The Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) is produced every April by the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago (ILCC), a pan-Latino, nonprofit, multidisciplinary arts organization dedicated to developing, promoting, and increasing awareness of Latino culture among Latinos and other communities by presenting a wide variety of art forms. The Chicago Latino Film Festival is considered the largest, most comprehensive and best Latino film festival in the United States, and presents over 100 films of cultural and social significance from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the U.S. The Festival stresses the importance of the artistic and educational value of film.

The Festival is non-competitive. However, the most popular narrative feature, feature documentary, and short film are given the Audience Choice Award.

For films to be considered for the Chicago Latino Film Festival, their content must have to do with Latin American, Spanish, or Portuguese stories.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the 37th Chicago Latino Film Festival will be a hybrid event, comprised of both in-person and virtual screenings. The Festival’s structure, dependent on the evolving pandemic situation, will be decided by mid-January, 2021.

For the 37th edition, there are no entry fees for submission. Features must have a running time of 70 minutes or above and shorts must be less than 20 minutes. Films from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States are considered, as well as works from other countries if the director is of Ibero- or Latin American descent, or the subject matter is directly related to Latino culture. FILMS THAT DO NOT MEET THESE CRITERIA WILL BE DISQUALIFIED FROM CONSIDERATION UPON SUBMISSION. Films with an educational value, or a strong historical and artistic importance are also considered. The Festival presents all forms of filmmaking including animation, documentaries, experimental, narrative, etc. The Festival encourages the submission of works for young audiences as they are screened for students during matinees.

The Festival’s Film Selection Committee selects all features and shorts. A secure online screener with a password (Vimeo) is the accepted format for pre-selection. If your work is in a language other than English, your submission must include English subtitles.

Acceptance Notification
All participants will be notified through email by early February 2021 whether or not the work submitted was selected for the 37th Chicago Latino Film Festival.

Acceptance Terms
Selected films must be a Chicago premiere. Films that have screened publicly, theatrically, or streaming in the Chicago area, have aired on US television, or are available for public viewing (DVD or online) prior to the Festival dates are NOT eligible.

Upon acceptance to the film festival, you must provide the Festival with the following materials:
- Synopsis in English and Spanish (Portuguese for films from Portugal or Brazil)
- High-resolution still photos of the film
- Film trailer available online
- Press kit, social media links & website (if available)
- Principal cast and crew information

The Festival reserves the right to schedule all films at the date, time and location of its choice.

Screening Copy Requirements
Films are screened in DCP (Digital Cinema Package) in theaters, and in digital .mp4 files virtually. The Festival will provide you with server information, if applicable. Costs of generating KDMs will be the responsibility of the film’s representative. Blu-ray will not be accepted as a screening format except for short films and only when you have notified the Festival in advance. The Festival won’t screen a film that is technically unsuitable for a successful exhibition. Films are presented in their original language. All films in a language other than English must be subtitled in English. Clearly label the film with its original and English title and running time.

Shipping costs of all submission materials to the Festival will be paid by the participant, including customs fees and taxes. Mark packages clearly with the title of film, the Festival’s address, and sender’s return address. For international shipping, the customs declaration must read: “Cultural material of no commercial value”. Send the Festival the airway bill number by email: For films selected, the Festival will only cover one-way shipping costs for the return of the exhibition copy.

Guest Participation
The Festival holds discussions following in-person film screenings with visiting representatives or filmmakers. Everyone is encouraged to attend, but the festival can only cover travel and hotel expenses of a limited number of feature film guests. Guests are expected to attend the public screenings of the film they represent. Invited filmmakers will be notified by email.

For films streaming virtually, filmmakers will be invited to participate in virtual Q&As.

Overall Rating
  • Great festivals, great team, great films.

    July 2019

    May 2019
  • Jessica Siqueiros

    This experience was above and beyond anything I imagined. Daily luncheons with amazing filmmakers. Beautifully crafted films from filmmakers at the top of their game, changing the landscape actively for Latino films. Maria and her team have a keen eye, and we felt so lucky to be a part of this festival. Endlessly recommend submitting!

    April 2019
  • I love this festival. I love the people that run it. I love the other filmmakers that I have become friends with. Their programming is super high quality. They really now how to take care of the participating filmmakers and create a real sense of community. I hope to be a part of it again.

    April 2019
  • Extraordinary Festival! Truly supportive team. What a fantastic experience sharing time with other filmmakers at daily networking lunches! A lot of great films from around the world. Highly recommend!

    April 2019