The Chicago Irish Film Festival, dedicated to presenting the works of Irish filmmakers since 1999, opens for Chicago audiences a window into contemporary Irish life and culture. Across genera, CIFF invites filmmakers to move, challenge and inspire audiences through works of Irish brilliance on the screens of Chicago theaters.

Now gearing up for its 19th year, CIFF’s program comprises both submitted and curated films. The festival accepts documentary, feature and short films in English and Irish language, made by Irish filmmakers working around the world or non-Irish filmmakers working in Ireland. The festival also accepts short films by filmmakers with Irish heritage that have created a film reflecting their Irish heritage, the Irish people or Ireland's history.

We look forward to your submission and sharing your expression of Irish imagination with Chicago audiences.

Awards & Prizes

The festival presents three Awards for achievement in short film:

Festival Award
Audience Award
Consulate of Ireland Award presented to a film that captures the spirit of Ireland.

Rules & Terms

All films must have been completed in either 2016 or 2017 and be a Chicago premier, but Midwest and U.S. premiers are greatly appreciated!

ALL FEATURE FILMS and FEATURE DOCUMENTARIES must be by an IRISH filmmaker or a filmmaker working in IRELAND.

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

Please include a short synopsis of your film. Please do NOT send stills or press kits. If your film is selected we will ask you to email us a still image.

Films cannot be available for public viewing on websites such as: Vimeo, YouTube, etc.

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.

Please Note:

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.

Selected Films:

If selected the filmmaker must provide :

1: BluRay / DVD: 2 Copies (Region 0 or 1) , DCP or Digital Beta NTSC copy of their film
no later than February 1, 2018 to the festival office in Chicago. The filmmaker is responsible for the shipment of the film to the festival office. The festival will return the film upon request or forward it to another festival.

Note: The festival will no longer screen films sent via the internet due to image
and sound quality variations during exhibition that are beyond our control. We apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

2: A minimum of 3 high resolution stills from the film

3: A trailer for the film : Duration : 30 seconds or less

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

▪ 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.

5 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Greig Stevens

    A fantastic film festival offering Irish filmmakers a great opportunity to reach new and enthusiastic audiences. A massive thanks on behalf of everyone involved in 'The Sweetest Thing' short film. Bravo to all involved at CIFF.

    September 2017
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    Fernando Otero

    Fantastic festival. The organizers were very friendly, professional and dedicated. It was an absolute honor and pleasure being part of the festival. We totally recommend it.

    March 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Hi Fernando,
    We have been so delighted to hear of 'More Than A Barbershop's continuing festival success and can't thank you enough for sharing your award winning documentary with Chicago. You and Xandru are truly inspirational and we wish your great success with all your future cinematic adventures.

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    Ronan Cassidy

    Chicago Irish Film Festival was absolutely great! Affordable submission fees, great communication, extremely helpful and a great networking opportunity. Great experience, I hope to submit again.

    March 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Hi Ronan,
    We too enjoyed working with you and having "The Apparel" in the festival. Shorts are the cornerstone of the festival and having filmmakers of your caliber submitting each year is really awesome and we certainly hope you will consider submitting again with future projects. All the best to you, the CIFF team.

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    harold gordon woodside

    I wasn't able to attend the festival which generously included my 40 yr old short film 'The Last Call' in its program, affirming the relevance of this artist's work. This festival is top notch in every way. You want to be involved with CIFF, they keep their word, men and women of integrity and artistry, giving new talent windows of opportunity and recognizing the eternal value of cinema. Thanks all at CIFF. -Gordon Woodside

    March 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Hey Gordon,
    We felt truly honored to have your film in this year's fest showing that despite its year of production the subject matter was still relevant and highlighting the importance of archival footage of events and social concerns past and present and your newly completed editing brought it right into the 21st. century. Best of luck with all your future screenings of 'The Last Call'.

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    Keith Farrell

    Great festival, brilliantly organised well run. For an Irish filmmaker it is a perfect way to get your work introduced to an Irish-American audience.

    November 2016
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    Response from festival:

    Hi Keith,

    THANK YOU! We were delighted to screen your film and that you had a positive experience. All the best, Jude