Project Chicago Presents the 20th Annual
Chicago International REEL Shorts Film Fest
November 10-11, 2023

This Year's fest features the best short films from throughout the world. Comedies, action, drama, Horror, Demented, arts, we are showing a little of everything! So get tickets while you can!

We will be showing this years films November 10-11, 2023 at the Chicago Filmmakers Theater, 1326 W. Hollywood Ave., Chicago, IL 60640*

*Date(s) and venue subject to change.

Tickets to this year’s festival will be available through (via Paypal), we do not have a convenience fee like most other ticket vendors. Tickets will also be available before each show begins.



Since 2003 ** Chicago International REEL Shorts Festival ** has provided FILMMAKERS from around the World the opportunity to showcase their work to REEL PEOPLE in the Chicagoland area.

They seek to provide a supportive atmosphere with low entry fees and low cost ticket prices.

With unique venues like the state of the art "Chicago Filmmakers Fire House Theater", Classic venues in Chicago’s Belmont Theater District or a basement screening at the World Famous "Mothers" where you can enjoy a local brew while you watch some of the Worlds best films.

We are all Shorts All the Time !!! No Features stealing your spotlight :)

We love to give out awards!! Each screening has an Audience Choice Award and the festival gives out unique festival awards like Best Youth, Best Comedy, Best Drama, BEST OF FEST.... each year it is different based on the films we program.

So go ahead and submit your film!!!


Submission Fees
All submissions and payments are through FilmFreeway's secure online submissions system.

Screening Requirements
If your film is selected for exhibition, please be advised that the Festival will require a downloadable MP4 file.

Submission Procedures
* Please submit ONE film per entry with title, type, email and contact name or online screener link
* One digital press kit (This is often overlooked. We need posters and stills for promotion and press inquiries)
* Payment (see Payment & Return).

Eligibility Requirements

* World and US Premieres are not required.
* All films and videos in a language other than English must be subtitled in English for Festival presentation.
* Filmmakers must deliver final format (as indicated) for festival screening. No exceptions will be permitted.
* Short Films YOUTH must be works shot, directed, and produced by high school or secondary school (pre-college) students. Adult supervision is limited to advisory capacity.

Festival Awards
All, shorts and music videos are eligible for all Awards. Awards and prizes will be given but are to be determined at a later time.


To submit a film you must hold or share copyright of the film and its content.

Overall Rating
  • Rosa SanMarchi

    A fun and supportive local festival. Great communication from the organizers.

    January 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the review, Rosa! We hope that you'll join us in the future and give us a chance to score five stars across the board.

  • Margaret Kellas

    We are so grateful to the Chicago International REEL Shorts Film Festival for inviting us and our film "this is not the morning i thought i was going to have" to participate in this year's fest.

    Our team was met with clear communication, excellent branding resources to use, and an incredibly well organized event. We were very impressed with the level of production, the other films selected, and loved hearing from other filmmakers involved.

    Upon winning two awards, the team at CIRSFF created customized laurels for us to use. As this is our first film in festival season, we cannot express the amount of gratitude we have for this.

    Quirine, Toby, Nels and the CIRSFF team - thank you for having us! The Chicago film community is lucky to have you. Looking forward to submitting again, and attending another event!

    December 2022
    Response from festival:

    Margaret, it was our pleasure. We hope to see more from you very soon.

  • Will Sonheim

    Chicago is such a great city for collaborative creation, and the Chicago International REEL Shorts Film Fest really embodies this ethos and vibe while bringing in amazing shorts from all over the world. Big fan!

    November 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Will for bringing your wonderful film 'Rite of Passage' to the people of Chicago. Can't wait to see what you do next!

  • Elizabeth Love

    I had a wonderful sharing my film and seeing other directors films! I also loved meeting everyone and having a Q & A session after each screening.

    November 2022
    Response from festival:

    Your doc 'The Gift' brought so much to the festival, Thank You!

  • Cameron Lewis

    Overall, excellent experience with this festival. The venue was great and the quality of curated films was high with a wide variety of subject matter. Only a few of the filmmakers were able to make it (at least to the portion I was at) so that limited networking opportunities, but those that did show up were great and willing to chat. I would definitely submit and attend again!

    November 2022
    Response from festival:

    Cam, thanks for coming out from Michigan and bringing your film 'Trashman'. We can't wait to see more of your work in the future.