The Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase was created in 2014 as a new component of the Chicago Park District's popular Movies in the Parks program, to bring films from Chicago's thriving film scene to the city and neighborhoods that inspired them.

Chicago Onscreen gives local filmmakers the opportunity to share their work with a citywide audience through safely-distant, free outdoor public screenings in local parks and an online virtual film festival. Since 2014, Chicago Onscreen has featured dozens of local films to thousands of viewers in more than 60 parks across the city.

All selected films are awarded an honorarium of up to $500.

Showcase Rules and Guidelines
By submitting a film for consideration, you acknowledge you have read and agree to all guidelines listed below.

General Guidelines:
1) The number of films chosen and the location(s) and date(s) of screenings will be decided at the discretion of the Chicago Park District.
2) The Chicago Park District is not responsible for submitted DVD screeners that may be lost or damaged during shipping but will notify entrants of damage and request a new copy.
3) Selected entrants will be notified directly in April, 2021.
4) The Chicago Park District reserves the right to use any and all submitted materials for promotional and marketing materials in perpetuity for the Chicago Onscreen Showcase, Movies in the Parks, Night Out in the Parks and the Chicago Park District.

Eligibility Requirements:
5) Films submitted must be the original work of the person or persons submitting.
6) Submitted films must have been produced in the past 3 years (completion date no earlier than December 31, 2017).
7) Films must have a demonstrable and significant to Chicago and/or any neighborhood/community therein (Production/shooting location, filmmaker residence, documentary subject, etc.)
8) Films do not need to be rated, but must be the equivalent of MPAA Rating PG-13 or lower to meet Movies in the Parks screenings standards. The Chicago Park District will make the final call regarding the appropriateness of the content.
9) Short film submissions must be no longer than 25 minutes.
10) Feature submissions must be no longer than 150 minutes (2.5 hours).

Guarantee of Authority:
11) As the producer, director or submitter of your film, you are responsible for acquiring the legal right and authority to submit your film and for the use of any music, images, and content contained therein. The Chicago Park District holds no responsibility for the use of copyrighted material contained in your film. Submission of a film warrants that you have obtained all necessary legal permissions. Unlicensed usage of protected images or music can be subject to legal action and fines.
12) In the event that any claim, dispute or proceeding shall be brought by any person or entity alleging unlawful or unauthorized use of any copyrighted material, the submitter shall indemnify and defend the Chicago Park District, its Commissioners, officers, agents, employees and volunteers from any liability in connection therewith and from any costs and expenses, including but not limited to attorneys costs and fees, that may be incurred in connection therewith.
13) The Chicago Park District reserves the right to disqualify any film that includes any unauthorized copyrighted material.

Technical Requirements:
14) Entrants may submit up to 1 feature and 1 short or 2 shorts.
15) The preferred method of film submission is via an online screener. Dropbox files, Vimeo links, YouTube links, etc. are all acceptable.
16) If selected, submitted films must be made available via a digital file. Downloadable links or file transfers are acceptable. Hi-Res files are preferred.
17) If a film is submitted on DVD, submitted discs must be Region 1 compatible and play in a stand-alone player. If selected, DVD submissions must be made available via digital file as indicated above.
18) Submitted DVDs must contain no more than one film per DVD and disc and all accompanying packaging must be prominently labeled with the name of the entrant and the title of the film. Do not use paper labels or stickers on DVD discs.
19) Any shipping costs are the responsibility of the entrant. The Chicago Park District is unable to return submitted DVDs.
20) DVDs must be submitted to:
Chicago Park District
Movies in the Parks
541 N. Fairbanks Ct.
Chicago, IL 60611

21) All submissions must be received no later than 11:59:59 pm on Sunday, December 6, 2020.
22) Entries submitted via DVD should allow 3-5 extra days for shipping, to allow submissions to route through internal Chicago Park District mailroom channels.
23) Selected entrants will be notified in April 2021.

Overall Rating
  • Kimberly Wehr

    It was such an honor to be apart of Chicago on screen. It was extra special this year because my friends and family all remarked on what a wonderful break it was to go to the drive in and put their worries on pause for the night.

    November 2020
  • A fun outdoor festival that creates a comfortable atmosphere for independent filmmakers

    October 2019