CineYouth is the Chicago International Film Festival’s yearly film festival that showcases short films made by filmmakers 22 years old and younger from around the world. CineYouth encourages the talent of young filmmakers and supports diverse youth voices by providing opportunities to have their work showcased, to learn about filmmaking from industry experts, and network with their peers. CineYouth 2022 will offer free film screenings, filmmaking workshops, live Q&A’s, and more!

Select award-winning CineYouth films will be screened at the 58th Chicago International Film Festival at the CineYouth "Best of the Fest" screening (October 2022).

As a step towards a more inclusive and accessible festival that addresses the systemic inequity and underrepresentation in film, CineYouth is offering a 50% discount to all films submitted by BIPOC filmmakers, as well as filmmakers with disabilities and/or films featuring performers with disabilities using the following codes:

BIPOCVOICES2022
DISABILITYVOICES2022

Additional discount and waiver requests are considered by CineYouth on a case-by-case basis. To make a request, please fill out this short form: https://biturl.top/VbUVJv

One winning film in each category, which include Drama, Women Filmmakers, LGBTQ+, Chicago-made films, Horror and more! Select award winners will be screened as part of the "Best of the Fest" at the 58th Chicago International Film Festival.

CineYouth is the Chicago International Film Festival's yearly film festival that showcases short films made by filmmakers 22 years old and younger from around the world. CineYouth encourages the talent of young filmmakers and supports diverse youth voices by providing opportunities to have their work showcased, to learn about filmmaking from industry experts, and network with peers.

*Please only submit to one category*

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
Entries accepted December 15th, 2021 through March 4th, 2022

Eligibility
- The film's director(s) must have been 22 years old or younger at the time of the film's completion. (Can currently be 23 if the film was finished while 22.)
- All films must be in English or subtitled in English
- All music and other copyrighted material used must be properly licensed
- The length of all submissions must be 15 minutes or less, including
credits
- Past submissions to CineYouth may not be resubmitted
- You must provide your age at the time of film completion in the synopsis.

Submission Process

- Please include your age at time of film completion in the Synopsis.
- You may submit as many films as you like, but a completed entry
form/FilmFreeway submission must accompany EACH entry.
- Programming decisions are sent via email in March, 2022.
- Because of the high volume of submissions, we are unable to provide feedback on why your film was/was not selected.
- If your film is accepted, you will be asked to provide an electronic film still (not poster image) that is a minimum 300dpi, 4×6 and high quality.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Siara-Lauren Brown

    I absolutely loved this festival. I attended this year online due to Covid, but it was incredible nonetheless. Can't wait to see this festival in person.

    May 2021
  • Daria Litvichenko

    CineYouth was a great chance to network, learn from other filmmakers and, of course, watch amazing films!
    The festival was perfectly organized, and it was a pleasure to participate in the 2021 edition! Thank you for this experience!

    May 2021
  • Leonardo Martinelli

    Amazing and caring festival that highlights cinema from worldwide youth, giving space to voices that are many times unheard. Honoured to have been a part of the 2021 edition!

    May 2021
  • Shaun Louis Calleja

    A great festival to start in and supportive.

    May 2021
  • Matthew Brdlik

    I've heard a lot of great things about this festival and it has always been an ambition of mine to screen in it. My film was accepted into the festival, but snubbed because of covid. Unfortunately I ran into a lot of arbitrary rules that ultimately prevented my work from screening at the festival.

    First, despite this being a Chicago International Film Festival, they do not want you submitting to both festivals. After a lot of pushing, they were thankfully able to make an exception for me in which I would withdrawal from CineYouth if I was accepted to CIFF.

    Then Covid hit and the festival was postponed. After a year, the festival staff understandably decided to combine 2020 with 2021 and make a virtual festival. Unfortunately, I had to make the tough choice for my film not to screen at any virtual festivals. I inquired if it would be possible to wait for another year and they said no, I could not resubmit my film in the future, it was against the rules even despite the extenuating circumstances behind it. I am 23 now so my window of opportunity has closed.

    I'm disappointed I missed my chance with this festival due to the pandemic, but I know it's a good one. I think there are some kinks that could be ironed out, but overall I know they are doing great work. Best of luck with your submissions.

    March 2021