Organization:
The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF) 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 and largest film festival for kids in North America. During the 35th season in 2018, Chicago presented 245 films from over 44 countries over the course of nine days.

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.

Festival films reach unique audiences diverse in age, socioeconomic background, 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, panels, workshops, seminars, and receptions, filmmakers have an incomparable opportunity to connect with the widest possible array of viewers and colleagues.

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, they have produced pioneering programs focused on film education, exhibition, and distribution. Most recently, they have developed two streaming platforms, Facets Kids and Facets Edge, to increase access to independent and art-house films for kids, teens, and adults.

Prizes
Professional Jury Prizes are awarded in these categories: Live-action Feature, Animated Feature, Live-action Short, Animated Short, Documentary, Live-action Television Production, and Animated Television Production.

Children’s Jury Prizes are awarded in these categories: Live-action Feature, Animated Feature, Live-action Short, Animated Short, Live-action Television Production, and Animated Television Production.

Youth Jury Prizes are awarded in these categories: Feature Film, Live-Action Short, Animated Short, Live-action Television Production, and Animated Television Production.

Special Prizes awarded by the CICFF: Best of the Fest Prize, Montgomery Award for Emerging Director Award, Best Film for Young Children (Ages 2 to 5); and the 2019 Festival Theme Awards: Best films reflecting “No Borders” and “Build”.

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

Special Competitions
All special competitions are judged by special, separate juries.

The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Competition: Films entered in this competition will engage children and teens in exploring concepts or methodologies centered on the topics of life, earth, and space sciences, engineering, technology, and applied math.

The Build Competition: Films entered in this competition will focus on the variety of ways that “building” is important to our contemporary world. This may include, but is not limited to: Themes of community building and other restorative social movements; a focus on subjects like architecture, engineering, or other forms of infrastructure; the growth of the maker movement, the expansion of coding, and its relationship with animation, film, and the arts; site-specific film and video experiments that use 3-dimensional space, like projection mapping.

The No Borders Competition: Films entered in this competition will focus on celebrating the role of film in building bridges, overcoming divisions, and connecting to others using empathy as not only a central construct of narrative filmmaking but as the cardinal principle of an open, democratic society.

Juries
Awards are determined by several juries, including a Professional Jury, a Youth Jury (teens), and a Children’s Jury. The Festival’s Children’s Jury and the Youth Jury, led by a team of media educators, meet separately from the Professional Jury and award their own respective prizes.

For special prizes, separate juries determine awards. Prizes may not be awarded in all categories if the juries feel that the entries do not meet the high standards of the Festival.

Academy 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 the Academy Awards consideration.

Chicago International Children’s Film Festival
Submission Rules & Regulations

We are now accepting submissions for the 36th Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, running November 1 – 10, 2019.

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 seek out films that are made for kids, not simply about them.

Submissions can be made online at Facets.org/festival/submit

1. Organization
The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF) 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 and largest film festival for kids in North America. During the 35th season in 2018, Chicago presented 245 films from over 44 countries over the course of ten days.

The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival serves as a global hub for filmmakers and producers of films for young people, with a peer forum for over 100 filmmakers with an opportunity to connect with and elevate the aesthetic and production standards for youth cinema production.

Festival films reach unique audiences, diverse in age, socioeconomic background, 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, panels, workshops, seminars and receptions, filmmakers have an incomparable opportunity to connect with the widest possible array of viewers and colleagues.

2. 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. We also provide professional forums to enable quality youth films to gain increased distribution and access to wider audiences. 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, they have produced pioneering programs focused on film education, exhibition, and distribution. Most recently, they have developed two streaming platforms, Facets Kids and Facets Edge, to increase access to independent and art-house films for kids, teens, and adults.

3. Notification of Festival Status
The Festival will inform all entrants no later than August 31, 2019, whether their submissions have been accepted or not. Status is emailed to submitter only and not given via FilmFreeway’s methods. Preview copies and support materials of all entries cannot be returned.

4. Entry
Submit an entry by sending the following materials to the Festival by May 1 (for early entries) or May 31, 2019:

• All submissions must go through FilmFreeway
• A full-length preview copy (formatted for multi-zone or Zone 1 North America) of the entry, clearly labeled with title of production
o A separate entry form, payment, and preview screener must be provided for each film or episode submitted
o Online link must be available through August 31, 2019
• Entry fee in USD – Unites 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
o Entry fees are non-refundable
• Two high-quality images from the production
o For marketing purposes, images MUST be at least 300 dpi or higher
o These may be e-mailed to filmreg@facets.org as jpegs or tifs only OR provided electronically via FilmFreeway to filmreg@facets.org as .jpgs or .tifs
• Production information, including cast and credits
• Director’s filmography, including years of production
• Brief biographies of director(s)
• Trailers (if available)

5. Deadlines

May 1, 2019: Deadline for entry form, support materials, and preview copy for Jury Selection. The early entry discount is 20%.

