We are now accepting submissions for FACETS 39th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (“CICFF”), running November 4 through 20, 2022.

As the first Academy®-qualifying children’s film festival in the world, the CICFF presents the best, most innovative international films for kids, teens, and young adults ages 2-18 and 18-25. We seek out films that both entertain audiences and challenge them to widen their perspectives. More importantly, we invite film submissions that inspire and speak to the creative minds and hearts of young people.

Oscar®-qualifying film categories include Live-Action Short Film and Animated Short Film.

For almost 40 years CICFF has set the standard of excellence in film production for children and youth, 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. As a global hub for filmmakers and producers to connect, the Festival celebrates the aesthetic and elevated production standards for youth cinema worldwide. 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, timely, and are of universal appeal. The content speaks positively to people of different backgrounds, cultures, and orientations.

We strongly believe that CICFF audiences should be engaged, entertained, and enlightened. Films should stimulate discussion and insight into new concepts and motivate active responses from children and teens. At in-person and virtual screening Q&A’s, we seek and provide unparalleled opportunities to connect filmmakers with the widest possible audience, and to connect the community with these extraordinary films and filmmakers.

It is our continued mission that Festival films reach unique audiences diverse in age, socioeconomic background, ability, identity, and ethnic heritage, as well as a broad range of children, teens, and young adults, educators, parents, and peers unduplicated in the youth film festival audience landscape.

We strive to provide equitable access to film content through initiatives and partnerships working toward Closed Captioning, descriptive audio, and Spanish language audio or captioning of Festival films.

Founded in 1984, the CICFF is the oldest children’s film festival in the country and the largest in the world, screening 263 films from 50 countries during the 38th season in 2021.

The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival is produced and presented by FACETS, a nonprofit film arts organization that connects people to independent ideas through transformative film experiences and pioneering programs focused on film education, exhibition, and distribution. Since 1975, FACETS has provided a platform for important, thought-provoking conversations and community-driven education through increased access to a broad range of independent and foreign films for kids, teens, and adults.

In addition to the Festival, the CICFF provides important, year-round thematic programming that promotes media education in the community and the classroom.

New Dimensions, initiated by the CICFF in 2021, provides programming for young adults ages 18-25. Selections are made by the Festival Programmer and are eligible for all CICFF prizes and awards.

NOTE FOR 2022: Per CDC guidelines for COVID-19, the CICFF will, in addition to virtual screenings, offer limited in-person screenings of select programs.

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 genre and theme.

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.

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, Liv Ullmann Peace Prize, Embrace Award (LGBTQ+), STEM Award, and the Emerging Director Prize.

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.

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 39th 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.

The 39th Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF) will take place November 4 through 20, 2022. This includes:

Chicago International Children’s Film Festival screening November 4-13, 2022

The CICFF’s New Dimensions program for ages 18-25, screening November 17-20, 2022

Participation in the CICFF (November 5 through 20, 2022) also includes possible encore screenings for groups and the general public November 21 through January 2, 2023.

Additional Opportunities for accepted films include:

• Special consideration to participate in year-round screening programs for school groups and the general public, screening virtually and in-person at venues in the Chicagoland area.
• Special consideration for the CICFF’s Travelling Fest screening virtually and at venues throughout the United States.
• Special consideration to participate in additional programs for marketing, publicity, or fundraising purposes.
• The CICFF will contact filmmakers regarding additional opportunities to participate.

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’.

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.

Enter a film by submitting to FilmFreeway and/or emailing/postmarking materials by May 1 (for early entries) or May 31, 2022:

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, 2022.
• 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.
• To make the CICFF more inclusive and accessible, please include an English closed caption file (.srt), a descriptive audio file, and a Spanish language audio or subtitle file if available.

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

Chicago International Children's Film Festival (CICFF)
1517 W Fullerton Ave
Chicago, Il 60614 USA


Early Deadline: May 1, 2022 (Materials must be postmarked by this date to receive the discounted entry fee rate)

Final Deadline: May 31, 2022 (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 12, 2022. See below for details.


