For over a decade the ** 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 "Film Row Cinema" atop the Wabash building downtown (south loop), 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 !! If you are looking for a 'snooty' fine wine experience, please look elsewhere.. We love Shorts and we Love Filmmakers but we do not require you to dress up.. Let it all hang out :) With a real Chicago Experience.

"We are the REEL filmmakers choice for showcasing REEL FILMS TO REEL PEOPLE!"

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
NON ONLINE Payments in US dollars may be made by check or money order. Checks or money orders in US Dollars only should be made payable to PROJECT CHICAGO. International entrants must use an international money order paid in US dollars through a US bank.

We Love Canadian Films!! but..
**CANADIAN ENTRANTS MAY NOT PAY BY PERSONAL CHECK! (due to the large amount of banking errors) Only Online payments by credit card or International Money Order IN US DOLLARS.

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

Submission Procedures
* Please submit ONE (1) (NTSC) DVD clearly labeled with entry number (if online), title, type, email and contact name or online screener link
* One (1) press kit (digital) (if available)
* Payment (see Payment & Return).

Shipping Information
Packaging - Ship your cassette in a bubble-pack envelope. Do not use a fiberpack. The festival is not responsible for damage to tapes incurred in shipping.

Costs & Labeling - All shipping costs to and from Chicago must be borne by the sender. All tapes must indicate title, shipper*s name, and shipping address. To confirm receipt, please include a self-addressed stamped postcard with your entry.

We cannot confirm receipt of packages by telephone. DO NOT CALL please email.

International Entries - All entries from outside the US should be sent Air Mail Registered or by a parcel. We cannot accept entries shipped via air-freight.

Return of Entries - Submission preview tapes WILL NOT be returned.

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. Prizes awarded may be a mix of cash and prizes or just prizes. Prize worth are just estimates made by the festival directors and may not be actual values.


Any taxes as a result of prizes are the complete responsibility of the people/persons that submit the film.

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

Overall Rating
  • Aaron Carter

    It's a great time. Definitely worth checking out, especially if you're a young filmmaker!

    May 2018
  • Erik Carlson

    A lot of fun, great location, and very welcoming. Looking forward to going again next year!

    January 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Erik, we greatly enjoyed your film "A Night at the Movies" you have a true love of film!

  • Sean Patrick Leonard

    Great festival, though i wish there was a party so i could have mingled with the rest of the film makers. Great time. Thank you for including us.

    December 2017
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Sean for the nice review. Next year, 2018 our famous filmmaker network parties will be back including the Filmmaker Midnight City Beer Trolley plus a special 15th Anniversary celebration.

  • Misha Calvert

    Awesome festival!! I love their enthusiasm and taste in work, really impressive selection. The programmers and festival staff were really lovely to communicate with as well. I went out to Chicago for the festival and was so happy I did. I will definitely be applying here again!

    November 2017
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the kind words and attending the screening. 2018 will be our 15th Year celebrating great filmmakers like yourself - where we will be waiting for your next great work!

  • Golden Brown

    We really enjoyed this festival. The Hosts/MCs were very friendly and the location is really cool and in the middle of Downtown right near Millennium Park.

    December 2016