Annual festival of the best independent films created in the past year by Irish filmmakers working around the world and filmmaker from all over the world 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 23 years we’ve been delighted to welcome to Chicago so many talented people representing every aspect of filmmaking including, Gordon Hickey, Katie McNeice Connor Slattery, Colm Meaney, Roisen Kearney, Jim Sheridan, David Kelly, Elaine Kennedy, Dairmaid Murtagh, Andrew McCarthy, Milo O'Shea, Kealan Ryan, Brian Gleeson, Nick Kelly, Marie-Therese Garvey, Ian Power (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 and beyond.

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

PLEASE NOTE : The Chicago Irish Film Festival has now evolved to a hybrid festival with in-person and online screenings. By submitting to CIFF2023 filmmakers agree to to the presentation of their films at in person and/or virtual screenings as determined by the festival. Online screenings will only be available through Elevent, the festival’s streaming partner.

The Chicago Irish Film Festival will continue to follow state and local guidelines concerning Covid

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 of ANY nationality working in IRELAND.

SHORT FILMS must be by an IRISH filmmaker working anywhere in the world OR a filmmaker of ANY nationality 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 2021 or 2022 and be a Chicago premier, but Midwest and U.S. premiers are greatly appreciated! Date of completion must be included in the submission. NOTE: Exceptions maybe made for films that were made prior to the dates above at the discretion of the festival. Please contact the festival with any questions about production dates at: info@chicagoirishfilmfestival.com

Films must not be available for public viewing on television or the internet in the US prior to March 2023 with the exception of films that are screening at online and hybrid film festivals.

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, 2022 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, 2023:

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, 2023 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 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
  • Valerie Smith

    We were delighted and honoured to be selected and be part of the virtual festival. Jude was a delight to deal with and a great communicator.

    July 2022
  • Declan Curran

    Absolutely fantastic festival, extremely accommodating and ran by exceptional people. Can not wait to return!

    May 2022
  • This festival should be on your wish list! The festival is professionally run, has the interest of film makers at its core and the assistance to people, like me, starting out in the industry was so beneficial.
    The organisers of the festival communicated clearly and I was looked after so well in Chicago.
    It was a huge honour to be included in this years festival. 5 stars all round from me

    April 2022
  • Mark O'Toole

    My first in person film festival in years. My documentary short Outside In, was on the bill. Very well organized, brilliant quality lineup of films. Beautiful cinema venues and most of all an excellent chance to mingle with my fellow filmmakers. Highly recommended.

    March 2022
  • Claire Downs

    Shout out to Jude and the volunteers who made CIFF something special. From the opening night party to our screening and talkback we felt the level of professionalism and care. Thank you so much!

    March 2022