Entry received by May 1, 2022:

• Short films (under 40 minutes): $40.00 USD
• Feature-length films (40 minutes or longer): $80.00 USD

Entry received May 2-May 31, 2022:

• Short films: $60.00 USD
• Feature-length films: $100.00 USD


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.


• All submitted material must have a copyright date of 2022, 2021, or 2020
• Submissions must be suitable for children ages 18 and under. However, content suitable for ages 18-25 will be considered for our young adult program.
• 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.


• 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.

Filmmakers will be notified regarding acceptance or rejection by August 31, 2022 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.

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.

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


The Submitter must read and agree to our Participation Agreement and Rules and Regulations for the Chicago International Children's Film Festival. This agreement is legally binding. 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. In the event of any conflict between the Rules and Terms and the Participation Agreement, the language in the Participation Agreement shall govern.

Usage and Intellectual Property Rights

Upon the submission of the submitted film, you hereby irrevocably grant us the right on a no-fee basis to view and review the film to evaluate its acceptance into the Festival. Additionally, you hereby irrevocably grant us the right on a no-fee basis to retain copies of the submitted film, if your film is not selected, to evaluate its acceptance into our festivals in subsequent years subject to your consent, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld, delayed, or conditioned.

Upon the submitted film’s acceptance into the Festival, you hereby irrevocably grant us the following license rights on a no-fee basis to the submitted film subject to your consent, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld, delayed, or conditioned:

a. the right to display and exhibit the film as part of the Festival at multiple in-person locations; b. the right to display and exhibit the film virtually, through a streaming platform, to viewers throughout the United States as part of the Festival (subject to the exception in Section c. below, we will take all commercially-reasonable steps to prevent viewers outside the United States from accessing our platform); c. the right to display and exhibit the film virtually, through a streaming platform, to certain film industry professionals throughout the world as part of the Festival; d. the right to show portions of the film for promotional purposes, on both virtual and in-person bases; e. the right to provide screeners of the film to the press; f. the right to display and exhibit the film for educational use, both virtually and in-person; g. the right to consider the film for display and exhibit for public screenings at venues throughout the United States as part of touring festival programs; h. the right to include the film in a DVD or other digital compilation to be sold by us for fundraising purposes; and i. the right to retain any and all revenues from ticket sales, merchandise, rental fees, and sponsorship associated with the film’s participation in the Festival or any associated events.

Subject to the license right you granted us hereunder, you shall retain all right, title, and interest in the Film, and all rights not expressly granted herein are reserved to you.

Representations, Warranties, and Covenants

You hereby represent, warrant, and covenant that: (i) you are the sole and exclusive owner of all intellectual property rights to, and interests in, the submitted film(s); (ii) you have all rights, titles, licenses, intellectual property rights, permissions, and approvals necessary to agree to the Rules and Terms, to perform your obligations under the Rules and Terms, and to grant to us, FACETS, the rights granted under the Rules and Terms; (iii) you have not done or caused to be done, or omitted to do or caused to be omitted to be done, any act that has resulted or might result in the abandonment or impairment of such right, title, interest, license, intellectual property right, permission, or approval; (iv) the submitted film(s) does not infringe any copyright or other right or constitute the misappropriation of any trade secret of any third party; (v) no third party has any right, title, or interest in or to the submitted film(s); and (vi) all rights granted hereunder are and will be free and clear of liens, encumbrances, or claims of every kind and all royalty and license fees required now or in the future to be paid in connection therewith have been or will be paid by you.

You hereby represent, warrant, and covenant that you have the full right, title, and interest in and to the copyright or copyrights in the submitted film(s) and that you have not done or caused to be done, or omitted to do, or caused to be omitted to be done, any act which has resulted or might result in the abandonment or impairment of such right, title, and interest, and will not do so during the term.


