Children's Film Festival (CICFF)
c/o FACETS
1517 W Fullerton Ave
Chicago, Il 60614 USA
1-773-281-9075
filmreg@facets.org

DEADLINES:
-Early Deadline: May 1, 2021 (Materials must be postmarked by this date to receive the discounted entry fee rate)

-Final Deadline: May 31, 2021 (Materials must be postmarked by this date.)

-Entry Materials: entry form, support materials, and preview copy.

-Festival formats are due for all accepted entries by September 17, 2021. See below for details.

ENTRY FEE:
-Entry received by May 1, 2021:
-Short films (under 40 minutes): $40.00 USD
-Feature-length films (40 minutes or longer): $80.00 USD
-Entry received May 2-May 31, 2021:
-Short films: $60.00 USD
-Feature-length films: $100.00 USD

CATEGORY DESCRIPTIONS:
-Features (productions 40 minutes or longer in length) or Shorts (productions less than 40 minutes in length)

-Live-action (productions made using live action cinematography) or Animation (productions made using traditional “hand-drawn,” stop motion, or computer animation)
-Note: in the event that your production features both live action and animation components, its category will be determined by the Festival

-Narrative (productions that tell a fiction or fictionalized story) or Documentary (productions that use actual people, places, and events, and place them in a non-fictional context)

-Film (productions that are a self-contained in its narrative) or Television (productions that are an episodic installment or a larger narrative universe)
-Note: any television episodes that have aired or will have aired by the Festival dates on a national network, cable television, or Internet streaming platform for the general public in the United States will not be eligible for Festival consideration

-If your film includes both animation and live action, please choose the one you feel best represents your film. The CICFF reserves the right to determine or change the category of your submission.

ELIGIBILITY:
-All submitted material must have a copyright date of 2021, 2020, or 2019
-Submissions must be suitable for children ages 18 and under
-There is no premiere requirement, but premiere status (World, North American, U.S., Chicago) is a factor weighed during the selection process
-Only completed works can be submitted, we do not view works-in-progress
-All films whose original language is something other than English must be subtitled or dubbed into English. All films titled in a language other than English must have their titles translated into English, except in cases where the title is a proper noun.

SELECTION COMMITTEE:
-The action of the film should be child-driven and the stories should be culturally authentic, timely, and of universal appeal.
-Films submitted to CICFF should be made for, rather than about, children.
-Film content should be creative, highly original, and demonstrate artistic and technical mastery.
-Content should speak positively to children of diverse backgrounds and cultures and should provide strong role models for all genders.

Festival content must not include:
-Excessive or gratuitous violence, nudity, or profanity (including in writing or in subtitles).
-Content that advocates and supports racial, cultural, religious, or gender bias.

NOTIFICATION OF FESTIVAL STATUS:
Filmmakers will be notified regarding acceptance or rejection by August 31, 2021 via FilmFreeway. Additional details regarding Festival screening formats, additional marketing materials, and attendance will be sent at that time.

Preview copies and support materials of all entries cannot be returned.

FESTIVAL SCREENING FORMATS & PRINT TRAFFIC:
-Be advised that if the submission is accepted to the Festival, the ONLY Festival Screening Formats include:
-Digital file (H264, .mov, .mp4, and .avi)
-Blu-ray (all-region)
-DVD (NTSC all-region)
-DCP (for features only)
-3rd party service (Filezilla, FTP, etc.)

Preview screener could be used as ‘Festival Format’ IF submission is festival-quality (e.g., no watermark, no time code, hi-resolution)

In order to make the CICFF more inclusive, an English closed caption file .srt is also requested.

Note: DCP is an option for feature films only, encrypted content must remain open for the duration of the Festival, and CICFF requests Blu-ray or digital file “back-ups” of all content.

For the transportation of physical media, all print traffic costs inbound to Chicago are the responsibility of the Submitter, including charges for Customs clearance. The Festival will pay outbound shipping costs, back to the original Submitter or to another film festival, excluding charges for Customs clearance and expedited or overnight fees.

Consistent with Festival policy, screening fees will NOT be paid by CICFF for print usage.

RULINGS:
The FACETS/CICFF staff and Board of Directors reserve the right to rule on cases not covered by these regulations.

PARTICIPATION AGREEMENT:
The Submitter must read and agree to our Participation Agreement and the Rules and Terms for the Chicago International Children's Film Festival. The Participation Agreement is to be considered a part of the Rules and Terms is hereby incorporated by this reference. All references to the Rules and Terms shall also expressly include reference to the Participation Agreement. The Rules and Terms are legally binding.

Chicago International Children's Film Festival (CICFF)
1517 W Fullerton Ave
Chicago, Il 60614 USA
1-773-281-9075
filmreg@facets.org

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Claire Paoletti

    We were very honored to be part of the 2020 online edition!
    The Chicago International Children's Film Festival team was very welcoming and kind to us, despite the difficulty due to the Covid-19 pandemy. The films scheduled featured strong and engaging content aimed at young people of all ages. We hope we could be part of it again and to come to Chicago for real!

    March 2021
  • Fiona Hardingham

    A wonderful festival with a really strong quality of work! Thoroughly enjoyed taking part.

    December 2020
  • Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu

    The festival did a wonderful job despite the pandemic and presented an amazing variety of films for people of all ages. We were humbled to win the Children's Jury Award for KAPAEMAHU, and delighted that this Hawaiian message of healing was shared with Chicago. Till we meet in person! Aloha

    November 2020
  • Mailuki Films

    Uno de los descubrimientos más bonitos e interesantes del año. Una gozada de programación con películas hermosisimas. Ganas de volver el año que viene. Gracias por la oportunidad!! www.mailukifilms.com

    November 2020