Annual festival of the best independent films created in the past year by Irish filmmakers working around the world and filmmakers working in Ireland. For over two decades the festival has strived to create a program of inclusion that supports and celebrates diverse voices of Irish storytelling in animation, documentary and live action in both short and feature lengths.

Over the last 22 years we’ve been delighted to welcome to Chicago so many talented people representing every aspect of filmmaking including, Colm Meaney, Roisen Kearney, Jim Sheridan, David Kelly, Elaine Kennedy, Dairmaid Murtagh, Andrew McCarthy, Milo O'Shea, Naomi Sheridan, Kealan Ryan, Brian Gleeson, Ross Whitaker, Nick Kelly, Marie-Therese Garvey, Ian Power, Barry Dignam and Richard Bolger (and so many, many more) whose work has informed and engaged our audiences and contributed to fascinating Q&A's and social networking occasions.

Thank you from everyone at the CIFF, we look forward to your submission and sharing your film-making talent with our Chicago audiences anmd beyond.

The CIFF is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

PLEASE NOTE : The Chicago Irish Film Festival will continue to follow state and local guidelines concerning Covid. Although we sincerely hope to have in person screenings in 2022 there is the possibility that we will be presenting a hybrid festival with in-person and virtual screenings. By submitting to CIFF2022 filmmakers agree to screening their films in either in person or virtual screenings as determined by the festival.

Please see the Rules for complete information for all our categories.

The festival presents four Awards for achievement in SHORT FILM:

Festival Award : Selected by jury
Audience Award : Selected by ballot
Consulate of Ireland Award : Selected by the Consulate of Ireland-Chicago
One Minute Irish Award : Selected by jury


FEATURE FILMS and FEATURE DOCUMENTARIES must be by an IRISH filmmaker working anywhere in the world OR a filmmaker working in IRELAND.

SHORT FILMS must be by an IRISH filmmaker working anywhere in the world OR a filmmaker working in IRELAND

IRISH HERITAGE SHORT FILMS maybe by an IRISH filmmaker or a filmmaker of IRISH heritage that created a film reflective of their IRISH background, the IRISH people or IRELAND's history.

ONE MINUTE IRISH (OMI): Open to ALL filmmakers: One film per filmmaker capturing a sense of Ireland or Irish heritage or Irish culture anywhere in the world.
Please Note: Only one OMI entry per filmmaker

ALL FILMS must have been completed in either 2020 or 2021 and be a Chicago premier, but Midwest and U.S. premiers are greatly appreciated! Date of completion must be included in the submission.

Films must not be available for public viewing on television or the internet in the US prior to March 7, 2022.

Films in any language other than English, including Irish Language must have English subtitles.

Filmmakers may only submit a maximum of 2 films : each separately and pay entry fee for each film.

The CIFF cannot acknowledge receipt of entries.

Applicants will be notified if their submissions have been successful by email after the selection process has taken place.

Due to the number of submissions received The CIFF cannot enter into discussion regarding films that are not selected for the festival.

Filmmakers of selected films should note that screening links might be made available to members of the festival and marketing team as necessary ahead of the public screening. The CIFF respects the filmmakers' copyrights and will make every effort to protect the film from piracy. The CIFF abides by the European Privacy Act of 2018 (GDPR).

▪ SUBMITTING A FILM ▪

1: For those films not accessible directly through the FilmFreeway submission page
please include a working YouTube or Vimeo link of the film AND password that does
not expire prior to the festival notification date!
Note: Filmmakers will be notified if the password fails one time and then eliminated
from consideration, without refund, if a new password is not provided.

2: Please include a synopsis of the film

3: Please include at least 3 images from the film: large hi-res / 300 dpi.

4: Please include a YouTube or Vimeo link of the film's trailer if applicable.

5: All content must be the filmmakers', including footage, music, images etc.
Films w/ unauthorized use of copyrighted material will be disqualified!

6: Film must not contain any objectionable, vulgar, libelous, obscene or gratuitous
violent material!

7: Filmmakers will be notified by December 15, 2020 of the judges’ selections
Judges may disqualify any film they feel does not comply with the above
stated guidelines.

8: The CIFF cannot acknowledge receipt of entries.

9: Due to the number of submissions received The CIFF cannot enter into discussion
regarding films that are not selected for the festival.

▪ SELECTED FILMS ▪

If selected the filmmaker must provide before January 15, 2021:

Option A: WeTransfer / Dropbox etc. in one of the following formats:
MP4 / Codec H264, or Apple Pro Res – 25fps

Option B: DCP from filmmaker, studio or distributor

Films must be delivered no later than January 15, 2021 either by transfer or shipment.

The filmmaker is responsible for the shipment of the film to Chicago.
The festival will return the film upon request or forward it to another festival if information is provided prior to the start of the CIFF.
PLEASE CONTACT THE FESTIVAL DIRECTLY PRIOR TO SHIPPING A FILM.

▪ Publicity
The Festival reserves the right to use extracts from selected films for
publicity and promotional purposes related solely to the festival and its archives.

Filmmakers of selected films should note that screening links might be made available to members of the festival marketing team and local film critics as deemed necessary and or appropriate ahead of the public screening. The CIFF respects the filmmakers' copyrights and will make every effort to protect the film from piracy.

Filmmakers of selected films should note that screening links might be made available to members of the festival and marketing team as necessary ahead of the public screening. The CIFF respects the filmmakers' copyrights and will make every effort to protect the film from piracy. The CIFF abides by the European Privacy Act of 2018. As of May 2018 the CIFF acknowledged the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law and will continue to respect our filmmakers and their privacy. We do not share or sell any personal data or information.

▪ Rights
By submitting a film to the festival the filmmaker/producer assumes sole responsibility of the acting and authorized agent and that exhibition of the film will not violate or infringe on any rights including but not limited to the images, music and content.

▪ Submission of a film constitutes an understanding of the guidelines and requirements of the festival. Please note that films that are submitted that do not comply with the stated guidelines will be disqualified. In the event of a disagreement concerning the rules and regulations regarding submission the festival's interpretation will take precedent.

These regulations are subject to change without prior notice.

Thank you for your submission.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Jonathan Hughes

    A massive thank you to the team for selecting us this year. A wonderful festival and I'd jump at the chance to screen with them again. Míle buíochas ó Éirinn daoibh!

    June 2021
  • Sidhe Company

    So honoured to have our short film PADDY get it’s north American premiere at this great festival. Although virtual this year Chicago Irish Film Festival pulled out all the stops to present a brilliant festival. Every thing was so well organised and it was a great launch for PADDY.

    April 2021
  • Delighted to have our short, Mini Hugh in the festival! It was brilliant to have films to watch and be inspired from during covid times. Look forward to visiting the festival and city of Chicago in person one day

    April 2021
  • Colin Hickey

    A big thank you to Jude and the team for a wonderful festival. Highly recommended.

    March 2021
  • Patricia Kelly

    Thank you Chicago Irish Film Festival for screening Cost You Nothing this year and for its Honourable Mention award. It was a great experience being part of the 2021 festival and we hope to be part of this festival again in the future. Highly recommend.

    March 2021