We will not be liable to you for any special, punitive, consequential, incidental, or exemplary damages (including lost or anticipated revenues or profits relating to the same or attorneys’ fees) arising from any claim relating to the Rules and Terms or any of the license rights granted hereunder or the performance of, or failure to perform, any obligation under this Rules and Terms, whether such claim is based on warranty, contract, tort (including negligence or strict liability), or otherwise, and regardless of whether such damages are foreseeable or one of your representatives has been advised of the possibility or likelihood of such damages. OTHER THAN THOSE REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES SPECIFICALLY SET FORTH IN THE PRECEDING SECTION (REPRESENTATIONS, WARRANTIES, AND COVENANTS) AND THIS SECTION (LIABILITY), EACH PARTY SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ALL REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING ANY REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WITH RESPECT TO THE SUBMITTED FILM(S) OR THE RIGHTS GRANTED PURSUANT TO THE RULES AND TERMS.


You shall indemnify and hold harmless FACETS from and against any claims, actions, demands, lawsuits, damages, liabilities, settlements, penalties, fines, costs and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs) related to the Rules and Terms or to the extent arising from the (i) violation by you of any right of a third party, or (ii) your failure to comply with the Rules and Terms or any laws, rules, or regulations, provided in each case that we, FACETS, (A) promptly notify you in writing of any such suit, and (B) cooperate at all times with you in connection with your defense at your reasonable expense.

Mediation and Arbitration

In the event of any controversy or claim arising out of, or relating to, the Rules and Terms, or the breach thereof, the parties shall consult and negotiate with each other and, recognizing their mutual interests, attempt to reach a resolution satisfactory to both parties. If the two parties do not reach settlement within a period of 30 days, then we, FACETS, may initiate mediation proceedings. If settlement is not reached within 60 days after service of a written demand for mediation, any unresolved controversy or claim arising out of, or relating to, the Rules and Terms shall be settled by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association under its Commercial Arbitration Rules, and judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator(s) may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof.

Governing Law and Venue

The Rules and Terms shall be governed by, and interpreted in accordance with, the laws of the state of Illinois, and any action, claim or suit initiated in connection with the Rules and Terms shall be prosecuted exclusively within the courts of the state of Illinois located in Chicago, except where exclusive federal jurisdiction applies, in which case an action, claim or suit initiated in connection with the Rules and Terms shall be prosecuted in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.


You shall not assign or delegate the Rules and Terms, or any rights, entitlements, duties, and obligations arising from them, in whole or in part, without our prior written consent, and any attempted assignment by you without consent shall be null and void and shall entitle us to terminate the Rules and Terms upon written notice of termination.

Entire Agreement

The Rules and Terms constitute the entire agreement between the parties hereto with respect to the subject matter hereof and supersede all prior agreements and understandings, oral, written and implied, between the parties hereto with respect to the subject matter hereof.


If any clause or provision of the Rules and Terms is illegal, invalid, or unenforceable under applicable current or future laws, then it is the intention of the parties that the remainder of the Rules and Terms shall not be affected but shall remain in full force and effect.


The headings of the sections of the Rules and Terms are inserted for convenience only and shall not be deemed to constitute part of the Rules and Terms or to affect the construction thereof.

Rights to Our Intellectual Property

You acknowledge that you have no rights to make use of our intellectual property (including, but not limited to, our name, our logo, or any trademarks belonging to us) without our express written consent.

Overall Rating
  • Jonathan Blagrove

    So great to have feedback and interaction with Jake from Chigaco.
    Nice recommendations of other festivals
    Look forward to showing with you again.

    November 2022
  • Lucía Florez

    Amazing festival that's commited to the community and aims to grow with every edition!

    November 2022
  • Todd Allan Stewart

    Fantastic festival. Was fortunate to have our film's world premiere here in 2022. Wonderful group of people who organize the festival and the programming was top notch. Worth it just to discover FACETS theatre and the community around the festival. Thanks again!!

    November 2022
  • Esther Baker

    It was an honour to be part of this festival alongside such imaginative, inspirational, heartfelt films from all over the world. A very professional and high-quality festival

    November 2022
  • Such an honour to have had our short film, 'A Whisper In the Island Of the Heart' in the FACETS 39th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (“CICFF”) 2022. Amazing programmers team, a sophisticated audience attending and a very high quality screening. Thank you so much for having us! Highly recommended!

    November 2022