May 31, 2019: Extended (“late”) Deadline for entry form, support materials, and preview copy. Materials must be postmarked by this date.

Note: The Festival is not obligated to consider any submissions that arrive later than May 31, 2019.

September 15, 2019: Festival format due for all entries selected for the Festival.

6. Entry Fee

• By or before May 1, 2019:
o Short films (under 40 minutes): $40.00 USD
o Feature-length films (40 minutes or longer): $80.00 USD
• Between May 2-May 31, 2019:
o Short films: $60.00 USD
o Feature-length films: $100.00 USD

7. Eligibility

• The Festival accepts submissions that fit into either of each of the following categories:
o Features (productions 40 minutes or longer in length), or Shorts (productions less than 40 minutes in length)
o 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
o 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)
o 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, or will have, aired on national network or cable television in the United States or has been made available to general public via Internet streaming will not be eligible for Festival consideration
• All submitted material must have a copyright date of 2018, 2017, or 2016
• 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
• All films whose original language is something other than English must be subtitled or dubbed into English

8. Selection Criteria

• 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.
• Content that advocates and supports racial, cultural, religious, or gender bias.

9. Festival Formats and Print Traffic
Upon acceptance into CICFF, the Festival Manager will contact the submitter about appropriate exhibition copies of their film.

For shorts, content must be delivered via physical Blu-ray or a downloadable digital file (.mov, .mp4, .avi, et al.) For features, DCP, Blu-ray, or digital files are acceptable.

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 “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.

10. School Screenings
Post-Festival school screenings are an especially valued tradition at the CICFF. Consistent with festival policy, screening fees will NOT be paid by CICFF for print usage.

11. Prizes
Professional Jury Prizes are awarded in these categories: Live-action Feature, Animated Feature, Live-action Short, Animated Short, Documentary, Live-action Television Production, and Animated Television Production.

Children’s Jury Prizes are awarded in these categories: Live-action Feature, Animated Feature, Live-action Short, Animated Short, Live-action Television Production, and Animated Television Production.

Youth Jury Prizes are awarded in these categories: Feature Film, Live-Action Short, Animated Short, Live-action Television Production, and Animated Television Production.

Special Prizes awarded by the CICFF: Best of the Fest Prize, Montgomery Award for Emerging Director Award, Best Film for Young Children (Ages 2 to 5); and the 2018 Festival Theme Awards: Best films reflecting “No Borders” and “Build”.

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

12. Special Competitions
All special competitions are judged by special, separate juries.

The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Competition: Films entered in this competition will engage children and teens in exploring concepts or methodologies centered on the topics of life, earth, and space sciences, engineering, technology, and applied math.

The Build Competition: Films entered in this competition will focus on the variety of ways that “building” is important to our contemporary world. This may include, but is not limited to: Themes of community building and other restorative social movements; a focus on subjects like architecture, engineering, or other forms of infrastructure; the growth of the maker movement, the expansion of coding, and its relationship with animation, film, and the arts; site-specific film and video experiments that use 3-dimensional space, like projection mapping.

The No Borders Competition: Films entered in this competition will focus on celebrating the role of film in building bridges, overcoming divisions, and connecting to others using empathy as not only a central construct of narrative filmmaking but as the cardinal principle of an open, democratic society.

13. Juries
Awards are determined by several juries, including a Professional Jury, a Youth Jury (teens), and a Children’s Jury. The Festival’s Children’s Jury and the Youth Jury, led by a team of media educators, meet separately from the Professional Jury and award their own respective prizes.

For special prizes, separate juries determine awards. Prizes may not be awarded in all categories if the juries feel that the entries do not meet the high standards of the Festival.

14. Academy 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 the Academy Awards consideration.

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

16. Rulings
The Festival Committee and Facets Board of Directors reserve the right to rule on cases not covered by these regulations.

17. Participation Agreement
The Participation Agreement contained on the official Festival Entry Form must be signed, or “checked” if using the online version. Please note that signing or checking the participation agreement is legally binding.

Screening fees will NOT be paid by CICFF for print usage.